THE RIDE TO CHURCH
Of leaden-coloured cloud aside. All jubilant they watched him ride, For see, the land was glorified :
The morning pulsed with youth and mirth, It was as though upon the earth A new and gladder age had birth.
The lark exulted in the blue,
Triumphantly the rooster crew,
The chimneys laughed, the sparks up-flew ;
And rolling westward out of sight,
Like billows of majestic height,
The Downs, transfigured in the light,
Seemed such a garb of joy to wear,
So young and radiant an air,
God might but just have set them there.
Sir Herbert Springett, Ringmer's squire, (No better man in all the shire)— He too was filled with kindling fire,
Which, working in him, did incite The worthy and capacious knight To doughty deeds of appetite.
Sir Herbert's lady watched her lord Range mightily about the board Which she of her abundance stored,
(The Lady Barbara, for whom The blossoms of the simple-room Diffused their friendliest perfume,
Than who none quicklier heard the call Of true distress, and left the Hall Eager to do her gentle all,
WThen village patients needed aid. And O the rich Marchpane she made ! And O the rare quince marmalade !)
Just as the squire was satisfied,
The noise of feet was heard outside ;
A knock. " Come in ! " Sir Herbert cried.