Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

10

THE INCHCAPE ROCK.*-Southey.
ROBERT SOUTHEY (1774-1843), an eminent English poet, was born at Bristol.
He became one of the foremost writers of an age famous for its literary men.
He was associated with Wordsworth and Coleridge in the “Lake School” of
poetry. Chief poems: Thalaba, an Eastern Tale; Madoc; and The Curse of
Kehama.

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.

Keel, the bottom of a

ship. 5 Without either sign or sound of their shock,

The waves flowed 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*

Abbot, head of an
Had placed that bell on the Inchcape Rock ;

abbey.

Aberbrothok, Ar-
On a buoy* in the storm it floated and swung, broath, in Forfar.
And over the waves its warning rung.

shire, Scotland.
Buoy, a floating cask

or piece of wood, When the rock was hid by the surge's* swell, fastened by a rope or The mariners* heard the warning bell ;

chain, to mark dan15 And then they knew the perilous* rock,

gerous places, or the

position of a ship's And blest the Abbot of Aberbrothok.

anchor, &c.

Surge, the swell or The sun in heaven was shining gay,

rise of the sea.

Mariner, a seaman All things were joyful on that day ;

or sailor. The sea-birds scream'd as they wheel'd around, Perilous, very dan. 20 And there was joyance* in the sound.

gerous, unsafe.
Joyance, joyfulness,

gladness.
The buoy of the Inchcape Bell was seen,
A darker speck on the ocean green;
Sir Ralph the Rover walk'd his deck, *

Deck, the floor or cov.
And he fix'd his eye on the darker speck.

ering of a ship. 25 He felt the cheering power of spring,

It made him whistle, it made him sing;
His heart was mirthful to excess,
But the Rover's* mirth was wickedness. Rover, a robber or

pirate, a wanderer. His eye was on the Inchcape float ;*

Float, the raft

which the bell was 30 Quoth* he; “My men, put out the boat, fastened. And row me to the Inchcape Rock,

Quoth, said.

Plague, to tease or And I'll plague* the abbot of Aberbrothok.”

to water

annoy, to vex.

* The Inchcape, or Bell Rock, is fourteen miles east of the entrance to the Firth of Tay, and is the site of a celebrated lighthouse, built by Robert Stevenson in 1807-10.

does

when

wind,

The boat is lower'd, the boatmen row,
And to the Inchcape Rock they go ;
Sir Ralph bent over from the boat,

35 And he cut the bell from the Inchcape float. Gurgling, making an Down sank the bell with a gurgling * sound, irregular sound, as

The bubbles rose and burst around; flowing from a bottle. Quoth Sir Ralph, “The next who comes to the

rock Won't bless the Abbot of Aberbrothok.” 43

Sir Ralph the Rover sail'd away, Scour, to travel from

He scour'd + the seas for many a day ;
place to place with-
out any set purpose, And now, grown rich by plunderd store,
as a pirate.

He steers * his course for Scotland's shore.*
Steers, directs.
Shore, the land wash-
ed by the sea.
So thick a haze * o'erspreads the sky

45 Haze, a mist or fog. They cannot see the sun on high ; Gale, a strong stormy

The wind hath blown a gale * all day,
At evening it hath died away.
On the deck the Rover takes his stand,
So dark it is they see no land.

50 Quoth Sir Ralph, “It will be lighter soon, Dawn, the light given

For there is the dawn * of the rising moon.” appears.

“Can'st hear," said one, “the breakers * roar? Breakers, waves dash

For methinks* we should be near the shore ; ing against the rocks and breaking into Now where we are I cannot tell;

55 spray and foam.

But I wish I could hear the Inchcape Bell.”
Methinks, it seems to
Swell

, waves follow- They hear no sound, the swell * is strong; ing one another in Though the wind hath fallen, they drift * along, some general direc

Till the vessel strikes with a shivering shock : tion. Drift, the force of

Cried they, “It is the Inchcape Rock !” 60 the waves driving the ship onward.

Sir Ralph the Rover tore his hair,

He cursed himself in his despair ; *
Despair,
hope.

The waves rush in on every side,
The ship is sinking beneath the tide.
But even in his dying fear
One dreadful sound could the Rover hear,

A sound as if with the Inchcape Bell,
Knell, the sound of a The fiends below were ringing his knell.*
bell rung at a person's
death or funeral,

before the moon itself

me.

without

65 LUCY GRAY.-Wordsworth.

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH (1770-1850), a great English poet, was born at Cocker. mouth in Cumberland. He was educated at Cambridge. On the death of Southey in 1843, he was made Poet-Laureate. Chief poems : The Excursion, Lyricai Ballads, White Doe of Rylstone, and a very fine collection of Sonnets. OFT I had heard of Lucy Gray:

Lucy Gray: the inci.

dent on which this And, when I crossed the wild,*

poem is founded took I chanced to see, at break of day,

place near Halifax in The solitary * child.

Yorkshire.
Wild, unreclaimed

and uncultivated 5 No mate, no comrade * Lucy knew;

land, She dwelt on a wide moor, *

Solitary, alone, with

out company. The sweetest thing that ever grew

Comrade, friend, com-
Beside a human door !

panion.
Moor, an extensive

waste covered with You yet may spy the fawn * at play,

heath, IO The hare upon the green :

Fawn, the young of

a deer. But the sweet face of Lucy Gray,

Will never more be seen.

[blocks in formation]

20

Minster, the church
of a monastery, or one
to which a monastery
has been attached;
sometimes a cathe-
dral.
Faggot, a bundle of
sticks used for fuel.
Plied, worked stead.
ily.

“That, father ! will I gladly do ;

'Tis scarcely afternoon-
The minster-clock * has just struck two,

And yonder is the moon.”
At this the father raised his hook,

And snapped a faggot * band ;
He plied * his work ; -and Lucy took

The lantern in her hand.
Not blither* is the mountain roe: *

With many a wanton * stroke
Her feet disperse * the powdery snow,

That rises up like smoke.
The storm came on before its time;

She wandered up and down;
And many a hill did Lucy climb,

But never reached the town.

25

Blither, more spright-
ly, gayer, merrier.
Roe, the female of the
hart, a deer.
Wanton, frisky,mov.
ing or playing loosely,
merrily.
Disperse, to scatter in
all directions.

30

[blocks in formation]

THOUGHTLESS WORDS. Scott.
Oh, many a shaft, at random sent,
Finds mark, the archer little meant !
And many a word at random spoken,
May soothe, or wound, a heart that's broken !

THE UNIVERSAL PRAYER.-Pope.

*

ALEXANDER POPE (1688–1744), the greatest poet of his time. His literary career began at the age of sixteen, when he published the Pastorals. His poems are characterised by a gracefulness of versification that is unequalled. Chief poems: Rape of the Lock, Essay on Man, Moral Epistles, The Dunciad, and translations of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey.

FATHER of all ! in every age,
In
every
clime adored,

Clime, climate, coun:
By saint, by savage, and by sage, *

try.

Sage, a wise man. Jehovah, Jove, or Lord ! 5 Thou Great First Cause, least understood,

Who all my sense confined,
To know but this, that Thou art good,

And that myself am blind ;
Yet gave me, in this dark estate,

To see the good from ill;
And binding nature fast in fate,

Left free the human will :

IO

[blocks in formation]
« ForrigeFortsæt »