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And send him foiled and bellowing back, for all
his ivory horn; To leave the subtle sword-fish of bony blade forlorn; And for the ghastly-grinning shark to laugh his
jaws to scorn; To leap down on the kraken's back, where 'mid
Norwegian isles He lies, a lubber anchorage for sudden shallowed
miles ; Till snorting, like an under-sea volcano, off he rolls; Meanwhile to swing, a-buffeting the far astonished
shoals Of his back-browsing ocean-calves; or, haply in a
cove, Shell-strown, and consecrate of old to some Un
diné's love, To find the long-haired mermaidens; or, hard by
icy lands, To wrestle with the sea-serpent upon cerulean
sands. O broad-armed fisher of the deep, whose sports
can equal thine? The Dolphin weighs a thousand tons that tugs thy
cable line; And night by night 'tis thy delight, thy glory day
by day, Through sable sea and breakers white, the giant
game to playBut shamer of our little sports ! forgive the name I
gaveA fisher's joy is to destroy, thine office is to save. O lodger in the sea-kings' halls, couldst thou but
understand Whose be the white bones by thy side, or who that dripping band,
Slow swaying in the heaving wave, that round
about thee bend, With sounds like breakers in a dream blessing their
ancient friend Oh, couldst thou know what heroes glide with
larger steps round thee, Thine iron side would swell with pride ; thou 'dst
leap within the sea ! Give honour to their memories who left the pleasant
strand, To shed their blood so freely for the love of Father
land Who left their chance of quiet age and grassy
churchyard grave, So freely, for a restless bed amid the tossing waveOr, though our anchor may not be all I have
fondly sung, Honour him for their memory whose bones he
THE EMPEROR'S BIRD'S NEST.
With his swarthy grave commanders,
Some old frontier town of Flanders.
In great boots of Spanish leather, Striding with a measured tramp, These hidalgos, dull and damp,
Cursed the Frenchmen, cursed the weather. Thus, as to and fro they went,
Over upland and through hollow, Giving their impatience vent, Perched upon the Emperor's tent,
In her nest they spied a swallow. Yes; it was a swallow's nest
Built of clay and hair of horses, Mane or tail or dragoon's crest, Found on hedge-rows, east or west,
After skirmish of the forces. Then an old hidalgo said,
As he twirled his grey mustachio, “Sure this swallow overhead Thinks the emperor's tent a shed,
And the emperor but a macho!"* Hearing his imperial name
Coupled with those words of malice,
* Macho in Spanish signifies "a mule.”
Half in anger, half in shame,
Slowly from his canvas palace.
“Let no hand the bird molest,"
Said he solemnly, "nor hurt her!" Adding then by way of jest, “Golondrina* is my guest,
'Tis the wife of some deserter.”
Swift as bowstring speeds a shaft,
Through the camp was spread the rumour, And the soldiers, as they quaffed Flemish beer at dinner, laughed
At the emperor's pleasant humour.
So unharmed and unafraid
Sat the swallow still and brooded,
And the siege was thus concluded.
Then the army, elsewhere bent,
Struck its tents, as if disbanding,
Very curtly, “Leave it standing !”
So it stood there all alone,
Loosely flapping, torn and tattered, Till the brood was fledged and flown, Singing o'er those walls of stone
Which the cannonshot had shattered.
* Golondrina is "a swallow" and "a deserter."
AN ODE.(Sir W. Fones.)
Thick wall or moated gate;
Not bays and broad-armed ports,
Not starred and spangled courts,
No; men, high-minded men,
In forest, brake, or den,
Men who their duties know,
Prevent the long-aimed blow,
These constitute a state,
O'er thrones and globes elate
Smit by her sacred frown,
And e'en the all-dazzling crown
Such was this heaven-loved isle,
No more shall Freedom smile ?
Since all must life resign,
'Tis folly to decline,