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Brothers

by
 How lovely the elder brother's
Life all laced in the other's,
Lóve-laced!—what once I well
Witnessed; so fortune fell.
When Shrovetide, two years gone, Our boys' plays brought on Part was picked for John, Young Jóhn: then fear, then joy Ran revel in the elder boy.
Their night was come now; all Our company thronged the hall; Henry, by the wall, Beckoned me beside him: I came where called, and eyed him By meanwhiles; making my play Turn most on tender byplay.
For, wrung all on love's rack, My lad, and lost in Jack, Smiled, blushed, and bit his lip; Or drove, with a diver's dip, Clutched hands down through clasped knees— Truth's tokens tricks like these, Old telltales, with what stress He hung on the imp's success.
Now the other was bráss-bóld: Hé had no work to hold His heart up at the strain; Nay, roguish ran the vein.
Two tedious acts were past; Jack's call and cue at last; When Henry, heart-forsook, Dropped eyes and dared not look.
Eh, how áll rúng! Young dog, he did give tongue! But Harry—in his hands he has flung His tear-tricked cheeks of flame For fond love and for shame.
Ah Nature, framed in fault, There 's comfort then, there 's salt; Nature, bad, base, and blind, Dearly thou canst be kind; There dearly thén, deárly, I'll cry thou canst be kind.

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