Billeder på siden
[blocks in formation]

He cannot walk, he cannot speak,

Nothing he knows of books and men, He is the weakest of the weak,

And has not strength to hold a pen. He has no pocket and no purse,

Nor ever yet has owned a penny, But has more riches than his nurse,

Because he wants not any.

He rules his parents by a cry,

And holds them captive by a smile, A despot, strong through infancy,

A king, from lack of guile.

He lies upon his back and crows,

Or looks with grave eyes on his mother What can he mean? But I suppose

They understand each other. Indoors or out, early or late,

There is no limit to his sway; For wrapt in baby-robes of state

He governs night and day. Kisses he takes as rightful due,

And, Turk-like, has his slaves to dress him; His subjects bend before him too: I'm one of them, God bless him!



O a dainty plant is the Ivy green,

That creepeth o'er ruins old !
On right choice food are his meals, I ween,

In his cell so lone and cold.
The wall must be crumbled, the stone decayed,

To pleasure his dainty whim; And the mouldering dust that years have made Is a merry meal for him.

Creeping where no life is seen,

A rare old plant is the Ivy green.
Fast he steals on, though he wears no wings,

And a staunch old heart has he;
How closely he twineth, how close he clings

To his friend the huge Oak Tree!
And slily he traileth along the ground,

And his leaves he gently waves,
As he joyously hugs and crawleth round
The rich mould of dead men's graves.

Creeping where grim Death has been,
A rare old plant is the Ivy green.

Whole ages have fled, and their works decayed,

And nations have scattered been;
But the stout old Ivy shall never fade

From its hale and hearty green.
The brave old plant in its lonely days

Shall fatten on the past;
For the stateliest building man can raise
Is the Ivy's food at last.

Creeping on where Time has been,
A rare old plant is the Ivy green!



How sleep the brave, who sink to rest
By all their country's wishes blest!
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold
Returns to deck their hallowed mould,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod
Than Fancy's feet have ever trod.

By fairy hands their knell is rung;
By forms unseen their dirge is sung;
There Honour comes, a pilgrim gray,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
And Freedom shall awhile repair
To dwell a weeping hermit there!

W. Collins,

[blocks in formation]

Come, spirit watchers at the golden gateway

That leads from Earth to realm of Fantasy, Guide our perplexed feet, and bring us straightway

Where freshest springs ard fairest pastures be.

Reveal to us the splendour and the wonder

Ye show to happy hearts that sojourn long; Teach us the mystery that lieth under

The opening hawthorn and the blackbird's song.

So shall we turn again with gladder faces

To this our dusty world of every day,
Our eyes more keen to mark its hidden graces,

And greet each flower that blossoms on our way.

So may the spells ye taught us still be ours

In Life's chill Autumn; when the nights are long, And still our hearts find treasure of late flowers,

And hear, through rain and mist, the redbreast's song.


Right on our flank the crimson sun went down,

The deep sea rolled around in dark repose,
When, like the wild shriek from some captured town,

A cry of women rose.

The stout ship Birkenhead lay hard and fast,

Caught, without hope, upon a hidden rock: Her timbers thrilled as nerves, when through them passed

The spirit of that shock;

And ever, like base cowards who leave their ranks

In danger's hour, before the rush of steel, Drifted away, disorderly, the planks,

From underneath her keel.

Confusion spread; for, though the coast seemed near,

Sharks hovered thick along that white sea-brink. The boats could hold ?—not all-and it was clear

She was about to sink.

"Out with those boats, and let us haste away,”

Cried one, “ere yet yon sea the bark devours." The man thus clamouring was, I scarce need say,

No officer of ours.

We knew our duty better than to care

For such loose babblers, and made no reply; Till our good colonel gave the word, and there

Formed us in line-to die.

There rose no murmur from the ranks, no thought

By shameful strength unhonoured life to seek; Our post to quit we were not trained, nor taught

To trample down the weak.

So we made women with their children go.

The oars ply back again, and yet again;
Whilst, inch by inch, the drowning ship sank low,

Still under steadfast men.

What followed why recall? The brave who died,

Died without finching in the bloody surf. They sleep as well beneath that purple tide, As others under turf.



"Lock the door, Lariston, lion of Liddesdale; Lock the door, Lariston, Lowther comes on;

The Amstrongs are flying,

The widows are crying, The Castletown's burning, and Oliver's gone! "Lock the door, Lariston, high on the weather-gleam See how the Saxon plumes bob on the sky

Yeoman and carbineer,

Billman and halberdier,
Fierce is the foray, and far is the cry!

« ForrigeFortsæt »