« PreviousContinue »
My bark! the winds are fair unfurl'd
To waft thee on thy watery road, Oh haste that I to this new world
May give glad tidings of her God; That I may lead those tribes aright,
So long on error's ocean driven, And point to their bewilder'd sight,
A fairer path to heaven.
What have the proudest conquerors rear'd
To hold their honours forth to fame? Things which a few short years have sear’d
And left without a name!
?Mid all the glories time has rentWill raise no column, but a world,
To stand my monument !-D. MORE.
TIIE BATTLE OF FLODDEN.*
But, see ! look up-on Flodden bent,
And sudden, as he spoke,
Was wreathed in sable smoke;
As down the hill they broke;
At times a stifled hum,
King James did rushing come.-
And such a yell' was there,
And fiends in upper air.
* In 1513.
At length the freshening western blast
But nought distinct they see:
Wild and disorderly.
Although against them come,
With Huntly, and with Home.
Far on the left, unseen the while,
The Howard's lion fell:
Around the battle yell.
Loud were the clanging blows;
The pennon sunk and rose;
It wayered 'mid the foes.
By this, though deep the evening fell,
The English shafts in vollies hailed,
That fought around their king !
The instant that he fell.
As fearlessly as well;
And from the charge they drew,
Sweep back to ocean blue.
Dissolves in silent dew.-Scott.
THE ELIZABETHAN AGE.
How many grand interests-maritime discovery kindling the imagination, national growth awakening patriotism, dawning science quickening intellect, prowess and passion incited by free and earnest social conditions-united to awaken the genius and enrich the manhood of England in Elizabeth's age! There was an earnest call upon all the powers, and large natures could scarcely avoid their use. Bacon was not only a chancellor but a philosopher and an essayist; Raleigh was not only an admiral but a statesman and an annalist; Sidney not only wielded a sword, but struck a lyre; and as if to mirror in one broad and eternal picture, the wide activity and universal humanity then projected into coming time, Shakspeare unfolded in the drama all the experience that life includes, and all the powers it enlists and illustrates.
Christian Examiner. There is many a glorious page in English history, but none more bright and radiant than that which records the doings of the Elizabethan era. It was a time when the national life was healt and noble, as never national life had been before, or has been since. The discovery of the New World kindled the imagination, and gave birth to great and glorious dreams; Protestantism gave earnestness to the dreamer, strengthened his arm, and inspired his every blow; Platonic idealism cast its divine radiance over all; the spirit of the chivalry which was expiring, ennobled that of the commercial enterprise, which was strengthening every day; and the sentiment of nationality, whilst fed by all these sources, blended them into one majestic stream, and sent them forth upon their errand, conquering and to conquer.
THE ARMADA.* Attend, all ye who list to hear our noble England's praise : I sing of the thrice famous deeds, she wrought in ancient days, When the great fleet invincible, against her bore, in vain, The richest spoils of Mexico, the stoutest hearts in Spain. It was about the lovely close of a warm summer's day, There came a gallant merchant ship, full sail to Plymouth bay; The crew had seen Castile’s black fleet, beyond Aurigny's isle, At earliest twilight, on the waves, lie heaving many a mile. At sunrise she escaped their van, by God's especial grace; And until noon a Spanish ship had held her close in chase. Forthwith a guard,
at every gun, was placed along the wall; The beacon blazed upon the roof of Edgecombe's lofty hall; Many a light fishing bark put out, to pry along the coast; And with loose rein, and bloody spur, rode inland many a post. With his white hair, unbonnetted, the stout old sheriff comes; Behind him march the halberdiers, before him sound the drums. The yeomen, round the market cross, make clear an ample space, For there behoves him to set up the standard of her grace : And haughtily the trumpets peal, and gaily dance the bells, As slow, upon the labouring wind, the royal blazon swells. Look how the lion of the sea lifts up his ancient crown, And underneath his deadly paw treads the gay lilies down! So stalked he when he turned flight, on that famed Picard fie Bohemia's plume, and Genoa's bow, and Cæsar's eagle shield : So glared he when, at Agincourt, in wrath he turned to bay, And crushed and torn, beneath his claws, the princely hunters lay. Ho! strike the flagstaff deep, sir Knight! Ho! scatter flowers,
fair maids! Ho, gunners! fire a loud salute! ho, gallants ! draw your blades ! Thou, sun, shine on her joyously! ye breezes, waft her wide ! Our glorious semper eadem! the banner of our pride! The fresh’ning breeze of eve unfurled that banner's massy fold The parting gleam of sunshine kissed that haughty scroll of gold. Night sank upon the dusky beach, and on the purple sea; Such night in England ne'er had been, nor e'er again shall be.
* In 1588.
From Eddystone to Berwick bounds, from Lynn to Milford bay,
flew He roused the shepherds of Stonehenge—the rangers of Beaulieu. Right sharp and quick the bells rang out, all night, from Bristol
town; And, ere the day, three hundred horse had met on Clifton Down.
The sentinel on Whitehall gate looked forth into the night,
went; Which roused, in many an ancient hall, the gallant squires of Kent; Southward, for Surrey's pleasant hills, flew those bright coursers High on black Hampstead's swarthy moor, they started for the
north; And on, and on, without a pause, untired they bounded still ; All night from tower to tower they sprang, all night from hill to hill; Till the proud peak unfurled the flag o’er Derwent's rocky daies; Till, like volcanoes, flared to heaven the stormy hills of Wales ; Till'twelve fair counties saw the blaze on Malvern's lonely height; Till streamed in crimson, on the wind, the Wrekin's crest of light, Till, broad and fierce the star came forth, on Ely's stately fane, And town and hamlet rose in arms, o'er all the boundless plain : Till Belvoir's lordly towers the sign to Lincoln sent, And Lincoln sped the message on, o'er the wide vale of Trent; Till Skiddaw saw the fire that burnt on Gaunt's embattled pilé, And the red glare on Skiddaw roused the burghers of Carlisle.