« PreviousContinue »
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
And is mine one ?' said Abou. • Nay, not so,
2. The angel wrote and vanished. The next night It came again with the great wakening light, And shewed the names whom love of God had blessed, And, lo ! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest !
"THE SHIP AT ANCHOR.'
A sailor, who was in the habit of spending all his money at the public-house, one day made a vow to be temperate in future, and kept it. Meeting with an old friend about a twelvemonth afterwards, the following conversation took place :
Peter. Hollo, Jack! Here you are back from America. Jack. Yes, Master Peter.
Peter. Won't you come in, and have a glass this cold day?
Jack. No, Master Peter, no! I cannot drink.
Peter. What, Jack, can you pass the door of the ‘Ship at Anchor' without taking a cup
friends ? Jack. Impossible, Master Peter; I have a swelling here—don't
Peter. Ah ! that's because you don't drink your grog
you see it?
as you used to do. Drink, my boy, and the swelling will soon go down.
Jack. You are quite right there! (He pulls out of his pocket a large leathern purse full of money.] There's the swelling I have given myself by steering clear of the 'Ship at Anchor.' If I begin drinking again, it will soon go down—there 's not the least doubt of that.
Peter. Is it possible you have saved so much money, Jack !
Jack. It is, indeed, and I mean to go on doing it; and when I pass the 'Ship at Anchor' after my next voyage, I hope to shew you a new swelling on the other side.
HOW THEY BROUGHT THE GOOD NEWS
FROM GHENT TO AIX.
1. 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.
2. Not a word to each other; we kept the great pace Neck by neck, stride by 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.
3. 'Twas 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, 'twas morning as plain as could be; And from Mecheln church-steeple we heard the
half-chime, So Joris broke silence with : ‘Yet there is time !'
5. And his low head and crest, just one sharp ear bent
back For my voice, and the other pricked out on his track; And one eye's black intelligence-ever that glance O'er its white edge at me, his own master, askance ! And the thick, heavy spume-flakes which aye and anon His fierce lips shook upwards in galloping on.
6. By Hasselt, Dirck groaned ; and cried Joris : 'Stay, spur! Your Roos galloped bravely, the fault's not in her, We'll remember at Aix'--for one heard the quick
wheeze Of her chest, saw the stretched neck, and staggering
knees, And sunk tail, and horrible heave of the flank, As down on her haunches she shuddered and sank.
7. So we were left galloping, Joris and I, Past Loos and past Tongres, no cloud in the sky; The broad sun above laughed a pitiless laugh, ’Neath our foot broke the brittle bright stubble like chaff ; Till over by Dalhem a dome-tower sprang white, And Gallop,' cried Joris, 'for Aix is in sight!'
9. Then I cast my loose buff-coat, each holster let fall, Shook off both my jack-boots, let go belt and all, Stood up in the stirrup, leaned, patted his ear, Called my Roland his pet name, my horse without peer ; Clapped my hands, laughed and sang, any noise, bad or
good, Till at length into Aix Roland galloped and stood.
10. And all I remember is friends flocking round As I sate with his head 'twixt
knees on the ground, And no voice but was praising this Roland of mine, As I poured down his throat our last measure of wine, Which—the burgesses voted by common consentWas no more than his due who brought good news from
I have already mentioned my visits to the tailor, carpenter, and the brickmaker; but there was not a trade in the whole village but was a matter of many an hour's observation to us, and very interesting they are to all young folks; and there is a deal of useful knowledge to be picked up from watching them. It was a delight to us—not only to make our shoe-heel bricks, but to watch old Samuel Poundall moulding his also on a sort of rude table, and handing them over rapidly to a parcel of bare-legged lads, who laid them down in rows on the smooth clay-floor of the brick-yard. To see the men digging, turning, and grinding the clay, or the lads turning and clapping those that were drying in the yard; to see them pile them up on open walls to dry still faster, and lay straw on the top to prevent the sun and rain and frost from injuring them, which shewed us why the Israelities in Egypt could not do without straw, when they were compelled to make bricks for Pharaoh. It was a grand sight to see them pile their unbaked bricks in the great kiln, and cover them over with earth or ashes, and make great fires in fireplaces all round. To see it blazing away like a huge furnace in the dark night; and then to see them, when it was cool, open it, and take out the bricks red and hard, and fit to build houses to last five hundred years.
And it was next a subject of great interest to see these bricks turned into houses. Many and many were the hours that we spent in watching Abraham Street and his man in their building-work. First, we found them where some old house stood, busy at work some