Her air expresses,—“Hark to what I say!”
Ten paces off, poor Rupert on a seat
Has taken refuge from the noon-day heat,
His eyes on her intent, as if to find
What were the movements of that subtle mind:
How still!—how earnest is he!—it appears
His thoughts are wand’ring through his earlier years;
Through years of fruitless labour, to the day
When all his earthly prospects died away:
“Had I,” he thinks, “been wealthier of the two,
Would she have found me so unkind, untrue?
Or knows not man when poor, what man when rich will do?
Yes, yes! I feel that I had faithful proved,
And should have soothed and raised her, bless’d and loved.”
But Dinah moves—she had observed before
The pensive Rupert at an humble door:
Some thoughts of pity raised by his distress,
Some feeling touch of ancient tenderness;
Religion, duty urged the maid to speak,
In terms of kindness to a man so weak:
But pride forbade, and to return would prove
She felt the shame of his neglected love;
Nor wrapp’d in silence could she pass, afraid
Each eye should see her, and each heart upbraid;
One way remain’d—the way the Levite took,
Who without mercy could on misery look;
(A way perceiv’d by craft, approved by pride),
She cross’d and pass’d him on the other side.
It were all one,
That I should love a bright peculiar star,
And think to wed it; she is so much above me:
In her bright radiance and collateral heat
Must I be comforted, not in her sphere.
Shakespeare, All’s Well that Ends Well.
Poor wretches, that depend
On greatness’ favours, dream as I have done,
Wake and find nothing.
And since —
Th’ affliction of my mind amends, with which
I fear a madness held me.
A Borough-Bailiff, who to law was train’d,
A wife and sons in decent state maintain’d,
He had his way in life’s rough ocean steer’d
And many a rock and coast of danger clear’d;
He saw where others fail’d, and care had he,
Others in him should not such feelings see:
His sons in various busy states were placed,
And all began the sweets of gain to taste,
Save John, the younger, who, of sprightly parts,
Felt not a love for money-making arts:
In childhood feeble, he, for country air,
Had long resided with a rustic pair;
All round whose room were doleful ballads, songs,
Of lovers’ sufferings and of ladies’ wrongs;
Of peevish ghosts who came at dark midnight,