* * * * *
It may be objected that all these lovers are equally sad, though one is a cheerful, the other a melancholy lover. It is true they are all equally sad, for they are all equally in love, and in despair, when it is impossible for them to be otherwise; but if I have pictured their farewell complaints in such a way as to give you an idea that one lover is naturally of a melancholy, one of a cheerful, and one of a proud temper, I have done all that is intended.
Somewhat after the Style of our old English ballads.
All shrouded in the winter snow,
The maiden held her way;
Nor chilly winds that roughly blow,
Nor dark night could her stay.
O’er hill and dale, through bush and briar,
She on her journey kept;
Save often when she ’gan to tire,
She stop’d awhile and wept.
Wild creatures left their caverns drear,
To raise their nightly yell;
But little doth the bosom fear,
Where inward troubles dwell.
No watch-light from the distant spire,
To cheer the gloom so deep,
Nor twinkling star, nor cottage fire
Did thro’ the darkness peep.
Yet heedless still she held her way,
Nor fear’d the crag nor dell;
Like ghost that thro’ the gloom to stray,
Wakes with the midnight bell.
Now night thro’ her dark watches ran,
Which lock the peaceful mind;
And thro’ the neighb’ring hamlets ’gan
To wake the yawning hind.
Yet bark of dog, nor village cock,
That spoke the morning near;
Nor gray-light trembling on the rock,
Her ’nighted mind could cheer.
The whirling flail, and clacking mill
Wake with the early day;
And careless children, loud and shrill,
With new-made snow-balls play.
And as she pass’d each cottage door,
They did their gambols cease;
And old men shook their locks so hoar,
And wish’d her spirit peace.
For sometimes slow; and sometimes fast,
She held her wav’ring pace;
Like early spring’s inconstant blast,
That ruffles evening’s face.
At length with weary feet she came,
Where in a shelt’ring wood,
Whose master bore no humble name,
A stately castle stood.
The open gate, and smoking fires,
Which cloud the air so thin;
And shrill bell tinkling from the spires,
Bespoke a feast within.
With busy looks, and hasty tread,
The servants cross the hall;
And many a page, in buskins red,
Await the master’s call.
Fair streaming bows of bridal white
On ev’ry shoulder play’d;
And clean, in lily kerchief dight,
Trip’d every houshold maid.
She ask’d for neither lord nor dame,
Nor who the mansion own’d;
But straight into the hall she came,
And sat her on the ground.