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Prior. Mine eyes are dim with age—but many
thoughts Do stir within me at thy voice.
Str. List to me, monk; it is thy trade to talk,
Prior. Good Heaven and all its saints !
Ber. What sayest thou ?
them; Scanning with giddy eye the air-hung rock,
From which they leapt and live by miracle ;-
this is the man whose sight should blast me; Yet in calm dreadful triumph still gaze on :It is a horrid joy. (Crosses to L.)
Prior. Nay, rave not thus, Thou wilt not meet him; many a day must pass Till from Palermo's walls he wend him homeward, Where now he tarries with St. Anselm's knights. His dame doth dwell in solitary wise, Few are the followers in his lonely hallsWhy dost thou smile in that most horrid guise ? Ber. (Repeating.) His dame doth dwell alone. Per
chance his childOh! no, no, no! it was a damned thought.
Prior. I do but indistinctly hear thy words, But feel they have some fearful meaning in them.
Ber. Oh, that I could but mate him in his might ! Oh, that we were on the dark wave together,
(Crosses to r.) With but one plank between us and destruction, That I might grasp him in these desperate arms, And plunge with him amid the weltering billows And view him gasp for life !-andHa! ha!-I see him struggling !I see him !-ha! ha! ha! (A frantic laugh.)
Prior. Oh, horrible ! Help!-Help to hold him, for my strength doth fail.
Enter MONK, L.
Monk. The lady of St. Aldobrand sends greetingPrior. Oh, art thou come; this is no time for greet
ingHelp-bear him off-thou see'st his fearful state.
[Exeunt, bearing off BERTRAM, R.
THE FORGING OF THE ANCHOR.
BY SAMUEL FERGUSON, Q.C., M.R.I.A. COME, see the Dolphin's anchor forged—'tis at a white
heat now: The bellows ceased, the flames decreased—tho' on the
forge's brow The little flames still fitfully play through the sable
mound, And fitfully you still may see the grim smiths ranking
round, All clad in leathern panoply, their broad hands only
bare Some rest upon their sledges here, some work the wind
The windlass strains the tackle chains, the black mound
heaves below, And red and deep a hundred veins burst out at every
throe : It rises, roars, rends all outright—Oh, Vulcan, what a
glow ! 'Tis blinding white, 'tis blasting bright—the high sun
shines not so! The high sun sees not, on the earth, such fiery, fearful
show; The roof-ribs swarth, the candent earth, the ruddy
lurid row Of smiths that stand, an ardent band, like men before
the foe. As, quivering thro' his fleece of flame, the sailing mon
Sinks on the anvil-all about the faces fiery grow, “Hurrah!" they shout, “leap out—leap out!" bang,
bang the sledges go : Hurrah!" the jetted lightnings are hissing high and lowA hailing fount of fire is struck at every squashing
The leathern mail rebounds the hail, the rattling cinders
strow The ground around : at every bound the sweltering
fountains flow, And thick and loud the swinking crowd at every stroke
Leap out, leap out, my masters; leap out and lay on
load! Let's forge a goodly anchor-a bower thick and broad; For a heart of oak is hanging on every blow, I bode, And I see the good ship riding, all in a perilous roadThe low reef roaring on her lee—the roll of ocean
pour'd From stem to stern, sea after sea; the mainmast by the
board; The bulwarks down, the rudder gone, the boats stove
at the chains ! But courage still, brave mariners—the bower yet re
mains, And not an inch to flinch he deigns, save when ye pitch
sky high; Then moves his head, as tho' he said, “ Fear nothing
here am I!" Swing in your strokes in order, let foot and hand keep
time; Your blows make music sweeter far than any steeple's
chime. But, while you sling your sledges, sing, and let the
burthen be, The anchor is the anvil king, and royal craftsmen we ! Strike in, strike in—the sparks begin to dull their
rustling red; Our hammers ring with sharper din, our work will soon
be sped. Our anchor soon must change his bed of fiery rich
array, For a hammock at the roaring bows, or an oozy couch
Our anchor soon must change the lay of merry crafts
men here, For the yeo-heave-o', and the heave-away, and the
sighing seaman's cheer; When, weighing slow, at eve they go-far, far from love
and home; And sobbing sweethearts, in a row, wail o'er the ocean
In livid and obdurate gloom he darkens down at last; A shapely one he is, and strong, as e'er from cat was
cast. O trusted and trustworthy guard, if thou hadst life like
me, What pleasures would thy toils reward beneath the deep
green sea! O deep-sea diver, who might then behold such sights
as thou? The hoary monster's palaces ! methinks what joy 'twere To go plumb plunging down amid the assembly of the
whales, And feel the churn'd sea round me boil beneath their
scourging tails ! Then deep in tangle-woods to fight the fierce sea
unicorn, And send him foiled and bellowing back, for all his
ivory horn; To leave the subtle sword-fish of bony blade forlorn; And for the ghastly-grinning shark to laugh his jaws to
scorn ; To leap down on the kraken's back, where 'mid Nor
wegian isles He lies, a lubber anchorage for sudden shallow'd miles; 'Till snorting, like an under-sea volcano, off he rolls; Meanwhile to swing, a-buffeting the far astonished
shoals Of his back-browsing ocean-calves; or, haply in a cove, Shell-strown, and consecrate of old to some Undiné's