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A soldier, bivouacking in the open air, falls asleep after a day's hard fighting, and dreams that he is home again. He dreams this dream several times: but the coming of the morning light awakens him to the stern facts.

OUR bugles sang truce,' for the night-cloud had lowered,
And the sentinel stars set their watch in the sky;
And thousands had sunk on the ground, overpowered,

The weary to sleep, and the wounded to die.
When reposing that night on my pallet of straw,
By the wolf-scaring faggot that guarded the slain,
At the dead of the night a sweet vision I saw,
And thrice ere the morning I dreamt it again.
Methought, from the battle-field's dreadful array,
Far, far I had roamed on a desolate track;
"Twas autumn-and sunshine arose on the way

To the home of my fathers, that welcomed me back.
I flew to the pleasant fields traversed

so oft

In life's morning march, when my bosom was young;
I heard my own mountain-goats bleating aloft,


And knew the sweet strain that the corn-reapers sung.
Then pledged we the wine-cup, and fondly I swore,
From my home and my weeping friends never
to part;
My little ones kissed me a thousand times o'er,
And my wife sobbed aloud in her fulness of heart.
Stay, stay with us,—rest, thou art weary and worn!
And fain3 was their war-broken soldier to stay;
But sorrow returned with the dawning of morn,


And the voice in my dreaming ear melted away.

CAUTIONS: a. So oft to be uttered slowly, and with some emphasis. b. There is some difficulty in avoiding the verse-accent here, which has a tendency to throw weeping friends into one word. To avoid this, a very slight pause should be made after weeping. c. The same remark may be made about the phrase dreaming ear. They must be sounded as two words; though the tendency of the verse is to throw them into one.

MEANINGS: 1. Our bugles sang truce, our bugles gave the signal for leaving off fighting. 2. The wolf-scaring faggot, the fire to keep the wolves off. 3. Fain, anxious, wishful.


This short, but perfect, poem is by THOMAS HOOD, who is better known as a writer of humorous verse. But some of his more serious poems belong to the highest rank, because of the purity and depth of the feeling, and the truth and sincerity and vigour of the language.


WE watched her breathing through the night,*
Her breathing soft and low.
As in her breast the wave of life
Kept heaving to and fro!

So silently we seemed to speak,-
So slowly moved about,

As we had lent her1 half our powers
To eke her being out!

Our very hopes belied3 our fears,
Our fears our hopes belied,-
We thought her dying when she slept,"
And sleeping when she died!

For when the morn came,
And chill with early showers,
Her quiet eyelids closed-she had
Another morn than ours!

dim and sad,


CAUTIONS: a. This poem must be read in a low tone-slowly and solemnly. No one will be able to read it well who does not realize the whole scene, and the feelings of the scene. b. Avoid the verse-accent on when. c. The pause after for will enable the reader to slur over the when, and to connect it with its own verb, came.

MEANINGS: 1. As we had lent her, as if we had lent her. 2. To eke out her being, to add to and prolong her existence. 3. Belied, gave the lie to. There was a constant conflict of hope and fear in the breasts of her friends.


Abou Ben Adhem (that is, Abou the son of Adhem) is a poem by LEIGH HUNT, in the same style as "Mahmoud," which shows that God accepts the love of our neighbour as the love of HIMSELF; and it is a poetical explanation of the text in the Epistle of St. John: "He who loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen ?"

ABOU BEN ADHEM (may his tribe increase!)"
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace
And saw within the moonlight in his room,
-Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,-
An angel writing in a book of gold.
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the Presence in the room he said,
"What writest thou ?"-The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,

Answer'd, "The names of those who love the Lord."

"And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still; and said, "I pray thee then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow-men."

The angel wrote and vanished. The next night,
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.

CAUTIONS: a. The whole poem must be read with great slowness and with the greatest clearness. The first sentence (down to gold) wants a good deal of careful management, and much practice. b. A quiet and mild emphasis upon then.


In the year 1315 the Austrians resolved to break down the resistance and completely to conquer the whole of Switzerland. On the 6th of December the Swiss met them at the pass of Morgarten. This pass lay between the lake of Morgarten and a high cliff, on which the Swiss had secretly and silently posted themselves. The Austrians numbered 15,000 men; and the Swiss only 1400. The Austrians were allowed to enter the pass; and, when all were fairly in, at a given signal the Swiss shepherds hurled down large rocks upon the cavalry; and the Swiss soldiers attacked the Austrians at both ends of the pass. Most of the Austrians were driven into the lake; very few escaped; and among those few was the leader, Duke Leopold. Mrs. Hemans, in this poem, makes the battle take place in autumn; but this is incorrect.

THE wine-month' shone in its golden prime,
And the red grapes clustering hung,
But a deeper sound, through the Switzer's clime,2
Than the vintage3-music rung-

A sound, through vaulted cave,
A sound, through echoing glen,
Like the hollow swell of a rushing wave;
-'Twas the tread of steel-girt men.

And a trumpet, pealing wild and far,

'Midst the ancient rocks was blown, Till the Alps replied to that voice of war With a thousand of their own.

And through the forest-glooms
Flashed helmets to the day,*

And the winds were tossing knightly plumes,
Like the larch-boughs in their play.

In Hasli's wilds there was gleaming steel,
As the host of the Austrian passed;


And the Schreckhorn's rocks, with a savage peal,
Made mirth of his clarion's blast.

Up 'midst the Righi snows
The stormy march was heard,

With the charger's tramp, whence fire-sparks rose,
And the leader's gathering word.

But a band, the noblest band of all,

Through the rude Morgarten strait, With blazoned streamers, and lances tall, Moved onwards in princely state.

They came with heavy chains, For the race despised so longBut amidst his Alp-domains,

The herdsman's arm is strong!

The sun was reddening the clouds of morn
When they entered the rock-defile,
And shrill as a joyous hunter's horn
Their bugles rang the while.

But on the misty height,

Where the mountain people stood, There was stillness, as of night, When storms at distance brood."

There was stillness, as of deep' dead' night,
And a pause-but not of fear,

While the Switzers gazed on the gathering might
Of the hostile shield and spear.

On wound those columns bright
Between the lake and wood,

But they looked not to the misty height
Where the mountain-people stood.

The pass was filled with their serried power,
All helmed and mail-arrayed,

And their steps had sounds like a thunder-shower
In the rustling forest-shade.

There were prince and crested knight,
Hemmed in by cliff and flood,

When a shout arose from the misty height
Where the mountain-people stocd.

And the mighty rocks came bounding down,
Their startled foes among,

With a joyous whirl from the summit thrown--
Oh! the herdsman's arm is strong!

They came like avalanche hurled
From Alp to Alp in play,


When the echoes shout through the snowy world
And the pines are borne away.

There was tumult in the crowded strait,10
And a cry of wild dismay,
And many a warrior met his fate
From a peasant's hand that day!

And the empire's banner then
From its place of waving free,
Went down before the shepherd-men,
The men of the Forest-sea.11

With their pikes and massy clubs they brake
The cuirass and the shield.

And the war-horse dashed to the reddening lake
From the reapers of the field12!

The field-but not of sheaves :-
Proud crests and pennons lay
Strewn o'er it thick as the beech-wood leaves,
In the autumn tempest's way.

Oh! the sun in heaven fierce havoc viewed,
When the Austrian turned to fly,
And the brave, in the trampling multitude,
Had a fearful death to die!

And the leader of the war
At eve unhelmed was seen,

With a hurrying step on the wilds afar,
And a pale and troubled mien.13

But the sons of the land which the freeman tills
Went back from the battle-toil

To their cabin homes 'midst the deep green hills
All burdened with royal spoil.

There were songs and festal fires
On the soaring Alps that night,
When children sprang to greet their sires
From the wild Morgarten fight.

CAUTIONS: a. Avoid the verse accent on as, hurry on to night, and place the emphasis upon it. b. Both these words take a weighty emphasis, and should be uttered very slowly.

MEANINGS: 1. Wine-month, October. 2. Switzer's clime, the country of Switzerland. 3. Vintage, gathering of grapes. 4. Day, light. 5. Hasli's wilds, the valley of the Hasli River. 6. Schreckhorn and Righi, mountains in the Oberland. 7. Brood, gather. 8. Serried, closely packed together. 9. All helmed and mail-arrayed, all wearing helmets and armour. 10. Strait, narrow pass. 11. Forest-sea, Lake Lucerne, which is called the lake of the four Forest Cantons. 12. Reapers of the field, the men who were slaying the Austrians. 13. Mien, face.

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