Page images
PDF
EPUB

Now reach thine hand! the boatman cried,
Lord William reach and save!

The child stretch'd forth his little hands
To grasp the hand he

gave.

Then William shriek'd; the hand he touch'd
Was cold and damp and dead!
He felt young Edmund in his arms
A heavier weight than lead.

The boat sunk down, the murderer sunk
Beneath the avenging stream;

He rose, he scream'd, no human ear
Heard William's drowning scream.

ST. MICHAEL'S CHAIR,

AND WHO SAT THERE.

MERRILY, merrily rung the bells,
The bells of St. Michael's tower,
When Richard Penlake and Rebecca his wife
Arrived at the church door.

Richard Penlake was a cheerful man,

Cheerful, and frank, and free,

But he led a sad life with Rebecca his wife,
For a terrible shrew was she.

Richard Penlake a scolding would take,
Till patience avail'd no longer,

Then Richard Penlake his crab-stick would take,
And show her that he was the stronger.

Rebecca his wife had often wish'd

To sit in St. Michael's chair;
For she should be the mistress then,
If she had once sat there.

It chanced that Richard Penlake fell sick,
They thought he would have died;
Rebecca, his wife, made a vow for his life,
As she knelt by his bed-side.

"Now hear my prayer, St. Michael! and spare
My husband's life," quoth she;
"And to thine altar we will go,

Six marks to give to thee.'

Richard Penlake repeated the vow,
For woundily sick was he;

"Save me, St. Michael, and we will go,
Six marks to give to thee."

When Richard grew well, Rebecca his wife
Teased him by night and by day:
"O mine own dear! for you I fear,
If we the vow delay."

Merrily, merrily rung the bells,

The bells of St. Michael's tower,

When Richard Penlake and Rebecca his wife Arrived at the church door.

Six marks they on the altar laid,
And Richard knelt in prayer:
She left him to pray, and stole away
To sit in St. Michael's chair.

Up the tower Rebecca ran,

Round and round and round; 'Twas a giddy sight to stand a-top. And look upon the ground.

[ocr errors]

A curse on the ringers for rocking
The tower!" Rebecca cried,

As over the church battlements
She strode with a long stride.

"A blessing on St. Michael's chair!"
She said as she sat down:

Merrily, merrily, rung the bells,

And Rebecca was shook to the ground.

Tidings to Richard Penlake were brought
That his good wife was dead:

"Now shall we toll for her poor soul

The great church bell?" they said.

"Toll at her burying," quoth Richard Penlake, "Toll at her burying," quoth he;

"But don't disturb the ringers now, In compliment to me."

THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM.

THE rage of Babylon is rous'd,

The king puts forth his strength;
And Judah bends the bow,

And points her arrows for the coming war.

Her walls are firm, her gates are strong,
Her youth gird on the sword;

High are her chiefs in hope,

For Egypt soon will send the promised aid.

But who is he whose voice of woe

Is heard amid the streets?

Whose ominous voice proclaims

Her strength and arms and promised succours vain?

His

meagre cheek is pale and sunk,

Wild is his hollow eye,

Yet fearful its strong glance;

And who could bear the anger of his frown?

Prophet of God! in vain thy lips
Proclaim the woe to come!
In vain thy warning voice
Summoned her rulers timely to repent!

The Ethiop changes not his skin.
Impious and idiot still,

The rulers spurn thy voice,

And now the measure of their crimes is full.

[ocr errors]

And now around Jerusalem
The countless foes appear;
Far as the eye can reach

Spreads the wide horror of the circling siege.

Why is the warrior's cheek so pale?
Why droops the gallant youth

Who late so high of heart

Made sharp his javelin for the welcome war?

"Tis not for terror that his eye

Swells with the struggling woe;

Oh! he could bear his ills,

Or rush to death, and in the grave have peace.

His parents do not ask for food,
But they are weak with want;
His wife has given her babes

Her wretched meal,-she utters no complain

The consummating hour is come!

Alas for Solyma!

How is she desolate,

She that was great among the nations fallen!

And thou-thou miserable king

Where is thy trusted flock,

Thy flock so beautiful,

Thy father's throne, the temple of thy God?

Repentance calls not back the past;
It will not wake again
Thy murdered sons to life,

Or bring back vision to thy blasted sight!

Thou wretched, childless, blind, old man-
Heavy thy punishment!

Dreadful thy present woes―

Alas, more dreadful thy remember'd guilt!

THE SPANISH ARMADA.

CLEAR shone the morn, the gale was fair,
When from Corunna's crowded port,
With many a cheerful shout and loud acclaim,
The huge Armada past.

To England's shores their streamers point,
To England's shores their sails are spread;
They go to triumph o'er the sea-girt land,
And Rome has blest their arms.

Along the ocean's echoing verge,
Along the mountain range of rocks
The clustering multitudes behold their pomp
And raise the votive prayer.

Commingling with the ocean's roar
Ceaseless and hoarse their murmurs rise,
And soon they trust to see the winged bark
That bears good tidings home.

The watch-tower now in distance sinks, And now Galicia's mountain rocks Faint as the far-off clouds of evening lie, And now they fade away.

Each like some moving citadel,

On through the waves they sail sublime;
And now the Spaniards see the silvery cliffs,
Behold the sea-girt land!

O fools! to think that ever foe
Should triumph o'er that sea-girt land!
O fools! to think that ever Britain's sons
Should wear the stranger's yoke!

For not in vain hath nature rear'd
Around her coast those silvery cliffs;
For not in vain old Ocean spreads his waves
To guard his favourite isle!

On come her gallant mariners!

What now avail Rome's boasted charms? Where are the Spaniard's vaunts of eager wrath } His hopes of conquest now?

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »