« AnteriorContinuar »
How oft the cannon of the foe hath struck their dauntless
breast, While ye smiled o'er the social fire, or found the balm of rest! How oft the shriek of drowning men the startled vulture
caught, When ye had closed your doors in peace, and home's sweet
pleasures sought! Then wake your songs of gratitude to those who brave the sea, And peril life—that ye may live, and still prove fair and free; Amidst your harvest-fields, oh, bid the earnest prayer prevail“God guard the ships of England, o'er whatever sea they
X.-WE ARE SEVEN.-William Wordsworth. A SIMPLE child, with notions dim; that lightly draws its
breath, And feels its life in every limb,—what should it know of
I met a little cottage girl, she was eight years old she said ; Her hair was thick with many a curl that clustered round her
head. She had a rustic woodland air, and she was wildly clad; Her eyes were fair, and very fair; her beauty made me glad. "Sisters and brothers, little maid, how many may you be ?” “How many? Seven in all,” she said, and, wondering, looked
at me. “And where are they? I pray you tell.” She answered,
“Seven are we, And two of us at Conway dwell, and two are gone to sea. "Two of us in the churchyard lie, my sister and my brother. And in the churchyard cottage, I dwell near them with my
mother.” "You say that two at Conway dwell, and two are gone to sea; Yet you are seven! I pray you tell, sweet maid, how this
may be?” Then did the little maid reply, “Seven boys and girls are we, Two of us in the churchyard lie, beneath the churchyard tree.” "You run about, my little maid, your limbs they are alive; If two are in the churchyard laid, then you are only five ?"
“Their graves are green, they may be seen,” the little maid
replied; “Twelve steps or more from mother's door, and they are
side by side: My stockings there I often knit, my kerchief there I hem; And there upon the ground I sit, and sing a song to them. And often, after sunset, sir, when it is light and fair, I take my little porringer, and eat my supper there. The first that died was sister Jane; in bed she moaning lay, Till God released her of her pain, and then she went away. So in the churchyard she was laid, and, when the grass was dry, Together round her grave we played, my brother John and I. And when the ground was white with snow, and I could run
and slide, My brother John was forced to go, and he lies by her side." “How many are you, then,” said I, “ if they two are in heaQuick was the little maid's reply: “Oh, master, we are seven!" “But they are dead—these two are dead, their spirits are in
heaven!" 'Twas throwing words away; for still the little maid would have her will,
And say, “Nay! we are seven."
XI.—THE BATTLE OF BLENHEIM.-Robert Southey.
And by him sported on the green
His little grandchild Wilhelmine. She saw her brother Peterkin roll something large and round, Which he beside the rivulet in playing there had found:
He came to ask what he had found,
That was so large, and smooth, and round. Old Kaspar took it from the boy, who stood expectant by; And then the old man shook his head, and with a natural sigh,
fellow's skull,” said he, “Who fell in the great victory! I find them in the garden, for there's many here about; And often when I go to plough, the ploughshare turns them out: For many thousand men,
” said he, " Were slain in that great victory."
“Now tell us what 'twas all about,” young Peterkin, he
cries; And little Wilhelmine looks up with wonder-waiting eyes :
“Now tell us all about the war,
And what they fought each other for?” "It was the English,” Kaspar cried, “who put the French
to rout; But what they fought each other for, I could not well make
“That 'twas a famous victory. My father lived at Blenheim then, yon little stream hard by; They burnt his dwelling to the ground, and he was forced
Nor had he where to rest his head.
wide, And many a widowed mother then, and new-born baby died !
But things like that, you know, must be,
At every famous victory.
thousand bodies here lay rotting in the sun:
After a famous victory. Great praise the Duke of Marlbro' won, and our good Prince
Eugene” "Why, 'twas a very wicked thing!” said little Wilhelmine.
"Nay-nay-my little girl," quoth he,
“It was a famous victory. And everybody praised the Duke who this great fight did
"But what good came of it at last ?" quoth little Peterkin.
“Why, that I cannot tell,” said he,
XII. -THE ENGLISH BOY.-Mrs. Hemans. Look from the ancient mountains down, oh, noble English
boy! Thy country's fields around thee gleam, in sunshine and in
Ages have rolled since foeman's march passed o'er that old
firm sod; For well the land hath fealty held, to Freedom and to God! Gaze proudly on, my English boy! and let thy kindling mind Drink-in the spirit of high thought from every chainless wind. There, in the shadow of old Time, the halls beneath thee lie, Which poured forth, to the fields of yore, old England's
Chivalry! How bravely, and how solemnly, they stand 'midst oak and
yew, Where Cressy's yeomen, haply, framed the bow, in battle
true; And round their walls the good swords hang, whose faith
knows no alloy, And shields of knighthood, pure from stain! . . Gaze on,
my English boy! Gaze where the hamlet's ivied church gleams by the antique
elm, Or where the Minster lifts the Cross high through the air's
blue realm : Martyrs have showered their free hearts' blood, that Freedom's
prayer might rise From those gray fanes of thoughtful years, unfettered, to the
skies. Along their isles, beneath their trees, this land's most
lorious trustOnce fired with wisdom, valour, song-is laid in holy dust. Gaze on!-gaze farther,-farther yet-my gallant English boy! Yon blue sea bears thy country's flag—the billows' pride and
joy! Those waves, in many a fight, have closed above her faithful
dead; That red-cross flag victoriously hath floated o'er their bed : They perished—this green turf to keep by hostile tread
unstainedThese knightly halls inviolate—those churches unprofaned. And high and clear their memory's light along our shore is
set, And many an answering beacon-fire shall there be kindled yet. Lift up thy heart, my English boy! and pray like them to
stand, Should God so summon thee, to guard the altars, or the land!
XIII.—THE GIFT OF THE SWORD.-Maginn, Ι GIVE
my Soldier Boy a blade, In fair Damascus fashioned well : Who first the glittering falchion swayed,
Who first beneath its fury fell, I know not; but I hope to know
That, for no mean or hireling tradeTo guard no feeling base or low
I give my Soldier Boy a blade. Cool, calm, and clear, the lucid flood
In which its tempering work was done; As calm, as clear, as cool of mood,
Be thou, whene'er it sees the sun : For Country's claim, at Honour's call,
For outraged friend, insulted maid,
I give my Soldier Boy a blade.
The hand that weighed its balanced poise,
Are gone, with all their flame and noise But still the gleaming sword remains :
So, when in dust I low am laid, Remember, by these heart-felt strains,
I gave my Soldier Boy a blade!
XIV.-SOMEBODY'S DARLING.- -Mrs. Lacoste. Into a ward of the white-washed hall,
Where the dead and dying lay, Wounded by bayonet, shell, or ball,
Somebody's Darling” was borne one day: “Somebody's Darling," so young and so brave,
Wearing yet, on his pale, sweet face, Soon to be hid by the dust of the grave,
The lingering light of his boyhood's grace. Matted and damp are the curls of gold,
Kissing the snow of that fair young brow; Pale are the lips of delicate mould,
“Somebody's Darling” is dying now.