« ForrigeFortsæt »
IV. ENGLAND'S DEAD.
"Or a truth, whosoever had, with the bodily eye, seen Hengist and Horsa mooring on the mud-beach of Thanet, on that spring morning of the year 449, and then, with the spiritual eye, looked forward to New York, Calcutta, Sydney Cove, across the ages and the oceans, and thought what Wellingtons, Washingtons, Shaksperes, Miltons, Watts, Arkwrights, William Pitts, and Davie Crocketts had to issue from that business, and do their several taskworks so, he would have said these leather boats of Hengist's had a kind of cargo in them—a genealogic mythus, superior to any in the old Greek, to almost any in the old Hebrew itself, and not a mythus either, but every fibre of it fact."-Carlyle.
SON of the ocean isle !!
Where sleep your mighty dead?
Show me that high and stately pile
Is rear'd o'er Glory's bed.
Go, stranger, track the deep,
On Egypt's burning plains,
By the pyramid o'ersway'd,
With fearful power the noonday reigns,
And the palm-trees yield no shade.
But let the angry sun
From heaven look fiercely red,
Unfelt by those whose task is done!—
There sleep England's dead.3
The hurricane hath might
And far by Ganges' banks at night
Is heard the tiger's roar.
But let the sound roll on,
It hath no tone of dread
For those that from their toils are gone ;-
Loud rush the torrent-floods
And free, in green Columbia's woods,
But let the floods rush on!
Why should they reck whose task is done ?-
The mountain-storms rise high
And toss the pine-boughs through the sky,
But let the storm rage on!
Let the fresh wreaths be shed!
On the frozen deep's repose
"Tis a dark and dreadful hour,
But let the ice drift on!
Let the cold blue desert spread!
The warlike of the isles,
The men of field and wave,
Are not the rocks their funeral piles,
Go, stranger, track the deep,
Free, free the white sail spread!
Wave may not foam, nor wild wind sweep
Where rest not England's dead.
1. Who is addressed under this title ?
4. What wilds?
3. Historical allusions?
5. Detail the particular allusions.
LOVE OF COUNTRY.
V. LOVE OF COUNTRY.
"THAT We should love the land of our birth, of our happiness, of that social system under which our happiness has been produced and protected, the land of our ancestors, of all the great names and great deeds which we have been taught most early to venerate, is surely as little wonderful as that we should feel, what we all feel, a sort of affection for the most trifling object which we have merely borne about with us for any length of time. Loving the very land of our birth, we love those who inhabit it, who are to us a part, as it were, of the land itself, and the part which brings it most immediately home to our affections and services. It is a greater recommendation to our good-will, indeed, to be a relative, or a friend, or a benefactor; but it is no slight recommendation, even without any of these powerful titles, to be a fellow-countryman, to have breathed the same air, and trod the same soil, and lent vigour to the same political institutions, to which our own aid has actively or passively contributed."Brown's Lectures.
BREATHES there a man, with soul so dead,
"This is my own, my native land !"
From wandering on a foreign strand!
O Caledonia! stern and wild,
Land of brown heath and shaggy wood,
SIR WALTER SCOTT.
VI. BRUCE TO HIS ARMY.
IN the year 1314 the weak and worthless Edward II. invaded Scotand with the most formidable army that had ever left England, consisting of not less than 100,000 men, admirably equipped, and headed by the flower of English chivalry. King Robert Bruce met him on the banks of Bannockburn, at a short distance from Stirling, with only 40,000 Scots. The following poetical address is supposed to be spoken by Bruce on the approach of the enemy. The English were defeated; an immense slaughter followed; and Scotland was delivered from her invaders. Sir William Wallace, in the time of Edward I., had bravely, but not successfully, struggled for the freedom of his native country; it was now secured by Bruce.
SCOTS, wha hae wi' Wallace bled,
Now's the day, and now's the hour,
Wha will be a traitor knave?
Wha for Scotland's king and law,
By oppression's woes and pains,
Lay the proud usurper low!
Let us do, or die!
THE CLIFFS OF DOVER.
VII. THE CLIFFS OF DOVER.
"THE British Islands have also been singularly fortunate in respect of climate. If we desiderate the clear skies of Italy and the south of France, we also want the long-continued droughts and exhausting heats to which they are subject. Though exposed to sudden changes, we are exempted from all violent extremes of heat and cold.
On the whole, the climate of the British Islands is, notwithstanding its defects, one of the best, if not the very best, in Europe. It requires, indeed, the most anxious and watchful attention on the part of the husbandman; but instead of being a drawback, that is an advantage. There is also much truth in the remark of Charles II., as quoted by Sir William Temple:-' He thought that was the best climate where he could be abroad in the air with pleasure, or at least without trouble and inconvenience, the most days of the year, and the most hours of the day; and this he thought he could be in England, more than in any other country of Europe.'"-McCulloch's Geographical Dictionary.
Rocks of my country! let the cloud
My spirit greets you as ye stand,
I have left rich blue skies behind,
The breathings of the myrtle flowers
The isles of Greece, the hills of Spain,
For thine the Sabbath peace, my land!