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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.


Hail, hidden to the knees in fern,

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

The roofs of Sumner-place!


Say thou, whereon I carved her name,

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

To rest beneath thy boughs ?


“O Walter, I have sheltered here

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

Made ripe in Sumner-chace :


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:


“ The slight she-slips of loyal blood,

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

For puritanic stays:


“ 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;


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

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

And shrilled his tinsel shaft.


“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 ;


“ 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.


“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,


“ Yet, since I first could cast a shade,

Did never creature pass So slightly, musically made,

So light upon the grass :


“For as to fairies, that will flit

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

But far too spare of flesh.”

O, hide thy knotted knees in fern,

And overlook the chace;
And from thy topmost branch discern

The roofs of Sumner-place.

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.


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.


“ 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.


“ 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:


“ 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.


“ 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.


“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


feet The berried briony fold.”


O muffle round thy knces with fern,

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

The roofs of Sumner-place!


But tell me, did she read the name

I carved with many vows,

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