« 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 1 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 these— A 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 fleet— A poor coasting pilot he, Herv6 Riel the Croisickese.
And "What mockery or malice have we here?" cries Herv6 Riel; "Are you mad, you Malouins? Are you cowards, fools or rogues? Talk to me of rocks and shoals, me who took the soundings, tell On my fingers every bank, every shallow, every swell,
'Twixt the offing here and Greve, 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, Entered free and anchored fast at the foot of Solidor. Burn the fleet, and ruin France? That were worse than fifty Hogues! Sirs, they know I speak the truth! Sirs, believe me there 's a way!
"Only let me lead the line,
Have the biggest ship to steer,
Get this 'Formidable' clear, Make the others follow mine, And I lead them most and least by a passage I know well, Eight to Solidor, past Greve,
And there lay them safe and sound; And if one ship misbehave— Keel so much as grate the ground— Why, I 've nothing but my life; here 's my head!" cries Hei v<3 Riel.
vm. 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." Still the north wind, by God's grace; See the noble fellow's face As the big ship, with a bound, Clears the entry like a hound, Keeps the passage as its inch of way were the wide sea's profound!
See, safe through shoal and rock, How they follow in a flock! Not a ship that misbehaves, not a keel that grates the ground, Not a spar that comes to grief! The peril, see, is past, All are harbored to the last, And just as Herve' Riel hollas "Anchor!"—sure as fate, Up the English come, too late.
So the storm subsides to calm;
They see the green trees wave
On the heights o'erlooking Greve;
Let the English rake the bay,
As they cannonade away!
'Neath rampired Solidor pleasant riding on the Ranee!"
Now hope succeeds despair on each captain's countenance!
Outburst all with one accord,
Then said Damfreville, "My friend,
Though I find the speaking hard;
You must name your own reward.
Then a beam of fun outbroke
Since on board the duty 's done,
Since 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; Not a head in white and black On a single fishing-smack, In memory of the man but for whom had gone to wrack All that France saved from the fight whence England bore the bell.
Go to Paris; rank on rank
Search the heroes flung pell-mell On the Louvre, face and flank; You shall look long enough ere you come to Herv6 Riel. So, for better and for worse, Herve' Riel, accept my verse! In my verse, Herve Riel, do thou once more Save the squadron, honor France, love thy wife, the Belle Aurore!
CXV.— YOUTHFUL FRIENDSHIP AND
EMILIUS 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 frons 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 language— that he was a scholar who saw into their very essence. The books we read together we're, 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