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But dropped a seed, has grown a balsam- | And, the thirty-first of May, belter-skelter tree
through the blue, Whereof the blossoming perfumes the Like a crowd of frightened porpoises a shoal place
of sharks pursue, At this supreme of moments! He is a I Came crowding ship on ship to Saint priest;
Malo on the Rance,
’T was the squadron that escaped, with the In heaven we have the real and true and
victor in full chase; sure.
First and foremost of the drove, in his 'T is there they neither marry nor are
great ship, Damfreville; given
1810 Close on him fed, great and small, In marriage but are as the angels: right,
Twenty-two good ships in all; Oh how right that is, how like Jesus And they signalled to the place Christ
“Help the winners of a race ! To say that! Marriage-making for the Get us guidance, give us harbor, take us earth,
quick - or, quicker still, With gold so much, — birth, power, repute Here's the English can and will ! "
so much, Or beauty, youth so much, in lack of these!
III Be as the angels rather, who, apart,
Then the pilots of the place put out brisk Know themselves into one, are found at
and leapt on board ; length
“ Why, wbat hope or chance have ships Married, but marry never, no, nor give
like these to pass ? ” laughed they: In marriage; they are man and wife at “Rocks to starboard, rocks to port, all the once
passage scarred and scored, When the true time is: here we have to Shall the • Formidable' here with her twelve wait
and eighty guns Not so long neither! Could we by a wish Think to make the river-month by the Have what we will and get the future now,
single narrow way, Would we wish aught done undone in the Trust to enter where 't is ticklish for a craft past?
of twenty tons, So, let him wait God's instant men call And with flow at full beside ? years;
Now, 't is slackest ebb of tide. Meantime hold hard by truth and his great Reach the mooring ? Rather say, soul,
While rock stands or water runs, Do out the duty! Through such souls Not a ship will leave the bay !”
Brief and bitter the debate:
you have them take in tow
All that's left us of the fleet, linked to
gether stern and bow, [This ballad was printed first in the Cornhill For a prize to Plymouth Sound ? Magazine for March, 1871.]
Better run the ships aground !”
(Ended Damfreville his speech).
“ Not a minute more to wait ! On the sea and at the Hogue, sixteen hun. | Let the Captains all and each dred ninety-two,
Shove ashore, then blow up, burn the Did the English fight the French, - woe
vessels on the beach! to France !
France must undergo her fate.
Still the north-wind, by God's grace ! “Give the word !” But no such word See the noble fellow's face Was ever spoke or heard;
As the big ship, with a bound, For up stood, for out stepped, for in Clears the entry like a hound, struck amid all these
Keeps the passage as its inch of way were - A Captain ? A Lieutenant ? A Mate —
the wide sea's profound ! first, second, third ?
See, safe through shoal and rock, No such mau of mark, and meet
How they follow in a flock, With his betters to compete !
Not a ship that misbehaves, not a keel that But a simple Breton sailor pressed by
grates the ground,
Not a spar that comes to grief !
All are harbored to the last,
- sure as fate,
here?” cries Hervé Riel: “ Are you mad, you Malouins ? Are you
cowards, fools, or rogues ? Talk to me of rocks and shoals, me who
So, the storm subsides to calm:
They see the green trees wave took the soundings, tell On my fingers every bank, every sballow,
On the heights o'erlooking Grève.
Hearts that bled are stanched every swell
with 'Twixt the offing here and Grève where
balm. the river disembogues ?
“ Just our rapture to enhance,
Let the English rake the bay, Are you bought by English gold ? Is it
| Gnash their teeth and glare askance love the lying 's for ?
gon 50 Morn and eve, night and day,
As they cannonade away! Have I piloted your bay,
'Neath rampired Solidor pleasant riding on Entered free and anchored fast at the foot
the Rance !” of Solidor.
How hope succeeds despair on each CapBurn the fleet and ruin France ? That
tain's countenance !
Out burst all with one accord, were worse than fifty Hogues ! Sirs, they know I speak the truth!
“This is Paradise for Hell ! Sirs, believe me there's a way!
Let France, let France's King Only let me lead the line,
Thank the man that did the thing!”
What a shout, and all one word, Have the biggest ship to steer,
“Hervé Riel !" Get this • Formidable' clear, Make the others follow mine,
As he stepped in front once more,
1001 And I lead them, most and least, by a pas
Not a symptom of surprise sage I know well,
In the frank blue Breton eyes, Right to Solidor past Grève,
Just the same man as before. And there lay them safe and sound;
IX And if one ship misbehave,
– Keel so much as grate the ground, Then said Damfreville, “My friend,
Though I find the speaking hard.
You have saved the King his ships,
You must name your own reward. “Steer us in, then, small and great! 'Faith, our sun was near eclipse ! Take the helm, lead the line, save the Demand whate'er you will, squadron ! ” cried its chief.
France remains your debtor still, Captains, give the sailor place!
Ask to heart's content and have ! or my He is Admiral, in brief.
name's not Damfreville."
Now, henceforth and forever,- 0 latest Then a beam of fun outbroke
to whom I upraise On the bearded mouth that spoke,
Hand and heart and voice! For Athens, As the honest heart laughed through
leave pasture and flock! Those frank eyes of Breton blue:
Present to help, potent to save, Pan “ Since I needs must say my say,
patron I call! Since on board the duty's done, And from Malo Roads to Croisic Point, Archons of Athens, topped by the tettix, see, what is it but a run ? —
I return! Since 't is ask and have, I may
See, 't is myself here standing alive, no Since the others go ashore
spectre that speaks! Come ! A good whole holiday !
Crowned with the myrtle, did you command Leave to go and see my wife, whom I me, Athens and you, call the Belle Aurore !”
“ Run, Pheidippides, run and race, reach That be asked and that he got, - nothing
Sparta for aid! more.
Persia has come, we are here, where is
She ? ” Your command I obeyed, XI
Ran and raced: like stubble, some field Name and deed alike are lost:
which a fire runs through, Not a pillar nor a post
Was the space between city and city : two In his Croisic keeps alive the feat as it days, two nights did I burn befell;
Over the hills, under the dales, down pits Not a head in white and black
and up peaks. On a single fishing-smack,
130 In memory of the man but for whom had Into their midst I broke: breath served but gone to wrack
for “ Persia has come! All that France saved from the fight Persia bids Athens proffer slaves’-tribute, whence England bore the bell.
water and earth; Go to Paris: rank on rank
Razed to the ground is Eretria - but Search the heroes flung pell-mell
Athens, shall Athens sink, On the Louvre, face and flank !
Drop into dust and die — the flower of You shall look long enough ere you come
Hellas utterly die, to Hervé Riel.
Die, with the wide world spitting at Sparta, So, for better and for worse,
the stupid, the stander-by? Hervé Riel, accept my verse!
Answer me quick, what help, what hand In my verse, Hervé Riel, do thou once
do you stretch o'er destruction's more
brink? Save the squadron, honor France, love thy | How, — when? No care for my limbs! wife the Belle Aurore!
there's lightning in all and some — Fresh and fit your message to bear, once
lips give it birth!” PHEIDIPPIDES
O my Athens - Sparta love thee? Did Χαίρετε, νικώμεν.
Sparta respond ?
Every face of her leered in a furrow of FIRST I salute this soil of the blessed, river
envy, mistrust, and rock!
Malice, - each eye of her gave me its glitGods of my birthplace, dæmons and heroes, ter of gratified hate! honor to all!
Gravely they turned to take counsel, to cast Then I name thee, claim thee for our patron, for excuses. I stood co-equal in praise
Quivering, - the limbs of me fretting as – Ay, with Zeus the Defender, with Her fire frets, an inch from dry of the ægis and spear!
wood: Also, ye of the bow and the buskin, praised “ Persia has come, Athens asks aid, and be your peer,
still they debate?
Thunder, thou Zeus! Athene, are Spartans
a quarry beyond Swing of thy spear? Phoibos and Artemis,
clang them · Ye must'!".
No bolt launched from Olumpos! Lo, their
answer at last! “ Has Persia come, - does Athens ask aid,
- may Sparta befriend? Nowise precipitate judgment — too weighty
the issue at stake! Count we no time lost time which lags
through respect to the gods! Ponder that precept of old, No warfare,
whatever the odds In your favor, so long as the moon, half
orbed, is unable to take Full-circle her state in the sky!' Already
she rounds to it fast: Athens must wait, patient as we — who
Such my cry as, rapid, I ran over Parnes'
ridge; Gully and gap I clambered and cleared till,
sudden, a bar Jutted, a stoppage of stone against me,
blocking the way. Right! for I minded the hollow to traverse,
the fissure across: “Where I could enter, there I depart by!
Night in the fosse ? Athens to aid ? Though the dive were
through Erebos, thus I obey Out of the day dive, into the day as bravely
arise! No bridge Better!" — when - ha! what was it I came
on, of wonders that are ? There, in the cool of a cleft, sat he — ma
jestical Pan! Ivy drooped wanton, kissed his head, moss
cushioned his hoof: All the great god was good in the eyes
grave-kindly - the curl Carved on the bearded cheek, amused at a
mortal's awe, As, under the human trunk, the goat-thighs
grand I saw. · “ Halt, Pheidippides ! ” — halt I did, my
brain of a wbirl: “Hither to me! Why pala in my presence?"
he gracious began: “How is it, — Athens, only in Hellas, holds
me aloof ?
Wood hilocle of my and the
Athens, - except for that sparkle, – thy
name, I had mouldered to ash! That sent a blaze through my blood; off,
off and away was I back, - Not one word to waste, one look to lose
on the false and the vile! Yet“ () gods of my land!." I cried, as each
hillock and plain, Wood and stream, I knew, I named, rush
ing past them again, “ Have ye kept faith, proved mindful of
honors we paid you erewhile ? Vain was the filleted victim, the fulsome
libation ! Too rash Love in its choice, paid you so largely ser
vice so slack! “Oak and olive and bay, - I bid you cease
to enwreathe Brows made bold by your leaf! Fade at the
Persian's foot, You that, our patrons were pledged, should
never adorn a slave! Rather I hail thee, Parnes, — trust to thy
wild waste tract! Treeless, herbless, lifeless mountain! What
matter if slacked My speed may hardly be, for homage to
crag and to cave No deity deigns to drape with verdure ? at
least I can breathe, Fear in thee no fraud from the blind, no
lie from the mute!”
“ Athens, she only, rears me no fane, makes
me no feast! Wherefore ? Than I what godship to Ath
ens more helpful of old ? Ay, and still, and forever her friend ! Test
Pan, trust me! Go, bid Athens take heart, laugh Persia to
scorn, have faith In the temples and tombs! Go, say to
Athens, “The Goat-God saith: When Persia -- so much as strews not the
soil is cast in the sea, Then praise Pan who fought in the ranks
with your most and least, Goat-thigh to greaved-thigh, made one
cause with the free and the bold!'
“Say Pan saith: Let this, foreshowing the
place, be the pledge!'” (Gay, the liberal hand held out this herb
age I bear
- Fennel – I grasped it a-tremble with Ran like fire once more: and the space dew - whatever it bode)
twixt the Fennel-field sWhile, as for thee" ... But enough! And Athens was stubble again, a field He was gone. If I ran hitherto —
which a fire runs through, Be sure that, the rest of my journey, I ran Till in he broke: “Rejoice, we conquer!” no longer, but flew.
Like wine through clay, Parnes to Athens — earth no more, the air Joy in his blood bursting his heart, be was my road:
died — the bliss! Here am I back. Praise Pan, we stand no more on the razor's edge!
So, to this day, when friend meets friend, Pan for Athens, Pan for me! I too have a
the word of salute guerdon rare!
Is still “ Rejoice!” — his word which
brought rejoicing indeed. Then spoke Miltiades. “And thee, best So is Pheidippides happy for ever, — the runner of Greece,
noble strong man Whose limbs did duty indeed, — what gift Who could race like a god, bear the face is promised thyself?
of a god, whom a god loved so well; Tell it us straightway, — Athens the mother He saw the land saved he had helped to demands of her son!”
save, and was suffered to tell Rosily blushed the youth: he paused: but, Such tidings, yet never decline, but, glorilifting at length
ously as he began, His eyes from the ground, it seemed as he So to end gloriously — once to shout, theregathered the rest of his strength
after be mute: Into the utterance — “ Pan spoke thus: “Athens is saved!” – Pheidippides dies in For what thou hast done
the shout for his mead. Count on a worthy reward! Henceforth be
allowed thee release From the racer's toil, no vulgar reward in
CLIVE praise or in pelf!'
Browning had this story from Mrs. Jameson “I am bold to believe, Pan means reward
as early as 1846, she in turn having just heard
Macaulay tell it. Browning's own narrative the most to my mind!
preceded Clive's death by a week only. Fight I shall, with our foremost, wherever this fennel may grow,
I AND Clive were friends — and why not? Pound — Pan helping us - Persia to dust, Friends! I think you laugh, my lad. and, under the deep,
Clive it was gave England India, while Whelm her away forever; and then, - no
your father gives - egad, Athens to save,
England nothing but the graceless boy who Marry a certain maid, I know keeps faith lures him on to speak — to the brave, —
“ Well, Sir, you and Clive were comHie to my house and home: and, when my
rades — ” with a tongue thrust in children shall creep
your cheek! Close to my knees, — recount how the God Very true: in my eyes, your eyes, all the was awful yet kind,
world's eyes, Clive was man, Promised their sire reward to the full — I was, am, and ever shall be — mouse, nay, rewarding him — so!”
mouse of all its clan
Sorriest sample, if you take the kitchen's Unforeseeing one! Yes, he fought on the
estimate for fame; Marathon day:
While the man Clive — he fought Plassy So, when Persia was dust, all cried “ To spoiled the clever foreign game, Akropolis!
Conquered and annexed and Englished! Run, Pheidippides, one race more! the meed is thy due!
Never mind! As o'er my punch • Athens is saved, thank Pan,' go shout!” | (You away) I sit of evenings, - silence, He flung down his shield,
save for biscuit crunch,