Изображения страниц

Yet beautiful and bright he stood,

As born to rule the storm;
A creature of heroic blood,

A proud, though childlike form.
The flames rolled on—he would not go,

Without his father's word ;
That father, faint in death below,

His voice no longer heard.
He called aloud :—“Say, father, say,

If yet my task is done ?"
He knew not that the chieftain lay

Unconscious of his son.
“Speak, father!” once again he cried,

“If I may yet be gone! And”—but the booming shots replied,

And fast the flames rolled on.
Upon his brow he felt their breath,

And in his waving hair,
And looked from that lone post of death,

In still yet brave despair.
And shouted but once more aloud,

“My father! must I stay ?” While o'er him fast, through sail and shroud,

The wreathing fires made way.
They wrapped the ship in splendour wild,

They caught the flag on high,
And streamed above the gallant child,

Like banners in the sky,
There came a burst of thunder sound,

The boy,oh! where was he !
Ask of the winds that far around

With fragments strewed the sea,

With mast, and helm, and pennon fair,

That well had borne their part,-
But the noblest thing that perished there,

Was that young and faithful heart.


THE way was long, the wind was cold,
The minstrel was infirm and old ;
His withered cheek and tresses gray,
Seemed to have known a better day;
The harp, his sole remaining joy,
Was carried by an orphan boy.
The last of all the bards was he,
Who sang of Border chivalry.
For, well-a-day! their date was fled,
His tuneful brethren all were dead;
And he, neglected and oppressed,
Wished to be with them, and at rest.
No more on prancing palfry borne,
He carolled, light as lark at morn;
No longer, courted and caressed,
High placed in hall, a welcome guest,
He poured, to lord and lady gay,
The unpremeditated lay;
Old times were changed, old manners gone;
A stranger filled the Stuarts' throne;
The bigots of the iron time
Had called his harmless art a crime.
A wandering harper, scorned and poor,
He begged his bread from door to door;
And tuned, to please a peasant's ear,
The harp a king had loved to hear.

He passed where Newark's stately tower
Looks out from Yarrow's birchen bower:

The minstrel gazed with wistful eyeNo humbler resting-place was nigh. With hesitating step, at last, The embattled portal-arch he passed, Whose ponderous grate and massy bar Had oft rolled back the tide of war, But never closed the iron door Against the desolate and poor. The Duchess marked his weary pace, His timid mien, and reverend face, And bade her page the menials tell, That they should tend the old man well : For she had known adversity, Though born in such a high degree; In pride of power, in beauty's bloom, Had wept o'er Monmouth's bloody tomb ! When kindness had his wants supplied, And the old man was gratified, Began to rise his minstrel pride : And, would the noble Duchess deign, To listen to an old man's strain, Though stiff his hand, his voice though weak, He thought e’en yet, the sooth to speak, That, if she loved the harp to hear, He could make music to her ear. The humble boon was soon obtained ; The aged minstrel audience gained. But, when he reached the room of state, Where she, with all her ladies, sate, Perchance he wished his boon denied : For when to tune his harp he tried, His trembling hand had lost the ease, Which marks security to please ; And scenes, long past, of joy and pain, Came wildering o'er his aged brainHe tried to tune his harp in vain.

The pitying Duchess praised its chime, And gave him heart, and gave him time, Till every string's according glee Was blended into harmony. And then, he said, he would full fain He could recall an ancient strain He never thought to sing again. It was not framed for village churls, But for high dames and mighty earls ; He had played it to King Charles the Good When he kept court in Holyrood; And much he wished, yet feared, to try, The long-forgotten melody. Amid the strings his fingers strayed, And an uncertain warbling made And oft he shook his hoary head : But when he caught the measure wild, The old man raised his face, and smiled; And lighted up his faded eye, With all a poet's ecstasy! In varying cadence, soft or strong, He swept the sounding chords along; The present scene, the future lot, His toils, his wants, were all forgot ; Cold diffidence, and age's frost, In the full tide of song were lost; Each blank in faithless memory void, The poet's glowing thought supplied ; And while his harp responsive rung, 'Twas thus the LATEST MINSTREL sung.

DOOMSDAY.-Shakspeare. OUR revels now are ended : these our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits, and Are melted into air, into thin air ;

And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capt towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve ;
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind! We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.


THERE's a good time coming, boys,

A good time coming :
We may not live to see the day,
But earth shall glisten in the ray

Of the good time coming.
Cannon-balls may aid the truth,

But thought's a weapon stronger;
We'll win our battle by its aid-

Wait a little longer.

There's a good time coming, boys,

A good time coming :
The pen shall supersede the sword,
And Right, not Might, shall be the lord

In the good time coming.
Worth, not Birth, shall rule mankind,

And be acknowledged stronger ;
The proper impulse has been given ;-
Wait a little longer.

There's a good time coming, boys,

A good time coming :
War in all men's eyes shall be
A monster of iniquity

In the good time coming ;

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »