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The songs she loved in early years-the songs
The songs perchance that erst
They half beguiled her of her cares, they
70 They won her thoughts from bigot zeal fierce domestic broils :
But hark! the tramp of armèd men! the
They come !-they come !-and lo! the scowl
And swords are drawn, and daggers gleam, and
who followed Mary to Scotland. He be
came deeply in love
with her, and acted so indiscreetly that
he was beheaded on
a charge of treason
The ruffian steel is in his heart-the faithful was a leading accom
Rizzio's slain !
75 Then Mary Stuart dashed aside the tears that
"Now for my father's arm!" she said; "my
The scene was changed. It was a lake with
And there, within the prison-walls of its baro-
Stern men stood menacing* their queen, till
80 The traitorous scroll* that snatched the crown
"My lords!-my lords!" the captive said,
With ten good knights on yonder shore to aid
That parchment would I scatter wide to every
And once more reign a Stuart Queen o'er my
85 A red spot burned upon her cheek-streamed
She wrote the words-she stood erect-a Queen
The scene was changed. A royal host a royal
And the faithful of the land stood round their
plice in the murder of Rizzio. In 1572 he became Regent,
and was beheaded in 1581, as being found
accessory to the murder of Darnley. Ruthven (Riven), a Scotch lord, who, with Lord Lindsay, conveyed Mary to Lochleven Castle in
She stayed her steed upon a hill-she saw
them marching by
She heard their shouts-she read success in 90 every flashing eye.
Tumult, uproar, great The tumult* of the strife begins-it roars-it
And Mary's troops and banners now, and
Scattered and strewn, and flying far, defence-
Alas! to think what she has lost, and all that
Away!* away! thy gallant steed must act no
Yet vain his speed-for thou dost bear the
The scene was changed. Beside the block * a
And gleamed the broad axe in his hand, that
With slow and steady step there came a Lady
And breathless silence chained the lips and 100 touched the hearts of all.
knew that queenly form again, though
I saw that grief had decked it out-an offering
for the tomb!
I knew the eye, though faint its light, that
I knew the voice, though feeble now, that
I knew the ringlets, almost gray, once threads 105
I knew that bounding grace of step-that
[vent isle, Even now I see her far away, in that calm conI hear her chant her vesper hymn, I mark her holy smile,
Even now I see her bursting forth upon the
A new star in the firmament,* to light and glory 110
The little dog that licks her hand, the last of
Who sunned themselves beneath her glance
115 Her neck is bared-the blow is struck-the
The bright, the beautiful, is now-a bleeding
The dog is moaning piteously; and, as it
Laps the warm blood that trickling runs un-
The blood of beauty, wealth, and power-the
120 The noblest of the Stuart race-the fairest
Lapped by a dog! Go think of it, in silence
Then weigh against a grain of sand the glories
up with the tongue.
THE DYING CHRISTIAN TO HIS SOUL.-Pope.
THE SONG OF THE SHIRT.*-T. Hood.
THOMAS HOOD (1798–1845) was born in London. He was a great humourist and poet. Apprenticed to an engraver in his youth, he soon left business for literature, and delighted the world for many years with his wonderful humour and wit. He was buried at Kensal Green, with the epitaph chosen by himself, He sang the Song of the Shirt."-Other works: Whims and Oddities, The Bridge of Sighs, The Dream of Eugene Aram, &c.
WITH fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat, in unwomanly* rags,
In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
And still with a voice of dolorous pitch
"Work! work! work!
While the cock is crowing aloof!
Till the stars shine through the roof!
Along with the barbarous Turk,*
Till the brain begins to swim;
Till the eyes are heavy and dim!
Band, and gusset, and seam,
Till over the buttons I fall asleep,
*The Song of the Shirt. This beautiful poem appeared first in the Christmas number of Punch for 1843; it ran like wildfire, and caused a great sensation throughout the country. It served to draw attention to the needlewomen, and it made Hood famous.