Sivut kuvina

Some talk'd of their valour, and some of their

race, And vaunted, till vaunting was black in the face; Some bragg’d for a title, and some for a place,

And, like braggarts, they bragg’d one and all! Some spoke of their scars in the boly crasade, Some boasted the banner of Fame they display'd, And some sang their loves in the soft serenade,

As they sat in the banqueting-hall.

And here sat a baron, and there sat a knight,
And here stood a páge in his habit all bright,
And here a young soldier in armour bedight,

With a friar carous'd, one and all.
Some play'd on the dulcimer, some on the lute,
And some, who had nothing to talk of, were mute,
Till the morning, awakend, put on her grey suit-

And the lark hover'd over the hall.

It was in a vast gothic hall that they sate,
And the tables were cover'd with rich gilded plate,
And the king and his minions were toping in state,

Till their noddles turn'd round, one and all : And the Sun through the tall painted windows 'gan

peep, And the vassals were sleeping, or longing to sleep; Though the courtiers, still waking, their revels did

keep, While the minstrels play'd sweet, in the hall.

And, now in their cups, the bold topers began
To call for more wide, from the cellar yeoman,
And, while each one replenish'd his goblet or can,
The monarch thus spake to them all :

It is fit that the nobles do just what they please, That the great live in idleness, riot, and ease, And that those should be favoard, who mark my

decrees, And should feast in the banqueting-hall.

[ocr errors]

' It is fit,' said the monarch,' that riches should

A passport to freedom, to honour, and fame,-
That the poor should be humble, obedient, and

And, in silence, submit-one and all.
That the wise and the holy should toil for the great,
That tire vassals should tend at the tables of state,
That the pilgrim should-pray for our souls at the

While we feast in our banqueting-ball.

• That the low-lineagă carles should be scantily fed

(their bread; That their drink should be small, and still smaller That their wives and their daughters to ruin be led,

And submit to our will-one and all!
It is fit that whoever I choose to defend-
Shall be courted, and feasted, and lov'd as a friend,
While before them the good and enlighten’d shall

While they sit in the banqueting-hall.'

Now the topers grew bold, and each talk'd of his

right, One would fain be a baron, another a knight; And another, (because at the tournament fight

He had vanquish'd his foes, one and all)

Demanded a track of rich lands; and rich fare; And of stout serving vassals a plentiful share ; With a lasting exemption from penance and pray’r,

And a throne in the banqueting-hall.

[ocr errors]

But one, who had neither been valiant nor wise, With a tone of importance, thus vauntingly cries, My liege he knows how a good subject to prize

And I therefore demand-before allI this castle possess : and the right to maintain Five hundred stout bowmen to follow my train, And as many strong vassals to guard my domain,

As the lord of the banqueting-hall!

'I have fought with all nations, and bled in the field, See my lance is unshiver'd, though batter'd my

shield, I have combated legions yet never would yield,

And the enemy fled-one and all!
I have rescu'd a thousand fair donnas, in Spain,
I have left in gay France ev'ry bosom in pain,
I bave conquer'd the Russian, the Prussian, the

And will reign in the banqueting-hall!"

The monarch now rose, with majestical look,
And his sword from the scabbard of jewels he took,
And the castle with laughter and ribaldry shook,

While the braggart accosted thus he:
"I will give thee a place that will suit thy demand,
What to thee is more fitting than vassals or land-
I will give thee—what justice and valour com-

mand, For a trumpeter bold-thou shalt be!' VOL. V.


Now the revellers rose, and began to complainWhile they menac'd with gestures, and frown'd

with disdain, And declar'd, that the nobles were fitter to reign

Than a prince so upruly as he. But the monarch cried sternly, they taunted him

so, * From this moment the counsel of fools I foregoAnd on wisdom and virtue will honours bestow,

For such only are welcome to me!'

So saying, he quitted the banqueting-hall,
And leaving his courtiers and flatterers all-
Straightway for his confessor loudly gan call,

"O! father! now listen !' said he: * I have feasted the fool, I have pamper'd the knave, I have scoff'd at the wise, and neglected the braveAnd here, holy man, absolution I crave

For a penitent now I will be.'

From that moment the monarch grew sober and

good, (And nestled with birds of a different brood) For he found that the pathway which wisdom

pursued, Was pleasant, safe, quiet, and even ! That by temperance, virtue, and liberal deeds, By nursing the flowrets, and crushing the weeds, The loftiest traveller always succeedsFor his journey will lead him to Heav'n.

Mrs. Robinson.



Old Barnard was still a lusty hind,
Though his age was full fourscore;

And he us'd to go
Through hail and snow,
To a neighb'ring town,

With his old coat brown,
To beg at his grandson's door!

Old Barnard briskly jogg'd along,
When the hail and snow did fall;

And, whatever the day,
He was always gay,
Did the broad Sun glow,

Or the keen wind blow,
While he beggʻd in his grandson's hall.

His grandson was a 'squire, and he
Had houses, and lands, and gold ;

And a coach beside,
And horses to ride,
And a downy bed

To repose his head,
And he felt not the winter's cold.

Old Barnard bad neither house nor lands,
Nor gold to buy warm array;

Nor a coach to carry
His old bones weary,
Nor beds of feather

In freezing weather,
To sleep the long nights away.

« EdellinenJatka »