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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,
"'T is some poor 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 't was 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 killed each other for."
"It was the English," Kaspar cried,
"Who put the French to rout;
But what they killed each other for,
I could not well make out.
But everybody said," quoth he,
"That 't was a famous victory.
My father lived at Blenheim then,
Yon little stream hard by ;
They burned his dwelling to the ground,
And he was forced to fly;
So with his wife and child he fled,
Nor had he where to rest his head.
"With fire and sword the country round
Was wasted far and wide;
And many a hapless mother then,
And new-born baby, died.
But things like that, you know, must be
At every famous victory.
"Great praise the Duke of Marlborough won,
And our good Prince Eugene !"
"Why, 't was a very wicked thing!"
Said little Wilhelmine:
"Nay, nay, my little girl," quoth he, "It was a famous victory,
"And every body 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 't was a famous victory."
THE INCHCAPE ROCK. - Southey.
No stir in the air, no stir
The ship was still as she could be;
Her sails from heaven received no motion,
Her keel was steady in the ocean.
Without either sign or sound of their shock,
The waves flowed over the Inchcape rock;
So little they rose, so little they fell,
They did not move the Inchcape bell.
The abbot of Aberbrothok
Had placed that bell on the Inchcape rock;
On a buoy in the storm it floated and swung,
And over the waves its warning rung.
When the rocks were hid by the surge's swell,
The mariners heard the warning bell;
And then they knew the perilous rock,
And blessed the abbot of Aberbrothok.
The sun in heaven was shining gay,
All things were joyful on that day;
The sea-birds screamed as they wheeled round,
And there was joyance in their sound.
The buoy of the Inchcape bell was seen,
A darker speck on the ocean green;
Sir Ralph the Rover walked his deck,
And he fixed his eye on the darker speck.
He felt the cheering power of spring,
It made him whistle, it made him sing;
His heart was mirthful to excess,
But the Rover's mirth was wickedness.
His eye was on the Inchcape float;
Quoth he, My men, put out the boat,
And row me to the Inchcape rock,
And I'll plague the abbot of Aberbrothok."
The boat is lowered, the boatmen row,
And to the Inchcape rock they go;
Sir Ralph bent over from the boat,
And he cut the bell from the Inchcape float.
Down sunk the bell with a gurgling sound,
The bubbles rose and burst around;
Quoth Sir Ralph, -"The next who comes to
Wont bless the abbot of Aberbrothok."
Sir Ralph the Rover sailed away;
He scoured the seas for many a day;
And now, grown rich with plundered store,
He steers his course for Scotland's shore.
So thick a haze o'erspreads the sky,
They cannot see the sun on high;
The wind hath blown a gale all day,
At evening it hath died away.
On the deck the Rover takes his stand;
So dark it is they see no land;
Quoth Sir Ralph, -"It will be lighter soon,
For there is the dawn of the rising moon."
"Can'st hear," said one," the breakers roar,
For methinks we should be near the shore?"
"Now where we are I cannot tell,
But I wish we could hear the Inchcape bell."
They hear no sound; the swell is strong; Though the wind hath fallen, they drift along; Till the vessel strikes with a shivering shock; O Death! it is the Inchcape rock.
Sir Ralph the Rover tore his hair;
He cursed himself in his despair;
The waves rush in on every side,
The ship is sinking beneath the tide.
TO MY BIRDIE. — Mrs. Southey.
HERE's only you an' me, Birdie! here's only you
An' there you sit, you humdrum fowl!
Sae mute an' mopish as an owl, —
Sing me a little song, Birdie! lift up a little lay!
When folks are here, fu' fain are ye
To stun them with your minstrelsie,
The lee lang day;
An' now we're only twa, Birdie! an' now we 're only twa;
'T were sure but kind and cozie, Birdie !
To charm wi' yere wee hurdie-gurdie
Dull care awa'.
Ye ken when folks are paired, Birdie! ye ken when folks are paired,
Life's fair, an' foul, and freakish weather,
An' lignt an' lumbring loads, thegither
Maun a' be shared;