The Cottager (III)

He deems it sin to sing, yet not to say
A song--a mighty difference in his way.
And many a moving tale in antique rhymes
He has for Christmas and such merry times,
When "Chevy Chase," his masterpiece of song,
Is said so earnest none can think it long.
Twas the old vicar's way who should be right,
For the late vicar was his heart's delight,
And while at church he often shakes his head
To think what sermons the old vicar made,
Downright and orthodox that all the land
Who had their ears to hear might understand,
But now such mighty learning meets his ears
He thinks it Greek or Latin which he hears,
Yet church receives him every sabbath day
And rain or snow he never keeps away.

1 comment:

Roger R. said...

One of the oldest of English ballads, Chevy Chase recounts a stag hunt on Cheviot. Praised by writers Sir Philip Sydney, Ben Jonson and Joseph Addison, the precise events described in the ballad are uncertain but clearly relate to the bitter rivalry between the Percy and Douglas families.