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BLENHEIM (Blen' hime) is a village in Bavaria, where was fought a great battle, August 13th, 1704, between the English and the Austrians on the one side, under the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene, and the French and the Bavarians on the other, under Marshal Tallard, Marsin, and the Elector of Bavaria. The French and the Bavarians were defeated; but the loss on both sides was immense. This defeat gave a decided check to the ambition of Louis XIV.
THE BATTLE OF BLENHEIM.
It was on a summer evening,
Old Kasper's work was done,
Was sitting in the sun,
She saw her brother Peterkin
Roll something large and round,
In playing there, had found;
VII. “My father lived at Blenheim then,
Yon little stream, hard by; They burnt his dwelling to the ground,
And he was forced to fly; So, with his wife and little child, he fled, Nor had he where to rest his head.
VIII. “With fire and sword, the country round
Was wasted, far and wide;
And new-born baby died;
And our young prince, Eugene."
Said little Wilhelmine.
Who this great fight did win.”
Quoth little Peterkin.
THOMAS GRAY was born in London, December 26th, 1716, and died July 24th, 1771. After his college course, during which he was supported with difficulty by the private earnings of his mother, his father, a selfish man, utterly refusing to maintain him, he set out (in 1739) on a tour over the continent. Two months after his return to London, in September, 1741, his father, having squandered what money he had, died. His mother, who, with a near relative, had carried on a small business, and had now amassed a moderate competence, retired to Stoke Pogis, in Buckinghamshire. Here, it is said, he conceived the design of his immortal Elegy, while visiting the beautiful churchyard in that place. The Elegy was finished in 1749; having been begun just seven years before. “Almost every line” (of it), it has been well remarked, “has fixed itself upon the popular mind, is repeated every year and overy day by the cultivated and the unlearned, and has a vital truthfulness that is never old.” Gray is the author of several other poems of remarkable merit, but is, and always will be, best known, as the author
of this matchless performance. He was a person of small stature, handsomo features, sturliously nice in dress, and remarkably reserved in company, though known to be a man of almost universal culture.
ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCH-YARD.
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds :
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower,
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Where heaves the turf in many a moldering heap,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
Or busy housewife ply her evening care:
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to sharo.
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If Memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise, Where, through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault,
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath ?
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll;