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Again it fell and swung below,
But again it quickly mounted,
Till up and down, now fast, now slow,
Nine brave attempts were counted.
Sure,” cried the king, " that foolish thing
Will strive no more to climb,
When it toils so hard to reach and cling,
And tumbles every time.”
Up again it went, inch by inch,
Higher and higher he got,
And å bold little run at the very last pinch,
Put him into his native spot.
“ Bravo, bravo !" the king cried out,
“ All honour to those who try, The spider up there defied despair,
He conquered, and why shouldn't I ?"
Again King Robert roused his soul;
And history tells the tale,
That he tried once more, 'twas at Bannockburn, *
And that time he did not fail.
Adapted from ELIZA COOK.
RICHARD II'S MISGOVERNMENT.
This rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last,
For violent fires do soon burn out themselves.
Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short.
He tires betimes, that spurs too fast betimes.
With eager feeding, food doth choke the feeder.
Light Vanity, insatiate cormorant.
Consuming means, soon preys upon itself.
This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress, built by Nature for herself,
Against infection and the hand of war;
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
This nursery of wise and warlike kings,
This land of such brave souls, this dear, dear land,
Is now leas'd out like to a paltry farm.
England, bound-in with the triumphant sea,
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
Of watery Neptune, now's bound-in with shame,
With inky blots and rotten parchment-bonds.
HENRY IV.'s SOLILOQUY ON SLEEP. How many thousand of my poorest subjects Are at this hour asleep!-Sleep, gentle sleep, Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee, That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down, And steep my senses in forgetfulness? Why rather, Sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs, Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee, And hush'd with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber; Than in the perfumed chambers of the great, Under the canopies of costly state, And lull'd with sounds of sweetest melody? O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile, In loathsome beds; and leavest the kingly couch, A watch-case, or a common ’larum bell? Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast Seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains In cradle of the rude imperious surge; And in the visitation of the winds, Who take the ruffian billows by the top, Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them With deafening clamours in the slippery clouds, That, with the hurly, death itself awakes ? Canst thou, O partial Sleep! give thy repose To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude; And, in the calmest and the stillest night, With all appliances and means to boot, Deny it to a king? Then, happy low, lie down! Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.-SHAKSPEARE.
HENRY V. TO HIS SOLDIERS.
On, on, you noblest English!
Whose blood is fetch'd from fathers of war-proof;
Fathers, that like so many Alexanders,
Have, in these parts, from morn till even fought,
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument !
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's a-foot!-
Follow your spirit: and, upon this charge,
Cry, God for Harry, England, and St. George!
NIGHT BEFORE THE BATTLE OF AGINCOURT.
The confident and over-lusty French
For the low-rated English play at dice,
And chide the cripple tardy-gaited night,
Who, like a foul and ugly witch, does limp
So tediously away. The poor condemned English,
Like sacrifices, by their watchful fires
Sit patiently, and inly ruminate
The morning's danger: and their gesture sad
(Investing lank lean cheeks and war-worn coats)
Presenteth them unto the gazing moon
So many horrid ghosts. O, now, who will behold
The royal captain of this ruin'd band,-
Walking from watch to watch, from tent to tent,-
Let him cry praise and glory on his head !
For forth he goes, and visits all his host,
Bids them good-morrow with a modest smile,
And calls them brothers, friends, and countrymen.
Upon his royal face there is no note
How dread an army hath enrounded him;
Nor doth he dedicate one jot of colour
Unto the weary and all-watched night;
But freshly looks, and overbears attaint,
With cheerful semblance and sweet majesty;
That ev'ry wretch, pining and pale before,
Beholding him, plucks comfort from his looks.
A largess universal, like the sun,
His liberal eye doth give to every one,
Thawing cold fear.
GLOUCESTER'S SPEECH TO THE NOBLES.
Brave peers of England, pillars of the state,
To you duke Humphrey must unload his grief,
Your grief, the common grief of all the land.
What did my brother Henry spend his youth,
His valour, coin, and people, in the wars;
Did he so often lodge in open fields,
In winter's cold, and summer's parching heat,
To conquer France, his true inheritance ?
And did my brother Bedford toil his wits
To keep by policy what Henry got?
Have you yourselves, Somerset, Buckingham,
Brave York, and Salisbury, victorious Warwick,
Received deep scars in France and Normandy?
Or hath my uncle Beaufort and myself,
With all the learned council of the realm,
Studied so long, sat in the council-house
Early and late, debating to and fro,
How France and Frenchmen might be kept in awe?
And was his Highness, in his infancy,
Crowned in Paris, in despite of foes?"
And shall these labours and these honours die ?
Shall-Henry's conquest, Bedford's vigilance,
Your deeds of war, and all our council, die ?
Oh! peers of England, shameful is this league !
Fatal this marriage! cancelling your fame;
Blotting your names from books of memory;
Razing the characters of your renown;
Defacing monuments of conquer'd France ;
Undoing all, as all had never been. SHAKSPEARE.
RICHMOND ENCOURAGING HIS SOLDIERS.
Thus far into the bowels of the land
Have we march'd on without impediment;
Richard, the bloody and devouring boar,
Whose ravenous appetite has spoiled your fields,
Laid this rich country waste, and rudely cropp'd
Its ripen’d hopes of fair prosperity, -
Is now even in the centre of the isle.
Thrice is he arm'd who hath his quarrel just,
And he but naked, tho’ lock'd up in steel,
Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted :
The very weight of Richard's guilt shall crush him.
Then let us on, my friends, and boldly face him.
For me, the ransom of my bold attempt,
Shall bé this body on the earth's cold face;
But if we thrive, the glory of the action,
The meanest soldier here shall share his part of.
Advance your standards, draw your willing swords,
Sound drums and trumpets, boldly and cheerfully;
“God and St. George, Richmond, and Victory!”
COLUMBUS. « All work of man is like that of a swimmer, whom an ocean threatens to devour. If he front it bravely, behold how loyally it supports him, and bears him as its conqueror along! The winds had something else to do than to fill, rightly or wrongly, the sails of Columbus's cockle-boats. He was not among articulately speaking men, but among dumb monsters, tumbling and howling: Patiently he waited till the mad south-wester spent itself; with swift decision he struck in when the favouring east sprang up. Mutiny of men he sternly repressed. Complaint of weariness, weakness, or despondency in others, and in himself, he swallowed down. There was a depth of silence in him, deeper than the sea. His strong soul embraced and harnessed the unmeasured world.”CARLYLE.
Thy soul was nerved with more than mortal force,
Bold mariner upon a chartless sea,
With none to second, none to solace thee.
Alone, who daredst keep thy resolute course
Through the broad waste of waters drear and dark, 'Mid wrathful skies, and howling winds, and worse,The prayer, the taunt, the threat, the muttered curse
Of all thy brethren in that fragile bark:
For on thy brow, throbbing with hopes immense,
Had just Ambition set his royal mark,
Enriching thee with noble confidence,
That having once thy venturous sails unfurled,
No danger should defeat thy recompense,
The god-like gift to man of half the world.
TUPPER'S Ballads and Poems.
COLUMBUS ON FIRST BEHOLDING AMERICA.*
God of my sires ! o'er ocean's brim
Yon beauteous land appears at last;
Rise, comrades ! raise your holiest hymn,
For now our toils are past:
See o'er the bosom of the deep,
She gaily lifts her summer charms,
As if at last she long'd to leap
From dark oblivion's arms,
What forms, what lovely scenes may rise
Secluded from thy flowery breast;
Pure is thy sea, and calm thy sky,
Thou Garden of the West!
Around each solitary hill
A rich magnificence is hurld,
Thy youthful face seems wearing still
The fresh fragrance of the world.
We come, with hope our beacon bright,
Like Noah drifting o’er the wave,
To claim a world—the ocean's might,
Has shrouded like the grave;
And oh, the dwellers of the ark
Ne'er pin’d with fonder hearts, to see
The bird of hope regain their bark,
Than I have long'd for thee.
Around me was the boundless flood,
O'er which no mortal ever pass’d,
Above me was a solitude
As measureless and vast;
Yet in the air and on the sea,
The voice of the Eternal one
Breathed forth the song of hope to me,
And bade me journey on !