The Illustrated London Reading Book eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 275 pages of information about The Illustrated London Reading Book.

    Go, take thine angle, and with practised line,
      Light as the gossamer, the current sweep;
      And if thou failest in the calm, still deep,
    In the rough eddy may a prize be thine. 
    Say thou’rt unlucky where the sunbeams shine;
      Beneath the shadow where the waters creep
      Perchance the monarch of the brook shall leap—­
    For Fate is ever better than Design. 
    Still persevere; the giddiest breeze that blows
      For thee may blow with fame and fortune rife. 
    Be prosperous; and what reck if it arose
      Out of some pebble with the stream at strife,
    Or that the light wind dallied with the boughs: 
      Thou art successful—­such is human life.

    DOUBLEDAY.

* * * * *

MARIANA.

Mariana in the moated grange.—­Measure for Measure.

[Illustration]

    With blackest moss the flower-plots
      Were thickly crusted, one and all;
    The rusted nails fell from the knots
      That held the peach to the garden wall. 
    The broken sheds look’d sad and strange—­
      Uplifted was the clinking latch,
      Weeded and worn the ancient thatch,
    Upon the lonely moated grange. 
      She only said, “My life is dreary—­
        He cometh not,” she said;
      She said, “I am aweary, weary,
        I would that I were dead!”

    Her tears fell with the dews at even—­
      Her tears fell ere the dews were dried;
    She could not look on the sweet heaven,
      Either at morn or eventide. 
    After the flitting of the bats,
      When thickest dark did trance the sky,
      She drew her casement-curtain by,
    And glanced athwart the glooming flats. 
      She only said, “The night is dreary—­
        He cometh not,” she said;
      She said, “I am aweary, weary,
        I would that I were dead!”

    Upon the middle of the night,
      Waking, she heard the night-fowl crow: 
    The cock sung out an hour ere light;
      From the dark fen the oxen’s low
    Came to her.  Without hope of change,
      In sleep she seem’d to walk forlorn,
      Till cold winds woke the gray-eyed morn
    About the lonely moated grange. 
      She only said, “The day is dreary
        He cometh not,” she said;
      She said, “I am aweary, weary,
        I would that I were dead!”

    About a stone-cast from the wall
      A sluice with blacken’d waters slept;
    And o’er it many, round and small,
      The cluster’d marish-mosses crept. 
    Hard by, a poplar shook alway,
      All silver-green with gnarled bark;
      For leagues, no other tree did dark
    The level waste, the rounding gray. 
      She only said, “My life is dreary—­
        He cometh not,” she said;
      She said, “I am aweary, weary,
        I would that I were dead!”

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The Illustrated London Reading Book from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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