Archive for May 21st, 2017

The Raven, Part Two!

May 21, 2017

Here is the finishing part of the poem “The Raven,” generally attributed to Thomas, the sixth Earl of Harrington (circa 1730).  Enjoy!

The Raven (Part 2)

Poor Sally trembled for her eyes,
She knew papa would tell no lies,
Yet she was sure she could not keep
(If she sat down) her eyes from sleep;
So to the field she weeping went,
Oppressed with grief and discontent;
But, ere that she had walked a mile,
The changeling thought upon a wile
To save her eyes from all mishap,
Yet get a comfortable nap.

Upon her back she laid her down,
Pulled up her petticoat and gown,
Her milk-white smock and apron blue,
All these quite over her heat she threw,
To guard her eyes (her greatest care)
She left her other members bare.

As thus she lay upon the plain,
Chance brought that way a youthful swain,
Who, quite astonished at the sight,
Viewed Sally’s limbs with great delight;
That it was Sally well he knew,
Both by her gown and apron blue;
He long had loved the charming maid,
But of her folly was afraid,
And could not think to pass his life,
With such a silly simple wife.
Oft he had met the beauteous dame,
As oft had whispered her his flame,
Had leered upon her, squeezed her hand,
Yet could not make her understand
His meaning, other being by,
And wanted opportunity;
Now, seeing how the fair one lay,
He could no longer bear delay,
Nor wait to gaze upon her charms,
But rushed at once into her arms.

The idiot waked with great surprise,
And thought the raven picked her eyes,
But when she found that theyt were safe,
The silly fool began to laugh;
Nor did she in the least complain,
Although he put her to some pain;
But, stammering, said, “You graceless bird,
“And while you nibble at that part,
“You’re welcome to it with all my heart;
“Although you had a longer beak:
“I own it is of monstrous size,
“But yet too short to reach my eyes.”

Note: printed on the page following the title page was the following: “from a collection of poems that have been generally ascribed to Thomas, sixth Earl of Harrington. He was the son of Charles, the fifth Earl, and Margaret Lesslie, Countess of Rothes; and fought on the Royal side at the battle of Shirreffmuir, along with his brother John Lesslie, Earl of Rothes, and his own son, Lord Binning. These poems, according to Pinkerton, were printed about 1730, and have been reprinted in 1753, 1765, 1767, and 1777. He was also the author of Mia treatise on forest trees, which has gone through several editions. He died in 1735.” However, if these dates are correct (and I am by no means an expert historian in such matters), these poems could only have been written by either the first or second Earl of Harrington (William Stanhope and W.S. Jr.).