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So serious should my youth appear among
The thoughtless throng,

So would I seem amid the young and gay
More grave than they,

That in my age as cheerful I might be
As the green winter of the Holly Tree.



It was a summer evening,

Old Kaspar's work was done,
And he before his cottage door
Was sitting in the sun,

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,

"Tis 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 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 out;
But every body said,' quoth he,
'That 't was 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 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 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 Eugene.' 'Why 't was 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 't was a famous victory.'



My days among the Dead are past;
Around me I behold,

Where'er these casual eyes are cast,
The mighty minds of old;

My never failing friends are they,
With whom I converse day by day.


With them I take delight in weal,
And seek relief in woe;

And while I understand and feel
How much to them I owe,

My cheeks have often been bedew'd
With tears of thoughtful gratitude.


My thoughts are with the Dead, with them
I live in long-past years,

Their virtues love, their faults condemn,
Partake their hopes and fears,

And from their lessons seek and find
Instruction with an humble mind.


My hopes are with the Dead, anon
My place with them will be,
And I with them shall travel on
Through all Futurity;

Yet leaving here a name, I trust,
That will not perish in the dust.


[WALTER SCOTT, the son of a Writer to the Signet, was born in Edinburgh on August 15, 1771, and was educated at the High School and the College. In 1792 he became an advocate, but soon began to occupy himself seriously with literature, publishing in 1799 a translation of Goethe's Goetz von Berlichingen, and in 1802 his Border Minstrelsy. As Sheriff of Selkirkshire he went in 1804 to live at Ashestiel on the banks of the Tweed, and there produced The Lay of the Last Minstrel, 1805; Marmion, 1808; The Lady of the Lake, 1810; Don Roderick, 1811; Triermain and Rokeby, 1813. At his new house at Abbotsford he wrote The Lord of the I les, 1815; and Harold the Daun'less, 1817. Before these last two were published Waverley appeared, and henceforth Scott wrote no more poetry, save a few short lyrics, ending with his Farewell to the Muse, 1822. He was made a baronet in 1820, but in 1826 commercial disaster came upon him, and his last ten years were a time of struggle and overwork. He died at Abbotsford, September 21, 1836.]

Walter Scott ranks in imaginative power hardly below any writer save Homer and Shakespeare. His best works are his novels; but he holds a high place as a poet in virtue of his metrical romances and of his lyrical pieces and ballads. He was the first great British writer of the Romantic school, and the first who turned the thoughts and hearts of his countrymen towards the Middle Ages. The author of The Castle of Otranto and the builder of Strawberry Hill was his feeble precursor: Bishop Percy with his Reliques had lighted the way: Ellis with his Specimens of Early English Poems and Romances ministered to the same taste. In Germany the Romantic school prevailed at the same time over the Classical. There is in the poetry of Coleridge an element derived from that school; and Scott's earliest works were translations from the German ballads of Bürger and of a romantic tragedy by Goethe, though the rill of foreign influence was soon lost in a river which flowed from a more abundant spring.

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