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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,
With a friar carous'd, one and all.
And the lark hover'd over the hall.
It was in a vast gothic hall that they sate,
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
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.
' It is fit,' said the monarch,' that riches should
• 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!
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.
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!
The monarch now rose, with majestical look,
While the braggart accosted thus he:
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,
"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.
A MONKISH TALE.
Old Barnard was still a lusty hind,
And he us'd to go
With his old coat brown,
Old Barnard briskly jogg'd along,
And, whatever the day,
Or the keen wind blow,
His grandson was a 'squire, and he
And a coach beside,
To repose his head,
Old Barnard bad neither house nor lands,
Nor a coach to carry
In freezing weather,