Edwin Waugh: Poems and Songs II.  (2)

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I Met with a Doleful Wight.

I.


OH, I met with a doleful wight,
    With his elbows on his knees;
His face was in mournful plight,
    For his heart was ill at ease.
He sat on an old tree-root,
    In a shady nook, alone;
He was tattered from head to foot,
    And this was his weary moan,—
        Oh, I married a shrew
            For her gold so fine;
        Now the gold is gone,
            And the shrew is mine!


II.


The man is a paltry knave
    That can coldly woo for pelf;
He's a mean and a heartless slave
    Whose centre is all himself:
He travels on sunless ways;
    His life is a funeral knell
Of loveless nights and days;
    I know the sad truth too well.
        Oh, I married a shrew
            For her gold so fine;
        Now the gold is gone,
            And the shrew is mine!


III.


Oh, the treasures are dearly bought
    That canker the mind with care,
And the spirit is mean that's caught
    In a cold and greedy snare:
But the jewel of heaven is love,
    The light and the life of man;
The brightest ray from above,
    That shines on his mortal span.
        Oh, I married a shrew
            For her gold so fine;
        Now the gold is gone,
            And the shrew is mine!


IV.


Oh, I'm tired of this life of mine,
    For I wander without a friend;
And at every step I pine
    To get to the journey's end.
To barter sweet love for gold
    Is the poorest exchange below;
And to live with a heart that's cold
    Is the bitterest lot to know.
        Oh, I married a shrew
            For her gold so fine;
        Now the gold is gone,
            And the shrew is mine.

 

_________________________

 
In a May Morning, Early.

I.


AS I crossed the fields with my milking pail,
    In a May morning, early,
A bright-eyed lad came along the vale,
    And said that he loved me dearly;
He woo'd me in whispers, with many a vow;
He kissed me, and said he would marry, I trow;
I wish in my heart he was here just now,
    In a May morning, early.


II.


I shall never forget that sweet spring-tide,
    In a May morning, early;
Nor the wild-bird's song on that greenwood side,
    In a May morning, early;
I shall never forget what my love did say;
Nor the light of his blue eyes' witching play;
Nor the path along which he walked away,
    In a May morning, early.


III.


Now I pace the fields with many a sigh,
    In a May morning, early;
And I gaze down the vale with a tearful eye,
    In a May morning, early;
And, should I not see my love before
The winter has whitened the hedges o'er,
The flowers of spring will bloom no more
    For me, in a morning early!

 

_________________________

 
I Pray Thee, Love, Let me in.

To an old tune.

I.


IT rains, it hails, it snows, it blows,
And I've got wet through all my clothes;
              So, I pray thee, love, let me in.


II.


What brings you here at dead of night?
Go back, and come in broad daylight,
              If you want me to let you in.


III.


I cannot rest away, my dear;
'Tis love of thee that brings me here;
              So, I pray thee, now, let me in.


IV.


These doors are open all the day;
In the morning, if you've aught to say,
              Then, you may come freely in.


V.


O'er moor and moss, without a light,
I've wander'd all this stormy night;
              So, I pray thee, love, let me in.


VI.


The legs that brought you wand'ring here,
May take you back again, my dear;
              For, I don't mean to let you in.


VII.


With wet and cold I'm nearly dead;
My teeth are chattering in my head;
              So, I pray thee, love, let me in.


VIII.


Your teeth may chatter, and so may you,
Till the rain has drenched you through and
                     through;
              But I don't mean to let you in.


IX.


I fain would sit down by the fire
An hour or two; that's my desire;
              So, I pray thee, love, let me in.


X.


Go home, my dear, and dry your clothes,
And creep to bed with soft repose;
              Your mother will let you in.


XI.


The wind blows cold and the rain is dree;
But the night's not half so cold as thee;
              Farewell; for I can't get in.


XII.


If thy heart is right, put up the banns,
And let the parson join our hands;
              And then, I will let thee in.

 

_________________________

 
Oh, the Summer's Sweet.

I.


OH, the summer's sweet when lovers meet,
And posies kiss the rover's feet;
When soaring larks salute the day,
And milkmaids through the meadows stray.
            Then raise the song,
                And chant it well,
            As we jog it along
                O'er hill and dell;
For what'll betide no man can tell!


II.


With lingering feet we'll lounge along
Where hawthorn blooms the hedges throng;
And through the rustling greenwood stray,
Where straggling sunbeams streak the way.
            Then raise the song,
                And chant it well,
            As we jog it along
                O'er hill and dell;
For what'll betide us who can tell?


III.


By sweet sequestered nooks we'll fare,
Where dewy bluebells scent the air;
And watch the squirrel's airy bounds,
While the throstle's song the wood resounds.
            Then raise the song,
                And chant it well,
            As we jog it along
                O'er hill and dell;
For what'll betide us who can tell?


IV.


In scented meadows we'll delay
To tumble in the new-mown hay,
While the mower whets his scythe and sings
Of country fun and wedding-rings.
            Then raise the song,
                And chant it well,
            As we jog it along
                O'er hill and dell;
For what'll betide us who can tell?


V.


On banks of wild thyme we will play,
Where cowslip's nod to the brooklet's lay;
Where the limpid stream meanders bright,
With glittering glee in the golden light:
            Then raise the song,
                And chant it well,
            As we jog it along
                O'er hill and dell;
For what'll betide us who can tell?


VI.


And should some bonny lass catch my e'e,
I'll let her go if she's not for me;
And merrily on I'll rove alone,
For all will be well when I meet my own.
            Then raise the song,
                And chant it well,
            As we jog it along
                O'er hill and dell;
For what'll betide us who can tell?

 

_________________________

 
A Little Brief Authority.

I.


NOT every one who readeth Lamb
    Can eat lamb to his supper;
Nor is a man a battering-ram
    Because he's fond of Tupper;
And he who thinks he must be crabbed
    Who studies Crabbe's mistaken,
As much as he who call's him “hog”
    Who's deeply read in Bacon.


II.


A man may study Chatterton,
    Yet not be very mouthy;
And he who goes right in for North
    May still incline for Southey.
The reader who delights in Scott
    May relish something subtler
And he may not be quite a sot,
    Though very fond of Butler.


III.


A frosty man may thaw his heart
    With Burns's glowing lyric;
Or he may soar with Shelley's lark,
    And dance with cheerful Herrick.
A clown may sadly ponder o'er
    The “Serious Call” of Law, sir;
And he sit at home, yet go
    On pilgrimage with Chaucer.


IV.


A man who is no cricketer
    With Bowles may be delighted;
An old man may, with solemn Young,
    Get gloriously benighted.
A man may live in Reading town
    Who cannot read a book, sir;
And an hungry man can hardly help
    But love Eliza Cook, sir.


V.


The student who Longfellow reads
    May be a dumpy figure;
In pale Kirke White he may delight,
    And yet be like a nigger.
An exile may be deep in Home,
    Yet far away from thither;
And he who leaneth unto Gay,
    May still incline to Wither.


VI.


A man may handle Mallet well,
    And yet know nought of Mason;
In Barbour he may take delight,
    Who hates a barber's bason.
The man who Hunts with Robin Hood,
    In Paine may take a pleasure;
A simple maid may find a charm
    In Swain's delightful measure.


VII.


A brisk man may be “grave” with Blair,
    And never look at Barrett;
And he may read a deal of Clare,
    Who doesn't care for claret;
A dark-haired wight may turn to Gray,
    A snowy pate to Browning;
And a man may like the works of Smiles,
    And yet be always frowning.


VIII.


A man may daily go to Mill,
    Who nothing knows of Cotton;
A sad heart may delight in Fane,
    And cheerful be with Wotton:
A mason may know nought of Lodge;
    A pris'ner nought of Bailey;
A slow man may run over Swift;
    A friend De Foe read daily.


IX.


A man may have a merry heart,
    Who cannot do with Tickell;
With Hervey he may go apart,
    And yet hate sauce and pickle.
A man may like a bit of Hogg,
    Who cannot stomach collop;
And a modest maiden, prim and shy,
    May be inclined to Trollope.

 

_________________________

 
Little Cattle, Little Care.

I.


LADDIE, good dog, the day-wark's done,
    The sun's low in the west;
The lingering wild birds, one by one,
    Are flitting to the nest:
Mild evening's fairy fingers close
    The curtains of the day,
And the drowsy landscape seeks repose
    In twilight shadows grey.
                Little cattle, little care;
                    Lie thee down, Laddie!


II.


We never owned a yard o' ground,
    We'n little wealth in hand;
But thee an' me can sleep as sound
    As th' richest folk i'th land;
And when they're all alike laid down,
    And lapped in dreamless snooze,
Between a monarch and a clown
    There's not a pin to choose.
                Little cattle, little care;
                    Lie thee down, Laddie!


III.


Let the miser hug his glittering prey,
    An' think his joys complete;
Let him root among it all the day,
    An' count it o'er at neet;
He can trail it but to th' end o'th road,
    Where life's short tale is told;
Then death takes off his golden load,
    And leaves him in the cold.
                Little cattle, little care;
                    Lie thee down, Laddie!


IV.


Then come, good dog, the day-wark's done;
    We'll let the world roll by;
There's never a king below the sun
    As happy as thou an' I;
For though kings lie on beds of down,
    Sweet sleep they seldom find;
An' there's not a jewel in all the crown
    That's worth a quiet mind.
                Little cattle, little care;
                    Lie thee down, Laddie!

 

_________________________

 
Old Ireland shall Blossom Again!

AIR—“The valley lay smiling before me.”

I.


THROUGH Wicklow's green glens and wild
         mountains
    I roved at the fall of the year,
When the wildflower droops by the fountains,
    And the leaves of the woodland are sere;
When garden and green field no longer
    Yield sweets to the wandering bee,
And the cloud-mantled streamlets meander
    Through flowerless plains to the sea.


II.


As I mused upon Ireland's dark story,
    'Mong homesteads and altars despoiled,
Through the ruined walls, weed-grown and
        hoary,
    The wind sang its requiem wild;
But there rose from the heart of its wailing
    This low-chanted, cheerful refrain,
Over all its wild sadness prevailing,
    “Old Ireland shall blossom again!”


III.


Still wand'ring on, pensive and dreary,
    Beneath the sad yew-tree's dark shade,
Through the lone ground where, hopeless and
         weary,
    The sons of the Green Isle were laid;
In the twilight a small bird came winging
    O'er the graves of the famished and slain,
And I heard the sweet strain in his singing,
    “Old Ireland shall blossom again!”


IV.


Then I lingered around a lone shieling,
    A poor peasant's sorrowful nest,
Where in hunger and heart-stricken feeling
    He gathered his brood to his breast;
And I heard as mild evening's soft vesper
    Died out on the shelterless glen,
From the wild thatch, a sweet floweret whisper,
    “Old Ireland shall blossom again!”


V.


Thus musing on Erin's sad story,
    As twilight sank down on the lea,
While murmurs of long-faded glory
    Came plaintively up from the sea,
I saw, in the daylight's declining,
    The bright stars of hope light the main;
And the sweet song stole down in their shining,
    “Old Ireland shall blossom again!”


VI.


Now the bright sun of justice is rising
    In splendour beyond the wide sea;
And Old Ireland, her foemen despising,
    At last shall be friendly and free:
She shall rise from her bondage and sorrow;
    From her long night of famine and pain,
She shall wake to another glad morrow,
    And blossom in beauty again!

 

_________________________

 
When the Ships come Sailing in.

I.


GOD prosper long the good old town,
    The toilful and the free;
For she has bravely broken down
    The toll-bar of the sea:
And now the victory is won
    For which we fought so long,
To all the wide world thus shall run
    The burden of my song:
            Let it float in free, from the open sea;
                Wide brotherhood shall win;
            And the good old town shall smile again,
                When the ships come sailing in!


II.


The ocean to mankind belongs;
    You cannot tax its waves;
'Tis the stormy highway of the strong;
    With free delight it laves
The shores of earth's far sundered lands;
    And on its heaving breast,
With equal pride, from distant strands,
    It brings what each yields best:
            Let it float in free, from the open sea;
                Wide brotherhood shall win;
            And the good old town shall smile again,
                When the ships come sailing in!


III.


The bounteous gifts of nature range
    Each on its favoured shore;
The whole wide world is man's exchange,
    His market and his store:
For kindly harmony designed,
    Earth's varied fruits are sent;
For mutual benefit combined,
    And friendly commerce meant:
            Let it float in free, from the open sea;
                Kind botherhood shall win;
            And the good old town shall smile again,
                When the ships come sailing in!

 

_________________________

 
Lapstone Song.

To an old Tune.

I.


I AM a lad of wax,
    And a gallant man to boot, oh;
Though my skill in hemp and tacks
    Is trodden under foot, oh;
When I was young, my eyes were bright,
    And few could then resist 'em,
Though now there's but a waning light
    In my poor solar system.


II.


Last Spring, I took a wife,
    And when I went to woo her,
I vowed to stick through life
    Like cobbler's wax unto her:
I thought the parson's look was sly,
    Whilst waiting for my tether;
And I saw a twinkle in his eye,
    As he stitched us up together.


III.


I took her to my cot,
    To love her and to cherish;
I thought my married lot
    The happiest in the parish;
At first, the days ran sweetly by,
    And all was sunny weather;
And, we buckled to, my love and I,
    Like sole and upper leather.


IV.


Her voice was low and mild,
    My winsome little Nancy;
She was gentle as a child;
    At least I so did fancy;
My heart was hers, and oft I said
    I ne'er in aught could thwart her;
But, before I'd been a twelve-month wed,
    I found I'd caught a Tartar.


V.


Now oft the waves ran high,
    And nasty winds were screaming;
And Nancy's vixen-cry
    Awoke me from my dreaming;
I sometimes wished she was a man,
    Because she needed welting;
Yet one kind word from my dear Nan
    Would set my heart a-melting.


VI.


I took her to my heart,
    When we were tacked together;
And now, we'll never part,
    In spite of changeful weather:
For, now and then, we do agree,
    And, though she's sometimes snarling,
To my last hour, my Nan shall be
    The fond old cobbler's darling.

 

_________________________

 
Unfurl the Flag!

I.


UNFURL the grand old flag again;
    Let the wild wind kiss its folds!
Lead on the land, with might and main,
    Against oppression's holds!
The noble strife shall never cease;
    Above the raging storm,
Our steadfast cry shall still be Peace,
    Retrenchment and Reform!
March on, march on;
    'Tis Justice leads the way!
March on, march on,
    Till victory crowns the day!


II.


What domineering band is this
    That claims defiant sway?
And who are these that dare resist
    A free-born people's way?
How long shall patient Britain strive
    Against this selfish crew;
And toiling millions waste their lives
    To serve the feudal few?

Chorus—Unfurl the grand old flag again;
                    Let the wild wind kiss its folds!


III.


Once more, tyrannic privilege
    Its haughty crest uprears!
Now, who shall rule this land of ours,
    The people or the Peers?
Arise; and like your sires of yore,
    Lay hostile barriers low;
And sweep from freedom's path, once more,
    The proud, insulting foe!

Chorus—Unfurl the grand old flag again;
                    Let the wild wind kiss its folds:


IV.


Hark! 'tis a sound of gathering storm;
    What means this swelling roar?
'Tis a mighty nation rising up
    To claim its rights once more!
Like waves of ocean, glancing bright,
    They come in strong array,
For liberty and human right,
    And who shall bar their way?

Chorus—Unfurl the grand old flag again;
                    Let the wild wind kiss its folds!


V.


Lead on the land, with might and main,
    Against oppression's holds!
The noble strife shall never cease;
    Above the raging storm
Our steadfast cry shall still be Peace,
    Retrenchment and Reform.
March on, march on,
    'Tis Justice leads the way!
March on, march on,
    Till victory crowns the day!

 

_________________________

 
I Know What I Know.

In Monosyllable.—Founded on an ancient rhyme.

I.


I ONCE heard a priest
    Say a close tongue was best;
An' he that says least
    Shall be most at rest;
And, as far as I've wrought
    I have still found it so;
Then, I'll say next to nought,
    But I know what I know;
            Know, know;
    I know what I know.


II.


Yet a blind man may see
    By that which I say,
What strange things they be
    That do fall in my way;
He may guess all I mean
    From what I do show;
Then part I will screen,—
    But, I know what I know;
            Know, know;
    I know what I know.


III.


Some men spend their time
    In trick and in strife,
That so they may climb
    The proud hills of life;
Yet, when the day's o'er,
    They sleep with the low;
I need not say more,—
    But, I know what I know;
            Know, know;
    I know what I know.


IV.


Some sleek rogues there be,
    Who do cant by the way,
That, so, they may slee
    Steal down on their prey;
Fierce wolves are these knaves,
    Like lambs that bleat so:
Yet my breath I will save,—
    But, I know what I know:
            Know, know;
    I know what I know.


V.


I have liv'd a good while,
    And I've seen a good deal
Of mirth, and of toil,
    And of woe, and of weal;
But when a man's old,
    I do think it is well
For to rest in the fold
    Where the tir'd folk do dwell;
            Dwell, dwell;
    Where the tir'd folk do dwell.


VI.


Then keep a wise tongue
    If you'd be at rest;
And do nought that's wrong,
    If you would be blest;
And, when your days cease,
    And you come to ground,
Your end shall be peace,
    And your sleep shall be sound;
            Sound, sound;
    Your sleep shall be sound.

 

_________________________

 
Three Jovial Huntsmen.


    This humorous old hunting song, which I introduced into my country story, called “Old Cronies,” was not commonly known until it attracted the attention of my friend, the late Randolph Caldecott; whose felicitous pencil enriched it with a series of quaintly-beautiful Illustrations; and, since then it has had the honour of riding down upon the wings of his artistic genius to a fame which it never would have achieved by any merit of its own.  The verses in italic are mine; the rest belong to the old song.


I.


It's of three jovial huntsmen, and a-hunting they did go;
And they hunted, and they halloo'd, and they blew their horns also;
                                       Look you there!
And they all were very merry as they gathered in the vale,
For every man amongst them was as brisk as bottled ale;
                                       Look you there!


II.


They were staunch in wind and limb, and they were sound from top
        to toe;
Their eyes were bright as frosty stars, their hearts were in a glow;
                                       Look you there!
And they chirruped, and they chuckled, and they tried their pleasant
        wits,
As they capered up and down, to show the mettle of their tits;
                                       Look you there!


III.


Then they snuffed the sweet fresh morning air, and gathered up their
        reins,
And the blood began to gallop through their healthy country veins;
                                       Look you there!
Says one, “My lads, I'm fain I'm wick, to join the good old play;
For there's nought in all this world can lick a jolly hunting day;”
                                       Look you there!


IV.


“So mind your e'en,” said he, “an' keep your noses well i'th wind;
An' then, by scent or seet, yo'll leet o' something to your mind;
                                       Look you there!
We shall range the bonny country, lads; an' if we miss the game,
Why, in a hundred years or so, you'll find it all the same;”
                                       Look you there!


V.


Their horses they were eager, and the hunters they were keen;
And they longed to sweep the dew away that twinkled on the green;
                                       Look you there!
And they fidgetted, and frisked about, until the horn did blow;
And then, away o'er hill and dale, these hearty lads did go;
                                       Look you there!


VI.


Then they hunted, an' they halloo'd, and the first thing they did
        find
Was an old corn-bogle in a field; and that they left behind;
                                       Look you there!
One said it was a bogle, and another, he said, “Nay;
Its just a drunken tinker that has gone and lost his way!”
                                       Look you there!


VII.


Then they hunted, an' they halloo'd, and the next thing they did
        find
Was a turnip in a stubble-field, an' that they left behind;
                                       Look you there!
One said it was a turnip, an' another he said, “Nay;
It's just a cannon-ball that old Noll Cromwell threw away.”
                                       Look you there!


VIII.


Then they hunted, an' they halloo'd, an' the next thing they did
        find
Was a cratchinly old pig-trough, an' that, too, they left behind.
                                       Look you there!
One said it was a pig-trough, but another he said, “Nay;
It's some poor craiter's coffin,”—an' that caused them much
        dismay.
                                       Look you there!


IX.


Then they hunted, an' they halloo'd, and the next thing they did
        find
Was a jackdaw, lyin' cold and still, an' that they left behind.
                                       Look you there!
One said it was a jackdaw, and another he said, “Nay;
It's nought but an' owd blackin'-brush that someb'dy's thrown
        away.”
                                       Look you there!


X.


They hunted, an' they halloo'd, and the next thing they did find
Was a bull-calf in a pin-fowd, an' that, too, they left behind;
                                       Look you there!
One said it wur a bull-calf, an' another he said “Nay;
It's just a painted jackass that has never larnt to bray:”
                                       Look you there!


XI.


They hunted, an' they halloo'd, an' the next thing they did find
Was two fond lovers in a lane, an' these they left behind;
                                       Look you there!
One said that they were lovers, but another he said, “Nay;
They're two poor wanderin' lunatics—come let us go away.”
                                       Look you there!


XII.


So they hunted, an' they halloo'd, till the setting of the sun;
An' they'd nought to bring away at last, when th' huntin'-day was
        done;
                                       Look you there!
Then one unto the other said, “This huntin' doesn't pay;
But we'n powler't up an' down a bit, an' had a rattlin' day;

                                       Look you there!



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