Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

THE CONQUEROR'S GRAVE.

The warrior's name would be a name abhorrëd;
And every nation that should lift again
Its hand against a brother on its forehead
Would wear for evermore the curse of Cain!

Down the dark future
The echoing sounds
And like a bell

I hear

through long generations,
grow fainter and then cease:
with solemn sweet vibrations,
once more the voice of Christ say

"Peace!"

Peace! and no longer from its brazen portals
The blast of war's great organ shakes the skies ;
But beautiful as songs of the immortals,
The holy melodies of love arise.

LONGFELLOW.

CAUTIONS: a. The emphasis on no enables the reader to avoid the verseaccent upon were. b. Avoid the verse-accent on that. c. Hasten on to forehead and avoid on. d. Avoid the verse-accent on and.

THE CONQUEROR'S GRAVE.

WITHIN this lowly grave a conqueror lies;*

And yet the monument proclaims it not,
Nor round the sleeper's name hath chisel wrought
The emblems of a fame that never dies-
Ivy and amaranth1 in a graceful sheaf

Twined with the laurel's fair, imperial leaf.
A simple name alone,

To the great world unknown,

Is graven here, and wild flowers rising round,—
Meek meadow-sweet and violets of the ground,-
Lean lovingly against the humble stone.

Here, in the quiet earth, they laid apart
No man of iron mould and bloody hands,
Who sought to wreak upon the cowering lands
The passions that consumed his restless heart;
But one of tender spirit and delicate frame,
Gentlest in mien and mind
Of gentle womankind,

181

Timidly shrinking from the breath of blame;
One in whose eyes the smile of kindness made

Its haunt, like flowers by sunny brooks in May;
Yet at the thought of others' pain, a shade

Of sweeter sadness chased the smile away.

that

Nor deem
when the hand that moulders here
Was raised in menace, realms were chilled with fear,
And armies mustered at the sign as when
Clouds rise on clouds before the rainy east,-

Grey captains leading bands of veteran men
And fiery youths to be the vultures' feast.
Not thus were waged the mighty wars that gave
The victory to her who fills this grave:
Alone her task was wrought;
Alone the battle fought;

[ocr errors]

Through that long strife her constant hope was stayed3
On God alone, nor looked for other aid.

She met the hosts of sorrow with a look

That altered not beneath the frown they wore ;
And soon the lowering brood were tamed, and took

no more.

Meekly her gentle rule, and frowned
Her soft hand put aside the assaults of wrath,
And calmly broke in twain

The fiery shafts of pain,

And rent the nets of passion from her path.
By that victorious hand despair was slain.
With love she vanquished hate, and overcame
Evil with good in her great Master's name.

Her glory is not of this shadowy state,

Glory that with the fleeting season dies;
But when she entered at the sapphire gate,

What joy was radiant in celestial eyes!
How heaven's bright depths with sounding welcomes rung,
And flowers of heaven by shining hands were flung!
And He who, long before,
Pain, scorn, and sorrow bore,
The mighty Sufferer, with aspect sweet,
Smiled on the timid stranger from his seat;
He who, returning glorious from the grave,
Dragged Death, disarmed, in chains, a crouching slave.
See, as I linger here the sun grows low;

Cool airs are murmuring that the night is near.
O gentle sleeper, from thy grave I go

Consoled though sad, in hope and yet in fear.

BRYANT.

CAUTIONS: This poem is perhaps one of the greatest poems that have come to us from America. It should be read with the greatest care; and its full and true value given to every clause. a. Avoid the verse-accent on within. b. The pause after yet will enable the reader to avoid the at.

2. Mould,

MEANINGS: 1. Amaranth, a flower that never dies, immortelles. frame. 3. Stayed, placed.

DAVID LIVINGSTONE.

DAVID LIVINGSTONE.

Died on the shores of lake Bemba, May 4, 1873. Landed at Southampton April 15; buried in Westminster Abbey, April 18, 1874.

DROOP, half-mast colours! bow, bare-headed crowds!
As this plain coffin o'er the side is slung,
To pass by woods of masts and ratlined shrouds,
As erst by Afric's trunks liana-hung.2

a

'Tis the last mile, of many thousands trod
With failing strength, but never-failing will,
By the worn frame, now at its rest with God,
That never rested from its fight with ill.

b

Or if the ache of travel and of toil

Would sometimes wring a short sharp cry of pain,
From agony of fever, blain, and boil,

'Twas but to crush it down, and on again!

He knew not that the trumpet he had blown,
Out of the darkness of that dismal land,
Had reached, and roused an army of its own,

To strike the chains from the Slave's fettered hand.

Now, we believe, he knows, sees

all is well :

way,

How God had stayed his will, and shaped his
To bring the light to those that darkling3 dwell,
With gains that life's devotion well repay.

Open the Abbey doors, and bear him in

To sleep with king and statesman, chief, and sage,
The Missionary, come of weaver-kin,1

But great by work that brooks no lower wage.

183

He needs no epitaph to guard a name

Which men shall prize while worthy work is known;
He lived and died for good-be that his fame:
Let marble crumble: this is Living-stone.

Punch.

CAUTIONS: a. Avoid the verse-accent on the, and hasten on to the sense-accent (or emphasis) upon last. b. The same remark applies here: the emphasis falls upon worn. c. Avoid the verse-accent on that; and this is best done by making a pause after not, and then hastening on to trumpet.

MEANINGS: 1. Erst, formerly. 2. Liana-hung, hung with lianas. Lianas are long, rope-like creepers, which grow from tree to tree, and make a thick tanglewood of the branches of a tropical forest. 3. Darkling, in the dark. 4. Come of weaver-kin. Livingstone was the son of a weaver, and was himself a weaver, at Blantyre, near Glasgow.

[ocr errors]

A FOREST SCENE.

THEY came to where the brushwood ceased, and day
Peered 'twixt the stems; and the ground broke away
In a sloped sward down to a brawling brook,
And up as high as where they stood to look
On the brook's further side was clear; but then
The underwood and trees began again.
This open glen was studded thick with thorns
Then white with blossom; and you saw the horns,
Through the green fern, of the shy fallow-deer
Which come at noon down to the water here.
You saw the bright-eyed squirrels dart along
Under the thorns on the green sward; and strong
The blackbird whistled from the dingles near,
And the weird chipping of the woodpecker
Rang lonelily and sharp; the sky was fair,
And a fresh breath of spring stirred everywhere.

Merlin and Vivian stopped on the slope's brow
To gaze on the green sea of leaf and bough
Which glittering lay all round them, lone and mild,
As if to itself the quiet forest smiled.
Upon the brow-top grew a thorn, and here
The grass was dry and mossed, and you saw clear
Across the hollow; white anemones

Starred the cool turf, and clumps of primroses
Ran out from the dark underwood behind.
No fairer resting-place a man could find.
"Here let us halt," said Merlin then; and she
Nodded, and tied her palfrey to a tree.

MATTHEW ARNOLD.

HYMN ON THE NATIVITY.

The following are a few verses from this hymn, which is considered by some critics to be the finest ode in the language. It was written by John Milton (16081674), when he was only twenty years of age. It is a hymn on the birth of Christ; and Milton's belief was, that, on that event, the heathen deities (to him real beings) which had ruled upon the earth, were driven down below; and that all war and evil ceased for a while upon the earth. The poem is written in "the grand style;" and it will require much practice before it can be read well and justly

Nō war

or battle's sound,

Was heard the world around:

The idle1 spear and shield were high up hung;
The hooked chariot stood

HYMN ON THE NATIVITY.

Unstained with hostile blood; 2

The trumpet spake not to the armëd throng; And kings sat still with awful 3 eye,

As if they surely knew their sov'reign lord was by.

But peaceful was the night,
Wherein the Prince of Light

His reign of peace upon the earth began:
The winds, with wonder whist,*
Smoothly the waters kissed,

Whispering new joys to the mild Oceän,
Who now hath quite forgot to rave,

While birds of calm sit brooding on the charmëd wave.

The shepherds on the lawn,

Or ere the point of dawn,

Sat simply chatting5 in a rustic row;

Full little thought they then
That the mighty Pan

6

Was kindly come to live with them below; Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep,

Was all that did their silly thoughts so busy keep.

When such music sweet b

Their hearts and ears

did greet,

As never was by mortal finger strook,"
Divinely warbled voice
Answering the stringed noise,

As

all their souls in blissful rapture took:9

The air, such pleasure loath to lose,

With thousand echoes still prolongs each heavenly close.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

And the well-balanced world on hinges hung,

And cast the dark foundations deep,

And bid the weltering waves their oozy 10 channel keep.

185

At last surrounds their sight

A globe of circular light,

That with long beams the shamefaced night arrayed; The helmed 11 cherubim,

The sworded seraphim,

Are seen in glittering ranks with wings displayed,12
Harping in loud and solemn quire,
With unexpressive 13 notes,

to Heaven's new-born Heir.

« AnteriorContinuar »