« AnteriorContinuar »
KING JOHN AND THE ABBOT.
An ancient story I'll tell you anon?
Secondly tell me, without any doubt,
I may ride the whole world about;
but three weeks' space,
Away rode the abbot all sad at that word,
shepherd, I must give, That I have but three days more
to live; For if I do not answer him questions three, My head will be smitten from my bodie. “ The first is to tell him there in that stead, With his crown of gold so fair on his head, Among all his liege-men so noble of birth, To within one penny of what he is worth. “The second, to tell him without any doubt, How soon he may ride this whole world about; And at the third question I must not shrink, But tell him there truly what he does think.” “Now cheer up, Sir Abbot, did you never hear yet That a fool he may learn24 a wise man wit25 p Lend me horse, and serving men, and your apparel,26 And I'll ride to London to answer your quarrel.27
Nay, frown not, if it hath been told unto me, I am like your lordship as ever may be ; And if you will but lend me your gown There is none shall know us in fair London town."
“Now horses and serving men thou shalt bave,
KING JOHN AND THE ABBOT.
our Saviour was sold
so little !
Nay, nay, my liege, be not in such speed,3
CAUTIONS : a. Many of the lines in this old ballad have not the proper number of syllables; and this defect must be hid by the style of reading. It will, on this account, be often necessary to make longer pauses at the points than usual, and also to read out each word and each syllable with the greatest distinctness. The tone throughout is that of dry level narrative. b. This is a very difficult line. It should be read in an easy conversational way: For-spending of
true-gotten-geere. c. The accent must be put on the last syllable of bodie-in the old fashion. d. The danger is here of putting an accent upon thou, which would spoil the sense. The emphasis or sense-accent is on dost. e. The emphasis is on so. f. This line has not the sufficient number of syllables; but this can be made up for by the length of the pause after back.
MEANINGS : 1. Anon, at once. 2. Notable, well known. 3. Main, force. 4. Maintained, kept un. 5. Housekeeping, way of living. 6. Renown, fame. 7. Post, in haste. 8. And fifty gold chains, without any doubt, in velvet coats, waited the abbot about, fifty men wearing velvet coats and gold chains waited upon the abbot.
9. Work'st treason, makest plots; treason is any attempt to overthrow the government of a country. 10. Liege, sovereign. 11. Deere, harm. 12. True gotten geere, wealth fairly come-by. 13. High, great. 14. Stead, place. 15. Liegemen, subjects. 16. Shallow wit, poor powers of mind. 17. Your grace, title of respect. 18. Do my endeavour, do my best. 19. Livings, church offices. 20. Oxenford, Oxford. 21. Devise, find out. 22. Of comfort so cold, without finding any comfort. 23. A-going to fold, going to put the sheep in the fold. 24. Learn, teach. 25. Wit, wisdom. 26. Apparel, clothes. 27. Answer your quarrel, make your peace with the king. 28. With sumptuous array, most gallant and brave, with a splendid retinue of attendants. 29. Crozier, the staff of a bishop or abbot.
30. Mitre, cap worn by a bishop or abbot. 31. Rochet, a surplice with narrow sleeves worn by bishops. 32. Cope, a short cloak. 33. 'Fore, before. 34. St. Bittel, old form of St. Botolph. 35. Speed, a hurry. 36. Nobles, an old coin worth 6s. 8d.
WRECK OF THE GOLDEN BEE. The Golden Bee, a ship in the China trade, sets sail with every prospect of a pleasant voyage; but fire breaks out, and her crew and passengers have to take to the boats.
LADEN with precious merchandise, the growth of Chinese soil,
well. Soon should he reach his home on shore with much good news to
Good news for his Parsee merchants, and for the fair young wife,
(A long pause.) Hark! what terrific cry was that of horror and affright, Which broke like some tempestuous sound the stillness of the
night, Rousing the crew from rest and sleep to tremble and dismay, Waking the captain's sunny dreams of harbour far away! Oh, captain, wake! 'Tis but a dream—the harbour is not won, Thou dost not clasp thy Mary's hand, or kiss thy little son ; Thy baby sweetly sleeps ashore—that shore is far from theeh, captain, wake! for none but God can save thy Golden Bee !
THE SAILOR'S MOTHER.
“FIRE !”_'twas an awful sound to hear on solitary seas,
“Get out the boats !" with firm quick voice the short command
was said, And no man spoke, but straight and swift the order was obeyed; Then one by one the crew stepped forth- but all looked back with
tears, Upon the bonny Golden Bee, their home of many years. But first the captain snatched from flame, and pressed within his
breast, A relic of departed days, of all his heart loved best: A little Prayer-Book, well-worn now, a gift in early life, Sweet token from his early love ere yet he called her wife. Then out upon a lonely sea, six hundred miles from land, The solitary boat sailed forth with that courageous band; Sailed forth as drifts a withered leaf upon the surging tide, With only hope to be their strength, and only God as guide.
All the Year Round.
CAUTIONS: a. Beware of allowing the accent to touch the into. The only way to avoid this is to lengthen the pause after dropped. b. " Get out the boats ! " This must be spoken with the short, earnest, and clear articulation of a military command.
MEANINGS : 1. Relic, something left. 2. Tide, poetic word for sea.
THE SAILOR'S MOTHER. This is a short poem, by WORDSWORTH, recording a perfectly simple incident. Wordsworth meets one morning, on a country road, a woman who carries a cage in her hand. He feels sympathy with her and with a certain noble look which he observes in her, and stops to converse. ONE morning,
(raw it was and wet-
Majestic in her person, tall and straight;