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When passing through this narrow strait, (Stony and dark and desolate,) Benjamin can faintly hear A voice that comes from some one near : A female voice: “ Whoe'er you be, Stop,” it exclaimed, “ and pity me." And, less in pity than in wonder, Amid the darkness and the thunder, The Waggoner, with prompt command, Summons his horses to a stand.

The voice, to move commiseration,
Prolonged its earnest supplication -
“ This storm that beats so furiously –
This dreadful place! oh pity me !"

While this was said, with sobs between,
And many tears, by one unseen ;
There came a flash a startling glare,
And all Seat-Sandal was laid bare !
'Tis not a time for nice suggestion,
And Benjamin, without further question,
Taking her for some way-worn rover,
Said, “ Mount, and get you under cover !''

Another voice in tone as hoarse As a swoln brook with rugged course, Cried out, “Good brother, why so fast ? I've had a glimpse of you

- avast! Or, since it suits you to be civil, Take her at once

for good and evil !"

“ It is my Husband," softly said The Woman, as if half afraid : By this time she was snug within, Through help of honest Benjamin ; She and her Babe, which to her breast With thankfulness the mother pressed; And now the same strong voice more near Said, cordially, “ My Friend, what cheer? Rough doings these! as God's my judge, The sky owes somebody a grudge ! We've had in half an hour or less A twelve-month's terror and distress !"

Then Benjamin entreats the Man
Would mount, too, quickly as he can:
The Sailor, Sailor now no more,
But such he had been heretofore,

66 Go

To courteous Benjamin replied,

you your way, and mind not me;
For I must have, whate'er betide,
My Ass and fifty things beside, -
Go, and I'll follow speedily !"

The Waggon moves - and with its load Descends along the sloping road ; And to a little tent hard by Turns the Sailor instantly; For when, at closing-in of day, The Family had come that way, Green pasture and the soft warm air Had tempted them to settle there. -Green is the grass for beast to graze, Around the stones of Dunmail-raise !

The Sailor gathers up his bed, Takes down the canvas overhead; And, after farewell to the place, A parting word - though not of grace, Pursues, with Ass and all his store, The

way the Waggon went before.

20

THE WAGGONER.

CANTO II.

CANTO SECOND.

IF Wytheburn's modest House of Prayer,
As lowly as the lowliest Dwelling,
Had, with its belfrey's humble stock,
A little pair that hang in air,
Been mistress also of a Clock,
(And one, too, not in crazy plight)
Twelve strokes thatClock would have been

telling
Under the brow of old Helvellyn -
Its bead-roll of midnight,
Then, when the Hero of my Tale
Was passing by, and down the vale
(The vale now silent, hushed I ween
As if a storm had never been)
Proceeding with an easy mind;
While he, who had been left behind,

Intent to use his utmost haste,
Gained ground upon the Waggon fast
And gives another lusty cheer ;
For, spite of rumbling of the wheels,
A welcome greeting he can hear;
It is a fiddle in its glee
Dinning from the CHERRY TREE!

Thence the sound - the light is there –
As Benjamin is now aware,
Who, to his inward thoughts confined,
Had almost reached the festive door,
When, startled by the Sailor's roar,
He hears a sound and sees the light,
And in a moment calls to mind
That 'tis the village MERRY-NIGHT ! *

Although before in no dejection, At this insidious recollection

• A term well known in the North of England, a applied to rural Festivals, where young persons meet in the evening

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