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Bowl rang to bowl, steel clanged to steel, and rose a deafening
cry, That made the torches flare around, and shook the flags on high: “Ho! cravens! Do ye fear him? Slaves ! traitors ! have ye
flown? Ho! cowards, have ye
me to meet him here alone ?
“ But I defy bim ! let him come!” Down rang the massy
cup, While from its sheath the ready blade came flashing half-way up; And, with the black and heavy plumes scarce trembling on his
head, There in his dark, carved, oaken chair, old Rudiger sat - dead!
A. G. Greene.
WATER for me! bright water for me,
Water cooleth the brow, and cooleth the brain,
And maketh the faint one strong again ;
It comes o'er the sense like a breeze from the sea,
All freshness, like infant purity;
O, water, bright water, for me, for me!
Give wine, give wine, to the debauchee !
Fill to the brim ! fill, fill to the brim ;
Let the flowing crystal kiss the rim !
For my hand is steady, my eye is true,
For I, like the flowers, drink nothing but dew.
O, water, bright water 's a mine of wealth,
And the ores which it yieldeth are vigor and health.
So water, pure water, for me, for me!
And wine for the tremulous debauchee.
Fill again to the brim, again to the brim !
For water strengtheneth life and limb !
To the days of the aged it addeth length,
To the might of the strong it addeth strength ;
It freshens the heart, it brightens the sight,
'Tis like quaffing a goblet of morning light !
So, water, I will drink nothing but thee,
Thou parent of health and energy!
When over the hills, like a gladsome bride,
Morning walks forth in her beauty's pride,
And, leading a band of laughing hours,
Brushes the dew from the nodding flowers,
O! cheerily then my voice is heard
Mingling with that of the soaring bird,
Who flingeth abroad his matin loud
As he freshens his wing in the cold, gray cloud.
But when evening has quitted her sheltering yew,
Drowsily flying, and weaving anew
Her dusky meshes o'er land and sea,
How gently, 0 sleep, fall thy poppies on me!
For I drink water, pure, cold, and bright,
my dreams are of heaven the livelong night.
So hurrah for thee, water ! hurrah! hurrah !
Thou art silver and gold, thou art ribbon and star,
Hurrah for bright water! hurrah ! hurrah!
HAST thou a charm to stay the morning star
In his steep course? So long he seems to pause On thy bald, awful head, O) sovereign Blanc ! The Arve and Arveiron at thy base Rave ceaselessly ; but thou, most awful form ! Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines, How silently! Around thee and above, Deep is the air and dark, substantial, black, An ebon mass: methinks thou piercest it,
As with a wedge. But, when I look again,
It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine,
Thy habitation from eternity !
O dread and silent mount ! I gazed upon thee,
Till thou, still present to the bodily sense,
Didst vanish from my thought; entranced in prayer,
I worshipped the Invisible alone.
Yet, like some sweet, beguiling melody, -
So sweet we know not we are listening to it, –
Thou, the meanwhile, wast blending with my thought
Yea, with my life, and life's own secret joy ;
Till the dilating soul, enrapt, transfused,
Into the mighty vision passing - there,
As in her natural form, swelled vast to Heaven.
Awake, my soul! Not only passive praise
Thou owest! not alone these swelling tears,
Mute thanks, and silent ecstasy! Awake,
Voice of sweet song! Awake, my heart, awake!
Green vales and icy cliffs ! all join my hymn.
Thou, first and chief, sole sovereign of the vale !
O, struggling with the darkness of the night,
And visited all night by troops of stars,
Or when they climb the sky, or when they sink, –
Companion of the morning star at dawn,
Thyself earth's rosy star, and of the dawn
Co-herald wake! O wake! and utter praise !
Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in earth ?
Who filled thy countenance with rosy light?
Who made thee parent of perpetual streams ?
And you, ye five wild torrents, fiercely glad !
forth from night and utter death,
From dark and icy caverns called you forth,
Down those precipitous, black, jagged rocks,
Forever shattered, and the same forever ?
Who gave you your invulnerable life.
Your strength, your speed, your fury, and your joy,
Unceasing thunder, and eternal foam ?
And who commanded, — and the silence came,
“ Here let the billows stiffen, and have rest”?
Ye ice-falls ! ye, that, from the mountain's brow,
Adown enormous ravines slope amain,
Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice,
And stopped at once amid their maddest plunge !
Motionless torrents ! silent cataracts !
Who made you glorious as the gates of heaven
Beneath the keen full moon ? Who bade the sun
you with rainbows ? Who, with living flowers Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your feet? “ God!” let the torrents, like a shout of nations, Answer: and let the ice-plains echo, “ God !” “ God !” sing, ye meadow-streams, with gladsome voice Ye pine groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds ! And they, too, have a voice, yon piles of snow, And, in their perilous fall, shall thunder, “ God!”
Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal frost !
Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's nest !
Ye eagles, playmates of the mountain-storm !
Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds !
Ye signs and wonders of the elements !
Utter forth “ God !” and fill the hills with praise !
Once more, hoar mount! with thy sky-pointing peaks,
Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unheard,
Shoots downward, glittering through the pure serene
Into the depths of clouds, that veil thy breast
Thou too, again, stupendous mountain ! thou
That as I raise my head, awhile bowed low
In adoration, upward from thy base
Slow travelling with dim eyes suffused wito tears,
Solemnly seemest, like a vapory cloud,
To rise before me Rise, O, ever rise !
Rise, like a cloud of incense, from the earth!
Thou kingly spirit, throned among the hills !
Thou dread ambassador from earth to heaven,
Great Hierarch, tell thou the silent sky,
And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun,
“ Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God.”
S. T. Coleridge
W HOW TAEY BROUGHT THE GOOD NEWS FROM GHENT
I SPRANG to the stirrup, and Joris, and he ;
I galloped, Dirck galloped, we galloped all three ; “Good speed !” cried the watch, as the gate-bolts undrew; "Speed !” echoed the wall to us galloping through ; Behind shut the postern, the lights sank to rest, And into the midnight we galloped abreast.
Not a word to each other ; we kept the great pace
Neck by neck, stride for stride, never changing our place ;
I turned in my saddle and made its girths tight,
Then shortened each stirrup, and set the pique right,
Rebuckled the cheek-strap, chained slacker the bit,
Nor galloped less steadily Roland, a whit.
'T was moonset at starting ; but, while we drew near
Lokeren, the cocks crew and twilight dawned clear ;
At Boom, a great yellow star came out to see;
At Düffeld, 't was morning as plain as could be ;
And from Mechlin church-steeple we heard the half-chime.
So Joris broke silence with “ Yet there is time!”
At Aerschot, up leaped of a sudden the sun,
And against him the cattle stood black every one,
To stare through the mist at us galloping past,
And I saw ny stout galloper, Roland, at last,
With resolute shoulders, each butting away
The haze, as some bluff river headland its spray.
And his low head and crest, just one sharp ear bent back For my voice, and the other pricked out on his track :