Page images
PDF
EPUB

“ You base young man—is this the way, Sir,

My care, my kindness you repay, sir? “ Seduce the affections so unwary “ And artless, of my daughter Mary?

“ Out of my house, Sir, not a word,
“ Your chaff won't catch so old a bird !
“Out of my house, Sir—Oh! ungrateful,
“ How often here you've had your plateful!
“ How often-but-but 'tis no matter !
“ Just look, thou base seducer, at her.
“ Is that the lady you'd predestine
“ To plunge into a match clandestine.
“Sir, she's my only child, and I
“ Can leave her rich, Sir, when I die;
“ And you, with scarce a single sous,

My heiress thus presume to woo. “ I never heard such impudence, Sir, “ My home's my castle-budge—hence, trot Sir! “ Zounds! it is odd indeed, in these

“ Blest islands, free as their own waters, “ If we can't marry as we please

“ Our own confounded daughters !

“Sir, I'm a freeman, and I fear

“ No dun's address-no man's effrontery" I

pay, Sir, forty pounds a year “ In rates and taxes to my country.

“ Nor do I, Sir, one farthing care “ What man is called his

grace; “No! I'm a Briton, and can look

“ A lord, Sir, in the face ; “ And I intend, and can afford, Sir, “ Her spouse himself shall be a lord, Sir! “So, Mr. Laneham, march-retreat

She for your betters will be meat !”

Succinct and clear, thus Hodges said-
He ceased, and sternly shook his head.
His small eyes twinkled in their sockets-
He buttoned up his breeches pockets;
As if to say, “What these contain--them
You'll never get, young Master Laneham.”
So stood he sour-austere—majestic !
66 Oh! home--sweet home !"_0 scene domestic !

Then Laneham with a look, where sorrow Seemed something high from pride to borrow, First glanced where just one pace apart,

His Mary in her shame was sobbing,
Then curbed his brow, and chid his heart

From its untimely throbbing ;
And with calm gaze, nor daunted, eyed
The angry sire, and thus replied.
“ We loved each other since our birth,

“ An orphan I, had none beside “ To love upon the lonely earth;

“ And she, save thee and me, saw none
To pour

her full heart's love upon. “ We loved—and when thou wert away

“ In other lands, for years to rove, “ We saw each other, day by day,

“And grew with every day our love! “No treachery mine! for well I knew 66 Her heart was

like

my own, “ And that had wound itself unto

66 One chord of life alone. 66 To leave her—tho’ to wealth-were worse 66 To her than Want's severest curse; “ And I ! in huts with her to live “ Were worth all wealth-all worlds could give!

“ And if I claim her now-I crave

“ No dowry save her love for me ; “ 'Tis just that they who Fortune brave,

“ Should bear the wants that they foresee. “But not that thou shouldst doom thy child

“ Through life in bitter thought to pine ; “ If I—if I her peace beguild,

66 Oh! make the’ atonement mine!

“ And I, through every change will swear

“ To love, to cherish, to defend her; “ And recompense in love, whate'er

“Of wealth for love she may surrender.”

He ceased--and Mary had withdrawn

From her sweet face her veiling hands;
And Hope abruptly seemed to dawn
O’er her pale cheek, and stay the fears
That trembled in her spell-bound tears.

But hard and harsh the father stands,

And though within him might be lurking
The milk of human kindness-nought
Of yielding love, or gentle thought

Upon his rigid brow is working.

When once a man's mind is resolved,

'Tis useless to his heart appealing, You can't get through the leaves involved

Around his artichoke of feeling.

The Saint who thought his child a catch,
Wish'd her to make a proper match;'
He hoped perhaps a Lord-a clever
Member of Parliament however!
So you may judge the youth was ill able
To melt him by a single syllable.
“ Well! have you done?" was all he said.

Mary, your hand-we'll go to bed.
“Excuse me, Sir-you'll find the door
“ Where you have found it, Sir, before.
66 Your servant”

With these words he took Poor Mary by the hand, and past

Up stairs—upon the youth one look

One look of anguish Mary cast.

And then he was alone,
Father and child were gone !

He stands with downcast eyes,

Nor speaks, nor stirs ;
His thought-his spirit flies

To blend with hers!
Until, dissolved, the cold thoughts flow

Back on his startled heart;
And with a quiet step and slow,

He turns him to depart.
Then the harsh-tongued and desolate

Sound of the closing door,
Heavily rose where Mary sate,

And taunts and chidings bore.
Bore with so meek yet crush'd an air,
That Hodges could not but forbear,

To wound too deep so soft a breast ;
And, as himself was very tired,
He soon resolved that, till the morning,
All farther scolding, threat, and warning,

Should kindly be supprest. He rose, and solemnly desired her

go to sleep, And, begging also she'd not weep

She'd say

prayers and

« PreviousContinue »