« ForrigeFortsæt »
For a prize to Plymouth Sound ?-
(Ended Damfreville his speech),
Let the captains all and each Shove ashore, then blow up, burn the vessels on the beach!
France must undergo her fate.
“Give the word!” —But no such word
Was ever spoke or heard; For up stood, for out stepped, for in struck amid all theseA captain ? A lieutenant? A mate—first, second, third ?
No such man of mark, and meet
With his betters to compete! But a simple Breton sailor pressed by Tourville for the fleetA poor coasting pilot he, Hervé Riel the Croisickese.
And "What mockery or malice have we here?” cries Hervé
rogues ? Talk to me of rocks and shoals, me who took the soundings, teli On my fingers every bank, every shallow, every swell,
'Twixt the offing here and Grève, where the river disembogues? Are you bought by English gold? Is it love the lying's for?
Morn and eve, night and day,
Have I piloted your bay,
Only let me lead the line,
Get this ‘Formidable’ clear,
Make the others follow mine, And I lead them most and least by a passage I know well,
Right to Solidor, past Grève,
And there lay them safe and sound;
Keel so much as grate the ground-
Not a minute more to wait!
“Steer us in, then, small and great! Take the helm, lead the line, save the squadron!” cried its chief.
“Captains, give the sailor place!
He is admiral, in brief.”
Clears the entry like a hound,
See, safe through shoal and rock,
How they follow in a flock !
Not a spar that comes to grief !
All are harbored to the last,
Up the English come, too late.
So the storm subsides to calm ;
They see the green trees wave
On the heights o'erlooking Grève;
Let the English rake the bay,
As they cannonade away! ’Neath rampired Solidor pleasant riding on the Rance!” Now hope succeeds despair on each captain's countenance!
Outburst all with one accord,
Let France, let France's king,
Thank the man that did the thing!”
Not a symptom of surprise
In the frank blue Breton eyes-
Then said Damfreville, "My friend,
Though I find the speaking hard;
You must name your own reward.
France remains your debtor still.
Then a beam of fun outbroke
Since on board the duty's done,
maySince the others go ashore
Come! A good whole holiday! Leave to go and see my wife, whom I call the Belle Aurore!"
That he asked, and that he got-nothing more.
Name and deed alike are lost;
In his Croisic keeps alive the feat as it befell;
On a single fishing-smack,
Go to Paris; rank on rank
Search the heroes flung pell-mell
On the Louvre, face and flank;
So, for better and for worse,
In my verse, Hervé Riel, do thou once more
CXV.-YOUTHFUL FRIENDSHIP AND
I MILIUS GODFREY! forever holy be the name! a
boy when we were but a child—when we were but a youth, a man. We felt stronger in the shadow of his arm-happier, bolder, better in the light of his countenance. He was the protector—the guardian of our moral being. In our pastimes we bounded with wilder glee-at our studies we sat with intenser earnestness by his side. He it was that taught us how to feel all those glorious sunsets, and imbued our young spirit with the love of Nature. He it was that taught us to feel that our evening prayer was no idle ceremony to be hastily gone through-that we might lay down our head on the pillow, then soon smoothed in sleep—but a command of God which a response from Nature summoned the humble heart to obey.
2. He it was who forever had at command wit for the sportive, wisdom for the serious hour. Fun and frolic flowed in the merry music of his lips—they lightened from the gay glancing of his eyes—and then, all at once, when the one changed its measures, and the other gathered, as it were, a mist or a cloud, an answering sympathy chained our own tongue, and darkened our own countenance, in intercommunion of spirit felt to be, indeed, divine !
3. It seemed as if we knew but the words of languagethat he was a scholar who saw into their very essence. The books we read together were, every page, and every sentence of
every page, all covered over with light. Where his eye fell not as we read, all was dim or dark, unintelligible, or with imperfect meanings. Whether we perused with him a volume writ by a nature like our own, or the volume of the earth and sky, or the volume revealed from Heaven, next day we always knew and felt that something had been added to our being. Thus imperceptibly we grew up in our intellectual stature, breathing a purer moral and religious air; with all our finer affections towards other human beings, all our kindred and our kind, touched with a dearer domestic tenderness, or with a sweet benevolence that seemed to our ardent fancy to embrace the dwellers in the uttermost regions of the earth.
4. No secret of pleasure or pain--of joy or grief-of fear or hope—had our heart to withhold or conceal from Emilius Godfrey. He saw it as it beat within our bosom, with all its imperfections—may we venture to say, with all its virtues. A repented folly—a confessed fault-a sin for which we were truly contrite-a vice flung from us with loathing and with shame-in such moods as these, happier were we to see his serious and his solemn smile than when in mirth and merriment we sat by his side, in the social hour, on a knoll in the open sunshine. And the whole school were in ecstasies to hear tales and stories from his genius; even like a flock of birds, chirping in their joy, all newly alighted in a vernal land. 5. In spite of that difference in our age
or oh! say rather because that very difference did touch one heart