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VII.

But since I heard him make reply

Is many a weary hour; 'Twere well to question him, and try

If yet he keeps the power.

VIII.

Hail, hidden to the knees in fern,

Broad oak of Sumner-chace, Whose topmost branches can discern

The roofs of Sumner-place!

IX.

Say thou, whereon I carved her name,

If ever maid or spouse, As fair as my Olivia, came

To rest beneath thy boughs ?

X.

“O Walter, I have sheltered here

Whatever maiden grace The good old Summers, year by year,

Made ripe in Sumner-chace :

XI.

6 Old Summers, when the monk was fat,

And, issuing shorn and sleek, Would twist his girdle tight, and pat The girls upon the cheek,

XII. “ Ere yet, in scorn of Peter's-pence,

And numbered bead, and shrift, Blufl' llarry broke into the spence,

And turned the cowls adrift:

XIII. " And I have seen some score of those

Fresh faces, that would thrive

When his man-minded offset rose

To chase the deer at five;

XIV. “ And all that from the town would stroll,

Till that wild wind made work, In which the gloomy brewer's soul

Went by me, like a stork:

XV.

“ The slight she-slips of loyal blood,

And others, passing praise, Strait-laced, but all-too-full in bud

For puritanic stays:

XVI.

“ And I have shadowed many a group

Of beauties, that were born
In teacup-times of hood and hoop,

Or while the patch was worn;

XVII.

“ And, leg and arm with love-knots gay,

About me leaped and laughed The modish Cupid of the day,

And shrilled his tinsel shaft.

XVIII.

“I swear (and else may insects prick

Each leaf into a gall)
This girl, for whom your heart is sick,

Is three times worth them all ;

XIX.

“ For those and theirs, by Nature's law,

Have faded long ago ;
But in these latter springs I saw

Your own Olivia blow,

XX. “ From when she gambolled on the greens,

A baby-germ, to when
The maiden blossoms of her teens

Could number five from ten.

XXI.

“I swear, by leaf, and wind, and rain,

(And hear me with thine ears,) That, though I circle in the grain

Five hundred rings of years,

XXII.

“ Yet, since I first could cast a shade,

Did never creature pass So slightly, musically made,

So light upon the grass :

XXIII.

“For as to fairies, that will flit

To make the greensward fresh, I hold them exquisitely knit,

But far too spare of flesh.”

XXIV.
O, hide thy knotted knees in fern,

And overlook the chace;
And from thy topmost branch discern

The roofs of Sumner-place.

XXV.
But thou, whereon I carved her name,

That oft hast heard my vows,
Declare when last Olivia came

To sport beneath thy boughs.

XXVI. “ yesterday, you know, the fair

Was holden at the town;

Her father left his good arm-chair,

And rode his hunter down.

XXVII. " And with him Albert came on his.

I looked at him with joy: As cowslip unto oxlip is,

So seems she to the boy.

XXVIII.

An hour had past—and, sitting straight

Within the low-wheeled chaise, Her mother trundled to the gate Behind the dappled grays.

XXIX. “ But, as for her, she stayed at home,

And on the roof she went,
And down the way you use to come

She looked with discontent.

XXX. “ She left the novel half-uncut

Upon the rosewood shelf; She left the new piano shut:

She could not please herself.

XXXI.

“ Then ran she, gamesome as the colt,

And livelier than a lark She sent her voice through all the holt

Before her, and the park.

XXXII.

“ A light wind chased her on the wing,

And in the chase grew wild,
As close as might be would he cling

About the darling child:

XXXIII.

“ But light as any wind that blows

So fleetly did she stir, The flower, she touched on, dipt and rose,

And turned to look at her.

XXXIV.

“ And here she came, and round me played,

And sang to me the whole
Of those three stanzas that you made

About my.giant bole;'

XXXV. * And in a fit of frolic mirth

She strove to span my waist : Alas, I was so broad of girth,

I could not be embraced.

XXXVI.

“I wished myself the fair young beech

That here beside me stands,
That round me, clasping cach in cach,

She might have locked her hands.

XXXVII. “ Yet secmed the pressure thrice as sweet

As woodbine's fragile hold, Or when I feel about

my

feet The berried briony fold.”

XXXVIII.

O muffle round thy knces with fern,

And shadow Sumner-chace !
Long may thy topmost branch discern

The roofs of Sumner-place!

XXXIX.

But tell me, did she read the name

I carved with many vows,

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