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A DANISH BARROW ON THE EAST

DEVON COAST.

About 1000 A.D.

LIE still, old Dane, below thy heap !

A sturdy back and sturdy limb,

Whoe'er he was, I warrant him,
Upon whose mound the single sheep

Browses and tinkles in the sun,
Within the narrow vale alone.

Lie still, old Danel This restful scene

Suits well thy centuries of sleep:

The soft brown roots above thee creep,
The lotus flaunts his ruddy sheen,

And,--vain memento of the spot, -
The turquoise-eyed forget-me-not.

Lie still I-thy mother-land herself

Would know thee not again ; no more

The ravens from the northern shore Hails the bold crew to push for pelf,

Through fire and blood and slaughtered kings, 'Neath the black terror of his wings.

| Bird's-foot trefoil, a small flower whose buds are bright crimson and the flowers yellow.

Brightness. 3 The Danish standard,

2

And thou,—thy very name is lost !

The peasant only knows that here

Bold Alfred scooped thy flinty bier, And pray'd a foeman's prayer, and tost

His auburn beard, and said, “One more “Of England's foes guards England's shore,”

And turn'd and pass'd to other feats,

And left thee in thine iron robe,

To circle with the circling globe,
While Time's corrosive dewdrop eats

The giant warrior to a crust
Of earth in earth, and rust in rust.

So lie ; and let the children play,

And sit like flowers upon thy grave,

And crown with flowers,—that hardly have
A briefer blooming-tide than they ;-

By hurrying years urged on to rest,
As thou within the Mother's breast.

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KNUT.

About 1030.

Merie sungen the monks binnen Ely,

When Knut King rowed thereby ;
“Row near, knights,” quoth the king,

“And hear we these monks sing.” This verse was composed by Knut himself, and is the subject of Wordsworth's sonnet.

1

A PLEASANT music floats along the mere,

From monks in Ely, chanting service high,

While as Canute, the king, is rowing by. "My oarsmen” quoth the mighty king, “draw near,” That we the sweet song of the monks may hear :"

He listensmall past conquests and all schemes

Of future vanishing like empty dreams.
Heart touched, and haply not without a tear,

The royal minstrel, ere the choir is still,
While his free barge skims the smooth flood along,

Gives to that rapture an accordant rhyme.

O suffering earth, be thankful! Sternest clime,
And rudest age are subject to the thrall
Of Heaven-descended piety and song.

WORDSWORTH.

The lake around Ely. ? Knut was called Canutus in old Latin chronicles, and thus many Histories of England call him Canute.

THE NEW FOREST.

About 1080.

1

PROUD Nimrod first the bloody chase began,
A mighty hunter, and his prey was nian ;
Our haughty Norman boasts that barbarous name,
And makes his trembling slaves the royal game:
The fields are ravished from the industrious swains,
From men their cities and from godstheir fanes ;
The levelled towers with weeds lie covered o'er,
The hollow winds through naked temples roar,
Round broken columns clasping ivy twin'd,
O'er heaps of ruin stalk'd the stately hind,
The fox obscene to gaping tombs retires,
And savage howlings fill the sacred choirs.
Awed by his nobles, by his commons curs'd,
The oppressor ruled tyrannic where he durst,
Stretched o'er the poor and church his iron rod,
And served alike his vassals and his God;
Whom even the Saxon spar'd, and bloody Dane,
The wanton victims of his sport remain.

i Gen. x. 9.

? It was the taste of Queen Anne's time to write as like heathen Greeks as possible.

3 The desolation is much exaggerated ; the villages and churches were very rudely built.

But see! the man who spacious regions gave,
A waste for beasts, himself denied a grave.
Stretched on the lawn, his second hope' survey,
At once the chaser and at once the prey ;
Lo, Rufus, tugging at the deadly dart,
Bleeds in the Forest like a wounded hart.
Succeeding monarchs heard the subjects' cries,
Nor saw displeased the peaceful cottage rise ;
Then gathering flocks on unknown mountains fed,
O’er sandy wilds were yellow harvests spread ;
The forests wonder'd at the unusual grain,
And secret transport touched the conscious swain.
From "Windsor Forest,by ALEXANDER POPE, 1713.

THE COUNCIL OF CLERMONT.

(In Auvergne, in France, where Peter the Hermit first preached the Crusade.)

1095.
AMID the throng the hermit stood : so wan,
Careworn, and travel-soiled ; with genius high
Throned on his brow, shrined in his spiritual eye,
The hermit spake, and through the council ran
A tremor, not of fear, as in the van
Chafing before embattled chivalry,
A proud steed listens for the clarion's ? cry;

1 Richard, the second son of the conqueror, was killed by a stag in the New Forest. ? Trumpet,

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