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Oh, come you from the Indies? and, soldier, can you tell,
SENIOR POETICAL READER.
AN APRIL DAY.-Chaucer. * GEOFFREY CHAUCER (1328-1400) was closely connected with the court of Edward III. He is looked upon as the Father of English poetry. His chief work is the Canterbury Tales, consisting of stories told by some pilgrims whom Chaucer accompanied to the shrine of St. Thomas at Canterbury.
All day the low-hung clouds have dropt
Garnered, stored up.
Grove, a collection of
trees, or wood of small 5 There has not been a sound to-day
To break the calm of nature,
Of life, or living creature,
singing. I could have half believed I heard
Lowing, the bellow. The leaves and blossoms growing.
ing or cry made by I stood to hear-I love it well, The rain's continuous* sound
Continuous, not leav.
ing off, 15 Small drops, but thick and fast they fell,
Down straight into the ground.
Screen, to hide.
With shoots of tender green.
Honeysuckle, a climb-
Hath put forth larger studs. * These verses are given in the spelling of the present day, as Chaucer's old mode of orthography would not be intelligible to young readers.
Cones, leaf buds. Revealing, making known.
That lilac's cleaving cones* have burst, 25
The milk-white Howeis revealing ; *
Methinks their sweets are stealing.*
30 And grace and beauty everywhere
Are flushing into life.
Those earth-rejoicing drops !
Have circled out of sight,
40 But yet behold-abrupt* and loud,
Comes down the glittering rain;
The fringes* of her train.
Amber, a yellow
A PSALM OF LIFE.—Longfellow.
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW (1807–1882) was an eminent American poet. He was born at Portland, Maine, U.S., and for many years was Professor of Modern Languages and Literature at Harvard College, Massachusetts. Chief poems : Voices of the Night, Evangeline, Song of Hiawatha, Golden Legend, and Tales of a Wayside Inn.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting, *
And our hearts, though stout and brave, 15 Still like muffled 'drums* are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac* of life,
Be a hero* in the strife !
a state of watchfulness. Hero, a very brave man.
Trust no future, howe'er pleasant !
Let the dead 'Past bury its dead ;
Heart within, and God o'erhead !
25 Lives of great men,* all remind us,
We can make our lives sublime;
Footprints on the sands of Time.
Alfred the Great, Columbus, Shakspeare, Captain Cook, Nelson, George Washington, Stephenson, &c. Sublime, grand, noble. Footprints, &c., tho mark which one makes in the world by a good and noble life. Main, the ocean: here, the length of one's life. Forlorn, forsaken, helpless, unfriended. Achieving, performing our work or task. Pursuing, going on without ceasing with the work we have undertaken ; perse. vering with our task.
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us then be
and doing, With a heart for any fate; 35 Still achieving,* still pursuing,
Learn to labour and to wait.
JOSEPH ADDISON (1672–1719) was born in Wiltshire. He was one of the most elegant of our prose-writers, and gained a high reputation by his poems. He became Secretary of State in 1717.
Chief works: The Campaign, a poem celebrating Marlborough's victory of Blenheim (1704); essays to the Tatler, Spectator, and Guardian, on which his fame chiefly rests; and Cato, a tragedy written in 1713.
How are Thy servants blest, O Lord !
How sure is their defence !
Their help Omnipotence.*
Omnipotence here means God, who is All-powerful.
Hoary Alpine hills, the snow-capped hills of Switzerland. Tyrrhene seas,
the ancient name for the sea on the west coast of Italy. Afrighted, frightened.
Confusion, not know. ing what to do.
Pilot, one who con. ducts vessels in and out of barbour, or along a dangerous coast.
In foreign realms* and lands remote, *
Supported by Thy care,
And breathed in tainted * air.
Made every region please ;
And smoothed the Tyrrhene seas.
How with affrighted * eyes,
In all its horrors rise.
And fear on every heart;
O’ercame the pilot's * art.
Thy mercy set me free;
My soul took hold on Thee.
High on the broken wave,
Nor impotent* to save.
Obedient to Thy will ;
At Thy command was still.
Thy goodness I'll adore;
And humbly hope for more.
Thy sacrifice* shall be ;
Shall join my soul to Thee.
Sacrifice, offering to