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The Lord of Burleigh.
In her ear he whispers gaily,
"If my heart by signs can tell, Maiden, I have watched thee daily,
And I think thou lovest me well.” She replies, in accents fainter,
“There is none I love like thee.” He is but a landscape-painter,
And a village maiden she. He to lips, that fondly falter,
Presses his without reproof; Leads her to the village altar,
And they leave her father's roof “I can make no marriage present;
Little can I give my wife, Love will make our cottage pleasant,
And I love thee more than life.” They by parks and lodges going
See the lordly castles stand : Summer woods, about them blowing,
Made a murmur in the land. From deep thought himself he rouses,
Says to her that loves him well, “Let us see these handsome houses
Where the wealthy nobles dwell.”
So she goes by him attended,
Hears him lovingly converse, Sees whatever fair and splendid
Lay betwixt his home and her's; Parks with oak and chestnut shady,
Parks and ordered gardens great, Ancient homes of lord and lady,
Built for pleasure and for state. All he shows her makes him dearer :
Evermore she seems to gaze On that cottage growing nearer,
Where they twain will spend their days. O but she will love him truly !
He shall have a cheerful home; She will order all things duly,
When beneath his roof they come. Thus her heart rejoices greatly,
Till a gateway she discerns With armorial bearings stately,
And beneath the gate she turns; Sees a mansion more majestic
Than all those she saw before: Many a gallant gay domestic
Bows before him at the door. And they speak in gentle murmur,
When they answer to his call,
Leading on from hall to hall.
Nor the meaning can divine,
“ All of this is mine and thine.”
Here he lives in state and bounty,
Lord of Burleigh, fair and free,
Is so great a lord as he.
Her sweet face from brow to chin:
And her spirit changed within Then her countenance all over
Pale again as death did prove; But he clasped her like a lover,
And he cheered her soul with love. So she strove against her weakness,
Though at times her spirits sank : Shaped her heart with woman's meekness
To all duties of her rank : And a gentle consort made he,
And her gentle mind was such That she grew a noble lady,
And the people loved her much. But a trouble weighed upon her,
And perplexed her, night and morn, With the burthen of an honour
Unto which she was not born. Faint she grew, and ever fainter,
As she murmured, “Oh, that he Were once more that landscape-painter,
Which did win my heart from me!"
Fading slowly from his side :
Then before her time she died.