Poems: Old and New

by Frederick George Scott




LOVE met a swain that drove his load,
   When evening shades were falling,
And in the trees above the road
   The rooks were loudly calling.

He sauntered by his lumbering cart,

   A simple swain and burly,
Ill formed to play a lover’s part,
   His manners coarse and surly.

He did not see the autumn gold
   That strewed the leafy alley,

He cared not for the tints untold
   That lit the sunset valley.

His buskins were all grey with dust,
   His smock was black and gritty;
Though in his mouth a pipe was thrust,

   He hummed a country ditty. [Page 121]

“Good morrow, gentle sir,” said Love,
   “I fear you’ll count me stupid,”
(The rooks laughed in the trees above—
   They knew the voice of Cupid.)



“I’ve lost my way, good sir, to-night,
   And don’t know where to find it;
You see that hill that fades from sight,
   My house lies just behind it.

“O, good sir, as your heart is true,

   Take pity on my sorrow;
Let me to-night go home with you,
    And I will leave to-morrow.”

The swain, content a friend to see,
   Though wishing he were older,

“Get up, my little man,” quoth he,
   And perched him on his shoulder.

Ah me! how sweet that evening walk,
   With young Love softly smiling
Upon his arm, and with fair talk

   The weary hours beguiling. [Page 122]

Poor swain, he saw with wondering eyes
   The valley filled with splendour,
And in the love-light of the skies
    His heart grew soft and tender.



But on the morrow Love had gone,
   Since then he comes back never;
The simple heart he rested on
    Now aches and aches forever. [Page 123]