4.Note well her smile!it edged the blade
Which fifty wives to widows made,
When, vain his strength and Mahounds spell
Iconiums turband Soldan fell.
Seest thou her locks, whose sunny glow
Half shows, half shades, her neck of snow?
Twines not of them one golden thread,
But for its sake a Paynim bled.
5.Joy to the fair!my name unknown,
Each deed, and all its praise thine own;
Then, oh! unbar this churlish gate,
The night dew falls, the hour is late.
Inured to Syrias glowing breath,
I feel the north breeze chill as death;
Let grateful love quell maiden shame,
And grant him bliss who brings thee fame.
During this performance, the hermit demeaned himself much like a first-rate critic of the present day at a new opera. He reclined back upon his seat, with his eyes half shut; now, folding his hands and twisting his thumbs, he seemed absorbed in attention, and anon, balancing his expanded palms, he gently flourished them in time to the music. At one or two favourite cadences, he threw in a little assistance of his own, where the knights voice seemed unable to carry the air so high as his worshipful taste approved. When the song was ended, the anchorite emphatically declared it a good one, and well sung.
And yet, said he, I think my Saxon countrymen had herded long enough with the Normans, to fall into the tone of their melancholy ditties. What took the honest knight from home? or what could he expect but to find his mistress agreeably engaged with a rival on his return, and his serenade, as they call it, as little regarded as the caterwauling of a cat in the gutter? Nevertheless, Sir Knight, I drink this cup to thee, to the success of all true loversI fear you are none, he added, on observing that the knight (whose brain began to be heated with these repeated draughts) qualified his flagon from the water pitcher.
Why, said the knight, did you not tell me that this water was from the well of your blessed patron, St. Dunstan?
Ay, truly, said the hermit, and many a hundred of pagans did he baptise there, but I never heard that he drank any of it. Everything should be put to its proper use in this world. St. Dunstan knew, as well as any one, the prerogatives of a jovial friar.
And so saying, he reached the harp, and entertained his guest with the following characteristic song, to a sort of derry-down chorus, appropriate to an old English ditty.2
The Barefooted Friar.
To search Europe through, from Byzantium to Spain;
But neer shall you find, should you search till you tire,
So happy a man as the Barefooted Friar.
And is brought home at even-song prickd through with a spear;
I confess him in hastefor his lady desires
No comfort on earth save the Barefooted Friars
To barter his robes for our cowl and our gown;
But which of us eer felt the idle desire
To exchange for a crown the gray hood of a Friar!
The land and its fatness is markd for his own;
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