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They drank to the soul of Witlaf,

They drank to Christ the Lord, And to each of the Twelve Apostles,

Who had preached his holy word. They drank to the Saints and Martyrs

of the dismal days of yore, And as soon as the horn was empty

They remembered one Saint more. And the reader droned from the pulpit,

Like the murmur of many bees,
The legend of good Saint Guthlac,

And Saint Basil's homilies;
Till the great bells of the convent,

From their prison in the tower,
Guthlac and Bartholomæus,

Proclaimed the midnight hour.
And the yule-log crackled in the chimney,

And the Abbot bowed his head,
And the flamlets flapped and flickered,

But the Abbot was stark and dead.
Yet still in his pallid fingers

He clutched the golden bowl, In which, like a pearl dissolving,

Had sunk and dissolved his soul.

But not for this their revels

The jovial Monks forbore. For they cried, “Fill high the goblet ! We must drink to one Saint more !"-LONGFELLOW.


Hark! from the dim church tower,
The deep slow curfew's chime !
A heavy sound unto hall and bower
In England's olden time!
Sadly 'twas heard by him who came
From the fields of his toil at night,
And who might not see his own hearth-flame
In his children's eyes make light.
And woe for him whose wakeful soul,-
With lone aspirings fill’d,
Would have lived o'er some immortal scroll,
While the sounds of earth were still'd!

And yet a deeper woe
For the watcher by the bed,
Where the fondly loved in pain lay low,
In pain and sleepless dread!
Darkness in chieftain's hall !
Darkness in peasant's cot!
While freedom, under that shadowy pall,
Sat mourning o'er her lot.
Oh! the fireside's peace we well may prize!
For blood hath flowed like rain,
Pour'd forth to make sweet sanctuaries
Of England's homes again.
Gather ye round the holy hearth,
And by its gladdening blaze,
Unto thankful bliss we will change our mirth,
With a thought of the olden days !-HEMANS.


In his chamber, weak and dying,
Was the Norman Baron lying;
Loud, without, the tempest thundered,

And the castle-turret shook.
In this fight was Death the gainer,
Spite of vassal and retainer,
And the lands his sires had plundered,

Written in the Doomsday Book.
By his bed a monk was seated,
Who in humble voice repeated
Many a prayer and pater-noster,

From the missal on his knee;
And, amid the tempest pealing,
Sounds of bells came faintly stealing,
Bells, that from the neighbouring kloster,

Rang for the Nativity.
In the hall, the serf and vassal
Held, that night, their Christmas wassail ;
Many a carol, old and saintly,

Sang the minstrels and the waits.
And so loud these Saxon gleemen
Sang to slaves the songs of freemen,
That the storm was heard but faintly,

Knocking at the castle gates.

Till at length the lays they chaunted
Reached the chamber terror-baunted,
Where the monk, with accents holy,

Whispered at the baron's ear.

Tears upon his eyelids glistened,
As he paused awhile and listened,
And the dying baron slowly

Turned his weary bead to hear.

“ Wassail for the kingly stranger, Born and cradled in a manger ! King, like David, priest, like Aaron

Christ is born to set us free!

And the lightning showed the sainted
Figures on the casement painted,
And exclaimed the shuddering baron,

“ Miserere, Domine!”

In that hour of deep contrition,
He beheld, with clearer vision,
Through all outward show and fashion,

Justice, the Avenger, rise.

All the pomp of earth had vanished,
Falsehood and deceit were banished,
Reason spake more loud than passion,

And the truth wore no disguise.

Every vassal of his banner,
Every serf borne to his manor,
All those wronged and wretched creatures,

By his hand were freed again.

And as on the sacred missal
He recorded their dismissal,
Death relaxed his iron features:

And the monk replied, " Amen!"

Many centuries have been numbered
Since in death the baron slumbered
By the convent's sculptured portal,

Mingling with the common dust:

But the good deed through the ages
Living in historic pages
Brighter grows and gleams immortal,
Unconsumed by moth or rust.


THE TIMES OF KING LION-HEART. With the deeds of noble Englishmen when Lion-heart was king, Though our chroniclers in prose and verse have made the world to

ring, I would have you know who listen, that the half has not been told Of those good old times, those brave old times, those merry times

of old. Merry England like a mighty sea, from end to end was stirred, When “God help the Holy Sepulchre" from every tongue was

heard, And the tempest caught up Lion-heart, as o'er the realm it rolled, In the good old times, the brave old times, the merry times of old.

Then the English king leaves England, and he hurries o'er the sea,
And his fighting men go with him, for Crusaders they would be.
Thrice a hundred thousand pilgrims does the Saracen behold,
In the good old times, the brave old times, the merry times of old.

They shall die upon a foreign shore,—their labour scarce begun :
They shall leave their bones to whiten in the scorching Syrian sun;
But'uis all in holy Jesus' name, and not for blood or gold,
In the good old times, the brave old times, the merry times of old.

And for Englishmen at home the while, their lawful king away,
Let them live at large like princes all, as merry as the day;
For the roads are only few and bad, just fit for robbers bold
In the good old times, the brave old times, the merry times of old.

O’er the marshy lands the fever broods, the plague is in the town,
But the king may give an orphan-maid for wife to any clown ;
And the working man like horse or dog is freely bought and sold,
In the good old times, the brave old times, the merry times of old.
There are churches, there are abbeys fine, right noble buildings all;
And the shaven monks all fatten there, like oxen in a stall,
And the priest who knows his letters is a wonder to behold,
In the good old times, the brave old times, the merry times of old.

And for children, whether they shall live, or die by fell disease When it seizes them, is more than medicine knows in days like

these, If escaping they shall feel the pangs of hunger and of cold, In the good old times, the brave old times, the merry times of old. But when sore beset they surely have the ancle-bones of saints And a hundred other relics to attend to their complaints, For Religion leaves the conscience and the life all uncontrolled, In the good old times, the brave old times, the merry times of old.

Then King Lion-heart returning, is in Austria waylaid,
And a hundred thousand silver marks as ransom must be paid ;
Let them levy it from sea to sea, for no man durst withhold,
In the good old times, the brave old times, the merry times of old.
Oh! we are not what we might be, nor what England shall be yet,
But for those old times, dear children, only simpletons will fret;
For the school, the rail, the cheap white loaf are better fifty-fold
Than the savage times, the cruel times, the sad, dark times of old.
Oh! we are not what we might be! but the Sunday School is here,
And the laws will shield the humblest, and no king may interfere,
And the Christian child is wiser far than all the barons bold,
Of the savage times, the cruel times, the sad, dark times of old.

Home Book for Children of all Ages.


Thou, who the verdant plain dost traverse here,
While Thames among his willows from thy view
Retires, O stranger, stay thee, and the scene
Around contemplate well. This is the place
Where England's ancient Barons, clad in arms
And stern with conquest, from their tyrant king
(Then render'd tame) did challenge and secure
The charter of thy freedom.* Pass not on
Till thou hast blest their memory, and paid
Those thanks which God appointed the reward
Of public virtue. And if chance thy home
Salute thee with a father's honour'd name,
Go, call thy sons; instruct them what a debt
They owe their ancestors; and make them swear
To pay it, by transmitting down entire
Those sacred rights to which themselves were born.



On a rock, whose haughty brow
Frowns o'er old Conway's foaming flood,

Robed in the sable garb of woe,
With haggard eyes the poet stood;
(Loose his beard, and hoary hair
Stream’d, like a 'meteor, to the troubled air ;)
And with a master's hand and prophet's fire,
Struck the deep sorrows of his lyre.

* In 1215. + Founded on a tradition of the Welsh, that when Edward I. conquered that country in 1283, he put all the bards to death who fell into his hands.

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