Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE MAID OF THE MOOR, OR THE WATER-FIENDS, SELECTION, by GEORGE COLMAN THE YOUNGER



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THE MAID OF THE MOOR, OR THE WATER-FIENDS, SELECTION, by            
First Line: Cold blows the blast - the night's obscure
Last Line: Lies in the bottom of a well.
Subject(s): Absence; Death; Drowning; Grief; Household Employees; Solitude; Wells; Separation; Isolation; Dead, The; Sorrow; Sadness; Servants; Domestics; Maids; Loneliness


COLD blows the blast—the night's obscure;
The mansion's crazy wainscots crack;
The sun had sunk—and all the Moor,
Like ev'ry other Moor—was black.

Alone, pale, trembling, near the fire,
The lovely Molly Dumpling sat;
Much did she fear, and much admire,
What Thomas Gard'ner could be at.

Listening, her hand supports her chin,
But, ah! no foot is heard to stir:
He comes not from the garden in,
Nor he, nor little Bobtail cur.

They cannot come, sweet maid, to thee!
Flesh, both of cur and man, is grass!
And what's impossible can't be,
And never, never, comes to pass!

She paces through the hall antique,
To call her Thomas from his toil;
Opes the huge door—the hinges creak—
Because the hinges wanted oil.

Thrice, on the threshold of the hall,
She 'Thomas' cried, with many a sob;
And thrice on Bobtail did she call,
Exclaiming sweetly—'Bob! Bob! Bob!'

Vain maid! a gard'ner's corpse, 'tis said,
In answers can but ill succeed;
And dogs that hear when they are dead
Are very cunning dogs, indeed!

Back through the hall she bent her way;
All, all was solitude around!
The candle shed a feeble ray—
Though a large mould of four to th' pound.

Full closely to the fire she drew;
Adown her cheek a salt tear stole;
When, lo! a coffin out there flew,
And in her apron burnt a hole!

Spiders their busy death-watch ticked,
A certain sign that fate will frown;
The clumsy kitchen clock, too, clicked,
A certain sign it was not down.

More strong and strong her terrors rose—
Her shadow did the maid appal;
She trembled at her lovely nose—
It looked so long against the wall.

Up to her chamber, damp and cold,
She climbed Lord Hoppergollop's stair;—
Three stories high, long, dull and old—
As great Lords' stories often are.

All nature now appeared to pause,
And 'o'er the one half world seemed dead';
No 'curtained sleep' had she—because
She had no curtains to her bed.

Listening she lay—with iron din,
The clock struck twelve; the door flew wide;
When Thomas grimly glided in,
With little Bobtail by his side.

Tall, like the poplar, was his size,
Green, green his waistcoat was, as leeks;
Red, red as beetroot, were his eyes,
And pale as turnips were his cheeks!

Soon as the spectre she espied,
The fear-struck damsel faintly said,
'What would my Thomas?'—he replied,
'O! Molly Dumpling! I am dead.

'All in the flower of youth I fell,
Cut off with health's full blossom crowned;
I was not ill—but in a well
I tumbled backwards, and was drowned.

'Four fathom deep thy love doth lie;
His faithful dog his fate doth share;
We're Fiends—this is not he and I;
We are not here—for we are there.

'Yes—two foul Water-Fiends are we;
Maid of the Moor! attend us now!
Thy hour's at hand—we come for thee!'
The little Fiend-Cur said 'bow wow!'

'To wind her in her cold, cold grave,
A Holland sheet a maiden likes;
A sheet of water thou shalt have;
Such sheets there are in Holland dykes.'

The Fiends approach; the Maid did shrink;
Swift through the night's foul air they spin;
They took her to the green well's brink,
And, with a souse, they plumped her in.

So true the fair, so true the youth,
Maids to this day their story tell:And hence the proverb rose that Truth
Lies in the bottom of a well.





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