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The sky is overcast,
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.
HE is gone
When our need was the sorest.
From the raindrops shall borrow;
The hand of the reaper
Takes the ears that are hoary,
Wails manhood in glory;1
Waft the leaves that are serest,2
is thy slumber!
Like the foam
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.
HYMN OF THE HEBREW MAID.
Out from the land of bondage came,*
An awful guide, in smoke and flame.
The cloudy pillar glided slow;
Returned the fiery column's glow.1
And trump and timbrel answered keen; 3
With priest's and warrior's voice between.5
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 priest's 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.
WHEN maidens such as Hester die,
A month or more hath she been dead,
My sprightly neighbour, gone before
*This and the three following poems, as well as those on 186-188, are not spaced; they will be useful for practice.
When from thy cheerful eyes a ray
THE THRUSH'S NEST.
WITHIN a thick and spreading hawthorn bush,
Sing hymns of rapture, while I drank the sound
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.
Up from the meadows, rich with corn,
Round about them orchards sweep,
On that pleasant morn of the early fall,
Forty flags with their silver stars,
Up rose old Barbara Fritchie then,
In her attic window the staff she set,
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,
A shade of sadness, a blush of shame,
"Who touches a hair of yon grey head,
All day long the free flag tossed
And through the hill-gaps sunset light
Honour to her! and let a tear
Fall, for her sake, on Stonewall's bier!
Flag of Freedom and Union, wave!