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24. “ What news, what news, old man ?" quoth he;

" What news hast thou to tell to me?"
“Brave news,” the old man he did say.

“Sweet William is a lady gay.”
25. “ If this be true thou tell'st to me,

I'll make thee lord of high degree;
But if thy words do prove a lie,

Thou shalt be hang'd up presently."
26. But when the king the truth had found,

His joys did more and more abound :
According as the old man did say,

Sweet William was a lady gay. 27. Therefore the king without delay

Put on her glorious rich array,
And
upon

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 :
The like before was never seen,
A serving-man to be a queen.

Old BALLAD.

CLARENCE'S DREAM.
SIR ROBERT BRACKENBURY. DUKE OF CLARENCE.
Brak. Why looks your grace so heavily to-day?

Clar. Oh, I have passed a miserable night,
So full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams,
That, as I am a Christian faithful man,
I would not spend another such a night,
Though 'twere to buy a world of happy days;
So full of dismal terror was the time.

Brak. What was your dream, my lord ? I pray you

tell me.

Clar. Methought that I had broken from the Tower

And was embarked to cross to Burgundy;
And in my company my brother Gloster,
Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
Upon the hatches; thence we look'd toward England,
And cited up a thousand heavy times,
During the wars of York and Lancaster,
That had befall'n us. As we paced along
Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,
Methought that Gloster stumbled, and, in falling,
Struck me (that thought to stay him) overboard,
Into the tumbling billows of the main.
O Lord ! methought what pain it was to drown !
What dreadful noise of waters in mine ears,
What sights of ugly death within mine eyes !
Methought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks;
A thousand men that fishes gnawed upon;
Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl,
Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels,
All scattered in the bottom of the sea.
Some lay in dead men's skulls; and in those holes
Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept
As 'twere in scorn of eyes, reflecting gems,
That woo'd the slimy bottom of the deep,
And mock'd the dead bones that lay scatter'd by.

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
To yield the ghost ;- but still the envious flood
Kept in my soul, and would not let it forth
To find the empty, vast, and wand'ring air;
But smother'd it within

my panting bulk, Which almost burst to belch it in the sea.

Brak. Awak'd you not in this sore agony?
Clar. Ah, no, my dream was lengthened after life ;
Oh, then began

the
tempest to my

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
Was my great father-in-law, renowned Warwick,
Who cried aloud, -“What scourge for perjury
Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence ?"
And so he vanish'd : Then came wandering by
A shadow like an angel, with bright hair
Dabbled in blood ; and he shrieked out aloud,-
Clarence is come,-false, fleeting, perjured Clarence,
That stabb’d me in the field by Tewksbury;
Seize on him, furies, take him to your torments !”
With that, methought, a legion of foul fiends
Environ’d me, and howled in mine ears
Such hideous cries, that, with the very noise,
I trembling waked, and, for a season after,
Could not believe but that I was in hell,
Such terrible impression made my dream.

Brak. No marvel, lord, though it affrighted you ;
I am afraid, methinks, to hear you tell it.

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.

SHAKESPEARE.

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,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,

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

stroke!
8. Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,

Their homely joys, and destiny obscure ;
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile

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

vault,

The pealing anthem swells the note of praise. 11. Can storied urn, or animated bust,

Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath ?

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