« PreviousContinue »
And, ere the day, three hundred horse had met on Clifton Down. The sentinel on Whitehall gate looked forth into the night, And saw o'er hanging Richmond Hill, that streak of blood-red
light. The bugle's note, and cannon's roar, the deathlike silence broke, And with one start, and with one cry, the royal city woke; At once, on all her stately gates, arose the answering fires; At once the wild alarum clashed from all her reeling spires; From all the batteries of the Tower pealed loud the voice of fear, And all the thousands masts of Thames sent back a louder cheer: And from the farthest wards was heard the rush of hurrying feet,
[rousing street: And the broad streams of flags and pikes dashed down each And broader still became the blaze, and louder still the din, As fast from every village round the horse came spurring in; And eastward straight, for wild Blackheath, the warlike errand
went; And roused, in many an ancient hall, the gallant squires of Kent: Southward, for Surrey's pleasant hills, flew those bright coursers forth;
(north; High on black Hampstead's swarthy moor, they started for the And on, and on, without a pause, untired they bounded still; All night from tower to tower they sprang, all night from hill
to hill; Till the proud peak unfurled the flag o'er Derwent's rocky dales; Till, like Volcanos, flared to heaven the stormy hills of Wales ; Till twelve fair counties saw the blaze on Malvern's lonely height; Tillstreamed in crimson, on the wind, the Wrekin's crest of light; Till, broad and fierce, the star came forth, on Ely's stately fane, And town and hamlet rose in arms, o'er all the boundless plain: Till Belvoir's lordly towers the sign to Lincoln sent, And Lincoln sped the message on, o'er the wide vale of Trent; Till Skiddaw saw the fire that burnt on Gaunt's embattled pile, And the red glare on Skiddaw roused the burghers of Carlisle.
11.-AN ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF A
Good people all, of every sort,
Give ear unto my song;
It cannot hold you long.
Of whom the world might say,
Whene'er he went to pray.
To comfort friends and foes;
When he put on his clothes.
As many dogs there be,
And curs of low degree.
But when a pique began,
Around from all the neighbouring streets
The wondering neighbours ran,
To bite so good a man.
To every christian eye:
They swore the man would die.
But soon a wonder came to light,
That show'd the rogues they lied, The man recovered of the bite,
The dog it was that died.
12. — FAITHLESS NELLIE GRAY. BEN BATTLE was a soldier bold, And used to war's alarms: But a cannon-ball took off his legs, So he laid down his arms! Now as they bore him off the field, Said he; “ Let others shoot, “For here I leave my second leg, “ And the Forty-second Foot!” The army-surgeons made him limbs: Said he, “ They're only pegs: “But there's as wooden Members quite, “As represent my legs!” Now Ben he loved a pretty maid, Her name was Nelly Gray; So he went to pay her his devoirs, When he'd devoured his pay! But when he called on Nelly Gray, She made him quite a scoff; And when she saw his wooden legs, Began to take them off! “Oh, Nelly Gray! Oh, Nelly Gray! “Is this your love so warm? “ The love that loves a scarlet coat “ Should be more uniform!”
Said she “ I loved a soldier once, “For he was blythe and brave; “But I will never have a man “ With both legs in the grave! “Before you had those timber toes, “ Your love I did allow, “But then, you know, you stand upon “ Another footing now!” “Oh, Nelly Gray! Oh, Nelly Gray! “For all your jeering speeches, “At duty's call, I left my legs, “In Badajos's breaches ! ” “Why then,” said she, “ you've lost the feet “Of legs in war's alarms, “ And now you cannot wear your shoes “Upon your feats of arms!” “Oh, false and fickle Nelly Gray! “I know why you refuse: “ Though I've no feet-some other man “ Is standing in my shoes! “ I wish I ne'er had seen your face ; “But, now, a long farewell! “For you will be my death ; alas ! “You will not be my Nell!” Now when he went from Nelly Gray His heart so heavy gotAnd life was such a burthen grown, It made him take a knot! So round his melancholy neck, A rope he did entwine, And, for his second time in life, Enlisted in the Line!
One end he tied around a beam,