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A little weeping would ease my heart,
But in their briny * bed
80 With fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
She sang this “ Song of the Shirt !”
A woman, &c. The song is supposed to be sung by a needlewoman,
who has been reduced to the greatest want.
THE SEASONS.—Spenser. EDMUND SPENSER (1553-1599) was born in London, and educated at Cam. bridge. He is one of the greatest English poets; his chief work is the Faerie Queene, an allegorical poem, designed to celebrate the principal virtues. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.
So forth issued the Seasons of the year; Dight, adorned. First lusty Spring, all dight * in leaves and flowers
That freshly budded, and new blossoms did bear,
In which a thousand birds had built their bowers, Paramours, mates, That sweetly sung to call forth paramours ; 5
And in his hand a javelin he did bear, Stours, encounters,
And on his head (as fit for warlike stours) *
A gilt engraven morion * he did wear, Gilt morion, a gilded That as some did him love, so others did him fear. helmet, having no visor, copied from the 'Moors by the Then came the jolly Summer, being dight Spaniards.
In a thin silken cassock coloured green
That was unlinèd all, to be more light,
He wore, from which, as he had chauffed * been, heated, made hot by The sweat did drop, and in his hand he bore rubbing.
A bow and shaft, as he in forest green
Had hunted late the libbard * or the boar,
Laden with fruits that made him laugh, full glad Tofore, before.
That he had banished Hunger, which tofore *
Had by the belly oft bim pinched sore ;
Upon his head a wreath, that was enrolled 25 With ears of corn of every sort, he bore,
And in his hand a sickle he did hold,
Yold, yielded, given.
Chattering his teeth for cold that did him chill, kind of cloth, with 30 Whilst on his hoary * beard his breath did freeze, Hoary, grey.
And the dull drops that from his purpled bill Bill, nose.
Limbeck, a vessel used
in distilling. With which his feeble steps he stayed still, 35 For he was faint with cold and weak with eld * Eld, old age. That scarce his loosed limbs he able was to
Weld, to use, to weld. *
THE SPANISH CHAMPION.*—Mrs. Hemans.
his heart of fire,
Sancho, my captive train;
in prison for many
years by the king. 5 “ Rise ! rise ! even now thy father comes, a
At length his son, ransomed * man this day ;
Bernardo del Carpio,
took up arms to effect Mount thy good steed, and thou and I will his release. meet him on his way:"
Captive train, the
prisoners taken in Then lightly rose that loyal son, and bounded battle. on his steed;
Liege, lord, a feudal And urged, as if with lance in hand, his vassals or liegemen.
superior; one having charger's foaming speed.
beautiful to behold. 10 With one that ʼmid them stately rode, as a
leader in the land :
very truth, is he,
Yearned, desired very yearned * so long to see.” * Champion, a hero, one who fights in single combat for himself or for another.
dead ; *
of the king
His dark eye flashed, his proud breast heaved, his cheek's
blood came and went;
He looked up to the face above—the face was of the The dead, in order to de- A plume waved o'er that noble brow—the brow was ceive the son, father's
fixed and white; dead body He met at length his father's eyes, but in them was no placed
sight! by command
Up from the ground he sprang, and gazed ; but who can Paint that
paint * that
ce ? gaze, describe
They hushed their very hearts who saw its horror and actly how he amaze :
They might have chained him, as before that noble form
he stood ;
cheek the blood.
He thought on all his glorious hopes, on all his high Renown,
renown ; great name, Then flung the falchion * from his side, and in the dust celebrity.
sat down ; Falchion, short curved And, covering with his steel-gloved hand his darkly .
Up from the ground he sprang once more, and seized the surprised.
monarch's rein Courtier, a
Amid the pale and wildered * looks of all the courtier * lives at court.
takes a false oath,
35 And with a fierce, o'ermastering * grasp, the rearing war
O'ermaster. horse led,
powering And sternly set them face to face—the king before the
to kiss ?
where are they? 40 If thou wouldst clear thy perjured * soul, send life Perjurer, through this cold clay!
knowingly “Into these glassy eyes put light—be still, keep down thine ire ! *
blood was shed !
on thy head!”
silent face He cast one long, deep, troubled look, then turned from Martial
strain, war. that sad place:
like music. His hope was crushed his after-fate untold in martial Spain, a hilly strain
country in His banner led the spears no more amidst the hills of west of Spain ! *
my sire !
HOW THEY BROUGHT THE GOOD NEWS FROM
GHENT TO AIX.*—R. Browning. ROBERT BROWNING (1812- ), born at Camberwell, and educated at London University, ranks among the foremost of living poets. He possesses a wonderful power of condensed expression, and his writings are deeply thoughtful and expressive. Chief works : Men and Women, The Ring and the Book, Dramatic Lyrics, and other poems. I sprang to the stirrup, and Joris, and he ; I galloped, Dirck galloped, we galloped all three ; “Good speed !” cried the watch, as the gate-bolts undrew;
Echo, to send “Speed !" echoed * the wall to us galloping through : back'a sound,
* Ghent, the chief town of East Flanders, in Belgium. Aix-la-Chapelle, a city in Rhenish Prussia, The two towns are more than a hundred miles apart.
lance carried at the saddle.
Mechlin is noted for its lace.
Postern, a Behind shut the postern,* the lights sank to rest, 5 small door of And into the midnight we galloped abreast. gate in or by the side of a larger en. Not a word to each other, we kept the great pace, trance-gate, Neck by neck, stride by stride, never changing our
I turned in my saddle, and made its girths tight, Pique, a Then shortened each stirrup, and set the pique
Rebuckled the check-strap, chained slacker the bit, A whit, a Nor galloped less steadily Roland a whit.* point, a jot.
'Twas moonset at starting ; but while we drew near Lokeren, in Lokeren,* the cocks crew and twilight dawned clear; ders, Bel
At Boom,* a great yellow star came out to see ; 15 gium. At Düffeld, * 'twas morning as plain as could be ; Boom, Düf. And from Mechlin * church-steeple we heard the feld, Mechlin, in Antwerp
And I saw my stout galloper Roland at last,
And his low head and crest, just one sharp ear bent 25
For my voice, and the other pricked out on his track ; Intelligence, And one eye's black intelligence *-ever that glance quickness to O'er its white edge at me, his own master, askance !* Askance, And the thick heavy spume-flakes * which age and sideways Spume flakes,
His fierce lips shook upwards in galloping on. 30 Aye and
By Hasselt,* Dirck groaned, and cried Joris, "Stay
We'll remember at Aix"_for one heard the quick
flakes of foam.
mon name for a horse.