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Sweet! sweet! spikenard, and balm, and frankincense.
That I am whole, and clean, and meet for Heaven.
For by the warning of the Holy Ghost,
But thou, O Lord,
Aid all this foolish people; let them take
THE TALKING OAK.
ONCE more the gate behind me falls ;
Once more before my face
I see the moulder'd Abbey-walls,
That stand within the chace.
Beyond the lodge the city lies,
Beneath its drift of smoke ;
And ah! with what delighted eyes
I turn to yonder oak.
For when my passion first began,
Ere that, which in me burn'd,
The love, that makes me thrice a man, Could hope itself return'd;
To yonder oak within the field
I spoke without restraint,
And with a larger faith appeal'd
Than Papist unto Saint.
For oft I talk'd with him apart,
Until he plagiarised a heart,
And answer'd with a voice.
Tho' what he whisper'd under Heaven
None else could understand;
I found him garrulously given,
A babbler in the land.
But since I heard him make reply
Is many a weary hour;
'Twere well to question him, and try If yet he keeps the power.
Hail, hidden to the knees in fern,
Broad Oak of Sumner-chace,
Whose topmost branches can discern
The roofs of Sumner-place!
Say thou, whereon I carved her name,
If ever maid or spouse,
As fair as my Olivia, came
To rest beneath thy boughs.
“O Walter, I have shelter'd here
Whatever maiden grace
The good old Summers, year by year,
"Old Summers, when the monk was fat,
And, issuing shorn and sleek,
Would twist his girdle tight, and pat
The girls upon the cheek,
"Ere yet, in scorn of Peter's-pence,
And number'd bead, and shrift, Bluff Harry broke into the spence,
And turn'd the cowls adrift:
"And I have seen some score of those
Fresh faces, that would thrive
When his man-minded offset rose
To chase the deer at five ;
"And all that from the town would stroll,
Till that wild wind made work
In which the gloomy brewer's soul
Went by me, like
a stork :
"The slight she-slips of loyal blood,
And others, passing praise,
Strait-laced, but all-too-full in bud
For puritanic stays: