Baron's Yule Feast
By Thomas Cooper
Baron's Yule Feast:
THE COUNTESS OF BLESSINGTON.
Lady, receive a tributary lay
From one who cringeth not to titled state
Conventional, and lacketh will to prate
Of comeliness--though thine, to which did pay
The haughty Childe his tuneful homage, may
No minstrel deem a harp-theme derogate.
I reckon thee among the truly great
And fair, because with genius thou dost sway
The thought of thousands, while thy noble heart
With pity glows for Suffering, and with zeal
Cordial relief and solace to impart.
Thou didst, while I rehearsed Toil's wrongs, reveal
Such yearnings! Plead! let England hear thee plead
With eloquent tongue,--that Toil from wrong be freed!
Several pieces in the following Rhyme were written many years ago, and
will be recognised by my early friends. They were the fruit of
impressions derived from the local associations of boyhood, (of which,
the reader, if inclined, may learn more in the notes,) and of an
admiration created by the exquisite beauty and simplicity of Coleridge's
'Christabel,'--which I had by heart, and used to repeat to Thomas
Miller, my playmate and companion from infancy, during many a delightful
'Day in the Woods,' and pleasing ramble on the hills and in the woods
above Gainsborough, and along the banks of Trent.
I offer but one apology for the production of a metrical essay, composed
chiefly of imperfect and immature pieces:--the ambition to contribute
towards the fund of Christmas entertainment, in which agreeable labour I
see many popular names engaged,--and among them, one, the most
deservedly popular in the literature of the day. The favour with which
an influential portion of the press has received my 'Prison Rhyme'
emboldens me to take this step; and if the flagellation of criticism be
not too keenly dealt upon me for the imperfections in the few pages that
follow, I will be content, in this instance, to expect no praise.
134, _Blackfriars Road_,
_Dec. 20. 1845_.
BARON'S YULE FEAST.
Right beautiful is Torksey's hall,
Adown by meadowed Trent;
Right beautiful that mouldering wall,
And remnant of a turret tall,
Shorn of its battlement.
For, while the children of the Spring
Blush into life, and die;
And Summer's joy-birds take light wing
When Autumn mists are nigh;
And soon the year--a winterling--
With its fall'n leaves doth lie;
That ruin gray--
Deep in the silver stream,
Doth summon weird-wrought visions vast,
That show the actors of the past
Pictured, as in a dream.
Meseemeth, now, before mine eyes,
The pomp-clad phantoms dimly rise,