Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

“ With fire and sword the country round

Was wasted far and wide,
And many a childing mother then,

And new-born baby died !-
But things like that, you know, must be
At every famous victory.
“They say it was a shocking sight

After the field was won ;
For many thousand bodies here

Lay rotting in the sun !
But things like that, you know, must be
After a famous victory.
“Great praise the Duke of Marlbro' won,

And our good Prince Eugène.”
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 win.” “But what good came of it at last ?"

Quoth little Peterkin. Why, that I cannot tell,” said he, “But 'twas a famous victory !”

66

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

THE WRECK OF THE HESPERUS.

BY LONGFELLOW.

It was the schooner Hesperus,

That sailed the wintry sea ; And the skipper had taken his little daughter,

To bear him company.

Blue were her eyes, as the lairy-flax,

Her cheeks like the dawn of day,
And her bosom white as the hawthorn buds,

That ope in the month of May.

The skipper he stood beside the helm,

His pipe was in his mouth,
And watched how the veering flaw did blow

The smoke now West, now South.

[merged small][ocr errors]

“ Last night the moon had a golden ring,

And to-night no moon we see !"
The skipper he blew a whiff from his pipe,

And a scornful laugh laughed he.

a

Colder and louder blew the wind,

A gale from the North-east ; The snow fell hissing in the brine,

And the billows frothed like yeast.

Down came the storm, and smote amain

The vessel in its strength; She shuddered and paused, like a frighted steed,

Then leaped her cable's length.

“ Come hither! come hither! my little daughter,

And do not tremble so ;
For I can weather the roughest gale,

That ever wind did blow."

He wrapped her warm in his seaman's coat,

Against the stinging blast ;
He cut a rope from a broken spar,

And bound her to the mast.

Oh, say,

“O father! I hear the church-bells ring,

what
may

it be ?
“ 'Tis a fog-bell on a rock-bound coast !”

And he steered for the open sea.

“O father! I hear the sound of guns,

Oh, say, what may it ?“Some ship in distress, that cannot live

In such an angry sea !”

“O father! I see a gleaming light,

Oh, say, what may it be ?"
But the father answered never a word !

A frozen corpse was he.

Lashed to the helm, all stiff and stark,

With his face turned to the skies, The lantern gleamed through the glancing snow

On his fixed and glassy eyes. Then the maiden clasped her hands, and prayed

That saved she might be; And she thought of Christ, who stilled the waves

On the Lake of Galilee.

And fast through the midnight dark and drear,

Through the whistling sleet and snow, Like a sheeted ghost, the vessel swept

Towards the reef of Norman's Woe.

a

And ever the fitful gusts between

A sound came from the land ;
It was the sound of the trampling surf,

On the rocks and the hard sea-sand.

The breakers were right beneath her bows,

She drifted a dreary wreck,
And a whooping billow swept the crew,

Like icicles from her deck.

She struck where the white and fleecy waves

Looked soft as carded wool,
But the cruel rocks, they gored her side,

Like the horns of an angry bull.

Her rattling shrouds, all sheathed in ice,

With the masts, went by the board ; Like a vessel of glass, she stove and sank,

Ho! ho! the breakers roared !

At daybreak, on the bleak sea-beach,

A fisherman stood aghast,
To see the form of a maiden fair,

Lashed close to a drifting mast.

The salt sea was frozen on her breast,

The salt tears in her eyes ; And he saw her hair, like the brown sea-weed,

On the billows fall and rise.

Such was the wreck of the Hesperus,

In the midnight and the snow !
Christ, save us all from a death like this,

On the reef of Norman's Woe!

ALEXANDER AND PHILIP.

BY MISS LANDON.

He stood by the river's side,

A conqueror and a king,
None matched his step of pride

Amid the armèd ring.
And a heavy echo rose from the ground,
As a thousand warriors gathered round.

And the morning march had been long,

And the noontide sun was high,
And weariness bowed down the strong,

And heat closed every eye;
And the victor stood by the river's brim,
Whose coolness seemed but made for him.

The cypress spread their gloom

Like a cloak from the noontide beam,
He flung back his dusty plume,

And plunged in the silver stream. ;
He plunged like the young steed, fierce and wild,
He was borne away like the feeble child.

They took the king to his tent

From the river's fatal banks,
A cry of terror went

Like a storm through the Grecian ranks :
Was this the fruit of their glories won ?
Was this the death for Ammon's son ?

Many a leech heard the call,

But each one shrank away ;
For heavy upon all

Was the weight of fear that day:
When a thought of treason, a word of death,
Was in each eye, and on each breath.

But one with the royal youth

Had be from his earliest hour,
And he knew that his heart was truth,

And he knew that his hand was power ;
He gave what hope his skill might give,
And bade him trust to his faith, and live.

Alexander took the cup,

And from beneath his head a scroll,
He drank the liquor up,

And bade Philip read the roll;
And Philip looked on the page, where shame,
Treason, and poison were named with his name.

« PředchozíPokračovat »