Page images

7. He felt the cheering power of spring;
It made him whistle, it made him sing;
His heart was mirthful to excess,
But the Rover's mirth was wickedness.

8. His eye was on the Inchcape float;
Quoth he, “My men, put out the boat,
And row me to the Inchcape Rock,
And I'll plague the Abbot of Aberbrothock."

9. The boat is lowered, the boatmen row,
And to the Inchcape Rock they go;
Sir Ralph bent over from the boat,
And he cut the bell from the Inchcape float.

10. Down sunk the bell with a gurgling sound; The bubbles rose and burst around; Quoth Sir Ralph, “The next who comes to the rock Won't bless the Abbot of Aberbrothock."

11. Sir Ralph the Rover sailed away;
He scoured the seas for many a day;
And now, grown rich with plundered store,
He steers his course for Scotland's shore.

12. So thick a haze o'erspreads the sky,
They cannot see the sun on high;
The wind hath blown a gale all day;
At evening it hath died away.

13. On the deck the Rover takes his stand;
So dark it is they see no land.
Quoth Sir Ralph, “ It will be lighter soon,
For there is the dawn of the rising moon.”


14. “Canst hear,” said one, “ the breaker's roar ?
For methinks we should be near the shore.”
“Now where we are I cannot tell,
But I wish I could hear the Inchcape Bell."

15. They hear no sound; the swell is strong;
Though the wind hath fallen, they drift along
Till the vessel strikes with a shivering shock,-
“Oh God! it is the Inchcape Rock !”

16. Sir Ralph the Rover tore his hair;
He cursed himself in his despair;
The waves rush in on every side;
The ship is sinking beneath the tide.

17. But even in his dying fear,
One dreadful sound could the Rover hear,-
A sound, as if, with the Inchcape Bell,
The fiend below was ringing his knell.



ANDREW MARVELL. 1. For the press hath owed him* a shame a long time, and is but now beginning to pay off the debt,—the press (that villainous engine), invented about the same time with the Reformation, that hath done more mischief to the discipline of our church than all the doctrine can make amends for. 'Twas a happy time when all learning was in manuscript, and some little officer, like our author, did keep the keys of the library; when the clergy needed no more knowledge than to read the liturgy, and the laity no more clerkship than to save them from hanging. *Bishop Parker, who was regarded as having changed his views for the sake of office,

2. But now, since printing came into the world, such is the mischief, that a man cannot write a book but presently he is answered! Could the press at once be conjured to obey only an imprimatur, our author might not disdain, perhaps, to be one of its most zealous patrons. There have been ways found out to banish ministers, to fine not only the people but even the grounds and fields where they assembled in conventicles. But no art yet could prevent these seditious meetings of letters. Two or three brawny fellows in a corner, with mere ink and elbow-grease do more harm than a hundred systematical divines with their sweaty preaching.

3. And, which is a strange thing, the very sponges, which one would think should rather deface and blot out the whole book, and were anciently used for that purpose, are now become the instruments to make things legible. Their ugly printingletters, that look but like so many rotten teeth — how oft have they been pulled out by the public tooth-drawers! And yet these rascally operators of the press have got a trick to fasten them again in a few minutes, that they grow as firm a set, and as biting and talkative as ever. O Printing! how hast thou disturbed the peace of mankind! That lead, when molded into bullets, is not so mortal as when founded into letters. There was a mistake, sure, in the story of Cadmus; and the serpents' teeth which he sowed were nothing else than the letters which he invented.

4. The first essay that was made toward this art was in single characters upon iron, wherewith of old they stigmatized slaves and remarkable offenders; and it was of good use sometimes to brand a schismatic. But a bulky Dutchman diverted it quite from its first institution, and contrived those innumerable syntagmes of alphabets. One would have thought in reason that a Dutchman at least might have contented himself only with the wine-proca,


JOHN G. WHITTIER. 1. Up from the meadows rich with corn, Clear in the cool September morn, 2. The clustered spires of Frederick stand Green-walled by the hills of Maryland. 3. Round about them orchards sweep, Apple- and peach-tree fruited deep, 4. Fair as a garden of the Lord To the eyes of the famished rebel horde, 5. On that pleasant morn of the early fall, When Lee marched over the mountain wall,—

6. Over the mountains winding down, Horse and foot into Frederick town.

7. Forty flags with their silver stars,
Forty flags with their crimson bars,
8. Flapped in the morning wind: the sun
Of noon looked down, and saw not one.
9. Up rose old Barbara Frietchie then,
Bowed with her fourscore years and ten;

10. Bravest of all in Frederick town, She took up the flag the men hauled down;

11. In her attic window the staff she set, To show that one heart was loyal yet.

12. Up the street came the rebel tread, Stonewall Jackson riding ahead.

13. Under his slouched hat left and right He glanced; the old flag met his sight.

14. “ Halt!”- the dust-brown ranks stood fast. “ Fire !"-out blazed the rifle-blast.

15. It shivered the window, pane and sash; It rent the banner with seam and gash.

16. Quick as it fell from the broken staff, Dame Barbara snatched the silken scarf;

17. She leaned far out on the window sill, And shook it forth with a royal will.

18. “Shoot, if you must, this gray old head,
But spare your country's flag!” she said.
19. A shade of sadness, a blush of shame,
Over the face of the leader came;

20. The nobler nature within him stirred To life at that woman's deed and word.

21. “Who touches a hair of yon gray head
Dies like a dog! March on!” he said.
22. All day long, through Frederick street,
Sounded the tread of marching feet;
23. All day long, that free flag tossed
Over the heads of the rebel host.

24. Ever its torn folds rose and fell
On the loyal winds that loved it well;
25. And, through the hill-gaps, sunset light
Shone over it with a warm good-night.

« PreviousContinue »