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Which starts your fancy into play.
My locks, you see, are somewhat gray:

What touches you on me is lost. This white hair drives romance away,

As flowers are driven by the frost. But if a tale would please your ear, There's one which you are free to hear.

Within a little, secret drawer
Of this black, antique escritoir,
I found a simple golden case,
Which held the semblance of a face
So wondrous in its wild attire

Of floating robe and flying hair,

that thrilled the very air
To pleasure with their starry fire,
That instantly the long-passed name
Blazed on my memory like a flame;

And old traditions, dimmed by years, Breathed from invisible lips there came,

And lingered in my credulous ears, And night and day disturbed my soul, Until, perforce, I wrote the whole: That is the picture,—this the scroll.

Draw near; and let wild Autumn blow:

He does but fan the lighted pyre:

Between the warmth of wine and fire Perchance the verse may thaw and flow

From off the visionary lyre As in the days of long ago.



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My grandsire, when he built the place,

Sir Hugh, (you may behold him there,

With ruffles, cue, and powdered hair, And proper

blandness on his face,) Was Tory, and his loyal soul

No rebel dream could e'er beguile: He would have had the land in whole, Colossal, touching either pole,

A likeness of his native isle! Hence the Elizabethan gables, The lawns, the elms, the antique stables, And all this lumber called virtu, This old time frowning down the new.

But, ere I tell you more of him,

Or point the objects strange and quaint,

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