Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

Peace, Peace, she cannot hear

Lyre or sonnet,
All my life's buried here,
Heap earth upon it.

OSCAR WILDE.

52. NIGHT AND SLEEP.

How strange at night to wake

And watch, while others sleep, Till sight and hearing ache

For objects that may keep The awful inner sense

Unroused, lest it should mark The life that haunts the emptiness

And horror of the dark !

How strange at night the bay

Of dogs, how wild the note Of cocks that scream for day,

In homesteads far remote; How strange and wild to hear

The old and crumbling tower, Amid the darkness, suddenly

Take tongue and speak the hour!

Albeit the love-sick brain

Affects the dreary moon,
Ill things alone refrain

From life's nocturnal swoon:
Men melancholy mad,

Beasts ravenous and sly,
The robber, and the murderer,

Remorse, with lidless eye.

The nightingale is gay,

For she can vanquish night;
Dreaming, she sings of day

Notes that make darkness bright;
But when the refluent gloom

Saddens the gaps of song,
Men charge on her the dolefulness,
And call her crazed with wrong.

COVENTRY PATMORE.

53. THE YEAR.

The crocus, while the days are dark,

Unfolds its saffron sheen;
At April's touch, the crudest bark

Discovers gems of green.
Then sleep the seasons, full of might;

While slowly swells the pod
And rounds the peach, and in the night

The mushroom bursts the sod.

The Winter falls; the frozen rut

Is bound with silver bars;
The snow-drift heaps against the hut,
And night is pierc'd with stars.

COVENTRY PATMORE.

55. THE CRADLE.

How steadfastly she'd worked at it!

How lovingly had drest
With all her would-be mother's wit

That little rosy nest!

How lovingly she'd hung on it!

It sometimes seemed, she said,
There lay beneath it's coverlet

A little sleeping head.

He came at last, the tiny guest,

Ere bleak December fled;
That rosy nest he never prest
Her coffin was his bed.

AUSTIN Dobson.

55. THE YARN OF THE NANCY BELL.

'Twas on the shores that round our coast

From Deal to Ramsgate span,
That I found alone on a piece of stone

An elderly naval man.
His hair was weedy, his beard was long,

And weedy and long was he,
And I heard this wight on the shore recite,

In a singular minor key:
“Oh, I am a cook and a captain bold ,

And the mate of the Nancy brig,
And a bo'sun tight, and a midshipmite,

And the crew of the captain's gig."
And he shook his fists and he tore his hair,

Till I really felt afraid,
For I couldn't help thinking the man had been drinking ,

And so I simply said:

“Oh, elderly man, it's little I know

Of the duties of men of the sea, And I'll eat my hand if I understand

However you can be

“At once a cook, and a captain bold,

And the mate of the Nancy brig,
And a bo'sun tight, and a midshipmite,

And the crew of the captain's gig."

Then he gave a hitch to his trousers, which

Is a trick all seamen larn,
And having got rid of a thumping quid ,

He spun this painful yarn:

“'Twas in the good ship Nancy Bell

That we sailed to the Indian Sea, And there on a reef we come to grief,

Which has often occurred to me.

“And pretty nigh all the crew was drowned

(There was seventy-seven o' soul), And only ten of the Nancy's men

Said 'Here!' to the muster-roll.

“There was me and the cook and the captain bold,

And the mate of the Nancy brig,
And the bo’sun tight, and a midshipmite,

And the crew of the captain's gig.

“For a month we'd neither wittles nor drink,

Till a-hungry we did feel,
So we drawed a lot, and, accordin' shot

The captain for our meal.

"The next lot fell to the Nancy's mate,

And a delicate dish he made;
Then our appetite with the midshipmite

We seven survivors stayed.

“And then we murdered the bo’sun tight,

And he much resembled pig;
Then we wittled free, did the cook and me,

On the crew of the captain's gig.

“Then only the cook and me was left,

And the delicate question, Which Of us two goes to the kettle?' arose,

And we argued it out as sich.

"For I loved that cook as a brother, I did,

And the cook he worshipped me;
But we'd both be blowed if we'd either be stowed

In the other chap's hold, you see.

" I'll be eat if you dines off me,' says Tom;

“Yes, that,' says I, 'you'll be, "I'm boiled if I die, my friend,' quoth I;

And 'Exactly so,' quoth he.

“Says he, 'Dear James, to murder me

Were a foolish thing to do,
For don't you see that you can't cook me,
While I can

and will cook you!

“So he boils the water, and takes the salt

And the pepper in portions true (Which he never forgot), and some chopped shalot,

And some sage and parsley too.

"Come here,' says he, with a proper pride,

Which his smiling features tell, 'Twill soothing be if I let you see

How extremely nice you'll smell.' "And he stirred it round and round and round,

And he sniffed at the foaming froth; When I ups with his heels, and smothers his squeals

In the scum of the boiling broth.

« ForrigeFortsæt »