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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
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 ;
Your own Olivia blow,
• From when she gambollid on the greens,
A baby-germ, to when
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,
“For as to fairies, that will flit
To make the greensward fresh,
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;
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
Before her, and the park.