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What ails this heart o' mine?

What ails this watery ee? What gars me a' turn pale as death

When I take leave o' thee? When thou art far awa',

Thou 'it dearer grow to me; But change o' place and change o' folk

May gar thy fancy jee.

When I gae out at e'en,

Or walk at morning air,
Ilk rustling bush will seem to say.

I used to meet thee there.


Then I'll sit down and cry,

And live aneath the tree, And when a leaf fa's i' my lap,

I 'll ca' 't a word frae thee.

I '11 hie me to the bower

That thou wi' roses tied, And where wi' inony a blushing bud

I strove myself to hide. I 'll doat on ilka spot

Where I have been wi' thee; And ca' to mind some kindly word,

By ilka burn and tree.

Robert Bloomfield.

[From The Farmer's Boy.]

Advancing Spring profusely spreads abroad

Flowers of all hues, with sweetest

fragrance stored; Where'er she treads Love gladdens

every plain, Delight on tiptoe bears her lucid


Sweet Hope with conscious brow before her flies,

Anticipating wealth from Summer skies;

All Nature feels her renovating sway; The sheep-fed pasture, and the

meadow gay; And trees, and shrubs, no longer

budding seen. Display the new-grown branch of

lighter green; On airy downs the idling shepherd


And sees to-morrow in the marbled


[From The Farmer's Boy.]

Anon tired laborers bless their

sheltering home, When midnight, and the frightful

tempest come. The farmer wakes, and sees, with

silent dread, The angry shafts of Heaven gleam

round his bed; The bursting cloud reiterated roars. Shakes his straw roof, and jars his

bolted doors: The slow-winged storm along the

troubled skies Spreads its dark course: the wind

begins to rise; And full-leafed elms, his dwelling's

shade by day, With mimic thunder give its fury


Sounds in the chimney-top a doleful peal

Midst pouring rain, or gusts of rattling hail;

With tenfold danger low the tempest bends,

And quick and strong the sulphurous flame descends:

The frightened mastiff from his kennel flies,

And cringes at the door with piteous cries. . . .

Where now's the trifler! where the

child of pride? These are the moments when the

heart is tried! Nor lives the man, with conscience

e'er so clear, But feels a solemn, reverential fear; Keels too a joy relieve his aching


When the spent storm hath howled itself to rest.

Still, welcome beats the long-continued shower,

And sleep protracted, comes with double power;

Calm dreams of bliss bring on the morning sun,

For every barn is filled, and Harvest done I

[From The Farmer's Boy.]


Hark! where the sweeping scythe now rips along: Each sturdy mower, emulous and strong.

Whose writhing form meridian heat defies,

Bends o'er his work, and every sinew tries:

Prostrates the waving treasure at his feet,

but spares the rising clover, short and sweet.

Come, Health! come, jollity! lightfooted, come;

Here hold your revels, and make this your home.

Each heart awaits and hails you as its own;

Each moistened brow, that scorns to wear a frown:

The unpeopled dwelling mourns its tenants strayed;

E'en the domestic laughing dairymaid

Hies to the field, the general toil to share.

Meanwhile the farmer quits his

elbow-chair, His cool brick floor, his pitcher, and

his ease,

And braves the sultry beams, and

gladly sees His gates thrown open, and his team


The ready group attendant on his word,

To turn the Bwarth, the quivering

load to rear, Or ply the busy rake, the land to


Summer's light garb itself now cumbrous grown,

Each his thin doublet in the shade throws down;

Where oft the mastiff skulks with half-shut eye.

And rouses at the stranger passing by;

Whilst unrestrained the social converse flows,

And every breast Love's powerful impulse knows.

And rival wits with more than rustic grace

Confess the presence of a pretty face.

For, lo! encircled there, the lovely maid,

In youth's own bloom and native

smiles arrayed; Her hat awry, divested of her gown, Her creaking stays of leather, stout

and brown; — Invidious barrier! Why art thou so


When the slight covering of her neck slips by.

There half revealing to the eager sight,

Her full, ripe bosom, exquisitely white?

In many a local tale of harmless mirth,

And many a jest of momentary birth.

She bears a part, and as she stops to speak,

Strokes back the ringlets from her glowing cheek.


The hand that wore thee smooth is

cold, and spins No more! Debility pressed hard,


The seat of life, and terrors filled her brain, —

Nor causeless terrors. Giants grim

and bold. Three mighty ones she feared to

meet: — they came — Winter, Old Age, and Poverty,

— all came;

And when Death beheld Her tribulation, he fulfilled his task. And to her trembling hand and heart at once.

Cried. " Spin no more."—Thou then

wert left half filled With this soft downy fleece, such as

she wound through all her days, she who could

spin so well. Half filled wert thou — half finished

when she died! — Half finished? 'Tis the motto of

the world! We spin vain threads, and strive,

and die

With sillier things than spindles on our hands!

Then feeling, as I do, resistlessly, The bias set upon my soul for verse; Oh, should old age still find my brain at work,

And Death, o'er some poor fragment

striding, cry "Hold! spin no more!" grant,

Heaven, that purity

Of thought and texture, may assimilate

That fragment unto thee, in usefulness,

In worth, and snowy innocence.

Then shall The village school-mistress, shine

brighter through The exit of her boy; and both shall


And virtue triumph too; and virtue's


Like Heaven's pure blessings, fall upon their grave.

LOVE OF THE COUNTRY. [Written at Clare Hall, Herts, June, 1804.1

Welcome, silence! welcome, peace!

Oh. most welcome, holy shade! Thus I prove, as years increase.

My heart and soul for quiet made. Thus I fix my firm belief

While rapture's rushing tears descend,

That every flower and every leaf
Is moral Truth's unerring friend.

I would not for a world of gold
That Nature's lovely face should

Fountain of blessings yet untold:
Pure source of intellectual fire!

Fancy's fair buds, the germs of song, Unquickened midst the world's rude strife,

Shall sweet retirement render strong, And morning silence bring to life.

Then tell me not that I shall grow Forlorn, that fields and woods will cloy;

From Nature and her changes flow
An everlasting tide of joy.

I grant that summer heats will burn, That keen will come the frosty night;

But both shall please: and each in turn

Yield Reason's most supreme delight.

Build me a shrine, and I could kneel
To rural gods, or prostrate fall;

Did I not see, did I not feel,
That one Gre At Spirit governs all.

O Heaven, permit that I may lie

Where o'er my corse green branches wave;

And those who from life's tumult fly With kindred feelings, press my grave.


Dear Ellen, your tales are all plenteously stored
With the joys of some bride, and the wealth of her lord;

Of her chariots and dresses,

And worldly caresses,
And servants that fly when she's waited upon:
But what can she boast if she weds unbeloved?
Can she e'er feel the joy that one morning I proved,
When I put on my new gown and waited for John 1

These fields, my dear Ellen, I knew them of yore,
Yet to me they ne'er look'd so enchanting before;

The distant bells ringing,

The birds round us singing,
For pleasure is pure when affection is won:
They told me the troubles and cares of a wife;
But I loved him; and that was the pride of my life,
When I put on my new gown and waited for John.

He shouted and ran, as he leapt from the stile;
And what in my bosom was passing the while?

For love knows the blessing

Of ardent caressing,
When virtue inspires us, and doubts are all gone.
The sunshine of Fortune you say is divine;
True love and the sunshine of Nature were mine,
When I put on my new gown and waited for John.

George Henry Boker.


Proud mountain giant, whose majestic face,

From thy high watch-tower on the

steadfast rock, looks calmly o'er the trees that

throng thy base, How long hast thou withstood the

tempest's shock?
How long hast thou looked down on

yonder vale
Sleeping in sun before thee;

Or bent thy ruffled brow, to let the gale

Steer its white, drifting sails just o'er thee?

Strong link 'twixt vanished ages! Thou hast a sage and reverend look;

As if life's struggle, through its varied stages, Were stamped on thee, as in a book.

Thou hast no voice to tell what thou

hast seen. Save a low moaning in thy troubled


And canst but point thy scars, and shake thy head,

With solemn warning, in the sunbeam's sheen;

And show how Time the mightiest thing bereaves,

By the sere leaves that rot upon thy bed.

Type of long-suffering power!

Even in my gayest hour, Thou 'dst still my tongue, and send

my spirit far, To wander in a labyrinth of thought; For thou hast waged with Time

unceasing war, And out of pain hast strength and

beauty brought. Thou amidst storms and tempests

hadst thy birth. Upon these bleak and scantly-shel

tering rocks. Nor much save storm and wrath

hast known on earth; Vet nobly hast thou bode the fiercest


That Circumstance can pour on patient Worth.

I see thee springing, in the vernal time,

A sapling weak, from out the barren stone.

To dance with May upon the mountain peak;

Pale leaves put forth to greet the genial clime.

And roots shot down life's sustenance to seek,

While mere existence was a joy alone — O thou wert happy then!

On summer's heat thy tinkling leaflets fed,

Each fibre toughened, and a little crown

Of green upon thy modest brow was spread,

To catch the rain, and shake it gently down.

But then came autumn, when Thy dry and tattered leaves fell dead;

And sadly on the gale
Thou drop'dst them one by
one —

Drop'dst them, with a low, sad

On the cold, unfeeling stone. Next Winter seized thee in his iron grasp.

And shook thy bruised and straining form; Or locked thee in his icicle's cold clasp,

And piled upon thy head the shorn

cloud's snowy fleece. Wert thou not joyful, in this bitter


That the green honors, which erst

decked thy head, Sage Autumn's slow decay, had

mildly shed? Else, with their weight, they'd given

thy ills increase. And dragged thee helpless from thy

uptorn bed.

Year after year, in kind or adverse fate,

Thy branches stretched, and thy

young twigs put forth, Nor changed thy nature with the

season's date: Whether thou wrestled'st with the

gusty north. Or beat the driving rain to glittering


Or shook the snow-storm from thy

arms of might, Or drank the balmy dews on summer's night;— Laughing in sunshine, writhing in the storm. Yet wert thou still the same! Summer spread forth thy towering form. And Winter strengthened thy great frame. Achieving thy destiny On went'st thou sturdily, Shaking thy green flags in triumph and jubilee!

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