Kentish Mary: A Ballad


Ye who urge harsh rules of duty,
Deeming love a childish thing;
Rebels to the reign of beauty
Listen to the song I sing.
Happy day! and means how glorious!5
(Weeping ’midst her auburn hair)
Kentish Mary rose victorious,
Rose with honour from despair.
Her William loved, their hearts were pairs,
And well his diamond-worth she knew;10
—And what can purchase joy like theirs?
—Not all the gems that ever grew.
Yet was the union of their hands,
From motives which must still be hid,
By her fond father’s stern commands15
At once delay’d, opposed, forbid!
—‘Strive, children, to forget your loves,
Let passion cool, and reason reign.’
—They strove; but time for ever proves
That Nature will her rights maintain.20
She sought (as gloomy sorrow bade),
Far in the Weald, a lonely spot,
Beneath the oak’s primeval shade,
To rest till grief should be forgot.
Vain thought! The soul’s calamity25
The suff’ring frame must ever share!
Sickness bedimm’d her hazel eye;
—In truth, ’twas more than she could bear.
Who now shall visit Mary? Who
Bring comfort to her lone abode?30
William at once resolved to go,
And passion spurr’d him on the road.
—Their late resolves, with health gave way,
And Pity lent her powerful aid;
And every moment seem’d a day,35
Till he could clasp his drooping maid.
O! sweet was then the stolen pleasure!
Conscious honour, love, and fears!
His—fond vows beyond all measure,
Hers—the luxury of tears!40