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But you love Edith; and her own true

eyes Are traitors to her; our quick Evelyn – The merrier, prettier, wittier, as they talk, And not without good reason, my good

son Is yet untouch'd: and I that hold them

both Dearest of all things — well, I am not

sure But if there lie a preference eitherway, And in the rich vocabulary of Love Most dearest'be a true superlative — I think I likewise love your Edith most.

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IV.

THE VILLAGE WIFE; OR, THE

ENTAIL.1

What be the next un like? can tha tell

ony harm on 'im, lass?Naay sit down -- naw 'urry ---sa cowd!

hev another glass ! Straänge an' cowd fur the time! we may

happen a fall o' snaw -Not es I cares fur to hear ony harm, but

I likes to knaw. An' I 'oäps es 'e beänt booöklarn'd: but

'e dosn' not coom fro' the shere; We'd anew o' that wi' the Squire, an' we

haätes booöklarnin' 'ere.

I.

'OUSE-KEEPER sent tha my lass, fur New

Squire coom'd last night. Butter an'heggs — yis - yis. I'll goä wi’

tha back: all right; Butter I warrants be prime, an' I war

rants the heggs be as well, Hafe a pint o' milk runs out when ya

breäks the shell.

V.

II.

Fur Squire wur a Varsity scholard, an'

niver lookt arter the land Whoäts or tonups or taätes — 'e'ed hallus

a booök i' 'is 'and, Hallus aloän wi' 'is booöks, thaw nigh

upo' seventy year. An' booöks, what's booöks? thou knaws

thebbe naither 'ere nor theer.

VI.

Sit thysen down fur a bit: hev a glass o'

cowslip wine! I liked the owd Squire an' 'is gells as

thaw they was gells o' mine, Fur then we was all es one, the Squire

an' 'is darters an' me, Hall but Miss Annie, the heldest, I niver

not took to she: But Nelly, the last of the cletch,2 I liked

'er the fust on 'em all, Fur hoffens we talkt o’my darter es died

o'the fever at fall : An' I thowt 'twur the will o'the Lord, but

Miss Annie she said it wur draäins, Fur she hedn't naw coomfut in 'er, an'

arn’d naw thanks fur 'er paäins. Eh? thebbe all wi' the Lord my childer,

I han't gotten none !
Sa new Squire's coom'd wi' 'is taäil in 'is

'and, an' owd Squire's gone.
1 See note to Northern Cobbler.'

2 A brood of chickens.

An' the gells, they hedn't naw taäils, an'

the lawyer he towd it me That 'is taäil were soä tied up es he

couldn't cut down a tree! *Drat the trees,' says I, to be sewer I

haätes 'em, my lass, Fur we puts the muck o' the land an

they sucks the muck fro' the grass.

VII.

An' Squire wur hallus a-smilin', an' gied

to the tramps goin' by An' all o' the wust i' the parish — Wi

hoffens a drop in 'is eye.

Hoänly Miss Annie were saw stuck oop,

like 'er mother afoor ’Er an' 'er blessed darter — they niver

derken'd my door.

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IX.

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An' ivry darter o' Squire's hed her awn

ridin-erse to 'ersen, y las: An’they rampaged about wi' their grooms,

an’ was 'untin' arter the men, luchtenst An' hallus a-dallacktan' dizen'd out, an'

a-buyin' new cloäthes, 102. While 'e sit like a greät glimmer-gowk ?

wi' 'is glasses athurt 'is noäse, An' 'is noäse sa grufted wi’ snuff es it

couldn't be scroob'd awaäy, Fur atween 'is readin' an’ writin' 'e snifft

up a box in a daäy, An' 'e niver runn'd arter the fox, nor

arter the birds wi' 'is gun, An' 'e niver not shot one 'are, but 'e

leäved it to Charlie 'is son, An’'e niver not fish'd ’is awn ponds, but

Charlie 'e cotch'd the pike,
For 'e warn't not burn to the land, an' 'e

didn't take kind to it like;
But I 'eärs es 'e'd gie fur a howry : owd

book thutty pound an' noor, An' 'e'd wrote an owd book, 'is awn sen,

sa I knaw'd es 'e'd coom to be poor; An' 'e gied — I be fear'd fur to tell tha’ow

much — fur an owd scratted stoän, An' 'e digg'd up a loomp i’ the land an'

’e got a brown pot an'a boän, An' 'e bowt owd money, es wouldn't goä,

wi' good gowd o' the Queen, An' 'e bowt little statutes all-naäkt an'

which was a shaäme to be seen; But 'e niver looökt ower a bill, nor 'e

niver not seed to owt, An' 'e niver knawd nowt but booöks, an'

booöks, as thou knaws, beänt nowt.

An' Squire 'e smiled an' 'e smiled till

'e'd gotten a fright at last, An' 'e calls fur 'is son, fur the 'turney's

letters they foller'd sa sast; But Squire wur afear'd o' 'is son, an' 'e

says to 'im, meek as a mouse, Lad, thou mun cut off thy taäil, or the

gells ’ull goä to the 'Ouse, Fur I finds es I be that i' debt, es I 'oäps

es thou'll 'elp me a bit, An' if thou'll 'gree to cut off thy taäil I

may saäve mysen yit.'

X.

But Charlie 'e sets back 'is ears, an' 'e

swears, an' 'e says to 'im .Noä. I've gotten the 'staäte by the taäil an'

be dang'd if I iver let goä ! Coom! coom! feyther,' 'e says, 'why

shouldn't thy booöks be sowd? I hears es soom o' thy booöks mebbe

worth their weight i' gowd.'

XI.

VIII,

Heäps an' heaps o' booöks, I ha' see'd

'em, belong'd to the Squire, But the lasses 'ed teärd out leaves i' the

middle to kindle the fire; Sa moäst on 'is owd big booöks fetch'd

nigh to nowt at the saäle, And Squire were at Charlie ageän to git

'im to cut off 'is taäil.

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But owd Squire's laädy es long es she

lived she kep 'em all clear, Thaw es long es she lived I niver hed

none of 'er darters 'ere; But arter she died we was all es one, the

childer and me, An’ sarvints runn'd in an' out, an' offens

we hed 'em to tea. Lawk! 'ow I laugh'd when the lasses 'ud

talk o' their Missis's waäys, An' the Missisis talk'd o' the lasses.

I'll tell tha soine o' these daäys.

XII.

Ya wouldn't find Charlie's likes 'e were

that outdacious at 'oäm, Not thaw ya went fur to raäke out Hell

wi' a small-tooth coamb Droonk wi'the Quoloty's wine, an' droonk

wi' the farmer's aäle, Mad wi’ the lasses an' all - an''e would

n't cut off the taäil.

1 Overdrest in gay colours.

3 Filthy.

? Owl.

XIII. Thou's coom'd oop by the beck; and a

thurn be a-grawin' theer, I niver ha' see'd it sa white wi’ the Maäy

es I see'd it to-year – Theerabouts Charlie joompt — and it gied

me a scare tother night, Fur I thowt it wur Charlie's ghoäst i' the

derk, fur it looökt sa white. • Billy,' says 'e, hev a joomp!'— thaw

the banks o' the beck be sa high, Fur 'e ca'd 'is 'erse Billy-rough-un, thaw

niver a hair wur awry; But Billy fell bakkuds o' Charlie, an'

Charlie 'e brok 'is neck, Sa theer wur a hend o' the taäil, fur 'e

lost 'is taäil i’ the beck.

An' Hetty wur weak i’ the hattics, wi'out

ony harm i' the legs, An' the fever 'ed baäked Jinny's 'eäd es

bald es one o' them heggs, An' Nelly wur up fro' the craädle es big

i' the mouth es a cow, An' saw she mun hammergrate, lass, or

she weänt git a maäte onyhow! An' es for Miss Annie es call'd me afoor

my awn foälks to my faäce "A hignorant village wife as 'ud hev to

be larn'd 'er awn plaäce,' Hes fur Miss Hannie the heldest hes nor

be a-grawin' sa howd, I knaws that mooch o’ sheä, es it beant

not fit to be towd !

XVII.

XIV.

Sa 'is taäil wur lost an' 'is booöks wur

gone an' 'is boy wur dead, An' Squire 'e smiled, an 'e smiled, but 'e

niver not lift oop 'is 'eäd: Hallus a soft un Squire! an' 'e smiled,

fur 'e hedn't naw friend, Sa feyther an' son was buried togither,

an' this wur the hend.

Sa I didn't not taäke it kindly ov owd

Miss Annie to saäy Es I should be talkin' ageän 'em, es soon

es they went awaäy, Fur, lawks! 'ow I cried when they went

an' our Nelly she gied me 'er 'and, Fur I'd ha' done owt for the Squire an'

'is gells es belong'd to the land; Booöks, es I said afoor, thebbe neyther

'ere nor theer! But I sarved 'em wi' butter an' heggs fur

huppuds o' twenty year.

XV.

XVIII.

An' Parson es hesn't the call, nor the

mooney, but hes the pride, 'E reäds of a sewer an' sartan 'oäp o'

the tother side; But I beänt that sewer es the Lord, how

siver they praäy'd an' praäy'd, Lets them inter 'eaven cäsy es leaves

their debts to be paäid. Siver the mou'ds rattled down upo' poor

owd Squire i’ the wood, An' I cried along wi' the gells, fur they

weänt niver coom to naw good.

An' they hallus paäid what I hax'd, sa I

hallus deal'd wi' the Hall, An' they knaw'd what butter wur, an' they

knaw'd what a hegg wur an' all; Hugger-mugger they lived, but they

wasn't that easy to please, Till I gied 'em Hinjian curn, and they

laäid big heggs es tha seeäs; An' I niver puts saäme 2 i'my butter,

they does it at Willis's farm, Taäste another drop o' the wine-tweäni

do tha naw harm.

XVI.

XIX.

Fur Molly the long un she walkt awaäy

wi' a hofficer lad, An' nawbody 'eärd on 'er sin, sa o' coorse

she be gone to the bad ! An' Lucy wur laäme o' one leg, sweet

'arts she niver 'ed none --Straänge an' unheppen? Miss Lucy! we naämed her “Dot an'gaw one!'

1 Ungainly, awkward.

Sa new Squire's coom'd wi' 'is taäil in 's

'and, an' owd Squire's gone; I heard 'im a roomlin' by, but arter of

nightcap wur on;
1 Emigrate.

· Lard.

507

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Had? has it come? It has only dawn'd.

It will come by and by. O how could I serve in the wards if the

hope of the world were a lie? How could I bear with the sights and the

loathsome smells of disease But that He said “Ye do it to me, when

ye do it to these '?

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IV.

Our doctor had call'd in another, I never

had seen him before, But he sent a chill to my heart when I

saw him come in at the door, Fresh from the surgery-schools of France

and of other lands Harsh red hair, big voice, big chest, big

merciless hands! Wonderful cures he had done, O yes, but

they said too of him He was happier using the knife than in

trying to save the limb, And that I can well believe, for he look'd

so coarse and so red, I could think he was one of those who

would break their jests on the dead, And mangle the living dog that had loved

him and fawn'd at his kneeDrench'd with the hellish oorali — that

ever such things should be !

II.

Here was a boy – I am sure that some of

our children would die But for the voice of Love, and the smile,

and the comforting eye — Here was a boy in the ward, every bone

seem'd out of its place Caught in a mill and crush'd -- it was all

but a hopeless case: And he handled him gently enough; but

his voice and his face were not kind, And it was but a hopeless case, he had

seen it and made up his mind, And he said to me roughly. The lad will

need little more of your care.' * All the more need,' I told him, 'to seek

the Lord Jesus in prayer; 1 A cry accompanied by a clapping of hands to scare trespassing fowl.

So he went. And we past to this ward

where the younger children are

laid: Here is the cot of our orphan, our dar

ling, our meek little maid; Empty you see just now! We have lost

her who loved her so much Patient of pain tho' as quick as a sensi

tive plant to the touch; Hers was the prettiest prattle, it often

moved me to tears, Hers was the gratefullest heart I have

found in a child of her years – Nay, you remember our Emmie ; you used

to send her the flowers; How she would smile at 'em, play with

'em, talk to 'em hours after hours ! They that can wander at will where the

works of the Lord are reveal'd Little guess what joy can be got from a

cowslip out of the field; Flowers to these 'spirits in prison' are all

they can know of the spring, They freshen and sweeten the wards like

the waft of an Angel's wing; And she lay with a flower in one hand and

her thin hands croston her breastWan, but as pretty as heart can desire,

and we thought her at rest, Quietly sleeping -so quiet, our doctor

said · Poor little dear, Nurse, I must do it to-morrow; she'll

never live thro' it, I fear.'

V. I walk'd with our kindly old doctor as

far as the head of the stair, Then I return'd to the ward; the child

didn't see I was there.

Then in the gray of the morning it seem'd

she stood by me and smiled, And the doctor came at his hour, and we

went to see to the child.

VIII.

He had brought his ghastly tools: we

believed her asleep again – Her dear, long, lean, little arms lying out

on the counterpane; Say that His day is done! Ah why shouli

we care what they say? The Lord of the children had heard her,

and Emmie had past away.

VI. Never since I was nurse, had I been so

grieved and so vext! Emmie had heard him. Softly she callid

from her cot to the next, *He says I shall never live thro' it, O

Annie, what shall I do?' Annie consider'd. “If I,' said the wise

little Annie, was you, I should cry to the dear Lord Jesus to

help me, for, Emmie, you see, It's all in the picture there : “ Little

children should come to me.") (Meaning the print that you gave us, I

find that it always can please Our children, the dear Lord Jesus with

children about his knees.) *Yes, and I will,' said Emmie, . but then

if I call to the Lord, How should he know that it's me? such

a lot of beds in the ward!' That was a puzzle for Annie. Again she

consider'd and said : • Emmie, you put out your arms, and you

leave 'em outside on the bed The Lord has so much to see to! but,

Emmie, you tell it himn plain, It's the little girl with her arms lying out

on the counterpane.'

DEDICATORY POEM TO THE

PRINCESS ALICE. DEAD PRINCESS, living Power, if that,

which lived True life, live on- and if the fatal kiss, Born of true life and love, divorce thee

not From earthly love and life — if what we

call The spirit flash not all at once from out This shadow into Substance — then per:

haps The mellow'd murmur of the people's

praise From thine own State, and all our

breadth of realm, Where Love and Longing dress thy deeds

in light, Ascends to thee; and this March mort.

that sees Thy Soldier-brother's bridal orange-bloom Break thro' the yews and cypress of thy

grave, And thine Imperial mother smile again, May send one ray to thee! and who can

tell Thou - England's England-loving daugh

ter — thou Dying so English thou wouldst have her

flag Borne on thy coffin - where is he can

VII. I had sat three nights by the child - I

could not watch her for four My brain had begun to reel ---I felt I

could do it no more. That was my sleeping-night, but I thought

that it never would pass. There was a thunderclap once, and a

clatter of hail on the glass, And there was a phantom cry that I heard

as I tost about, The motherless bleat of a lamb in the

storm and the darkness without; My sleep was broken besides with dreams

of the dreadful knife And fears for our delicate Emmie who

scarce would escape with her life;

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