« PreviousContinue »
This many summers in a sea of glory,
But far beyond my depth : my high-blown pride
At length broke under me; and now has left me,
Weary and old with service, to the mercy
Of a rude stream, that must for ever hide me.
Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye :
I feel my heart new opened. O! how wretched
Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favors.
There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,
More pangs and fears than wars or women have;
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
Never to hope again.-
Enter CROMWELL, and stands amazed.
Why, how now, Cromwell!
Cromwell. I have no power to speak, sir.
What ! amazed
At my misfortunes ? can thy spirit wonder,
A great man should decline ? Nay, an you weep,
I am fallen indeed.
How does your grace ? Wolsey.
Why, well : Never so truly happy, my good Cromwell. I know myself now; and I feel within me A peace above all earthly dignities, A still and quiet conscience. The king has cured
me, (I humbly thank his grace,) and from these shoulders, These ruined pillars, out of pity, taken A load would sink a navy—too much honor ! 0! 'tis a burden, Cromwell, 'tis a burden,
Too heavy for a man that hopes for heaven. Cromwell. I am glad your grace has made that right
use of it. Wolsey. I hope I have : I am able now, methinks, .
(Out of a fortitude of soul I feel,)
To endure more miseries, and greater far,
Than my weak-hearted enemies dare offer.
What news abroad?
Cromwell. The heaviest, and the worst,
Is your displeasure with the king. Wolsey.
God bless him ! Cromwell. The next is, that Sir Thomas More is chosen
Lord Chancellor in your place.
That's somewhat sudden;
But he's a learned man. May he continue
Long in his highness' favor, and do justice
For truth's sake, and his conscience; that his bones,
When he has run his course and sleeps in blessings,
May have a tomb of orphans' tears wept on 'em!
What more ?
Cromwell. That Cranmer is returned with welcome
Installed lord archbishop of Canterbury.
Wolsey. That's news indeed!
Last, that the lady Anne
Whom the king hath in secrecy long married,
This day was viewed in open, as his queen,
Going to chapel ; and the voice is now
Only about her coronation.
Wolsey. There was the weight that pulled me down. O
The king has gone beyond me : all my glories
In that one woman I have lost for ever.
No sun shall ever usher forth mine honors,
Or gild again the noble troops that waited
Upon my smiles. Go, get thee from me, Cromwell ;
I am a poor fallen man, unworthy now
To be thy lord and master. Seek the king ;
(That sun, I pray, may never set !) I have told him
What and how true thou art : he will advance thee.
Some little memory of me will stir him,
(I know his noble nature,) not to let
Thy hopeful service perish. Good Cromwell,
Neglect him not; make use now, and provide
For thine own future safety. .
O my lord !
Must I then leave you ? must I needs forego
So good, so noble, and so true a master ?
Bear witness all that have not hearts of iron,
With what a sorrow Cromwell leaves his lord. -
The king shall have my service ; but my prayers,
For ever and for ever, shall be yours.
Wolsey. Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear
In all my miseries ; but thou hast forced me,
Out of thy honest truth, to play the woman.
Let's dry our eyes ; and thus far hear me, Cromwell :
And,—when I am forgotten, as I shall be,
And sleep in dull cold marble, where no mention
Of me more must be heard of,-say, I taught thee,
Say, Wolsey, that once trod the ways of glory,
And sounded all the depths and shoals of honor,
Found thee a way, out of his wreck, to rise in ;
A sure and safe one though thy master missed it.
Mark but my fall, and that that ruined me.
Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition :
By that sin fell the angels ; how can man, then,
The image of his Maker, hope to win by't?
Love thyself last : cherish those hearts that hate thee :
Corruption wins not more than honesty.
Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace,
To silence envious tongues : be just, and fear not.
Let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy country's,
Thy God's, and truth's : then, if thou fall'st, O Crom-
Thou fall’st a blessed martyr.
Serve the king ; and,-Pr'ythee, lead me in :
There take an inventory of all I have,
To the last penny ; 'tis the king's : my robe,
And my integrity to heaven, is all
I dare now call mine own. O Cromwell, Cromwell !
Had I but served my God with half the zeal
I served my king, he would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies. Cromwell. Good sir, have patience. Wolsey.
So I have. Farewell The hopes of court : my hopes in heaven do dwell.
C.—OUR COUNTRY'S CALL.
WILLIAM C. BRYANT.
1. Lay down the ax, fling by the spade :
Leave in its track the toiling plow;
The rifle and the bayonet-blade
For arms like yours were fitter now;
And let the hands that ply the pen
Quit the light task, and learn to wield
The horseman's crooked brand, and rein
The charger on the battle-field.
2. Our country calls ; away! away!
To where the blood-stream blots the green. Strike to defend the gentlest sway
That Time in all his course has seen.
See, from a thousand coverts—see
Spring the armed foes that haunt her track;
They rush to smite her down, and we
Must beat the banded traitors back.
3. Ho! sturdy as the oaks ye cleave,
• And moved as soon to fear and fight,
Men of the glade and forest ! leave
Your woodcraft for the field of fight.
The arms that wield the ax must pour
An iron tempest on the foe;
His serried ranks shall reel before
The arm that lays the panther low.
4. And ye who breast the mountain storm
By grassy steep or highland lake,
Come, for the land ye love, to form
A bulwark that no foe can break.
Stand, like your own gray cliffs that mock
The whirlwind ; stand in her defense :
The blast as soon shall move the rock,
As rushing squadrons bear ye thence.
5. And ye, whose homes are by her grand
Swift rivers, rising far away,
Come from the depth of her green land
As mighty in your march as they ;
As terrible as when the rains
Have swelled them over bank and bourne,
With sudden floods to drown the plains
And sweep along the woods uptorn.
6. And ye who throng, beside the deep,
Her ports and hamlets of the strand,
In number like the waves that leap
On his long murmuring marge of sand,
Come, like that deep, when o'er his brim
He rises, all his floods to pour,
And flings the proudest barks that swim,
A helpless wreck against his shore.
7. Few, few were they whose swords of old
Won the fair land in which we dwell ;
But we are many, we who hold
The grim resolve to guard it well.
Strike for that broad and goodly land
Blow after blow, till men shall see
That Might and Right move hand in hand,
And glorious must their triumph be.
QUESTIONS.—Is this a descriptive, a narrative, or a pathetic poem? If it is none of these, how will you describe it? Tell exactly how it ought to be read,—with what pitch, force, volume, and quality of voice.
First Stanza. Who are called upon to “lay down the ax”? Why? [This poem was written in 1861.] Why is the plow called “the toiling plow”? Why are “ the rifle and the bayonetblade” fitter for the arms of these men now? What is “the horseman's crooked brand”?