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Not blither is the mountain roe;
With many a wanton stroke
Her feet disperse the powdery snow
That rises up like smoke.
The storm came on before its time;'
She wander'd up and down;
And many a hill did Lucy climb;
reached the town.
The wretched parents all that night
Went shouting far and wide;
But there was neither sound nor sight
To serve them for a guide.
At daybreak on a hill they stood
That overlooked the moor;
Ånd thence they saw the bridge of wood
A furlong from their door.
And turning homeward now, they cried,
“ In heaven we all shall meet!”
When in the snow the mother spied
The print of Lucy's feet.
Then downward from the steep hill's edge
They tracked the footmarks small,
And throngh the broken hawthorn hedge,
And by the long stone wall.o
And then an open field they crossed,
The marks were still the same;
They tracked them on, nor ever lost;
And to the bridge they came.°
They followed from the snowy bank,
The footmarks vne by one,
Into the middle of the plank ;-
And further there were none.
Yet some maintain that to this day
She is a living child :
That you may see sweet Lucy Gray
Upon the lonesome wild. CAUTIONS : a. The whole poem must be read in a quiet level tone-letting the incidents speak for themselves. b. Here a change of tone is necessary; but this line must be read slowly and deliberately, c. All these lines have the verse-accent upon insignificant words : by, to, and to. The way to avoid the accent is, first, to make a slight pause before these words; and secondly, to connect them rapidly with the nouns they belong to.
THE TRAVELLER IN AFRICA. These verses were written by the Duchess Of Devon on an incident which occurred to Mungo Park, the great African traveller. Park was often persecuted by men, but never met with an unkindness from a woman.
The loud wind roared, the rain fell fast,
The white man yielded to the blast;
He sat him down beneath our tree,
For weary, sad, and faint was he:
And, ah! no wife nor mother's care
For him the milk and corn prepare.
The white man ‘shall our pity share;
Alas! no wife nor mother's care
For him the milk and corn prepare.
The storm is o'er, the tempest past,
And mercy's voice bas hushed the blast;
The wind is heard in wbispers low,
The white man far away must go:
in his heart will bear
Remembrance of the negro's care.
Go! white man, go! but with thee bear
The negro's wish, the negro's prayer,
Remembrance of the negro's care.
DUCHESS OF DEVON.
THE VOICE OF SPRING.
I am coming, I am coming !"-
Hark! the little bee is humming;
See, the lark is soaring high
In the blue and
And the gnats are on the wing,
Wheeling round in airy ring.
Look around thee-look around!
Flowers in all the fields abound;
Every running stream is bright;
All the orchard trees are white;
And each small and waving shoot
Promises sweet flowers and fruit.
MARY HOWITT. CAUTIONS : a. The verse-accent in this line is on I. This must be avoided. The emphasis is on coming. b. Avoid the verse-accent on this word; and make a short pause after gnats. And-the-grats are-on-the-wing.
THE BARLEY-MOWERS' SONG.
BARLEY-MOWERS, here we stand,
One, two, three, a steady band;
True of heart, and strong of limb,
Ready in our harvest trim;
with spirits blithe;
Now we whet the bended scythe.
Barley-mowers must be true,
Keeping still the end in view,
One with all, and all with one,
till set of sun,
Bending all, with spirits blithe,
Whetting all at once the scythe.
Day and night, and night and day,
Time, the mower, will not stay;
We may hear him in our path
By the falling barley swath;?
While we sing with voices blithe,
We may hear his ringing scythe.
CAUTION: This poem should be read with great distinctness. The verse is in tended to give the idea of barley-mowers keeping time with their swing; but the sense must be most attended to.
MEANINGS: 1. Blithe, light-hearted, merry. 2. Swath, the breadth of barley cut down by each stroke of the scythe.
THE INCHCAPE ROCK. This poem, by SOUTHEY, tells the story of what is called "poetical justice,” executed on a daring and cruel pirate. His own crime was the immediate cause of his ruin. One fine spring day, having nothing to do, Sir Ralph the Rover, out of mere fiendish malice, takes it into his head to cut down a bell which was used to warn poor sailors off a dangerous reef of rocks on the coast of Forfarshire. He sails away, and forgets his crime. He comes back; and in a thick sea-fog is wrecked on that very reef. The ballad is in Southey's best style; and his ballads are the best of his poetical writings.
No stir in the air, no stir in the sea,
The ship was as still as she could be ;
Her sails from heaven received no motion,
Her keel was steady in the ocean.
Without either sign or sound of their shock,
The waves flowed over the Inchcape Rock;
So little they rose, so little they fell,
They did not move the Inchcape Bell.
The good old Abbot of Aberbrothock
Had placed that bell on the Inchcape Rock;
On a buoy in the storm it floated and swung,
And over the waves its warning rung.
When the rock was hid by the surges' swell,
The mariners heard the warning bell;
And then they knew the perilous rock,
And blest the Abbot of Aberbrothock.
The sun in heaven was shining gay,
All things were joyful on that day;
The sea-birds screamed as they wheeled around,
And there was joyance in their sound.
The buoy of the Inchcape Bell
A darker speck on the ocean green;
Sir Ralph the Rover walked his deck,
And be fixed his eye on the darker speck.
He felt the cheering power of spring,
It made him whistle, it made him sing;
His heart was mirthful to excess ;-
But the Rover's mirth was wickedness.
His eye was on the Inchcape float;
Quoth he, “My men, put out the boat,
And row me to the Inchcape Rock,
And I'll plague the priest of Aberbrothock.”
The boat is lowered, the boatmen row,
And to the Inchcape Rock they go;
Sir Ralph bent over from the boat,
And he cut the bell from the Inchcape float.
Down sunk the bell with a gurgling sound,
The bubbles rose and burst around;
Quoth Sir Ralph, “ The next who comes to this Rock
Won't bless the Abbot of Aberbrothock."
Sir Ralph the Rover sailed
away, He scoured” the seas for many a day;
grown rich with plundered store, He steers his course for Scotland's shore.
So thick a haze 3 o'erspreads the sky,
They cannot see the sun on high ;
The wind hath blown a gale all day,
At evening it hath died away.
On the deck the Rover takes his stand,
So dark it is they see no land.
Quoth Sir Ralph, “ It will be lighter soon,
For there is the dawn of the rising moon."
“ Can'st hear,” said one, “the breakers roar ?
For methinks we should be near the shore;
Now where we are I cannot tell,
But I wish I could hear the Inchcape Bell."
They hear no sound; the swell is strong;
Though the wind hath fallen, they drift along,
Till the vessel strikes with a shivering shock
“Oh Heaven! It is the Inchcape Rock!”
Sir Ralph the Rover tore his hair,
He cursed himself in his despair ;
The waves rush in on every side,
The ship is sinking beneath the tide.
But even in his dying fear
One dreadful sound could the Rover hear
A sound as if with the Inchcape Bell,
The fiends below were ringing his knell. CAUTIONS : a. This, though seemingly easy, is really a difficult poem to read. There is a constant danger, arising from the simplicity and colloquial character of the style, of being driven by the verse-accent on unimportant words. Thus, in the second line, a careless reader would place the accent on she. b. Take care not to put the accent upon on. Slur it over; and put a slight emphasis on that.
MEANINGS : 1. Inch is a Celtic word meaning island, and is found all over Scotland and Ireland. Thus the word Inchcape means the Island-Cape. 2. Scoured, sailed over. 3. Haze, fog, mist. 4. Knell, tolling for a funeral.
THE MOUNTAIN AND THE SQUIRREL.
The mountain and the squirrel
Had a quarrel;
And the former called the latter “ Little prig?”
doubtless very big;
But all sorts of things and weather
Must be taken in together
To make up a year,
And a sphere :
And I think it's no disgrace
To occupy my place.