Billeder på siden

120 The Chieftain's gripe his throat compressed,

His knee was planted on his breast;
His clotted locks * he backward threw,
Across his brow his hand he drew,

From blood and mist * to clear his sight, 125 Then gleamed aloft * his dagger bright !

But hate and fury * ill supplied
The stream of life's exhausted tide,
And all too late the advantage came

To turn the odds of deadly game;
130 For, while the dagger gleamed on high,

Reeled soul and sense, reeled brain and eye.
Down came the blow, but in the heath
The erring * blade found bloodless sheath!

The struggling foe may now unclasp 135 The fainting chief's relaxing * grasp ;

Unwounded from the dreadful close,
But breathless all, Fitz-James arose.

[blocks in formation]





The curfew * tolls the knell of parting * day, Curfew, the evening
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea,

bell rung in England

during Norman times The ploughman homeward plods * bis weary to warn the people to way,

put out all fires and And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

lights at eight o'clock.

Parting, departing. 5 Now fades the glimmering * landscape on the untilled meadow.

Lea, grass-land, an sight,

Plods, walks as if And all the air a solemn stillness holds,

very tired. Save where the beetle wheels his droning

Glimmering, fading flight,

Droning, humming

like a bee. And drowsy tinklings * lull the distant

Drowsy tinklings, &c., the sound of bells

tied round the necks Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower of some of the sheep. To The moping* owl does to the moon complain Moping, dull, gloomy.

Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,
Molest * her ancient solitary reign.

Molest, injure, dis

turb. Beneath those rugged * elms, that yew-tree's Rugged, rough, of shade,

uneven surface. Where heaves the turf in many a moulder

ing heap, 15 Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,

Hamlet, a small vil The rude forefathers of the hamlet * sleep. lage.

folds ;


household duties.

[ocr errors]



Breezy call, &c., fresh The breezy call* of incense-breathing morn, sweet air of the morn

The swallow twittering from the straw-built ing.

shed, Clarion, a narrow- The cock's shrill clarion,* or the echoing horn, tubed trumpet. No more shall rouse them from their lowly 20 Horn, the hunter's horn heard early in

bed. rning.

For them no more the blazing hearth shall

burn, Ply, &c., attend to Or busy housewife ply * her evening care :

No children run to lisp their sire's return,

Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.

Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield, 25 Furrow, the trench Their furrow * oft the stubborn glebe * has made by the plough.

broke; Glebe, land for culti

[afield ! * vating.

How jocund* did they drive their team * Jocund, cheerful,

How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy merry. Team, two or more

stroke ! horses, or other beasts of burden, harnessed Let not Ambition mock their useful toil, together. Afield, on towards the Their homely joys, and destiny * obscure ; 30

Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile Destiny, our state of

The short and simple annals * of the poor. Annals, the account of what takes place The boast of heraldry, the



power, from year to year. And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er

gave, Inevitable, sure to Await alike the inevitable

35 happen.

The paths of glory lead but to the grave. Impute, to blame.

Nor you, ye proud, impute* to these the fault, Anthem, a sacred

If Memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise, Storied urn, a vessel Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted containing the ashes vault of the deado person. The pealing anthem * swells the note of praise. 40 life written upon it. Bust, a representa- Can storied urn or animated bust *

Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? shoulders in solid substance.

Can Honour's voice provoke * the silent dust, Provoke, here means Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of to call forth.

Death ?
Pregnant, full of.
Celestial fire, the di-
vine spirit of poetry. Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid

45 Rod of empire, the Some heart once pregnant * with celestial sceptre, marking the power given to sovereigns to rule or Hands that the rod of empire * might have govern. Ecstasy, great joy.

swayed, Lyre, a kind of harp. Or waked to ecstasy * the living lyre.*

hour :


tion of the head and


fire ;




But Knowledge to their eyes her ample * page, Ample, large, wide, 50 Rich with the spoils * of time, did ne'er

Spoils, things taken unroll ;

from an enemy, here Chill Penury * repressed * their noble rage, means knowledge acAnd froze the genial current of the soul.

quired through prede

Penury, poverty. Full * many a gem, of purest ray serene, Repressed, stopped,

checked. The dark unfathomed * caves of ocean bear :

Genial, gay, cheerful. 55 Full many a lower is born to blush unseen, Full, &c., very many. And waste its sweetness on the desert air. Unfathomed, un

sounded, depth not

known. Some village Hampden,* that with dauntless Hampden (John) breast

lived in the reign of

Charles I. He would The little tyrant of his fields withstood ;

not pay the tax of Some mute inglorious Milton,* here may “ship money," and

became one of the rest,

leaders of the insur60 Some Cromwell,* guiltless of his country's rection. blood.

Milton (John) was one the greatest Eng

lish poets who ever The applause * of listening senates * to com- lived! mand,

Cromwell, the great

leader in the rebellion The threats of pain and ruin to despise,

against Charles I.; To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,

afterwards became And read their history in a nation's eyes,

Lord Protector.
Applause, praise.

Senate, an assembly 65 Their lot forbade : nor circumscribed * alone for managing the af.

fairs of a country. Their growing virtues, but their crimes con

Lot forbade, denied

this privilege from Forbade to wade through slaughter to a their position in life. throne,

Circumscribe, to put

boundaries And shut the gates of Mercy on mankind; about a thing, to

confine. The struggling pangs of conscious truth * to Conscious truth, what

one knows and feels hide,

to be true.
To quench the blushes of ingenuous* shame, Ingenuous, frank,
Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride open, straightfor-

With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.
Far from the madding * crowd's ignoble strife, Madding, madden-
Their sober wishes never learned to stray; ing, distracting, via

. 7; Along the cool sequestered * vale of life

Sequestered, lonely, They kept the noiseless tenor* of their way. set apart, private.

Tenor, here means

their course of life. Yet even these bones from insult to protect,

Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth * rhymes and shapeless sculpture Uncouth. rough.

Tribute, something So Implores the passing tribute * of a sigh. given or paid.

fined ;





around us.


Their name, their years, spelt by the unUnlettered, not learned.

lettered * Muse, Elegy here

The place of fame and elegy supply; praise of the dead.

And many a holy text around she strews, Moralist, one who That teach the rustic moralist * to die. tries to learn lessons from what happens For who to dumb Forgetfulness a prey,

This pleasing, anxious being, e'er resigned ; Precinct, an enclosd Left the warm precincts* of the cheerful day,

Nor cast one longing, lingering look behind? Parting, departing. On some fond breast the parting * soul relies, Pious, loving, affec- Some pious * drops the

closing eye requires; 90 Even from the tomb the voice of Nature

Even in our ashes live their wonted fires.



out harm.




For thee, who, mindful of the unhonoured

dead, Artless, simple, with- Dost in these lines their artless * tale relate ;

If chance, by lonely Contemplation led, 95 Kindred spirit, one Some kindred spirit * shall inquire thy fate, having habits and ideas. Haply, perhaps.

Haply * some hoary-headed swain * may say, Swain, a peasant. «Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn

Brushing with hasty steps the dews away, Lawn, a smooth piece To meet the sun upon the upland lawn. * of grass-land.

“There, at the foot of yonder nodding beech, Fantastic, odd, curi.

That wreathes its old fantastic * roots so

high, Listless, heedless, His listless * length at noontide would he careless.

stretch, Pore, look

And pore * upon the brook that babbles by. steadily, as Hard by, close to, “Hard by. * yon wood, now smiling as in scorn, 105

Muttering his wayward fancies he would

rove ; Wan, pale, faint.

Now drooping, woful, wan,* like one forlorn, Forlorn, forsaken. Crazed, one who is Or crazed * with care, or crossed in hopeless deranged in mind.




at stu




« One morn

missed him on the accustomed

hill, Heath, uncultivated

Along the heath * and near his favourite 110

tree; Rill. a small running Another came, nor yet beside the rill, *

Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was be ;



« The next, with dirges * due, in sad array, Dirge, a funeral ser.

vice. Slow through the church-way path we saw

Array, procession, him borne :

order. 115 Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay

Lay, the song or verse

carved on the stone;
Graved * on the stone beneath yon aged inscription.

Graved, carved








Epitaph, an inscrip

tion on a tomb.
Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth,

A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown;
Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth, Melancholy, a gloomy

And Melancholy * marked him for her own. state of mind, sad-
Large was his bounty,* and his soul sincere; * Bounty, what he gavo

Heaven did a recompense as largely send : Sincere, truthful,
He gave to Misery (all he had), a tear;
He gained from Heaven ('twas all he wished),

a friend. 125 No further seek his merits * to disclose, Merits, goodness.

Or draw his frailties * from their dread Frailties, weakabode, *

Dread abode, the (There they alike in trembling hope repose),

The bosom of his Father and his God.




Foreign strand, countries other than one's own native land.

BREATHES there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,

“ This is my own, my native land !”

Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned, 5

As home his footsteps he hath turned,

From wandering on a foreign strand ! *
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel-raptures swell:
High though his title, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred * all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,*

And, doubly dying, shall go down
15 To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,

Unwept, unhonoured, and unsung.


Pelf, riches.
Concentred, &c.,
thinking of no one
but himself, being
Renown, respect,
honour, fame.

« ForrigeFortsæt »