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A little weeping would ease my heart,
But in their briny * bed
so With fingers weary
She sang this “Song of the Shirt !"
A woman, &c. The song is supposed to be sung by a needlewoman,
who has been reduced to the greatest want.
THE SEASONS.—Spenser. EDMUND SPENSER (1553-1599) was born in London, and educated at Cam. bridge. He is one of the greatest English poets; his chief work is the Faerie Queene, an allegorical poem, designed to celebrate the principal virtues. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.
So forth issued the Seasons of the year; Dight, adorned. First lusty Spring, all dight * in leaves and flowers
That freshly budded, and new blossoms did bear,
In which a thousand birds had built their bowers, Paramours, mates, That sweetly sung to call forth paramours ; * 5 loves.
And in his hand a javelin he did bear, Stours, encounters, And on his head (as fit for warlike stours) Gilt morion, a gilded That as some did him love, so others did him fear.
A gilt engraven morion * he did wear, helmet, having no visor, copied from the 'Moors by the Then came the jolly Summer, being dight Spaniards.
In a thin silken cassock coloured green
That was unlinèd all, to be more light,
wore, from which, as he had chauffèd * been, heated, made hot by The sweat did drop, and in his hand he bore
A bow and shaft, as he in forest green
Laden with fruits that made him laugh, full glad Tofore, before. That he had banished Hunger, which tofore *
Had by the belly oft him pinched sore;
Upon his head a wreath, that was enrolled 25 With ears of corn of every sort, he bore,
And in his hand a sickle he did hold,
Yold, yielded, given.
nap on one side of it. 30 Whilst on his hoary * beard his breath did freeze, Hoary, grey.
And the dull drops that from his purpled bill Bill, nose.
Limbeck, a vessel used
in distilling. With which his feeble steps he stayed still, 35 For he was faint with cold and weak with eld * Eld, old age. That scarce his loosèd limbs he able was to
Weld, to use, to weld.*
THE SPANISH CHAMPION.*- Mrs. Hemans.
his heart of fire,
plored. imprisoned sire :
Haughty, proud. “I bring thee here my fortress keys, I bring His long-imprisoned my captive train ;
sire, Don Sancho,
Count I pledge my faith, my liege, * my lord-oh! Spain, had been kept break my father's chain.”
in prison for many
years by the king. 5 “ Rise ! rise ! even now thy father comes, a
At length his son,
Bernardo del Carpio, ransomed * man this day ;
took up arms to effect Mount thy good steed, and thou and I will his release. meet him on his way :"
Captive train, the
prisoners taken in Then lightly rose that loyal son, and bounded battle. on his steed;
Liege, lord, a feudal
superior; one having And urged, as if with lance in hand, his vassals or liegemen. charger's foaming speed.
Ransomed, redeemed, And lo! from far, as on they pressed, there came a glittering band,
Glittering, bright, 10 With one that ʼmid them stately rode, as a
leader in the land :
very truth, is he,
Yearned, desired very yearned * so long to see.”
much. Champion, a hero, one who fights in single combat for himself or for another.
beautiful to behold.
dead ; *
His dark eye flashed, his proud breast heaved, his cheek's
blood came and went;
He looked up to the face above—the face was of the
fixed and white;
Up from the ground he sprang, and gazed; but who can
paint * that gaze, describe
They hushed their very hearts who saw its horror and actly how he
They might have chained him, as before that noble form
he stood ;
cheek the blood.
He thought on all his glorious hopes, on all his high Renown,
renown ; great name, Then flung the falchion * from his side, and in the dust celebrity.
sat down ; Falchion, short curved sword.
And, covering with his steel-gloved hand his darkly
mournful brow, “No more, there is no more,” he said, “ to lift the sword 30
earth ! ”
Up from the ground he sprang once more, and seized the surprised.
monarch's rein Courtier, a
Amid the pale and wildered * looks of all the courtier lives at court.
takes a false oath.
35 And with a fierce, o’ermastering * grasp, the rearing war
O'ermaster horse led,
powering And sternly set them face to face—the king before the
to kiss ?
where are they? 40 If thou wouldst clear thy perjured * soul, send life Perjurer, through this cold clay!
knowingly “Into these glassy eyes put light—be still, keep down thine ire ! *
blood was shed !
on thy head !”
silent face He cast one long, deep, troubled look, then turned from Martial that sad place :
strain, war. His hope was crushed his after-fate untold in martial Spain, a hilly strain-*
country in His banner led the spears no more amidst the hills of west of Spain !
HOW THEY BROUGHT THE GOOD NEWS FROM
GHENT TO AIX.*—R. Browning. ROBERT BROWNING (1812– ), born at Camberwell, and educated at London University, ranks among the foremost of living poets. He possesses a wonderful power of condensed expression, and his writings are deeply thoughtful and expressive. Chief works : Men and Women, The Ring and the Book, Dramatic Lyrics, and other poems. 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;
Echo, to send “ Speed !” echoed * the wall to us galloping through : back a sound,
* Ghent, the chief town of East Flanders, in Belgium. Aix-la-Chapelle, a city in Rhenish Prussia. The two towns are more than a hundred miles apart,
the side of
lance carried at the saddle.
Mechlin is noted for its lace.
Postern, a Behind shut the postern,* the lights sank to rest, 5 small door of And into the midnight we galloped abreast. gate in or by a larger en. Not a word to each other, we kept the great pace, trance-gate,
Neck by neck, stride by stride, never changing our
I turned in my saddle, and made its girths tight, Pique, a Then shortened each' stirrup, and set the pique* 10
Rebuckled the check-strap, chained slacker the bit, A whit, a Nor galloped less steadily Roland a whit.* point, a jot.
'Twas moonset at starting; but while we drew near Lokeren, in Lokeren,* the cocks crew and twilight dawned clear; ders, Bel- At Boom,* a great yellow star came out to see ; 15 gium. At Düffeld, * 'twas morning as plain as could be ; Boom, Düf. And from Mechlin * church-steeple we heard the feld, Mechlin, in Antwerp
And I saw my stout galloper Roland at last,
And his low head and crest, just one sharp ear bent 25
For my voice, and the other pricked out on his track; Intelligence, And one eye's black intelligence * -ever that glance quickness to O'er its white edge at me, his own master, askance !* Askance, And the thick heavy spume-flakes * which aye and sideways Spume flakes, His fierce lips shook upwards in galloping on.
30 By Hasselt,* Dirck groaned, and cried Joris, “ Stay
Your Roos * galloped bravely, the fault's not in her,
mon name for a horse.