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The village maid steals through the shade,
Her shepherd's suit to hear;
Sings high-born Cavalier.
Now reigns o’er earth and sky;
Sir Walter Scott.
THE sun descending in the west,
The evening star does shine ;
The moon, like a flower
Farewell, green fields and happy groves,
Where flocks have ta’en delight;
Unseen, they pour blessing,
They look in every thoughtless nest,
Where birds are covered warm,
They visit caves of every beast,
If they see any weeping
William Blake NOTES
NOTE 1. Epitaph on a Hare. Cowper has written a charming prose description of the two wild English hares that he succeeded in partially taming, and that amused and comforted many melancholy hours.
NOTE 2. A Boy's Song. James Hogg, the “ Ettrick Shepherd,” is a rare instance of native, untaught genius. He herded sheep from the time he was seven years old until he was thirty; and though he had learned to read in his few months of schooling, it was not until manhood that he mastered the art of writing. Sir Walter Scott was his true friend, and gave him constant aid and encouragement. His best poems are both simple and spirited, showing a fine sympathy for nature and outdoor life.
NOTE 3. Auld Robin Gray. Lady Anne Lindsay, when a girl of twenty-one, wrote this famous poem to the music of an old Scotch melody. . It is now sung to a different air.
NOTE 4. Song of Marion's Men. Francis Marion, a Revolutionary officer, born in South Carolina. He trained a brigade of bold and adventurous frontiersmen, who made the forests and swamps of Carolina their hiding-ground. They knew every inch of these gloomy and treacherous woods, and were able, with little danger to themselves, to continually attack and harass the British forces. His exploits have passed into song and story ; his courage, endurance, and gay defiance of all dangers and hardships, halo his name with romance. While this poem has little of Bryant's customary finish, it is spirited, and contains at least one charming line,“ Well knows the fair and friendly moon."
NOTE 5. Kubla Khan. A beautiful fragment of verse composed by Coleridge on awakening from a sleep in which he had dreamed these wonders.
NOTE 6. Lucy. The five poems written by Wordsworth to the unknown “Lucy"
are among the most beautiful of English lyrics. Though they reveal little beyond her early death, they have made her name a living power in song.
NOTE 7. To a Child of Quality, Five Years Old. Nothing is known of this famous little lady, save that she was long thought to have belonged to the Dorset family. The poem has been pronounced by critics one of the prettiest of all nursery idyls.
NOTE 8. The Destruction of Sennacherib. It is worth while to notice the strength and simplicity of Byron's language in this noble poem.
NOTE 9. Song. Supposed to be sung by one of Robin Hood's outlawed band in merry Sherwood Forest.
NOTE 10. Old Ironsides. This was the popular name by which the famous frigate Constitution was known.
NOTE 11. Rime of the Ancient Mariner. The finest of modern ballads. It first appeared in a little volume entitled “ Lyrical Ballads," published by Wordsworth and Coleridge ; and while many people marveled at its weird extravagance, true critics, like Charles Lamb, recognized it at once as a masterpiece.
NOTE 12. Elegy written in a Country Churchyard. Gray's reputation as a poet rests principally on this famous elegy - a strong and sure foundation. It is a poem absoe lutely perfect of its kind.
NOTE 13. Jenny Kissed Me. Jenny " is said to have been Jane Welsh Carlyle, wife of the historian, Thomas Carlyle, a very brilliant and charming
NOTE 14. The Colubriad. The Colubriad means the history or story of a snake, cõlūbra being the Latin word for a female adder or viper.
NOTE 15. Hohenlinden. A village in Upper Bavaria, where, on the 3d of December, 1800, the French general Moldeau met and defeated the archduke John of Austria.
NOTE 16. The Burial of Sir John Moore at Corunna. Sir John Moore, a British general, lost his life in Spain, fighting against Napoleon's victorious army. The French built him a tomb at Corunna, with this simple and noble inscription :
Slain in Battle,
NOTE 17. Telling the Bees. In old times it was the common custom, when a member of the household died, to inform the bees of the death, and drape their hives with black. Otherwise, it was thought, they would fly away.
NOTE 18. On a Favorite Cat, drowned in a Tub of Gold
fishes. These delightful verses were sent by Gray in a letter to Horace Walpole, who had written to the poet that his “handsome cat had been drowned in a bowl of goldfishes. Several copies of the poem, in Gray's handwriting, are in ex istence.