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Phantom, ghost, apparition.
Chime to chime, from one hour to another.
“But why do I talk of Death ?
That phantom * of grisly bone,
It seems so like my own-
Because of the fasts I keep;
And flesh and blood so cheap !
My labour never flags;
A crust of bread—and rags.
A table,-a broken chair,-
For sometimes falling there !
Band, and gusset, and seam,
The brooding swallows cling,
And twit * me with the Spring.
" Oh but to breathe the breath
With the sky above my head,
To feel as I used to feel,
And the walk that costs a meal!
A respite * however brief !
But only time for Grief !
A respite, &c., to cease from her labour but for a short time. Leisure, spare time.
A little weeping would ease my heart,
But in their briny * bed
Hinders needle and thread !”
With eyelids heavy and red,
She sang this “ Song of the Shirt !”
A woman, &c. The song is supposed to be sung by a needlewoman, who has been reduced to the greatest want.
THE SEASONS.-Spenser. EDMUND SPENSER (1553-1599) was born in London, and educated at Cambridge. He is one of the greatest English poets; his chief work is the Faerie Queene, an allegorical poem, designed to celebrate the principal virtues. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.
So forth issued the Seasons of the year ; Dight, adorned. First lusty Spring, all dight * in leaves and flowers
That freshly budded, and new blossoms did bear,
In which a thousand birds had built their bowers, Paramours, mates, That sweetly sung to call forth paramours ; 5
And in his hand a javelin he did bear, Stours, encounters, And on his head (as fit for warlike stours)
A gilt engraven morion * he did wear, Gilt morion, a gilded That as some did him
love, so others did him fear. helmet, having no visor, copied from the 'Moors by the Then came the jolly Summer, being dight Spaniards.
In a thin silken cassock coloured green
That was unlinèd all, to be more light, A garland, &c., a And on his head a garland * well beseen garland fair to see.
He Chauffèd (chafed),
wore, from which, as he had chauffed * been, heated, made hot by The sweat did drop, and in his hand he bore 15 rubbing.
A bow and shaft, as he in forest green
Had hunted late the libbard or the boar,
Had by the belly oft him pinchèd sore ;
of cloth, with nap on Chattering his teeth for cold that did him chill,
one side of it.
Limbeck, a vessel used
THE SPANISH CHAMPION.*-Mrs. Hemans.
his heart of fire,
plored. imprisoned sire :
Haughty, proud. “I bring thee here my fortress keys, I bring His long-imprisoned
Sancho, my captive train ;
Count I pledge my faith, my liege,* my lord-oh! Spain, had been kept break my father's chain."
in prison for many
years by the king. Rise! rise ! even now thy father comes, a
At length his son,
Bernardo del Carpio, ransomed * man this day ;
took up arms to effect Mount thy good steed, and thou and I will his release. meet him on his way:”
Captive train, the
prisoners taken in Then lightly rose that loyal son, and bounded battle. on his steed;
that he would become And urged, as if with lance in hand, his his faithful subject. charger's foaming speed.
beautiful to behold. With one that ʼmid them stately rode, as a
leader in the land :
very truth, is he,
very yearned * so long to see.”
* Champion, a hero, one who fights in single combat for himself or for another,
His dark eye flashed, his proud breast heaved, his cheek's
blood came and went;
like lead ;
He looked up to the face above—the face was of the
fixed and white;
paint that gaze ?
cheek the blood.
He thought on all his glorious hopes, on all his high Renown, a
renown ; great name, Then flung the falchion * from his side, and in the dust celebrity. Falchion, a
sat down ; short curved sword. And, covering with his steel-gloved hand his darkly
earth ? "
Up from the ground he sprang once more, and seized the surprised.
monarch's rein Courtier, a
Amid the pale and wildered * looks of all the courtier * person who lives at court.
35 And with a fierce, o’ermastering grasp, the rearing war
to kiss ?
where are they? 40 If thou wouldst clear thy perjured * soul, send life Perjurer, through this cold clay !
knowingly “Into these glassy eyes put light—be still, keep down thine ire ! *
Ire, anger, Bid these white lips a blessing speak—this earth is not rage.
takes a false oath.
my sire !
Give me back him for whom I strove, for whom my
blood was shed !
on thy head ! ”
that sad place :
HOW THEY BROUGHT THE GOOD NEWS FROM
GHENT TO AIX.*—R. Browning. ROBERT BROWNING (1812- ), born at Camberwell, and educated at London University, ranks among the foremost of living poets. He possesses a wonderful power of condensed expression, and his writings are deeply thoughtful and expressive. Chief works : Men and Women, The Ring and the Book, Dramatic Lyrics, and other poems. I
sprang to the stirrup, and Joris, and he ; I galloped, Dirck galloped, we galloped all three ; “Good speed !” cried the watch, as the gate-bolts undrew;
Echo, to send “Speed !" echoed * the wall to us galloping through ; back a sound,
* Ghent, the chief town of East Flanders, in Belgium. Aix-la-Chapelle, a city in Rhenish Prussia. The two towns are more than a hundred miles apart.