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The kingfisher not straighter darts

Down the stream to his sweet mate's nest, Than our arrowy pinnace shoots and parts

The river's yielding breast.

We have passed the chalk-cliff on whose crown

The hermit's hut doth cling, And the bank, whose hanging woods look dowik

On the smile of Cliefden spring.

We are come where Hedsor's crested fount

Pours forth its babbling rill,
And where the charmed eye loves to mount

To the small church on the hill..

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O’er Marlow's loveliest vale they look,

And its spire that seeks the skies; And afar, to where in its meadow-nook.

Medmenham's Abbey lies.

Still on,

still on, as we smoothly glide, There are charms that woo the eye, Boughs waving green in the pictured tide,

And the blue reflected sky.

Swift dragon-flies, with their gauzy wings,

Flit glistening to and fro,
And murmuring hosts of moving things

O’er the waters glance and glow.

There are spots where nestle wild flowers small

With many a mingling gleam; Where the broad flag waves, and the bulrush tall

Nods still to the thrusting stream.

The Forget-me-not on the water's edge

Reveals her lovely hue,
Where the broken bank, between the sedge,

Is embroidered with her blue.

And in bays where matted foliage weaves

A shadowy arch on high,
Serene on broad and bronze-like leaves,

The virgin lilies lie.

Fair fall those bonny flowers! O how

I love their petals bright !
Smoother than Ariel's moonlit brow!

The Water-Nymph's delight!

Those milk-white cups with a golden core,

Like marble lamps, that throw
So soft a light on the bordering shore,

And the waves that round them flow!

Steadily, steadily, speeds our bark,

O’er the silvery whirls she springs; While merry as lay of morning lark

The watery carol rings.

Lo! a sailing swan, with a little fleet

Of cygnets by her side,
Pushing her snowy bosom sweet

Against the bubbling tide !

And see--was ever a lovelier sight ?

One little bird afloat
On its mother's back, 'neath her wing so white,

A beauteous living boat!

The threatful male, as he sails ahead,

Like a champion proud and brave,
Makes, with his ruffling wings outspread,

Fierce jerks along the wave.

He tramples the stream, as we pass him by,

In wrath from its surface springs,
And after our boat begins to fly

With loudly-flapping wings.

Gracefully, gracefully glides our bark,

And the curling current stems,
Where the willows cast their shadows dark,

And the ripples gleam like gems ;
Oh, there's many a charming scene so mark

From the bosom of Father Thames

The following powerful lines are better known, and serve to show the variety of Mr. Noel's talent.


There's a grim one-horse hearse in a jolly round trot;
To the churchyard a pauper is going, I wot;

The road it is rough, and the hearse has no springs,
And hark to the dirge that the sad driver sings :-

Rattle his bones over the stones;

He's only a pauper, whom nobody owns.
Oh, where are the mourners ? Alas! there are none;
He has left not a gap in the world now he's gone;
Not a tear in the eye of child, woman, or man :--
To the grave with his carcase as fast as you can.

Rattle his bones over the stones;

He's only a pauper, whom nobody owns.
What a jolting, and creaking, and splashing, and din 1
The whip how it cracks, and the wheels how they spin!
How the dirt right and left o'er the hedges is hurled !
The pauper at length makes a noise in the world.

Rattle his bones over the stones;

He's only a pauper, whom nobody owns.
Poor pauper defunct ! he has made some approach
To gentility, now that he's stretched in a coach ;
He's taking a drive in his carriage at last,
But it will not be long if he goes on so fast !

Rattle his bones over the stones ;
He's only a pauper, whom nobody owns.

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The author tells me that this incident was taken from the life. He witnessed such

funeral :-a coffin in a cart driven at full speed.

But a truce to this strain ! for my soul it is sad
To think that a heart in humanity clad
Should make, like the brutes, such a desolate end,
And depart from the light without leaving a friend.

Bear softly his bones over the stones,
Though a pauper, he's one whom his Maker yet owns.




As in the case of Ben Jonson, posterity values his writings for very different qualities from those which obtained his high reputation amongst his contemporaries, so it has happened to Cowley.

Praised in his day as a great poet, the head of the school of poets called metaphysical, he is now chiefly known by those prose essays, all too short and all too few, which, whether for thought or for expression, have rarely been excelled by any writer in any language. They are eminently distinguished for the grace, the finish, and the clearness which his verse too often wants. That there is one cry which pervades them—vanity of vanities! all is vanity !that there is an almost ostentatious longing for obscurity and retirement, may be accounted for by

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