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Crotchet Castle

Now the charms of gold,
Spells of pride and fashion,
Bid them say good morrow
To the best-loved maid.
Through the forests wild,
O'er the mountains lonely,
They were never weary
Honour to pursue.
If the damsel smiled
Once in seven years only,
All their wanderings dreary
Ample guerdon knew.
Now one day's caprice
Weighs down years of smiling,
Youthful hearts are rovers,
Love is bought and sold:
Fortune's gifts may cease,
Love is less beguiling;
Wisest were the lovers
In the days of old.
The glance which she threw at the captain, as she sang the last verse, awakened
his dormant hopes. Looking round for his rival, he saw that he was not in the hall;
and, approaching the lady of his heart, he received one of the sweetest smiles of
their earlier days.
After a time, the ladies, and all the females of the party, retired. The males
remained on duty with punch and wassail, and dropped off one by one into sweet
forgetfulness; so that when the rising sun of December looked through the
painted windows on mouldering embers and flickering lamps, the vaulted roof
was echoing to a mellifluous concert of noses, from the clarionet of the waiting-
boy at one end of the hall, to the double bass of the Reverend Doctor, ringing
over the empty punch-bowl, at the other.
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