David Mallet

David Mallet Poems

'Twas at the silent, solemn hour,
When night and morning meet;
In glided Margaret's grimly ghost,
And stood at William's feet.

Among the numerous fools, by Fate design'd
Oft to disturb, and oft divert, mankind,
The reading coxcomb is of special note,

Astrea, eldest born of Jove,
Whom all the gods revere and love,
Was sent, while man deserv'd their care,
On earth to dwell, and govern there:

David Mallet Biography

David Mallet (or Malloch) (c.1705–1765) was a Scottish dramatist. He was educated at the University of Edinburgh, and went to London in 1723 to work as a private tutor. There he became friendly with Alexander Pope, James Thomson, and other literary figures. His best-known work was written in the same year: William and Margaret, adapted from a traditional ballad. In 1740, he collaborated with Thomson on a masque, Alfred, which was the vehicle for "Rule, Britannia!". His other plays and poetry (e.g. Amyntor and Theodora), popular at the time, are largely forgotten (see Samuel Johnson's Lives of the Poets), but he was a significant enough figure to be chosen by Henry St John, Viscount Bolingbroke as his literary executor. Bolingbroke's writings were edited and published by Mallet in 1754.)

The Best Poem Of David Mallet

Margaret's Ghost

'Twas at the silent, solemn hour,
When night and morning meet;
In glided Margaret's grimly ghost,
And stood at William's feet.

Her face was like an April morn
Clad in a wintry cloud;
And clay-cold was her lily hand
That held her sable shrowd.

So shall the fairest face appear,
When youth and years are flown;
Such is the robe that kings must wear,
When death has reft their crown.

Her bloom was like the springing flower,
That sips the silver dew;
The rose was budded in her cheek;
Just opening to the view.

But love had, like the canker-worm,
Consum'd her early prime:
The rose grew pale and left her cheek;
She dy'd before her time.

'Awake!' she cry'd, 'thy true love calls,
Come from her midnight grave;
Now let thy pity hear the maid
Thy love refus'd to save.

'This is the dark and dreary hour
When injur'd ghosts complain;
Now yawning graves give up their dead,
To haunt the faithless swain.

'Bethink thee, William, of thy fault,
Thy pledge and broken oath;
And give me back my maiden vow,
And give me back my troth.

'Why did you promise love to me,
And not that promise keep?
Why did you swear mine eyes were bright,
Yet leave those eyes to weep?

'How could you say my face was fair,
And yet that face forsake?
How could you win my virgin heart,
Yet leave that heart to break?

'Why did you say my lip was sweet,
And made the scarlet pale?
And why did I, young witless maid,
Believe the flattering tale?

'That face, alas! no more is fair;
These lips no longer red;
Dark are my eyes, now clos'd in death,
And every charm is fled.

'The hungry worm my sister is;
This winding-sheet I wear;
And cold and weary lasts our night,
Till that last morn appear.

'But hark! the cook has warn'd me hence!
A long and last adieu!
Come see, false man, how low she lies,
Who dy'd for love of you.'

The lark sung loud; the morning smil'd
With beams of rosy red;
Pale William shook in ev'ry limb,
And raving left his bed.

He hyed him to the fatal place
Where Margaret's body lay,
And stretch'd him on the grass-green turf,
That wrapt her breathless clay;

And thrice he call'd on Margaret's name,
And thrice he wept full sore;
Then laid his cheek to her cold grave,
And word spake never more.

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