Графични страници
PDF файл

to that effect. Then she took a candle from the hall table, lighted it, and went up stairs. Mr. Durham turned to his servant, and said, "I rang for you to show this gentleman out; but I '11 see him out myself; you can go."

Witness went back to his pantry, while his master and the stranger, conversing in whispers, moved towards the hall door. Witness also fancied lie caught the words uttered by the stranger, in what seemed a taunting tone, " "i our wife stands in the way!" and then Mr. Durham said, "Hush! go away now, and we will make it right yet!" Witness then heard the front door close, — not more than a minute later, — heard his master push open the swinging baize door that separated the hall from the vestibule, and rapidly ascend the stairs just as the bell rang for the servants' supper.

Witness heard his mistress address her husband on the landing above. She asked, " Is he gone?" Mr. Durham answered, "Yes, but I want to speak to. you." Witness did not remain to listen, but went at once to supper in the kitchen. About five minutes later, he and his fellow-servants were startled by the report of a pistol fired (as it appeared) in the hall. Before they could as much as exchange a word, another report succeeded to the first. The dreadful confusion and alarm rendered witness utterly unconscious how many seconds might have elapsed, but at the second report he burned out of the kitchen into the hall. He found his master and mistress lying, — the former half-way down the lowest flight of stairs, the latter at the foot of the staircase. Mrs. Durham was already dead; her husband mortally wounded, but still alive.

It appeared as if he had first shot his wife, and then himself.

He survived until early the following morning, — remaining to the last unable or unwilling to explain his motive for the frightful deed. So conclusive seemed the evidence against him, that none save the sister, who succeeded to his estate, felt any doubt as to his guilt. The fact that the door had closed upon the Unknown visitor (who could not possibly reopen it from the outside) before the murder was done seemed entirely to exculpate him; though it did appear as if his visit had somehow caused the unaccountable frenzy which must have inspired the wretched murderer.

All search after the stranger (for diligent inquiry was made) proved fruitless. No one in Stilbury, the nearest town, nor anywhere else in the neighborhood, could testify to having seen any one answering to the man-servant's description of him. The most plausible and popular conjecture was, that h« visit had brought to Mrs. Durham's ear some bygone fault or folly of her husband's, which she could not be persuaded to view with forbearance; and that anger at her firmness, and dread of disgrace, had prompted Nicholas to the fearful revenge against her, and subsequent outrage on himself. Of course, every possible conjecture was exhausted.

Was there ground for believing the murderer insane 1

As far as could be gathered, none,

The closest scrutiny into his earlier days revealed nothing eccentric, nothing which was other than fair, and creditable, and of good report. His father, who was still living, and who passed most of his time at Baden, had never borne a very good name; but neither in youth nor in manhood had he been much in company with his father. And the mystery — if

any mystery there were — obstinately refused to be dispelled.

Miss Durham, from a sense as much of duty as of inclination, intended one day to assume the position which, by her brother's terrible fate (self-inflicted or not), had devolved upon herself. At present the thought of living at Garrow was too painful for her. It would make it far less repulsive could she give it an interval of peaceful occupation, and not feel, when she came, that the very last act performed in it had been the most terrible of crimes. She was for the present in Germany, in company (as was supposed) with her father.


Mindful of the lawyer's warning, Mr. Langworth arrived long ere the sun descended, and saw everything comfortably arranged ere the old couple who "minded the house" by day retired, driven by superstitious fear to a cottage just outside the gates. He might have urged the sun to stay above the horizon an hour beyond his setting-time with as much chance of success as have asked his attendant* to remain- during the hours of darkness.

And long ere the latest glimmer of twilight they had gone shuddering away, promising to reappear with the morning.

He sat up till about midnight, alternately reading in the library and taking a walking tour of the house. Perhaps he felt that the prejudice against Eving in a house of crime was not quite a folly, after all.

If a visit to the scene of great and good deeds be thought to have an ennobling influence, may it not be rightly believed that to Eve amidsj; evil associations is fikely to breed thoughts of evil* So he moralized, as he peered about the spot on which the horrible deed had been committed. An observant eye could even see where the staircase wood had been planed away to efface the stain, which (if one victim were as innocent as the other) still cried for vengeance to Heaven! He went back into the library, intending at once to retire for the night; and had taken the candle in his hand in order to go up stairs, when his ear met the sound as of some ones hand engaged at the window, — a window which led into the garden. Perfectly free from superstition, he imagined that some marauder, perhaps not without companions, might have presumed on the supposed abandonment of the house, and have come to see whether the half-furnished hall would not afford some prize for the skilful and industrious. Mr. Langworth waited in silence. The fire was low in the grate, — all but burnt out, — and his candle w placed that none of its rays fell upon the chinks of the shutter. He had pistols with him, and felt glad , enough at having taken this precaution; for the robber (or robbers) might trust to their allies, tb« ghosts, to scare all assistance away that the village could furnish him. Our friend was on the point of asking who was there (for a hand outside continued fumbling with the window), when something,— though he could not analyze the thought, he felt its force, — something suggested to him, " Keep quiet, and see what will happen!" Extinguishing his candle, he crept near the library door. His pistol* were already in his pockets. He noiselessly opened the door which led into the hall, in case he should be forced to retreat out of the room. With as little noise he placed himself on his knees behind an arm-chair. He might thus hope to observe any one who entered by the window, without being himself observed by him.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

All this while the person outside, unconscious or defiant of his presence within, continued his attempt on the window.

That no sound like a whisper met his ear was, to Mr. Langworth, a strong evidence that the intruder was alone. And the little care he took to perform bis work silently — presently breaking a pane of glass, and scattering its fragments on the gravel — seemed to show that he believed the house to be yet untenanted. He did the work very quickly, not caring to do it quietly. And, in not many minutes, the bold burglar entered the room; No one was with him. He carried a " bull's-eye" lantern; and, when first its light fell on his face and figure, it displayed a tall man with more youth in his figure than in his countenance.

It was difficult impartially to observe a stranger thus coming under his notice; and it might be from unavoidable prejudice that Mr. Langworth imagined be Lad never seen a countenance so suggestive of every evil and hateful passion as the one now before him. Yet something in his mien, not to speak of his dress, marked him as differing greatly from the common herd of the enemies to society.

He turned his lantern this way and that, until its rays fell on a large, old-fashioned escritoire, which stood at no great distance from the window. He moved towards it with a satisfied expression. "I shall find it here, I 'm confident," he said, quite loud enough for the unsuspected spy to distinguish his words.

But what could he be looking to find? He began to attack the drawers of the escritoire, probably with the same weapon which had served him with the window. Mr. Langworth was conscious that it was now time for him to interfere. Yet curiosity kept aim quiet. The man prised open drawer after drawer; rummaged in every one of them, and (from bis muttenngs of disappointment) apparently without finding what he was seeking for.

"I must find it!" and he cursed and gnashed his teeth; "at all events, I must have it destroyed! I'll run no risk 1 If I don't get hold of it I 'll set fire to this house, and then it's twenty thousand to one but that this thing will be burnt along with it. If the people who are coming here should get

hold it Stay there's another drawer left."

And he was proceeding in his search, when Mr. Langworth burst out of his concealment. Before he could lay hold of him he had retreated through the open window. It was a dark night, and a thick 'hrubbery lay near at hand. The few moments' tart he had got soon enabled him to set all pursuit at defiance.

Mr. Langworth recloscd the window and the shutter; and having taken this precaution against the Granger's return, examined the one drawer which tie latter had left untouched. It contained a small folded paper. Mr. Langworth will scarcely be blamed if he never asked himself whether he were justified in perusing it Connecting the strange incident of the night with the awful crime perpetrated so long before, he could not but think that he was on the eve of a discovery which might avenge the innocent, and bring tardy retribution on the guilty _

Outside the paper was written, " Concerning the Eighteenth of December, 18—." (The weS-relembered date of the Garrow murder.)

But when he unfolded it, the paper, while confirming his belief in its importance, gave no promise *hatever of solving the mystery, — at all events,

to him. All but the signature was written in cipher.

Thus the characters ran: —

"Lx mm vzr hmmnbdms ne sgd Itqcdq ne ghr vhed; ghr czsgdq vgn vqhsdr sghr vzr sgd ftnksx nmd.

"frederick Durham."

Well acquainted — as who was not at that time? — with all particulars respecting the Durham family, Mr. Langworth knew that the name appended to the cipher was that of the father of the supposed suicide and murderer. Not thinking it wise to increase the horror with which the house already inspired them, he left the old couple, who returned in the morning, — to believe that the breaking of the window was his own doing, and told them not a word about his night's adventure. The day's post, coming in about an hour before noon, brought him a brief note from the lawyer. It ran thus: —

"Lincoln's Inn Fields, 21st April, 18—. "Mr Dear Sir, — I regret to say that since our last interview I have received the letter from Miss Durham, in which she announces a change of intention as to Garrow Hall. Having ceased (she does not enter into her reasons for so doing) to live with her father, she writes to say that she will no longer delay taking possession of the house which devolved upon her by the melancholy and awful death of her brother. She will, I am sure, be ready to compensate you for any trouble or expense her sudden change of purpose may"occasion you.

"When this reaches you, I shall probably have heard of her arrival in town. Perhaps you will at once communicate to me what yon would wish to propose in the matter.

"I am, my dear Sir,

"Yours faithfully,

"john Eldox Shuttlecock."

Mr. Langworth at once returned to town, first communicating his nocturnal adventure to the local authorities ; but keeping in his own hands the paper which, most probably, was the one so fiercely sought by the midnight intruder. That paper he felt he could not be wrong in handing over to Mr. Shuttlecock, to be by him transmitted to Miss Durham, in whose house it had been discovered. He received in return a message from Miss Durham, thanking him for the course he had taken, and assuring him that he had done her a far greater service than he yet imagined.

Then, reverting to his plan of seeking a retreat in the country, he very quickly found a house to suit his purpose. It had not the advantage of being let for nothing. Neither had it the drawback of attracting unbidden callers, whether ghostly or in the body. The Langworth family were in full enjoyment of the beautiful summer weather, and their three months' probation of the country was drawing to an end, when one July day Mr. Langworth received from Garrow Hall a letter which forever dissipated the mystery which had hung so long over that ill-fated house.

Miss Durham was herself the writer. She told him that the actual murderer of her innocent brother and his wife was none other than his and her father, whose own death had now removed him out of all fear of man's judgment. Dissatisfied that his son, in deference to his wife's desire, should refuse him a home at Garrow, though his dissolute life fully justified an expectant mother in declining such an intimacy for her future children, the wretched man, one of whose follies was to ape youth in his appearance, had gone on the fatal evening to overcome, by and absurd to think, and that there are many prin^ ciples of public policy which he advocates from con^ viction is very probable. But the appearance of hesitation and effort with which he often speaks gives a disinterested and impartial auditor the impression that his words are not so much the signs of his inward ideas, as attempts, sometimes painful and not quite successful, to give expression to opinions that are struggling for utterance in the minds of others; that he is speaking not exactly what he thinks, but rather what others may like to hear, or he may wish them to believe. We have no doubt, however, that this hesitation is often affected, and we have remarked it at times when it seemed carefully designed to give more effect to keen invective or biting sarcasm. On comparatively rare occasions, when there is some great personal interest in the debate, or when the peculiar characteristics of an opponent have led him upon some happy vein of humor, it is very pleasant to hear him. His manner, so often languid and listless, becomes warm and animated, his face is lit up with a glow of comic enjoyment, his words come out freely and with a brisker emphasis; and the unhappy wight upon whom he is giving for the time, as it were, an anatomical demonstration, wriggled uncomfortably in his seat, and adds, by his evident sensibility under the operation, to the general amusement Not long ago, the Times reminded us of the confusion caused in Lord Aberdeen's cabinet by the sort of moral psoriasis with which Lord Russell became afflicted in consequence of one of Mr. Disraeli's sallies. The incident illustrates what we have just been saying, and is worth recalling. When Lord Aberdeen formed his Coalition Ministry, Lord John of course could not be left out, and yet was not able to make up his mind for the acceptance of any subordinate office. It was arranged, then, that for a time at least he should have a seat in the cabinet without office. But a man of so active a mind, and who was, besides the leader of the Lower House, was sure to have a great deal of not merely private correspondence, and, after a while, an office was taken for him in Lancaster Place, near Somerset House. This was an opportunity for Mr. Disraeli, who very soon took occasion to deplore most feelingly in the House the equivocal and incongruous position which a statesman of the noble lord's great eminence and services occupied in the new administration. He really could not imagine what the noble lord's duties were. He had heard of an office being taken for him in Lancaster Place. Perhaps the noble lord had been appointed toll-keeper of Waterloo Bridge. The House was convulsed with merriment; but Lord John took the matter so seriously that a new distribution of government offices had to be made at once, with great indifference to the convenience of the parties displaced, and the Presidency of the Council was the salve with which the wounded dignity of the Great Unemployed was healed.

In the same high rank with Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Disraeli, as a public speaker, Mr. Bright has undoubtedly a right to be placed. He does not speak nearly so often in Parliament as either, but his style of oratory, either there or at public meetings, abstracted from the subject-matter of his speeches, is as worthy of admiration and imitation as almost any model in our language. As distinguished from Mr. Gladstone, Mr. Bright's best efforts have more of Demosthenic power and concentration than of Ciceronian copiousness and finish. His English is pure, terse, nervous, and masculine, clothing earnest thoughts

in vigorous and telling words. He does not always or often carry the House with him, because he too frequently shocks the strongest prejudices and most deeply-rooted convictions of the majority; but if his hearers could divest themselves of personal antipathies, they would be forced to own that no one among them better deserves the palm of eloquence. Separating the three great men we have named into a class of themselves, there are perhaps a dozen members, such as Sir Roundell Palmer, Sir Hugh Cairns, Mr. Roebuck, Mr. Whiteside, Mr. Horsman, Mr. Lowe, and others, whom we would place in the second 'rank. Lord Stanley, though a firstrclass statesman, can scarcely be considered an orator at all, not merely from his physical defects (which we may observe in passing he would better overcome by cultivating the lower notes of his voice), but also from the too philosophical and didactic tone of his speeches. After all these there comes "a mob of gentlemen who speak with ease," but our subject does not, for the present, admit of further illustrations.


Everybody said that Mr. and Mrs. Langworth, in marrying each other, had done the most foolish of all the foolish things which fate had put within their power. Their united ages were little over forty, and their united incomes nothing over four hundred; and everybody said that they might have been rich asunder, had they not been so anxious to be happy together. He, a gentleman in the civil service, might have married into a family who could have made his promotion rapid and easy; she, a decided beauty, might have won a husband who could have lodged her in Belgravia.

Everybody said that they would be ruined. But they lived on; by no means rich, but not entirely poor. As years went by, Mr. Langworth's position and income improved; though their upward progress was very, very slow. Little legacies, too, came in from several quarters; and friends, who had frowned coldly, waxed warm • and cordial again. For the world, at least in this one point, copies the example of Heaven, in its preference for helping those who help themselves.

The Langworths had been married over twenty years, when, lo and behold! a great-aunt of Mr. Langworth's, who had railed against his marriage more bitterly than any one else, left him (at her death) a fortune little under fifty thousand pounds.

Of course it brought them much joy; but also some anxiety. For one thing: should they live in town, as hitherto? or, as they had very often said they would do, in the improbable event of their becoming rich, retire into the country? Much was to be said on either side. They had grown accustomed to London, and in London were their most cherished friends. And Mr. Langworth's official income, now five hundred a year, was worth keeping, even with their newly-acquired wealth. On the other hand, the young people (there were four or five, I forget which) were all anxious for the country; and in the country the parents had passed their early days. Knowing how many retired rich men have rued the day when they quitted London and its toils, Mr. Langworth determined on giving the country a fair trial, still leaving open the chance of returning to his occupation in town. He obtained three months' leave of absence from his office.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

From his narrow means he had hitherto had few holidays, and had much claim to indulgence.

Then he set about inquiring for a remote country house, in which, with his family, he might pass the vacant time, and put to the test the (possibly) exaggerated attractions of a rural life.

The solicitor whom he consulted said he supposed Mr. Langworth would wish the house he took to be within easy distance of the metropolis.

"No, not by any means," said the client. "Observe ! — I want — we all want — to give the country a fair trial. To do that, we had better take a rather out-of-the-way place: seven miles from a market-town would be just as well."

"Are you particular about rent?"

"Why — yes — I am. People have been ruined, ere now, by inheriting a fortune, and got to fancy that they had Aladdin's lamp 1 That, I am resolved, shall never be our case. I want — not a mansion, but such a house as, if we do decide for the country, we shall buy or build for ourselves."

"Well, I do know of a house, in which you might live for three months, and longer, I dare say, if you choose, for nothing."

"Hem! How much is ' nothing' t"

"I mean, literally, nothing. When I tell you the name of the house you 'll not think it quite so surprising. It's Garrow Hall."

"What! the Garrow Hall?"

"The same, and no other. Ever since the murder no one has lived there. It belongs to the sister of the former owner, and the supposed murderer. You remember the case, of course? Many people would have paid a hundred a year for it; for it's a very good house, in a very pretty country, and not seven miles from a town; but there's no getting servants to live there. And poor Miss Durham would be only too grateful to any one who, by living there for a time, would dissipate all the superstition attaching to it. You can't wonder that she does n't . like to live in it herself. All the village people say it's haunted; and have, of course, twenty thousand stories of what has been seen and heard about it at night, — and such stuff. You, of course, could bring your servants from London. You 'll find the house in very good order; for, with such prejudices against it, of course it was necessary to give it the benefit of all possible attractions. But even the old people who take care of it in the daytime would n't stay during the night; not, I do believe, if by so doing they might make it their own."

After a little more talk, Mr. Langworth agreed that application should be made for a three months' tenancy of the house. Not to lose time, he would himself travel down at once into Somersetshire (Garrow Hall was in that county), and arrange for the reception of his family.

"You 'll find a comfortable bedroom all ready, I know," said the lawyer. "The only hardship is having to sleep in the house alone; but you 're not nervous, I am aware. Only, my dear sir, be sure and get there a few hours before dark; for should it be night when you get there, why, you might offer all your aunt's money to induce somebody to go to the Hall with you, and I don't think you 'd

get any one to do it. I don't, upon my word and onor, I don't." Garrow Hall was known by name to many Englishmen who had never so much as heard the names of Windsor Castle or St. James's Palace. The horrible tragedy which had given it such a reputation was, at that time, fresh in the memory of every

one. But even crimes are forgotten at last; and, for those who read the singular adventures to be shortly recorded, it may be needful to recall the events which had given Garrow its dark and fearful celebrity.

Some three or four years before Mr. Langworth's accession to fortune, Garrow Hall had been tenanted, as well as owned, by a Mr. Nicholas Durham, brother of the lady mentioned above. Attached to the house was an estate, yielding some sixteen or eighteen hundred a year, which came to Mr. Durham through his mother, the heiress of the Garrow family, a family of great antiquity, but now no longer so wealthy or so important as they had once, been. Nicholas and his sister had been born in India, in which country their mother had also died. Nicholas had married well. Fortunately, as was then thought, he possessed an estate independently of his father, who was generally believed to be partly, if not wholly, dependant on him for a maintenance.

At the date of his marriage he was just nine-andtwenty years of age. His maternal grandfather, who had in great measure brought him up, and from whom he inherited Garrow, had died only a year or two before. His sister Emily, left with a small annuity, lived mostly with her father on the Continent.

Nicholas and his wife had been united some six or seven months, and as far as was afterwards ascertained by strictest inquiry, had lived on most affectionate terms. It wanted a week to Christmas day. A party of friends were to keep Christmas at Garrow, but as yet the husband and wife were entirely alone. On the fatal day, the 18th of December, Mr. Durham dined with his wife at six o'clock, their ordinary hour, and behaved as usual at dinner.

When without company, it was their habit to occupy the dining-room for the whole evening; and they did so on this occasion.

These, and other particulars, to which the coming event imparted a fearful interest, were all given in evidence by the servant who waited on them at table.

The same servant deposed, that by his nearest guess, the hour was half past seven when a ring summoned him to the front door.

He opened it to admit a tall gentleman, with black whiskers and moustaches, and whose age, to all appearance, was between forty and fifty. The gentleman asked to see Mr. Durham, and was about to put a card into his hand (so he thought), when his master came out from the dining-room in person. The man thought Mr. Durham's face expressed some annoyance at the visit; he, however, invited the stranger to enter the library, which they did both together. About ten minutes later — (the pantry in which he was at work was close to the hall) — he hoard his master cross back from the library to the dining-room, and return, accompanied by his wife, to the former apartment.

He thought it could not be more than five minutes after that ere the bell summoned him into the library. He answered it at once, but found his master and mistress, with the stranger, already in the hall. That there was some dispute going on between Mr. Durham and his wife a glance made clear to him. To all appearance, her husband was trying to persuade Mrs. Durham to something which she firmly, almost angrily, refused. As the witness entered the hall he heard her say, " I owe the duty to another, and I will not consent to it," or words

[ocr errors]

persuasion, the objections of his daughter-in-law. He had gone secretly, fearing lest he might not be so much as admitted if his coming were expected.

The knowledge that what his son refused his daughter would freely give him must have prompted him (furnished with arms as he was) to the double murder. When supposed to have quitted the house, he had, in fact, while the door was already open to give him egress, persuaded his son to make one effort more to soften his wife in his supposed absence. His passion for assuming a youthful look greatly served him at a time when to have been tracked through the neighborhood of Garrow would have been so perilous to him. When he returned to his daughter at Baden, she, while persuaded of her brother's innocence, had not the faintest suspicion of her father; not knowing that he had ever been farther than London. Her first inkling of it was brought to her mind by certain dreadful expressions, which escaped him as he slept (which he frequently did), while they sat together in the evening. And then the horrid idea received confirmation from a number of circumstances, great and small.

That he would be slow to injure her she was very well assured, for towards her he was not without a certain selfish affection; besides, her death would deprive him of all possible benefit from the Garrow property. She offered to settle on him an annuity, independently of her own control, if on his side he would write and let her deposit at Barrow Hall a confession of his own guilt and his son's complete innocence. He won her consent to his writing it in such a manner as not to be at once apparent to every casual reader.

She contrived to have it placed in the library, as we have seen already. Then she separated herself from her father, who, dreading a discovery, and persuaded that she would never bring him herself to justice, and knowing that his annuity was secure, hastened over to England, before she could arrive, to recover and destroy the paper which might yet bear witness against him.

This was in April. In the end of June he actually died. The cipher (Miss Durham now explained) consisted in substituting for every letter the letter immediately preceding it in the alphabet.

Miss Durham lives still at Garrow. That she will ever take a husband I do not think very probable; though her wise benevolence and gentle virtues have done very much to chase away the awful associations which attach to her home and kindred.

The Langworths flourish still, in a bouse which, as long as they inhabit it, will, I am very confident, on no account be ever " supposed to be haunted."




Who died at Florence, 1861.»

How changed is here each spot man makes or fills! In the two Hinkseys nothing keeps the same;

The village-street its haunted mansion lacks, And from the sign is gone Sibylla's name,

And from the roofs the twisted chimney stacks. Are ye too changed, ye hills?

• Throughout this poem there U reference to another piece, The 8cholar~Gypsy, printed in the first volume of the author's Poems.

See, 'tis no foot of unfamiliar men

To-night from Oxford up your pathway strap!

Here came I often, often, in old days; Thyrsis and I; we still had Thyrsis then.

Runs it not here, the track by Cbildsworth Farm, Up past the wood, to where the elm-tree crowns

The hill behind whose ridge the sunset flames? The Signal-Elm, that looks on Esley Downs,

The Vale, the three lone wears, the youthful

Thames ?—
This winter-eve is warm,
Humid the air; leafless, yet soft as spring,

The tender purple spray on copse and brien;

And that sweet City with her dreaming spires She needs not June for beauty's heightening.

Lovely all times she lies, lovely to-night.
Only, methinks, some loss of habit's power

Befalls me wandering through this upland dim. Once passed I blindfold here, at any hour,

Now seldom come I, since I came v it. him.

That single elm-tree bright
Against the west — I miss it! is it gone?

We prized it dearly; while it stood, we said.

Our friend, the Scholar-Gypsy, was not dead; While the tree lived, he in these fields lived on.

Too rare, too rare, grow now my visits here!
But once I knew each field, each flower, each


And with the country-folk acquaintance made By barn in threshing-time, by new-built rick. "Here, too, our shepherd-pipes we first assayed.

Ah me! this many a year
My pipe is lost, my shepherd's-holiday.

Needs must I lose them, needs with beaij


Into the world and wave of men depart;
But Thyrsis of his own will went away.

It irked him to be here, he could not rest.
He loved each simple joy the country yields,

He loved his mates; but yet he could not keep, For that a shadow lowered on the fields,

Here with the shepherds and the silly sheep.

Some life of men unblest

He knew, which made him droop, and filled ti head.

He went; his piping took a troubled sound

Of storms that rage outside our happy ground; He could not wait their passing, he is dead.

So, some tempestuous morn in early June,
When the year's primal burst of bloom is o'er,

Before the roses and the longest day —
When garden-walks, and all the grassy floor,

With blossoms, red and white, of fallen May,

And chestnut-flowers are strewn — So have I heard the cuckoo's parting cry,

From the wet field, through the vexed gardentrees,

Come with the volleying rain and tossing breeze: The bloom is gone, and with the bloom go I.

Too quick despairer, wherefore wilt thou go?
Soon will the high Midsummer pomps come on,

Soon will the musk carnations break and swell, Soon shall we have gold-dusted snapdragon. Sweet-William with its homely cottage-smell, And stocks in fragrant blow;

[ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »