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24. “ What news, what news, old man ?" quoth he;
" What news hast thou to tell to me?"
“Sweet William is a lady gay.”
I'll make thee lord of high degree;
Thou shalt be hang'd up presently."
His joys did more and more abound :
Sweet William was a lady gay. 27. Therefore the king without delay
Put on her glorious rich array,
her head a crown of gold Which was most famous to behold. 28. And then, for fear of further strife,
He took Sweet William for his wife :
Clar. Oh, I have passed a miserable night,
Brak. What was your dream, my lord ? I pray you
Clar. Methought that I had broken from the Tower
And was embarked to cross to Burgundy;
Brak. Had you such leisure in that time of death To gaze upon these secrets of the deep ?
Clar. Methought I had ; and often did I strive
my panting bulk, Which almost burst to belch it in the sea.
Brak. Awak'd you not in this sore agony?
soul ! I
pass'd, methought, the melancholy flood With that grim ferryman which poets write of, Unto the kingdom of perpetual night,
The first that there did greet my stranger soul
Brak. No marvel, lord, though it affrighted you ;
Clar. O Brakenbury ! I have done these things, That now give evidence against my soul,For Edward's sake ; and see how he requites me! O God ! if my deep prayers cannot appease Thee, But Thou wilt be avenged on my misdeeds, Yet execute Thy wrath on me alone : Oh, spare my guiltless wife and my poor children ! I pray thee, gentle keeper, stay by me; My soul is heavy, and I fain would sleep. Brak. I will, my lord ; God give your grace good rest.
[Clar. retires. Sorrow breaks seasons and reposing hours, Makes the night morning, and the noontide night. Princes have but their titles for their glories, An outward honour for an inward toil ; And, for unfelt imaginations, They often feel a world of restless cares : So that between their titles and low name, There's nothing differs but the outward fame.
Clarence.—Brother of Edward IV., and of Richard, Duke
of Gloster, afterwards Richard III., was murdered in 1478. The common tradition was that he was drowned
in a butt of wine. Tower.—The Tower of London, noted for the many deeds
of violence done in it during the Plantagenet and Tudor
periods of English history. Gloster.—Richard, brother of Edward IV., afterwards
Richard III. The wars of York and Lancaster.—The Wars of the Roses. Grim ferryman.-Charon, who ferried the spirits of the
dead over the River Styx. Warwick.—Known as the “ King-maker." Tewksbury.-In Gloucestershire, on the Upper Avon, ten
miles from Gloucester, where, on 4th May, 1471, the Lancastrians were utterly defeated by Edward IV. Edward's sake.—Edward IV., brother to Clarence.
ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY
CHURCHYARD. [TAMAS GRAY, born 26th December, 1716, became Professor of
Modern History at Cambridge in 1768. His life was un
eventful. He died 30th July, 1771.] 1. The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herds wind slowly o'er the lea, The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
2. Now fades the glimm’ring landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds ; 3. Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower,
The moping owl does to the moon complain Of such, as wand'ring near her secret bow'r,
Molest her ancient solitary reign,
4. Beneath those rugged elms, that yew tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring
heap, Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
5. The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,
The swallow twitt'ring from the straw-built shed, The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed. 6. For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her ev'ning care : No children run to lisp their sire's return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.
7. Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke: How jocund did they drive their team afield ! How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure ;
The short and simple annals of the poor. 9. The boast of Heraldry, the pomp of Pow'r,
And all that Beauty, all that Wealth e'er gave, Await alike th' inevitable hour,
The paths of glory lead but to the grave. 10. Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If mem'ry o'er their tombs no trophies raise, Where through the long drawn aisle, and fretted
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise. 11. Can storied urn, or animated bust,
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath ?