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John Keats: 1796-1821.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes, whoever seeks abroad may iind Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind; Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers; And sometime like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue; Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies; And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden croft,
Leigh Hunt: 1784-1859.
To tlve Grasshopper and tlie Cricket.
Green little vaulter in the sunny grass,
When even the bees lag at the summoning brass;
And you, warm little housekeeper, who class
With those who think the candles come too soon,
Kick the glad silent moments as they pass;
Oh, sweet and tiny cousins, that belong,
Both have your sunshine; both, though small, are strong
To ring in thoughtful ears this natural song—
William Cullen Bryant: 1794—
Spirit that breathest through my lattice, thou
Gratefully flows thy freshness round my brow;
Riding all day the wild Mue waves till now,
And swelling the white sail. I welcome thee
To the scorched land, thou wanderer of the sea!
2. Nor I alone—a thousand bosoms round
. Inhale thee in the fulness of delight; And languid forms rise up, and pulses bound
Livelier, at coming of the wind of night;
Lies the vast inland stretched beyond the sight.
Go, rock the little wood-bird in his nest,
The wide old wood from his majestic rest,
The strange, deep harmonies that haunt his breast:
The shutting flower, and darkling waters pass,
And where the o'ershadowing branches sweep the grass.
The faint old man shall lean his silver head
And dry the moistened curls that overspread
And they who stand about the sick man's bed
And softly part his curtains, to allow
Thy visit, grateful to his burning brow.
Which is the life of nature, shall restore,
Thee to thy birthplace of the deep once more;
Shall tell the home-sick mariner of the shore;
Lord Macaulay: 1800-1859.
Ivry, a Song of the Huguenots.
[The Hugnenots was the name given to the Protestant parly in France in the sixteenth century. They were cruelly persecuted by the Catholics under the Duke of Guise, and on the eTe of St Bartholomew's Day (September 5), 1572. many thousands of them were massacred. Henry de Bourbon, king: of Navarre, one of the Huguenots who had escaped the massacre, now headed the Protestants; the Catholics, under Guise, having meanwhile formed themselves into a League for the extirpation of the heretics. On the death of the French king in 1589, Henry of Navarre became sovereign of France, but the Catholics opposed his claims, and an arduous straggle ensued between the two parties. At length, in 1590, the forces of the League under the Duke of Mayenne were completely defeated at the village of Ivry, a few miles from Paris, and Henry afterwards became king.]
L Now glory to the Lord of Hosts, from whom all glories are! And glory to our sovereign liege, King Henry of Navarre! Now let there be the merry sound of music and of dance, Through thy corn-fields green, and sunny vines, 0 pleasant land of
And thou, Rochelle,1 our own Rochelle, proud city of the waters,
Oh! how our hearts were beating, when, at the dawn of day,
The king is come to marshal us, all in his armour drest;
And he has bound a snow-white plume upon his gallant crest.
He looked upon his people, and a tear was in his eye;
He looked upon the traitors, and his glance was stern and high.
Eight graciously he smiled on us, as rolled from wing to wing,
Down all our line, a deafening shout: 'God save our lord the king.'
'And if my standard-bearer fall, as fall full well he may—
For never saw I promise yet of such a bloody fray—
Press where ye see my white plume shine, amidst the ranks of war,
And be your oriflamme,4 to-day, the helmet of Navarre.'
1 Rochelle was considered the Protestant capital. - The Guises belonged to the ducal family of Lorraine. 8 Coligni, Admiral of France, perished in the massacre of St Bartholomew. * The ancient royal standard of France, a little banner of red silk with many points streaming like names, borne on a gilt staff.
Hurrah! the foes are moving! Hark to the mingled din
Of fife, and steed, and trump, and drum, and roaring culverin.
The fiery Duke is priding fast across St Andre's plain,1 riding
With all the hireling chivalry of Guelders and Alraayne.
Now by the lips of those ye love, fair gentlemen of France,
Charge for the golden lilies—upon them with the lance!
A thousand spurs are striking deep, a thousand spears in rest,
A thousand knights are pressing close behind the snow-white crest;
And in they burst, and on they rushed, while, like a guiding star,
Amidst the thickest carnage blazed the helmet of Navarre.
Bight well fought all the Frenchmen who fought for France to-day;
And many a lordly banner God gave them for a prey.
But we of the religion have borne us best in fight;
And the good lord of Bosny hath ta'en the comet white.
Our own true Maximilian the cornet white hath ta'en.
The cornet white with crosses black, the flag of false Lorraine.
Up with it high; unfurl it wide; that all the host may know
How God hath humbled the proud house which wrought His church such
1 The battle-field. > Saint Genevieve is the patron saint of Paris.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: 1807—
The Reaper and the Flowers.
There is a Reaper, whose name is Death,
And, with his sickle keen, He reaps the bearded grain at a breath, And the flowers that grow between.
'Shall Ihave nought that is fair ?'saith he;
'Have nought but the bearded grain? Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me,
I will give them all back again.' s. He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes,
He kissed their drooping leaves; It was for the Lord of Paradise
He bound them in his sheaves.
'My Lord has need of these flowerets gay,'
The Reaper said, and smiled; 'Dear tokens of the earth are they,
Where He was once a child, s. 'They shall all bloom in fields of light,
Transplanted by my care; And saints upon their garments white,
These sacred blossoms wear.'
And the mother gave, in tears and pain, The flowers she most did love;
She knew she should find them all again In the fields of light above.
Oh, not in cruelty, not in wrath,
The Reaper came that day;
And took the Flowers away.
Midnight Mass for the Dying Year.
Yes, the year is growing old,
And his eye is pale and bleared!
Solemnly and slow;
Through woods and mountain passes, The winds, like anthems, roll;
They are chanting solemn masses, Singing: 'Pray for this poor Boui; Pray—pray!'
And the hooded clouds, like friars,
The foolish, fond Old Year,
Then comes the summer-like day,
Bids the old man rejoice!
Loveth that ever-soft voice,
To the crimson woods he saith—
To the voice gentle and low Of the soft air, like a daughter's breath— 'Pray, do not mock me so! Do not laugh at me!'
And now the sweet day is dead—
Cold in his arms it lies;
Over the glassy skies,
Then, too, the Old Year dieth,
Like the voice of one who crieth
Then comes, with an awful roar,
Gathering and sounding on,
Sweep the red leaves away!
For there shall come a mightier blast,
There shall be a darker day; And the stars, from heaven down cast, Like red leaves be swept away; Kyrie, eleison! Christe, eleison!