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The sky is overcast,
Yet stars shall rise at last,

Brighter for darkness past,
And angels' silver voices stir the air.

Miss PROCTOR. CAUTIONS: The first three lines of each verse state the case of doubt and despair, to which the rest of the verse is the powerful reply. Those three lines must therefore be read as if the whole case were summed up and brought to a close. The rest of the verse must be read as if it proceeded from another person —who sees the other and brighter side of the question. a. Avoid the verse-accent on upon, and hasten on to bleak, etc. b. Take care not to strike the triple rhymes; let the rhymes take care of themselves, and attend to the sense. c. A short but scarcely perceptible pause after them will enable the reader to avoid the accent upon to. d. A very slight pause here.

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He is gone

CORONACH.

on the mountain,
He is lost to the forest,
Like a summer-dried fountain,

When our need was the sorest.
The fount, reappearing,

From the raindrops shall borrow;
But to us comes nõ cheering,

To Duncan no morrow!
The hand of the reaper

Takes the ears that are hoary,
But the voice of the weeper

Wails manhood in glory;?
The autumn winds rushing,

Waft the leaves that are serest,
But our flower was in flushing 3

When blighting was nearest.
Fleet foot on the correi,4

Sage counsel in cumber,
Red hand in the foray,
How sound

is thy slumber!
Like the dew on the mountain,

Like the foam on the river,
Like the bubble on the fountain,
Thou art gone,

and for ever! CAUTION: This coronach (or dirge for the dead) must be read with great slowness, and with a certain funeral march of intonation.

MEANINGS : 1. Manhood in glory, the man who died in his prime in the glory of his strength. 2. Serest, yellowed, most withered. 3. Flushing, full bloom. 4. Correi, raid for carrying off cattle, etc. 5. Sage counsel in cumber, able to give good advice in times of difficulty and danger. 6. Red hand in the foray, hand in the bloodiest part of the fight.

5

HYMN OF THE HEBREW MAID.
WHEN Israel, of the Lord beloved,

Out from the land of bondage came,
Her father's God before her moved,

An awful guide, in smoke and flame.
By day, along the astonished lands

The cloudy pillar glided slow;
By night, Arabia's crimsoned sands

Returned the fiery column's glow.?
There rose the choral hymn of praise,

And trump and timbrel answered keen ;3
And Zion's daughters poured their lays,

With priest's and warrior's voice between.”
No portents

6 now our foes amaze
Forsaken Israel wanders lone :
Our fathers would not know Thy ways,
And Thou hast left them to their own.

SIR WALTER Scott. CAUTIONS : a. Avoid the verse-accent on from. b. Emphasis on no and now. C. Emphasis on Thy.

MEANINGS : 1. God guided the children of Israel on their journey by means of a pillar of cloud by day and by a pillar of fire by night. 2. Choral hymn of praise, hymn of praise sung by a choir of voices. 3. Keen, clearly. 4. Poured their lays, sang songs. 5. With priests and warrior's voice between. This hymn of praise was sung by the priests and warriors; and at the end of each verse the Israelitish women sang a sort of refrain. 6. Portents, miracles.

b

HESTER.*
WHEN maidens such as Hester die,
Their place ye may not well supply,
Though ye among a thousand try,

With vain endeavour.
A month or more hath she been dead,
Yet cannot I by force be led
To think

upon
the
wormy

bed
And her, together.
My sprightly neighbour, gone before
To that unknown and silent shore !
Shall we not meet, as heretofore,

Some summer morning,

* This and the three following poems, as well as those on 186–188, are not spaced; they will be useful for practice.

BARBARA FRITCHIE.

173

When from thy cheerful eyes à ray
Hath struck a bliss upon the day-
A bliss that would not go away-

A sweet forewarning ?

THE THRUSH'S NEST.

WITHIN a thick and spreading bawthorn bush,

That overhung a mole-hill large and round, I heard from morn to morn a merry thrush

Sing hymns of rapture, while I drank the sound With joy; and oft, an unintruding guest,

I watched her secret toils from day to day, How true she warped the moss to form her nest,

And modelled it within with wool and clay. And by-and-by, like heath-bells gilt with dew,

There lay her shining eggs as bright as flowers, Ink-spotted over, shells of green and blue;

And there I witnessed, in the summer hours, A brood of nature's minstrels chirp and fly, Glad as the sunshine and the laughing sky.

J. CLARE.

BARBARA FRITCHIE.

Up from the meadows, rich with corn,
Clear from the cool September morn,
The clustered spires of Frederick stand,
Green-walled by the hills of Maryland.
Round about them orchards sweep,
Apple and peach-tree fruited deep;
Fair as a garden of the Lord
To the eyes of the famished rebel horde.
On that pleasant morn of the early fall,
When Lee marched over the mountain wall,
Over the mountains winding down,
Horse and foot, into Frederick town,
Forty flags with their silver stars,
Forty flags with their silver bars,
Flapped in the morning wind : the sun
Of noon looked down and saw not one.

Up rose old Barbara Fritchie then,
Bowed with her fourscore years and ten,
Bravest of all in Frederick town,
She took up the flag the men hauled down;
In her attic window the staff she set,
To show that one heart was loyal yet.
Up the street came the rebel tread,
Stonewall Jackson riding ahead;
Under his slouched hat, left and right,
He glanced; the old flag met his sight.
“Halt!”-the dust-brown ranks stood fast;

Fire!"-out blazed the rifle blast.
It shivered the window, pane and sash;
It rent the banner with seam and gash,
Quick, as it fell from the broken staff,
Dame Barbara snatched the silken scarf;
She leaned far out on the window sill,
And shook it forth with a royal will.
"Shoot if you must this old grey head,
But spare your country's flag,” she said.
A shade of sadness, a blush of shame,
Over the face of the leader came;
The noble nature within him stirred
To life, at that woman's deed and word.
“Who touches a hair of yon grey head,
Dies like a dog. March on!” he said.
All day long through Frederick street
Sounded the tread of marching feet.
All day long the free flag tossed
Over the heads of the rebel host;
Ever its torn folds rose and fell
On the loyal winds that loved it well;
And through the hill-gaps sunset light
Shone ov it with a warm good-night.
Barbara Fritchie's work is o'er,
And the rebel rides on his raid no more.

Honour to her! and let a tear
Fall, for her sake, on Stonewall's bier!
Over Barbara Fritchie's grave,
Flag of Freedom and Union, wave!

THE OLD CLOCK ON THE STAIRS.

175

Peace and order and beauty, draw
Round thy symbol of light and law;
And ever the stars above look down
On thy stars below, in Frederick town!

J. G. WHITTIER.

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THE OLD CLOCK ON THE STAIRS.
SOMEWHAT back from the village street
Stands the old-fashioned country-seat;
Across its antique portico
Tall poplar-trees their shadow throw,
And from its station in the hall
An ancient timepiece says to all,-

“For ever-never! Never-for ever!”
Half-way up the stairs it stands,
And points and beckons with its hands,
From its case of massive oak,
Like a monk, who, under his cloak,
Crosses himself, and sighs alas !
With sorrowful voice to all who pass,-

For ever-never! Never-for ever!”
By day its voice is low and light;
But in the silent dead of night,
Distinct as a passing footstep's fall,
It echoes along the vacant hall,
Along the ceiling, along the floor,
And seems to say at each chamber-door,-

“For ever-never ! Never—for ever!”
Tbrough days of sorrow and of mirth,
Through days of death and days of birth,
Through every swift vicissitude
Of changeful time, unchanged it has stood,
And as if

, like God, it all things saw,
It calmly repeats those words of awe,-

For ever-never! Never-for ever!”
In that mansion used to be
Free-hearted hospitality;
His great fires up the chimney roared;
The stranger feasted at his board;
That warning timepiece never ceased, -

“For ever-never! Never-for ever!"

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