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The Baron's Yule Feast: A Christmas Rhyme   By: (1805-1892)

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Baron's Yule Feast.

LONDON: Printed by A. SPOTTISWOODE, New Street Square.

The Baron's Yule Feast: A Christmas Rhyme.

By Thomas Cooper, The Chartist.


209 Picadilley 1846



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 .


A Christmas Rhyme.


Right beautiful is Torksey's hall,[1] 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 Mirror'd, alway, 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, Till the full pageant bright A throng of warrior barons bold, Glittering in burnished steel and gold, Bursts on my glowing sight.

And, mingles with the martial train, Full many a fair tressed beauty vain, On palfrey and jennet That proudly toss the tasselled rein, And daintily curvet; And war steeds prance, And rich plumes glance On helm and burgonet; And lances crash, And falchions flash Of knights in tourney met.

Fast fades the joust! and fierce forms frown That man the leaguered tower, Nor quail to scan the kingly crown That leads the leaguering power.

Trumpet and "rescue" ring! and, soon, He who began the strife Is fain to crave one paltry boon: The thrall king begs his life!

Our fathers and their throbbing toil Are hushed in pulseless death; Hushed is the dire and deadly broil The tempest of their wrath; Yet, of their deeds not all for spoil Is thine, O sateless Grave! Songs of their brother hours shall foil Thy triumph o'er the brave!

Their bravery take, and darkly hide Deep in thy inmost hold! Take all their mail√ęd pomp and pride To deck thy mansions cold! Plunderer! thou hast but purified Their memories from alloy: Faults of the dead we scorn to chide Their virtues sing with joy... Continue reading book >>

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