THE MAID AND THE MAGPIE
an Interesting Tale
Founded on Facts
London. Published by G. Stevens, 10 Borough Road, Southwark.
At Palaiseau, there liv'd a maid, In form and features mild; The stings of conscience never prey'd, On this devoted child.
She serv'd a wealthy farmer there, An honest soul was he; Her comforts were his only care, And all he wish'd to see.
His wife was of another mould, And prematurely smart; Hasty, and rash, with that a scold, Yet still a feeling heart.
One summers eve', her labor done, She sat in pensive plight; Watching the clear declining sun, With rapt'rous delight.
'Twas then, that Blaisot trembling came And sitting by her side; Ventur'd to declare his flame, And ask her for his bride.
He told his tale of tender love, Then on her hand he sigh'd! Annette she blush'd, her love to prove And with his suit complied.
In mutual flame, their bosoms burn, He steals a rapt'rous kiss; When soon old Juliannes return, Distroy'd the lovers bliss.
By Farm-house door in wicker cage, A Magpie hung to view; Whose prattling tongue would oft assuage, The melancholy few.
Julianne now strict orders made, To clean up all the plate; Annette her orders quick obey'd And sought the outer gate.
Her Father who was sadly poor, And wander'd heedless were; Just at the moment reach'd the door, In wild, and deep dispair.
His wretched form, she knew full well, His voice she knew as soon; Her feelings now what pen can tell, She dropt both fork and spoon.
She rush'd distracted to his arms, In extacy of joy; Nor dreamt that scoffs and rude alarms Would e'er her peace destroy.
When at this moment from his hold, The Magpie swiftly flew; He seiz'd the spoon: ah! wretch so bold, And dragg'd it from their view.
Swift to the Abbey then he sped, Borne on the buoyant air; Nor ever thought that as he fled, Annette his guilt would bear.
Look up my child and view me here, One lost to all his clan; My enemies, alas! are near, To claim a wretched man.
Then on his neck the fair one fell, A victim to dispair; He strove her fondness to dispell, Her grief he could not bear.
Just at this moment past the door, A wretch to feelings blind; He view'd the guest, and saw him poor, And therefore prov'd unkind.
What wretched man is that I see In garb so sad and torn? A weary traveller, said she, Who wanders here forlorn.
Come hither girl,——come hither lass, Said justice with a smile; Come cheer your spirits with a glass, Each anxious hour beguile.
She saw his motive, knew his aim, Her heart was elsewhere plac'd; Her Blaisot's form, her Blaisot's name, Was no where to be trac'd.
Just at this pause, there enter'd straight, His worships clerk with speed; With papers relative to fate, Or some foul bloody deed.
Read this my child, the justice said, And tell me what they say; Judge what she felt; ah! luckless maid, Now think of her dismay.
Her Fathers name was couple'd there, With death and sore disgrace; "Desertion" was his crime,—dispair Was written in her face.
She urg'd the justice from the spot, And he at length compli'd; She trembel'd for a parents lot, She wept, she sobb'd, she cried.
Her Fathers heart, by fears opprest, He stagger'd to a chair; He falter'd, spoke, then on her breast, He fell in wild dispair.
Oh! pitying Heav'n, preserve my child Preserve her God from ill; Then I in accents soft and mild Will bear thy tortures still.
Then from his belt a fork and spoon He plac'd before her view; He paus'd, before he ask'd the boon, While tears his cheeks bedew.
Take these sad relicks, all I hold, The wreck of fortune lost; And quick exchange them love for gold, For one by fortune crost.
Thy form I must not see again, Then mark my last decree; The gold that these, my love obtain, Convey to yonder tree.
This said, he vanished from her sight, She sank, opprest with grief; Her eyes were dim, tho' azure bright, And tears bestow'd relief.
Her heart reliev'd, she sought with speed, Her promise to pursue; When chance directed in her need, A wandering pedlar Jew.
Her Fathers wealth to him she sold, But heav'd a bitter sigh; And as she took the glittering gold, A tear bedim'd her eye.
The Jew was gone! she rush'd with joy, To seek the hollow tree; Delighted that she'd soon destroy His cares and set him free.
But fate denied her good intent, Julianne came that way; And stop'd her course, on virtue bent, And caus'd a short delay.
Come hither child, the matron said, I've business here for you; 'Tis fit the plate be instant laid, Ere you your course pursue.
She counted o'er each massy spoon, When dreadful to relate; The one deficient, very soon, She miss'd among her plate.
Dispair was mark'd in Annette's face Which beam'd deep scarlet hue; Where heav'nly innocence might trace, A heart, both firm and true.
'Tis passing strange, Annette then sigh'd, When Gerard reach'd the door; But whose the Thief? the Magpie cry'd, Annette, and said no more.
'Tis laughable, old Gerard said, And smiling as he spoke; That Mag should call his fav'rite maid, And well enjoy'd the joke.
It may be so, said Julianne too, But ominous I wot; But here's the justice—out she flew. And brought him to the spot.
The case was told, he shook his head, Annette was prov'd the thief; Each eye was now with tears o'er shed, With tears of poignant grief.
They urg'd her to confess the deed, I'm innocent she cry'd! In vain her Blaisot tried to plead, But, "mercy" all denied.
Immoveable the laws command, No treaties could prevail; They seiz'd Annette with desp'rate hand, Her fate they all bewail.
Immur'd within a dungeons gloom, She waits the destin'd blow; Tho' innocent, the culprits doom, Must end her ev'ry woe.
Her trial came,——Annette was cast, Each heard it with a sigh; And now their ev'ry hope was past, Annette was doom'd to die.
Her dreary moments, who can tell, Till Blaisot met her view; They wept, they sigh'd, when Annettes knell Proclaim'd their last adieu.
Then from her neck, a cross she took, And gave it kisses three; Receive from one, by hope forsook, A gift design'd for thee.
He trembling took the proffer'd prize, Forebodings shook his frame; A flood of tears bedim'd his eyes, He bless'd the givers name.
With down cast look, and heavy heart, He homeward bent his way; He tax'd the fates, that love could part, Or cause such sad dismay.
Just as he reached his Fathers cot, The once abode of rest; His nature ev'ry care forgot, He sank by grief opprest.
And has his form extended lay, The cross was fair to view; The Magpie seiz'd it for his prey, And to the Abbey flew.
His worships clerk observ'd the theft, And told him of his loss; The dormant youth was now bereft Of reason and his cross.
Now swiftly to the spot he flew, The Abbey enter'd soon; His valu'd cross, now met his view, With it, the fork and spoon.
With joy he seized the stolen plate, His bliss, what tongue can tell; He wonder'd, gaz'd, till rous'd by fate, And Annette's dying knell.
He starting, trembel'd at the sound—— Again it struck his ear; With lightening speed he struck the ground To save his only dear.
In solemn state, Annette was led, Towards the fatal spot; All pray'd a blessing on her head, Her guilt they all forgot.
Old Gerard sought in vain to spare Her life, her destin'd fate; When Blaisot entered in dispair, And shew'd the stollen plate.
A shout of joy, now rent the sky, Old Gerard join'd the pair; Erect they stand, who guilt defy, The guilty do not dare,
Before the sun, with bended knee, They sank with awful fear; With praises to their Lord's decree, They sought their cottage cheer.
Her Father, he now met their view, Past cares they all defied; The maid was spar'd, her virtue too, The Magpie 'twas that died.
L. H. Cox, Printer, 17, Black Friars Road.