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He fought the boys that were rude, an' I loved him

better than all. Passionate girl tho' I was, an' often at home in disgrace, I never could quarrel with Harry—I had but to look in

his face.


There was a farmer in Dorset of Harry's kin, that had need Of a good stout lad at his farm; he sent, an' the father

agreed; So Harry was bound to the Dorsetshire farm for years

an' for years; I walked with him down to the quay, poor lad, an’ we

parted in tears. The boat was beginning to move, we heard them a-ringing

the bell, "I'll never love any but you, God bless you, my own

little Nell.”


I was a child, an' he was a child, an' he came to harm; There was a girl, a hussy, that workt with him up at

the farm, One had deceived her an' left her alone with her sin an'

her shame, And so she was wicked with Harry; the girl was the

most to blame.


And years went over till I that was little had grown so tall, The men would say of the maids, “Our Nelly's the flower

of 'em all.” I didn't take heed o' them, but I taught myself all I could To make a good wife for Harry, when Harry came home

for good.


Often I seem'd unhappy, and often as happy too,
For I heard it abroad in the fields “I'll never love any

but you;” “I'll never love any but you” the morning song of the lark, “I'll never love any but you” the nightingale's hymn in

the dark.


And Harry came home at last, but he look'd at me

sidelong and shy, Vext me a bit, till he told me that so many years had

gone by,

I had grown so handsome and tall—that I might ha’

forgot him somehow-For he thought—there were other lads—he was fear'd

to look at me now.


Hard was the frost in the field, we were married o’

Christmas day, Married among the red berries, an' all as merry as May-Those were the pleasant times, my house an' my man

were my pride, We seem'd like ships i the Channel a-sailing with wind

an' tide.


But work was scant in the Isle, tho' he tried the villages

round, So Harry went over the Solent to see if work could be

found; An' he wrote “I ha' six weeks' work, little wife, so far

as I know; I'll come for an hour to-morrow, an' kiss you before I go.”


So I set to righting the house, for wasn't he coming

that day? An' I hit on an old deal-box that was pus’hd in a corner

away, It was full of old odds an ends, an'a letter along wi'

the rest, I had better ha' put my naked hand in a hornets' nest.

XI. “Sweetheart"—this was the letter--this was the letter I

read“You promised to find me work near you, an' I wish I

was deadDidn't

you kiss me an' promise? you haven't done it,

my lad,

An' I almost died o’ your going away, an' I wish that

I had.”


I too wish that I had—in the pleasant times that had past, Before I quarrellid with Harry-my quarrel-the first an'

the last.


For Harry came in, an' I fung him the letter that drove

me wild, An' he told it me all at once, as simple as any child, “What can it matter, my lass, what I did wi' my single life? I ha' been as true to you as ever a man to his wife; An' she wasn't one o' the worst." "Then,” I said, "I'm

none o' the best.” An' he smiled at me, "Ain't you, my love? Come, come,

little wife, let it rest! The man isn't like the woman, no need to make such

a stir.” Jiriczek, Englische Dichter.


But he anger'd me all the more, an' I said “You were

keeping with her, When I was a loving you all along an' the same as before.” An' he didn't speak for a while, an' he anger'd me more

and more. Then he patted my hand in his gentle way, “Let by

gones be!”

“Bygones! you kept yours hush’d,” I said, "when you

married me! By-gones ma’ be come-agains; an' she-in her shame an'

her sin You'll have her to nurse my child, if I die o' my lying in! You'll make her its second mother! I hate her-an' I

hate you!" Ah, Harry, my man, you had better ha' beaten me black

an' blue Than ha' spoken as kind as you did, when I were so

crazy wi' spite, “Wait a little, my lass, I am sure it ’ill all come right.”


An' he took three turns in the rain, an' I watch'd him,

an' when he came in I felt that my heart was hard, he was all wet thro’ to

the skin, An' I never said “off wi' the wet,” I never said "on wi'

the dry," So I knew my heart was hard, when he came to bid me

goodbye. “You said that you hated me, Ellen, but that isn't true,

you know;

I am going to leave you a bit-you'll kiss me before

I go?”


“Going! you're going to her-kiss her—if you will,”

I said

I was near my time wi' the boy, I must ha' been light

i' my head“I had sooner be cursed than kiss'd!”—I didn't know

well what I meant, But I turn'd my face from him, an' he turn’d his face an’

he went.


And then he sent me a letter, “I've gotten my work to do; You wouldn't kiss me, my lass, an' I never loved any

but you;

I am sorry for all the quarrel an' sorry for what she wrote, I ha' six weeks' work in Jersey an' go to-night by the



An' the wind began to rise, an' I thought of him out

at sea, An' I felt I had been to blame; he was always kind to me. "Wait a little, my lass, I am sure it ’ill all come right”— An' the boat went down that night-the boat went down

that night.

(Ballads and Poems 1880.]

I was the chief of the race—he had stricken my father

dead But I gather'd my fellows together, I swore I would

strike off his head. Each of them look'd like a king, and was noble in birth

as in worth, And each of them boasted he sprang from the oldest

race upon earth.

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