Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE COUNTRY LOVERS; OR, ISAAC AND MARGET GOING TO TOWN, by GEORGE SMITH



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THE COUNTRY LOVERS; OR, ISAAC AND MARGET GOING TO TOWN, by            
First Line: Come! Marget, come! - the team is at the gate!
Last Line: They'll meet us ere we leave the narrow way.
Subject(s): Cattle; Farm Life; Love; Agriculture; Farmers


Isaac COME! Marget, come!—the team is at the gate!
Not ready yet!—you always make me wait!
Marget It is not later than the time you set;
For see the hour-glass!—see, 'tis running yet.
It took me up more time to feed thy jay
Than you for Marget willingly would stay.
But when he learns to talk, his head I'll fill
With words to make thee mannerly!—I will!
Isaac I called indeed, and seemed to chide thy stay,
For fear my love should lose the prime of day;
When lab'ring bees to flow'ry fields repair,
To gather sweets that scent the morning air.
Already o'er yon hill the sun appears,
And through the fruit-trees gilds the yoking steers.
See on the kitchen wall, with ballads gay,
The early sunbeams quiver through the spray.
Now Rosamond they leave, and sink apace,
To tremble on the lines of Chevy Chase.
'Tis five exactly when they gild the tack
That holds this corner of the Almanac.
Marget I've nothing now to do but fetch my hood;
For thick will fall the dewdrops in the wood.
But soon, I fear, we shall complain of heat,
When up the ferny hill our cattle sweat.
There, with the sun, the ground is russet dry,
And dust in clouds will round the waggon fly.
No friendly trees are there, no bush, no briar,
To whose kind shade the trav'ler might retire.
Isaac But then we reach the cooling hollow way,
Where silver rills through shady channels play;
Where mossy shrubs are dressed in all their pride,
And hanging maples deck the sloping side;
There thy delight, the wrens, steal out and sing,
Making the little ivied caverns ring.
Above the spreading oaks thick branches meet,
Whose lofty bow'r excludes the sultry heat.
There my delight, the waving rook'ry, rings,
While the young nestlings learn to use their wings.
Marget Well, now I'm ready, long I have not stayed.
Isaac One kiss before we go, my pretty maid.
Marget Go!—don't be foolish, Isaac—get away!
Who loiters now?—I thought you could not stay!
There—that's enough! why, Isaac, sure you're mad!
Isaac One more, my dearest girl—
Marget Be quiet, lad.
See both my cap and hair are rumpled o'er!
The tying of my beads is got before!
Isaac There let it stay, thy brighter blush to show,
Which shames the cherry-coloured silken bow.
Thy lips, which seem the scarlet's hue to steal,
Are sweeter than the candied lemon peel.
Marget Pray take these chickens for me to the cart;
Dear little creatures, how it grieves my heart
To see them tied, that never knew a crime,
And formed so fine a flock at feeding time!
Isaac See, I have made thee up a flow'ry seat
With full-blown clover, cut at noon-tide heat.
Here's weather for thee, love, to go to town!
How many larks are warbling o'er the down!
The sportive robins too, along the way,
Billing each other, rise in wanton play.
While all along the vale, on either side,
Within the hedges dressed in flow'ry pride,
The coupled finches make the coverts ring
With love's fond notes, which they in transport sing;
Or to their nests the mossy spoils convey,
While in the glossy rills their shadows play.
It makes me think of marriage—don't it you,
To see them fly and settle two and two?
Marget Why dost thou wear that dirty frock to town?
The folk will jeer me, and my friends will frown.
Well! thou shalt by and by be cleaner seen!
Isaac When we are married, Marget, don't you mean?
If you desired that happy day like me,
Thy kindred soon a whiter frock would see.
My anxious thoughts would soon be lulled to rest,
And gentle quiet lodge within my breast.
Then come, my fair one, bless my kind retreat;
My tufted daisies long to kiss thy feet.
My oaks in whisp'ring sighs lament thy stay,
And chiding riv'lets mourn thy long delay.
My bees forsake their hives, to thee they fly,
Or in thy absence on the roses die.
Come then, thou richest rosebud nature yields,
And charm my vagrants to their native fields.
Gay to thy wish, my shrub-dressed cottage glows,
With lilacs, woodbines and the blushing rose.
The soft-fringed pinks before my threshold bloom,
And cooling breezes waft a rich perfume.
In knots of box, and figured beds of bone,
A thousand tulips now are finely blown.
Let then thy hand its flow'ry skill display,
To deck my hearth, and make my windows gay.
Ah! come and hear the music of the rills,
Their tuneful murmurs down the stony hills.
These soft transparent waters sweet and cool
O'er shining pebbles hasten to my pool,
Whose crystal bosom, undisturbed with foam,
Reflects the shadow of my peaceful home.
There, pleased with thee, my ducks in idle freaks
Will deck the dancing shades with silver streaks.
My cattle there from pasture come to drink;
There wait the milker's hand beside the brink.
Ah! when wilt thou on my delightful green,
At early morn and ev'ning's close, be seen
To drain the swelling udders of my kine,
And join thy dear, thy pleasing tasks with mine?
Marget Before the green-dressed hazel changes pale,
And nimble squirrels nut along the dale:
Before thy apples with red speckles shine,
Or purple clusters ripen on the vine:
Before thy fav'rite lime begins to fade,
Or sweating reapers seek the cooling shade;
Isaac shall see me coming to his bow'r,
Not to return again at ev'ning hour.
Isaac Oh! happy time!—how pleasing will it be,
To gather in the ripened grain with thee!
When noontide heats the reapers' strength invade,
With thee to seek the cool refreshing shade;
When breezes learn to whisper Marget's vows,
And bear them gladly through the waving boughs;
'Twill make me truly happy, truly blest,
With thee to labour, and with thee to rest.
Marget But when the labours of that month are o'er,
My lap I'll spread to catch thy orchard's store;
A pleasing task!—when days, nor hot nor cold,
Adorn the juicy pippin's rind with gold.
When from the chimney-tops, at op'ning day,
The playful swallows sing a parting lay;
Gath'ring in flocks to cross the wat'ry main,
Till flow'ry April brings them back again.
Isaac For thee the press with apple-juice shall foam!
For thee the bees shall quit their honeycomb!
For thee the elder's purple fruit shall grow!
For thee the pails with cream shall overflow!
But see yon teams, returning from the town,
Wind in the chalky wheel-ruts o'er the down:
We now must haste; for if we longer stay,
They'll meet us ere we leave the narrow way.





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