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He enters--in a moment more !
Upon the landing-place stands he!
And voices murmur low within it!
“ Suppose I join them for a minute !"
This chamber---mind-the builder's 'art meant
Well, Hodges enters, and descries '
O gods !--O night!O unsnuffed candle ! By which the astounded father eyes
So singular a scene of scandal !-
Deceiving yo'ıng Lothario's caught her,
In kneeling to his blushing daughter.
The Father stares—fate no more killing
Sight on a father's eye bestows,
Courting his child before his nose !
Ah! at the view of such a lover,
With what a muscular distortion
The house set up—the yearly cradle
Such were the thoughts which, swift and hot,
“ Hollo!” he cried, “ what are you after ?” Up starts the youth-up starts the daughter.
The one remains erect, the other
With both her hands her face concealing, And her mute shame appears to’implore
Your mercy for her wounded feeling. Which phrase, if less adroitly moulded, Means a dislike to being scolded.
“ You base young man-is this the way, Sir,
“ Out of my house, Sir, not a word, “ Your chaff won't catch so old a bird ! “ Out of my house, Sir—Oh! ungrateful, “ How often here you've had your plateful! “ How often—but—but 'tis no matter ! “ Just look, thou base seducer, at her. • “Is that the lady you 'd predestine “ To plunge into a match clandestine. “ Sir, she's my only child, and I “ Can leave her rich, Sir, when I die; “ And you, with scarce a single sous, “ My heiress thus presume to woo. “ I never heard such impudence, Sir, “ My home's my castle-budge—hence, trot Sir! “ Zounds! it is odd indeed, in these
“ Blest islands, free as their own waters, “ If we can't marry as we please
“ Our own confounded daughters !
“ Sir, I'm a freeman, and I fear
“ No dun's address—no man's effrontery“ I pay, Sir, forty pounds a year
“ In rates and taxes to my country.
“ Nor do I, Sir, one farthing care
“ What man is called his grace; “No! I'm a Briton, and can look
“ A lord, Sir, in the face ; “ And I intend, and can afford, Sir, “ Her spouse himself shall be a lord, Sir ! “ So, Mr. Laneham, march-retreat“ She for your betters will be meat !”
Succinct and clear, thus Hodges said-
Then Laneham with a look, where sorrow Seemed something high from pride to borrow, First glanced where just one pace apart,
His Mary in her shame was sobbing,
From its untimely throbbing;
“ An orphan I, had none beside “ To love upon the lonely earth ;
“ And she, save thee and me, saw none
“ To pour her full heart's love upon. “ We loved—and when thou wert away
“ In other lands, for years to rove, “ We saw each other, day by day,
“And grew with every day our love ! “ No treachery mine! for well I knew
“Her heart was like my own, “ And that had wound itself unto
“ One chord of life alone. “ To leave her--tho' to wealth-were worse “ To her than Want's severest curse; “ And I ! in huts with her to live “ Were worth all wealth-all worlds could give!
“ And if I claim her now-I crave
“ No dowry save her love for me; 6 'Tis just that they who Fortune brave,
“ Should bear the wants that they foresee. “ But not that thou shouldst doom thy child
“ Through life in bitter thought to pine ; “ If I-if I her peace beguil'd,
“Oh! make the’ atonement mine !
“ And I, through every change will swear
“ To love, to cherish, to defend her; “ And recompense in love, whate’er
“ Of wealth for love she may surrender."