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A WOMAN OF MIND.

233

And it's vulgar to care for one's offspring

The mere brute has a love of its kind But she loves the whole human fam’ly,

For she is a woman of mind.

Everything is an inch thick in dust,

And the servants do just as they please ; The ceilings are covered with cobwebs,

The beds are all swarming with fleas; The windows have never been clean’d,

And as black as your hat is each blind ; But my wife's nobler things to attend to,

For she is a woman of mind.

The nurse steals the tea and the sugar,

The cook sells the candles as grease,
And gives all the cold meat away

To her lover, who's in the police;
When I hint that the housekeeping's heavy,

And hard is the money to find,
“Money's vile, filthy dross !” she declares,

And unworthy a woman of mind.

Whene'er she goes out to a dance

She refuses to join in the measure,
For dancing she can't but regard

As an unintellectual pleasure.
So she gives herself up to enjoyments

Of a more philosophical kind,
And picks all the people to pieces,

Like a regular woman of mind.

She speaks of her favourite authors

In terms far from pleasant to hear : “ Charles Dickens," she vows, “is a darling,"

“ And Bulwer," she says, “is a dear ;”
“ Wilkie Collins,” with her, “is an angel,”

And I'm an illiterate hind,"
Upon whom her fine intellect's wasted-

I'm not fit for a woman of mind.

234

THE WORN WEDDING RING.

She goes not to church on a Sunday:

Church is all very well in its way,
But she is too highly informed

Not to know all the parson can say ;
It does well enough for the servants,

And was for poor people design'd,
But, bless you ! it's no good to her,

For she is a woman of mind.

Anon.

THE WORN WEDDING RING.

(By permission of the Author.) Your wedding ring wears thin, dear wife ! Ah, summers

not a few, Since I put it on your finger first, have passed o'er me and

you; And, love, what changes we have seen—what cares and

pleasures, too, Since you became my own dear wife, when this old ring

was new.

to you,

Oh blessings on that happy day, the happiest of my life, When, thanks to God, your low sweet “Yes” made you

my loving wife; Your heart will say the same, I know; that day's as dear That day that made me yours, dear wife, when this old

ring was new. How well do I remember now your young sweet face that

day ; How fair you were

e-how dear you were--my tongue could hardly say; Nor how I doated on you--ah, how proud I was of you ! But did I love you more than now when this old ring was

new? No-no; no fairer were you then than at this hour to me, And dear as life to me this day, how could you dearer be? As sweet your face might be that day as now it is, 'tis true, But did I know your heart as well when this old ring was

new?

THE WORN WEDDING RING.

235

O pertner of my gladness, wife, what care, what grief is

there For ne you would not bravely face-with me you would

not share ? O what a weary want had every day, if wanting you, Wanting the love that God made mine when this old ring

was new.

Years bring fresh links to bind us, wife--young voices that

are here, Young faces round our fire that make their mother's yet

more dearYoung, loving hearts, your care each day makes yet more More like the loving heart made mine when this old ring

like to you,

was new.

And bless'd be God, all He has given are with us yet ;

around Our table every little life lent to us still is found ; Though cares we've known, with hopeful hearts the worst

we've struggled through: Bless'd be His name for all His love since this old ring

was new.

The past is dear; its sweetness still our memories treasure

yet; The griefs we've borne, together borne, we would not now

forget; Whatever, wife, the future brings, heart unto heart still

true, We'll share as we have shared all else since this old ring

was new.

grow old,

And if God spare us 'mongst our sons and daughters to We know His goodness will not let your heart or mine Your aged eyes will see in mine all they've still shown to

you, And mine in yours all they have seen since this old ring

grow cold;

was new.

236

FITZ-JAMES AND RODERICK DHU.

And 0, when death shall come at last to bid me to my rest, May I die looking in those eyes, and resting on that breast; O may my parting gaze be blessed with the dear sight of you, Of those fond eyes—fond as they were when this old ring

W. C. Bennett

was new.

FITZ-JAMES AND RODERICK DHU.

THE COMBAT.
The chief in silence strode before,
And reached that torrent's sounding shore,
Which, daughter of three mighty lakes,
From Vennacher in silver breaks,
Sweeps through the plain, and ceaseless mines
On Bochastle, the mouldering lines,
Where Rome, the Empress of the world,
Of yore her eagle wings unfurled.
And here his course the chieftain stayed,
Threw down his target and his plaid,
And to the Lowland warrior said:
“Bold Saxon! to his promise jast,
Vich-Alpine has discharged his trust;
This murderous chief, this ruthless man,
This head of a rebellious clan,
Hath led thee safe through watch and ward,
Far past Clan Alpine's outmost guard.
Now, man to man, and steel to steel,
A chieftain's vengeance thou shalt feel.
See, here, all ’vantageless I stand,
Armed, like thyself, with single brand;
For this is Coilantogle ford,
And thou must keep thee with thy sword.”
The Saxon paused : “I ne'er delayed,
When foeman bade me draw my blade :
Nay, more, brave chief, I vowed thy death;
Yet sure thy fair and generous faith,
And my deep debt for life preserved,
A better meed have well deserved.
Can nought but blood our feud atone ?
Are there no means ?No, stranger, none !

FITZ-JAMES AND RODERICK DHU.

237

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And hear-to fire thy flagging zeal-
The Saxon cause rests on thy steel ;
For thus spake Fate by prophet bred
Between the living and the dead :
'Who spills the foremost foeman's life,
His party conquers in the strife.'
“Then, by my word,” the Saxon said,
“ The riddle is already read.
Seek yonder break beneath the cliff,
There lies Red Murdoch stark and stiff.
Thus Fate has solved her prophecy :
Then yield to Fate, and not to me.
To James, at Stirling, let us go,
When, if thou wilt, be still his foe;
Or, if the king shall not agree
To grant thee

grace and favour free,
I plight mine honour, oath, and word,
That, to thy native strength restored,
With each advantage shalt thou stand,
That aids thee now to guard thy land.”
Dark lightning flashed from Roderick's eye :
“Soars thy presumption, then, so high,
Because a wretched kerne ye slew,
Homage to name to Roderick Dhú?
He yields, not he, to man nor Fate !
Thou add'st but fuel to my hate :
My clansman's blood demands revenge.
Not yet prepared ? By heaven, I change
My thought, and hold thy valour light
Aš that of some vain carpet-knight,
Who ill deserved my courteous care,
And whose best boast is but to wear
A braid of his fair lady's hair.”
“ I thank thee, Roderick, for the word,
It nerves my heart, it steels my sword;
For I have sworn this braid to stain
In the best blood that warms thy vein.
Now, truce, farewell! and ruth begone !
Yet think not that by thee alone,
Proud chief, can courtesy be shown;
Though not from copse, or heath, or cairn,
Start at my whistle clansmen stern,

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