Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

Clare drew her from the sight away,
Till pain wrung forth a lowly moan,
And half he murmured,—“Is there none,

Of all my halls have nurst,
Page, squire, or groom, one cup to bring.
Or blessed water from the spring,

To slake my dying thirst !"

O, woman! in our hours of ease,
Uncertain, coy, and hard to please,
And variable as the shade
By the light quivering aspen made;
When pain and anguish wring the brow,
A ministering angel thou !-
Scarce were the piteous accents said,
When, with the Baron's casque, the maid

To the nigh streamlet ran;
Forgot were hatred, wrongs, and fears;
The plaintive voice alone she hears,

Sees but the dying man.
She stooped her by the runnel's side,

But in abhorrence backward drew; For, oozing from the mountain's side, Where raged the war, the dark red tide

Was curdling in the streamlet blue. Where shall she turn !-behold her mark

A little fountain cell,
Where water, clear as diamond spark,

In a stone basin fell.
Above, some half-worn letters say,
Drink, weary, pilgrim, drink, and, pray,
For, the, kind, soul, of, ybil, Grey,

Who, built, this, cross, and, well.
She filled the helm, and back she hied.
And with surprise and joy espied

A Monk supporting Marmion's head;
A pious man, whom duty brought,
To dubious verge of battle fought,

To shrieve the dying, bless the dead.

Deep drank Lord Marmion of the wave, And, as she stooped his brow to lave“ Is it the hand of Clare,” he said, “ Or injured Constance, bathes my head !”

Then, as remembrance rose,“Speak not to me of shrift or prayer !

I must redress her woes. Short space, few words, are mine to spare; Forgive and listen, gentle Clare !"

“ Alas !” she said, " the while,-
O think of your immortal weal!
In vain for Constance is your zeal;

She-died at Holy Isle.”
Lord Marmion started from the ground,
As light as if he felt no wound;
Though in the action burst the tide,
In torrents, from his wounded side.
* Then it was truth !”-he said—“I knew,
That the dark presage must be true.
I would the fiend, to whom belongs
The vengeance due to all her wrongs,

Would spare me but a day :
For wasting fire, and dying groan,
And priests slain on the altar stone,

Might bribe him for delay.
It may not be !—this dizzy trance-
Curse on yon base marauder's lance.
And doubly cursed my failing brand !
A sinful heart inakes feeble hand."
Then, fainting, down on earth he sunk,
Supported by the trembling Monk.
With fruitless labor, Clara bound,
And strove to staunch the gushing wound:
The Monk, with unavailing cares,
Exhausted all the Church's prayers.
Ever, he said, that, close and near,
A lady's voice was in his ear,
And that the priest he could not hear,

For that she ever sung, In the lost battle borne dovon by the flying, Where mingles war's rattle with groans of the dying !"

So the notes rung ;
“ Avoid thee, Fiend :+-with cruel hand
Shake not the dying sinner's sandk-
O look, my son, upon yon sign
Of the Redeemer's grace divine:

Oh think on faith and bliss,
By many a death-bed I have been,
And many a sinner's parting seen,

But never aught like this.”-
The war, that for a space did fail,
Now trebly thundering swelled the gale,

And-STANLEY! was the cry ;-
A light on Marmion' visage spread,

And fired his glazing eye.

With dying hand, above his head
He shook the fragment of his blade,

And shouted “ Victory!
Charge, Chester, charge! On, Stanley, on!

ere the last words of Marmion.

THE GLOVE AND THE LION.

HUNT.

[This right spirited little poem should be recited with vivacity and vim. The whole action of the piece should be as rapid as the feat of the Count in leaping for and regaining the glove.]

King Francis was a hearty king, and loved a royal sport, And one day as his lions fought, sat looking on the court; The nobles filled the benches round, the ladies by their side, And ’mong them sat the Count de Lorge, with one for

whom he sighed: And truly 'twas a gallant thing to see that crowning show, Valor and love, and a king above, and the royal beasts

below.

Ramped and roared the lions, with horrid laughing jaws; They bit, they glared, gave blows like beams, a wind went

with their paws ; With wallowing might and stifled roar, they rolled on one

another; Till all the pit, with sand and mane, was in a thunderous

smother; The bloody foam above the bars came whizzing through

the air : Said Francis, then, “Faith, gentlemen, we're better here

than there."

De Lorge's love o'erheard the king, a beauteous, lively

dame, With smiling lips, and sharp, bright eyes, which always

seemed the same; She thought, “ the Count,my lover, is brave as brave can be, He surely would do wondrous things to show his love for

me; King, ladies, lovers, all look on; the occasion is divine;

I'll drop my glove, to prove his love ; great glory will be

mine."

She dropped her glove, to prove his love, then looked at

him, and smiled, He bowed, and in a moment leaped among the lions wild; The leap was quick, return was quick, he soon regained the

place, Then threw the glove, but not with love, right in the laờy's

face. “In faith,” cried Francis,“ rightly done!” and he rose

from where he sat ; “Not love,” quoth he. “but vanity, sets love a task like

that."

OUR COUNTRY'S CALL.

BRYANT.

a

[This inspiriting piece should ring out as sharp and decided as the war-call of a trumpet or the crack of a Sharp's rifle. Every sentence should be made to tell-as though you meant not only to drive in the nail, but to clinch it.)

Lay down the axe, fling by the spade:

Leave in its track the toiling plow;
The rifle and the bayonet-blade

For arms like yours were fitter now;
And let the hands that ply the pen

Quit the light task, and learn to wield
The horseman's crooked brand, and rein

The charger on the battle-field.

Our country calls ; away! away!

To where the blood-stream blots the green,
Strike to defend the gentlest sway

That Time in all his course has seen.
See, from a thousand coverts--see

Spring the armed foes that haunt her track ;
They rush to smite her down, and we

Must beat the banded traitors back.

Ho! sturdy as the oaks ye cleave,

And moved as soon to fear and flight,

Men of the glade and forest! leave

Your woodcraft for the field of fight.
The arms that wield the axe must pour

An iron tempest on the foe;
His serried ranks shall reel before

The arm that lays the panther low.

And ye who breast the mountain storm

By grassy steep or highland lake, Come, for the land ye love, to form

A bulwark that no fe can break. Stand, like your own gray cliffs that mock

The whirlwind ; stand in her defense: The blast as soon shall move the rock,

As rushing squadrons bear ye thence.

And ye whose homes are by her grand

Swift rivers, rising far away,
Come from the depth of her green land

As mighty in your march as they ;
As terrible as when the rains

Have swelled them over bank and bourne, With sudden floods to drown the plains

And sweep along the woods uptorn.

And ye who throng, beside the deep,

Her ports and hamlets of the strand, In number like the waves that leap

On his long murmuring marge of sand,
Come, like that deep, when o'er his brim

He rises, all his floods to pour,
And flings the proudest barks that swim,

A helpless wreck against his shore.

Few, few were they whose swords of old,

Won the fair land in which we dwell; But we are many, we who hold

The grim resolve to guard it well.
Strike for that broad and goodly land .

Blow after blow, till men shall see
That Might and Right move hand in hand;

And glorious must their triumph be.

« VorigeDoorgaan »