Imagens da página

With them I take delight in weal
And seek relief in woe;
And while I understand and feel
How much to them I owe,
My cheeks have often been bedew'd
With tears of thoughtful gratitude.
My thoughts are with the Dead; with them
I live in long-past years,
Their virtues love, their faults condemn,
Partake their hopes and fears,
And from their lessons seek and find
Instruction with an humble mind.
My hopes are with the Dead; anon
My place with them will be,
And I with them shall travel on
Through all Futurity;
Yet leaving here a name, I trust,
That will not perish in the dust.

Robert Southey.-Born 1774, Died 1843.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

“I find them in the garden,

For there's many here about ; And often when I go to plough

The ploughshare turns them ont. For many thousand men,” said he, “ Were slain in that great victory." “Now tell us what 'twas all about,"

Young Peterkin he cries; And little Wilhelmine looks up

With wonder-waiting eyes ; “Now tell us all about the war, And what they fought each other for." “ It was the English,” Kaspar cried,

“ Who put the French to rout; But what they fought each other for

I could not well make out.
But everybody said," quoth he,
" That 'twas a famous victory.
My father lived at Blenheim then,

Yon little stream hard by;
They burnt his dwelling to the ground,

And he was forced to fly:
So with his wife and child he fled,
Nor had he where to rest his head.
With fire and sword the country round

Was wasted far and wide,
And many a childing mother then

And newborn baby died :
But things like that, you know, must be
At every famous victory.
They say it was a shocking sight

After the field was won;
For many thousand bodies here

Lay rotting in the sun :
But things like that, you know, must be
After a famous victory.
Great praise the Duke of Marlbro' won

And our good Prince Eugene."
“Why 'twas a very wicked thing!”

Said little Wilhelmine. “ Nay .. nay.. my little girl," quoth he, “It was a famous victory. And everybody praised the Duke

Who this great fight did win.” * But what good came of it at last?"

Quoth little Peterkin. “Why that I cannot tell," said he, “But 'twas a famous victory."

Robert Southey.-Born 1774, Died 1843.

1221.-YOUTH AND AGE. With cheerful step the traveller

Pursues his early way,
When first the dimly-dawning east

Reveals the rising day.
He bounds along his craggy road,

He hastens up the height,
And all he sees and all he hears

Administer delight.
And if the mist, retiring slow,

Roll round its wavy white,
He thinks the morning vapours hide,

Some beauty from his sight.
But when behind the western clouds

Departs the fading day,
How wearily the traveller

Pursues his evening way!
Sorely along the craggy road

His painful footsteps creep,
And slow, with many a feeble pause,

He labours up the steep.
And if the mists of night close round,

They fill his soul with fear;
He dreads some unseen precipice,

Some hidden danger near.
So cheerfully does youth begin

Life's pleasant morning stage; Alas! the evening traveller feels . The fears of wary age ! Robert Southey.-- Born 1774, Died 1843.

1220.- THE SCHOLAR. My days among the Dead are past; Around me I behold, Where'er these casual eyes are cast, The mighty minds of old : My never failing friends are they, With whom I converse day by day.


And wherefore do the poor complain ?

The rich man ask'd of me; ...

Come walk abroad with me, I said,

And I will answer thee.
"Twas evening, and the frozen streets

Were cheerless to behold,
And we were wrapt and coated well,

And yet we were a-cold.
We met an old bare-headed man,

His locks were thin and white :
I ask'd him what he did abroad

In that cold winter's night:
The cold was keen, indeed, he said,

But at home no fire had he,
And therefore he had come abroad

To ask for charity.
We met a young bare-footed child,

And she begg'd loud and bold :
I ask'd her what she did abroad

When the wind it blew so cold :
She said her father was at home,

And he lay sick a-bed,
And therefore was it she was sent

Abroad to beg for bread.
We saw a woman sitting down

Upon a stone to rest,
She had a baby at her back

And another at her breast :
I ask'd her why she loiter'd there

When the night-wind was so chill: She turn'd her head and bade the child

That scream'a behind, be still ;
Then told us that her husband served,

A soldier, far away,
And therefore to her parish she

Was begging back her way.
We met a girl, her dress was loose,

And sunken was her eye,
Who with a wanton's hollow voice

Address'd the passers-by;
I ask'd her what there was in guilt

That could her heart allure
To shame, disease, and late remorse :

She answer'd she was poor.
I turn'd me to the rich man then,

For silently stood he, ...
You ask'd me why the poor complain,

And these have answer'd thee!
Robert Southey.--Born 1774, Died 1843.

“In the days of my youth," Father William

replied, “I remember'd that youth would fly fast, And abused not my health and my vigour at

first, That I never might need them at last.” “ You are old, Father William,” the young

man cried, “And pleasures with youth pass away ; And yet you lament not the days that are

gone; Now tell me the reason, I pray.” “In the days of my youth,” Father William

replied, “I remember'd that youth could not last; I thought of the future ; whatever I did,

That I never might grieve for the past." "You are old, Father William," the young

man cried, " And life must be hast ning away ; You are cheerful, and love to converse upon

death; Now tell me the reason, I pray." “I am cheerful, young man,” Father William

replied, “Let the cause thy attention engage; In the days of my youth I remember'd my

And He hath not forgotten my age."

Robert Southey.-Born 1774, Died 1843.

1224.—THE INCHCAPE RCCK. 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 flow'd over the Inchcape Rock; So little they rose, so little they fell, They did not move the Inchcape Bell. The good old Abbot of Aberbrothok 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 Aberbrothok. The sun in heaven was shining gay, All things were joyful on that day; The sea-birds scream'd as they wheel'd round, And there was joyance in their sound. The buoy of the Inchcape Bell was seen A darker speck on the ocean green; Sir Ralph the Rover walk'd his deck, And he fix'd his eye on the darker speck.

[blocks in formation]

He felt the cheering power of spring,

Every day the starving poor
It made him whistle, it made him sing; Crowded around Bishop Hatto's door,
His heart was mirthful to excess,

For he had a plentiful last year's store; But the Rover's mirth was wickedness. And all the neighbourhood could tell

His granaries were furnish'd well.
His eye was on the Inchcape float;
Quoth he, "My men, put out the boat,

At last Bishop Hatto appointed a day
And row me to the Inchcape Rock,

To quiet the poor without delay;
And I'll plague the priest of Aberbrothok.” He bade them to his great barn repair,

And they should have food for the winter The boat is lower'd, the boatmen row,

there. And to the Inchcape Rock they go ; Sir Ralph bent over from the boat,

Rejoiced such tidings good to hear, And he cut the bell from the Inchcape float. The poor folk flock'd from far and near ;

The great barn was full as it could hold Down sank the bell, with a gurgling sound, Of women and children, and young and old. The bubbles rose and burst around; Quoth Sir Ralph, “ The next who comes to Then when he saw it could hold no more the Rock

Bishop Hatto he made fast the door ; Won't bless the Abbot of Aberbrothok." And while for mercy on Christ they call,

He set fire to the barn and burnt them all. Sir Ralph the Rover sail'd away, He scour'd the seas for many a day;

“I' faith, 'tis an excellent bonfire !” quoth he, And now grown rich with plunder'd store,

“And the country is greatly obliged to me, He steers his course for Scotland's shore.

For ridding it in these times forlorn
So thick a haze o'erspreads the sky

Of rats, that only consume the corn.”
They cannot see the sun on high ;
The wind hath blown a gale all day,

So then to his palace returned he,

And he sat down to supper merrily, At evening it hath died away.

And he slept that night like an innocent On the deck the Rover takes his stand,

man, So dark it is they see no land.

But Bishop Hatto never slept again.
Quoth Sir Ralph, “It will be lighter soon,
For there is the dawn of the rising moon.'

In the morning as he enter'd the hall,

Where his picture hung against the wall, “Can'st hear," said one, “the breakers roar ? A sweat like death all over him came, For methinks we should be near the shore; For the rats had eaten it out of the frame. Now where we are I cannot tell, But I wish I could hear the Inchcape Bell.”

As he look'd there came a man from the

farm, They hear no sound, the swell is strong ;

He had a countenance white with alarm ; Though the wind hath fallen, they drift " My lord, I open'd your granaries this morn, along,

And the rats had eaten all your corn."
Till the vessel strikes with a shivering shock :
Cried they, “ It is the Inchcape Rock !"

Another came running presently,

And he was pale as pale could be, Sir Ralph the Rover tore his hair,

"Fly! my Lord Bishop, fly," quoth he, He curst himself in his despair ;

“ Ten thousand rats are coming this wayThe waves rush in on every side,

The Lord forgive you for yesterday!” The ship is sinking beneath the tide,

“I'll go to my tower on the Rhine,” replied But even in his dying fear

he, One dreadful sound could the Rover hear, “ Tis the safest place in Germany; A sound as if with the Inchcape Bell,

The walls are high, and the shores are steep, The fiends below were ringing his knell. And the stream is strong, and the water Robert Southey.-Born 1774, Died 1843. deep.”

Bishop Hatto fearfully hasten'd away,
And he cross'd the Rhine without delay,
And reach'd his tower and barr'd with care

All the windows, doors, and loopholes there. 1225.-BISHOP HATTO.

He laid him down and closed his eyes, The summer and autumn had been so wet, But soon a scream made him arise; That in winter the corn was growing yet; He started, and saw two eyes of flame 'Twas a piteous sight to see all around On his pillow from whence the screaming The grain lie rotting on the ground.


[ocr errors]

He listen'd and look'd; it was only the cat; No damsel so lovely, no damsel so gay,
But the Bishop he grew more fearful for As Mary, the Maid of the Inn.

For she sat screaming, mad with fear,

Her cheerful address fill'a the guests with At the army of rats that was drawing near.


As she welcom'd them in with a smile ; For they have swum over the river so deep, Her heart was a stranger to childish affright, And they have climb'd the shores so steep, And Mary would walk by the Abbey at And up the tower their way is bent

night To do the work for which they were sent.

When the wind whistled down the dark

aisle. They are not to be told by the dozen or score,

She loved, and young Richard had settled the By thousands they come, and by myriads and day, more;

And she hoped to be happy for life; Such numbers had never been heard of before, But Richard was idle and worthless, and Such a judgment had never been witness'd of they yore.

Who knew him would pity poor Mary and

say Down on his knees the Bishop fell,

That she was too good for his wife.
And faster and faster his beads did he tell,
As louder and louder drawing near

'Twas in autumn, and stormy and dark was The gnawing of their teeth he could hear.

the night,

And fast were the windows and door ; And in at the windows, and in at the door,

Two guests sat enjoying the fire that burnt And through the walls helter-skelter they

bright, pour,

And, smoking in silence with tranquil delight, And down from the ceiling, and up through

They listen'd to hear the wind roar. the floor, From the right and the left, from behind and

“ 'Tis pleasant,” cried one, "seated by the before,

fireside From within and without, from above and To hear the wind whistle without.” below,

"What a night for the Abbey!” his comrade And all at once to the Bishop they go.


“Methinks a man's courage would now be They have whetted their teeth against the

well tried, stones, And now they pick the Bishop's bones;

Who should wander the ruins about. They gnaw'd the flesh from every limb,

I myself, like a schoolboy, should tremble to For they were sent to do judgment on him.

Robert Southey.-Born 1774, Died 1843. The hoarse ivy shake over my head;

And could fancy I saw, half persuaded by

fear, Some ugly old abbot's grim spirit appear,

For this wind might awaken the dead!” 1226.-MARY, THE MAID OF THE INN.

“I'll wager a dinner," the other one cried, Who is yonder poor maniac, whose wildly " That Mary would venture there now." fix'd eyes

' Then wager and lose !” with a sneer he Seem a heart overcharged to express ?

replied, She weeps not, yet often and deeply she “I'll warrant she'd fancy a ghost by her sighs ;

side, She never complains, but her silence implies And faint if she saw a white cow.” The composure of settled distress.

“Will Mary this charge on her courage No pity she looks for, no alms doth she allow?" seek;

His companion exclaimed with a smile ; Nor for raiment nor food doth she care : "I shall win--for I know she will venture Through her tatters the winds of the winter there now blow bleak

And earn a new bonnet by bringing a bough On that wither'd breast, and her weather From the elder that grows in the aisle."

worn cheek Hath the hue of a mortal despair.

With fearless good-humour did Mary comply,

And her way to the Abbey she bent ; Yet cheerful and happy, nor distant the day, The night was dark, and the wind was high, Poor Mary the Maniac hath been ;

And as hollowly howling it swept through the The traveller remembers who journey'd this sky, way

She shiver'd with cold as she went.

Ere yet her pale lips could the story impart,

For a moment the hat met her view; Her eyes from that object convalsively start, For-what a cold horror then thrill'd throngh

her heart When the name of her Richard she knew! Where the old Abbey stands, on the Common

hard by, His gibbet is now to be seen; His irons you still from the road may espy ; The traveller beholds them, and thinks with

a sigh Of poor Mary, the Maid of the Inn.

Robert Southey.-Born 1774, Died 1843.

O'er the path so well known still proceeded

the maid, Where the Abbey rose dim on the sight; Through the gateway she enter'd, she felt not

afraid, Yet the ruins were lonely and wild, and their

shade Seem'd to deepen the gloom of the night. All around her was silent save when the rude

blast Howl'd dismally round the old pile ; Over weed-coverd fragments she fearlessly

pass'd, And arrived at the innermost ruin at last,

Where the elder-tree grew in the aisle. Well pleased did she reach it, and quickly

drew near, And hastily gather'd the bough; When the sound of a voice seem'd to rise on

her ear, She paused, and she listen'd intently, in fear,

And her heart panted painfully now. The wind blew, the hoarse ivy shook over her

head, She listen'd, nought else could she hear; The wind fell; her heart sunk in her bosom

with dread, For she heard in the ruins distinctly the

tread Of footsteps approaching her near. Behind a wide column half breathless with

fear She crept to conceal herself there : That instant the moon o'er a dark cloud

shone clear, And she saw in the moonlight two ruffians

appear, , And between them a corpse they did bear. Then Mary could feel the heart-blood curdle

cold; Again the rough wind hurried byIt blew off the hat of the one, and behold, Even close to the feet of poor Mary it

roll’d, She felt, and expected to die. “Curse the hat!” he exclaims. “Nay, come

on till we hide The dead body," his comrade replies. She beholds them in safety pass on by her

side, She seizes the hat, fear her courage supplied,

And fast through the Abbey she flies. She ran with wild speed, she rush'd in at the

door, She gazed in her terror around, Then her limbs could support their faint

burden no more, And exhausted and breathless she sank on the

Unable to utter a sound.

1227.--ST. ROMUALD. One day, it matters not to know

How many hundred years ago,
A Frenchman stopt at an inn door:
The Landlord came to welcome him and chat

Of this and that,
For he had seen the traveller there before.

“Doth holy Romuald dwell

Still in his cell ?” The Traveller ask'a, “or is the old ms

man dead?“No; he has left his loving flook, and we

So great a Christian never more shall see, The Landlord answer'd, and he shook his

head. “Ah, sir, we knew his worth ! If ever there did live a saint on earth! Why, sir, he always used to wear a shirt For thirty days, all seasons, day and night.

Good man, he knew it was not right For Dust and Ashes to fall out with

Dirt ! And then he only hung it out in the rain,

And put it on again. There has been perilous work With him and the Devil there in yonder

cell; For Satan used to maul him like a Turk. There they would sometimes fight, All through a winter's night,

From sunset until morn. He with a cross, the Devil with his horn; The Devil spitting fire with might and main,

Enough to make St. Michael half afraid :
He splashing holy water till he niade

His red hide hiss again,
And the hot vapour fill'd the smoking cell.

This was so common that his face became
All black and yellow with the brimstone

flame, And then he smelt... O dear, how he did

smell ! Then, sir, to see how he would mortify The flesh! If any one had dainty fare,

« AnteriorContinuar »