Mrs. S. (aside). They say he plays not always true.
Mrs. J. (aside) What then?
Mrs. T. (aside). Here comes my lady. She’s too fat by half For love songs. O! the lace upon her gown, I wish I had the getting of it up, ’T would be a pretty penny in my pouch.
Mrs. J. (aside). Be quiet now for manners.
Vicar presents a lady, who sings.
Dark flocks of wildfowl riding out the storm
Upon a pitching sea,
Beyond grey rollers vex’d that rear and form,
When piping winds urge on their destiny,
To fall back ruined in white continually.
And I at our trysting stone,
Whereto I came down alone,
Was fain o’ the wind’s wild moan.
O, welcome were wrack and were rain
And beat of the battling main,
For the sake of love’s sweet pain,
For the smile in two brown eyes,
For the love in any wise,
To bide though the last day dies;
For a hand on my wet hair,
For a kiss e’en yet I wear,
For—bonny Jock was there.
Pale precipices while the sun lay low
Tinct faintly of the rose,
And mountain islands mirror’d in a flow,
Forgotten of all winds (their manifold
Peaks, reared into the glory and the glow),
Floated in purple and gold.
And I, o’er the rocks alone,
Of a shore all silent grown,
Came down to our trysting stone,
And sighed when the solemn ray
Paled in the wake o’ the day.
Comfort is not by the shore,
Going the gold that it wore,
Purple and rose are no more,
World and waters are wan,
And night will be here anon,
And—bonny Jock’s gone.’
[Moderate applause, and calls for fiddler Sam.
Mrs. Jillifer (aside). Now, neighbours, call again and be not shamed; Stand by the parish, and the parish folk, Them that are poor. I told you! here he comes. Parson looks glum, but brings him and his girl.
The fiddler Sam plays, and his daughter sings.
Touch the sweet string. Fly
forth, my heart,
Upon the music like a bird;
The silvery notes shall add their part,
And haply yet thou shalt be heard.
Touch the sweet string.
The youngest wren of nine
Dimpled, dark, and merry,
Brown her locks, and her two eyne
Browner than a berry.
When I was not in love
Maidens met I many;
Under sun now walks but one,
Nor others mark I any.
Twin lambs, a mild-eyed ewe,
That would her follow bleating,
A heifer white as snow
I’ll give to my sweet sweeting.
Touch the sweet string. If yet too young,
O love of loves, for this my song,
I’ll pray thee count it all unsung,
And wait thy leisure, wait it long.
Touch the sweet string.