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Morning Excursion-Lady at Silford, who ?_Reflections on Delay

-Cecilia and Henry—The Lovers contracted—Visit to the Patron-Whom he finds there—Fanny described—The yielding of Vanity—Delay-Resentment-Want of Resolution-Further Entanglement_Danger-How met-Conclusion.

TALES OF THE HALL.

BOOK XIII.

DELAY HAS DANGER.

THREE weeks had pass'd, and Richard rambles now
Far as the dinners of the day allow;
He rode to Farley Grange and Finley Mere,
That house so ancient, and that lake so clear :
He rode to Ripley through that river gay,
Where in the shallow stream the loaches play,
And stony fragments stay the winding stream,
And gilded pebbles at the bottom gleam,
Giving their yellow surface to the sun,
And making proud the waters as they run:
It is a lovely place, and at the side
Rises a mountain-rock in rugged pride;
And in that rock are shapes of shells, and forms
Of creatures in old worlds, of nameless worms,

Whose generations lived and died ere man,
A worm of other class, to crawl began.

There is a town callid Silford, where his steed
Our traveller rested—He the while would feed
His mind by walking to and fro, to meet,
He knew not what adventure, in the street:
A stranger there, but yet a window-view
Gave him a face that he conceived he knew;
He saw a tall, fair, lovely lady, dress’d
As one whom taste and wealth had jointly bless'd;
He gazed, but soon a footman at the door
Thundering, alarm’d her, who was seen no more.

“ This was the lady whom her lover bound “ In solemn contract, and then proved unsound: « Of this affair I have a clouded view, “ And should be glad to have it clear'd by you."

So Richard spake, and instant George replied,
“ I had the story from the injured side,
- But when resentment and regret were gone,
“ And pity (shaded by contempt) came on.

“ Frail was the hero of my tale, but still
“ Was rather drawn by accident than will;

“ Some without meaning into guilt advance, From want of guard, from vanity, from chance; “ Man's weakness flies his more immediate pain, A little respite from his fears to gain ; “ And takes the part that he would gladly fly, “ If he had strength and courage to deny.

“ But now my tale, and let the moral say, “ When hope can sleep, there's Danger in Delay. “ Not that for rashness, Richard, I would plead, “ For unadvised alliance: No, indeed: Think ere the contract—but, contracted, stand No more debating, take the ready hand: • When hearts are willing, and when fears subside, “ Trust not to time, but let the knot be tied; - For when a lover has no more to do, • He thinks in leisure, what shall I pursue? “ And then who knows what objects come in view ? “ For when, assured, the man has nought to keep “ His wishes warm and active, then they sleep:

Hopes die with fears; and then a man must lose “ All the gay visions, and delicious views, « Once his mind's wealth! He travels at his ease, “ Nor horrors now nor fairy-beauty sees; “ When the kind goddess gives the wish'd assent, - No mortal business should the deed prevent;

VOL. II.

M

“ But the bless'd youth should legal sanction seek . “ Ere yet th' assenting blush has filed the cheek.

“ And-hear me, Richard,-man has reptile-pride “ That often rises when his fears subside; “ When, like a trader feeling rich, he now Neglects his former smile, his humble bow, “ And, conscious of his hoarded wealth, assumes “ New airs, nor thinks how odious he becomes.

“ There is a wandering, wavering train of thought “ That something seeks where nothing should be sought, “ And will a self-delighted spirit move “ To dare the danger of pernicious love.

“ First be it granted all was duly said
“ By the fond youth to the believing maid;
Let us suppose with many a sigh there canne
- The declaration of the deathless flame;-
“ And so her answer— She was happy then,
« « Bless'd in herself, and did not think of men;
“And with such comforts in her present state,
"A wish to change it was to tempt her fate;

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