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“ Ere yet, in scorn of Peter’s-pence,

And number'd bead and shrift, Bluff Harry broke into the spence,

And turn'd the cowls adrift:


66 And I have seen some score of those

Fresh faces, that would thrive When his man-minded offset rose

To chase the deer at five ;


66 And all that from the town would stroll,

Till that wild wind made work

In which the gloomy brewer's soul

Went by me, like a stork :


“ The slight she-slips of loyal blood,

And others, passing praise, Strait-laced, but all-too-full in bud

For puritanic stays:


66 And I have shadow'd many a group

Of beauties, that were born
In teacup-times of hood and hoop,

Or while the patch was worn ;


And, leg and arm with love-knots gay,

About me leap'd and laugh'd The modish Cupid of the day,

And shrill’d his tinsel shaft.


“ I swear (and else may insects prick

Each leaf into a gall) This girl, for whom your heart is sick,

Is three times worth them all ;


“For those and theirs, by Nature's law,

Have faded long ago ;
But in these latter springs I saw

Your own Olivia blow,


• From when she gambollid on the greens,

A baby-germ, to when
The maiden blossoms of her teens

Could number five from ten.


“ I swear by leaf, and wind, and rain,

(And hear me with thine ears,) That, tho’ I circle in the grain

Five hundred rings of years


· Yet, since I first could cast a shade,

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“For as to fairies, that will flit

To make the greensward fresh,
I hold them exquisitely knit,

But far too spare of flesh."


Oh, hide thy knotted knees in fern,

And overlook the chace ; And from thy topmost branch discern

The roofs of Sumner-place.


But thou, whereon I carved her name,

That oft hast heard my vows, Declare when last Olivia came

To sport beneath thy boughs.


“O yesterday, you know, the fair

Was holden at the town;
Her father left his good arm-chair,

And rode his hunter down.


66 And with him Albert came on his.

I look'd at him with joy : As cowslip unto oxlip is,

So seems she to the boy.


“ An hour had past — and, sitting straight,

Within the low-wheel'd chaise, Her mother trundled to the gate

Behind the dappled grays.



But, as for her, she staid at home,

And on the roof she went,

And down the way you use to come

She look'd with discontent.


6 She left the novel half-uncut

Upon the rosewood shelf ; She left the new piano shut :

She could not please herself.


“ Then she ran gamesome as the colt,

And livelier than a lark
She sent her voice through all the holt

Before her, and the park.

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