HotFreeBooks.com
Elson Grammer School Literature, Book Four.
by William H. Elson and Christine Keck
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

ELSON

GRAMMAR SCHOOL LITERATURE

BOOK FOUR

BY

WILLIAM H. ELSON

SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, CLEVELAND, OHIO

AND

CHRISTINE KECK

PRINCIPAL OF SIGSBEE SCHOOL, GRAND RAPIDS, MICH.

1912



TABLE OF CONTENTS

PART I—Famous Rides, Selections from Shakespeare and other Poets, and Studies in Rhythm.

FAMOUS RIDES:

PAUL REVERE'S RIDE, Henry W. Longfellow THE LEAP OF ROUSHAN BEG, Henry W. Longfellow THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE AT BALAKLAVA, Alfred, Lord Tennyson THE DIVERTING HISTORY OF JOHN GILPIN, William Cowper HOW THEY BROUGHT THE GOOD NEWS FROM GHENT TO AIX, Robert Browning INCIDENT OF THE FRENCH CAMP, Robert Browning HERVE RIEL, Robert Browning

STUDIES IN RHYTHM:

THE BUGLE SONG, Alfred, Lord Tennyson THE BROOK, Alfred, Lord Tennyson SONG OF THE CHATTAHOOCHEE, Sidney Lanier THE CATARACT OF LODORE, Robert Southey THE BELLS, Edgar Allan Poe ANNABEL LEE, Edgar Allan Poe OPPORTUNITY, Edward Rowland Sill

NATURE:

TO A WATERFOWL, William Cullen Bryant THE SKYLARK, James Hogg TO A SKYLARK, Percy Bysshe Shelley THE CLOUD, Percy Bysshe Shelley APOSTROPHE TO THE OCEAN, Lord Byron

STORIES:

THE DESTRUCTION OF SENNACHERIB, Lord Byron THE EVE BEFORE WATERLOO, Lord Byron SONG OF THE GREEK BARD, Lord Byron MARCO BOZZARIS, Fitz-Greene Halleck THE BURIAL OF SIR JOHN MOORE, Charles Wolfe ABSALOM, Nathaniel Parker Wills LOCHINVAR, Sir Walter Scott PARTING OF MARMION AND DOUGLAS, Sir Walter Scott FOR A' THAT AND A' THAT, Robert Burns

SELECTIONS FROM SHAKESPEARE:

MERCY, The Merchant of Venice THE SEVEN AGES OF MAN, As You Like It POLONIUS'S ADVICE, Hamlet MAN, Hamlet HAMLET'S SOLILOQUY, Hamlet REPUTATION, Othello WOLSEY AND CROMWELL, King Henry VIII CASSIO AND IAGO, Othello

PART II—Great American Authors

WASHINGTON IRVING RIP VAN WINKLE THE VOYAGE

NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE THE GREAT STONE FACE MY VISIT TO NIAGARA

EDGAR ALLAN POE A DESCENT INTO THE MAELSTROeM THE RAVEN

HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW EVANGELINE: A TALE OF ACADIE THE BUILDING OF THE SHIP

JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER SNOW-BOUND THE SHIP BUILDERS

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES THE CHAMBERED NAUTILUS THE DEACON'S MASTERPIECE; OR THE WONDERFUL "ONE-HOSS SHAY" OLD IRONSIDES THE BOYS THE LAST LEAF

JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL THE VISION OF SIR LAUNFAL YUSSOUF

SIDNEY LANIER THE MARSHES OF GLYNN

PART III—Patriotic Selections

REGULUS BEFORE THE ROMAN SENATE, Epes Sargent THE RETURN OF REGULUS, Elijah Kellogg SPARTACUS TO THE GLADIATORS, Elijah Kellogg MERIT BEFORE BIRTH, Sallust RIENZI'S ADDRESS TO THE ROMANS, Mary Russell Mitford EMMET'S VINDICATION Robert Emmet KING PHILLIP TO THE WHITE SETTLER, Edward Everett THE CAPTURE OF QUEBEC, Francis Parkman ENGLAND AND HER COLONIES, Edmund Burke THE WAY TO WEALTH, Benjamin Franklin SPEECH ON A RESOLUTION TO PUT VIRGINIA INTO A STATE OF DEFENCE, Patrick Henry THE MAN WITHOUT A COUNTRY, Edward Everett Hale LOVE OF COUNTRY, Sir Walter Scott NAPOLEON BONAPARTE, Charles Phillips THE TRUE GRANDEUR OF NATIONS, Charles Sumner THE EVILS OF WAR, Henry Clay PEACE, THE POLICY OF A NATION, John C. Calhoun THE FIRST SETTLEMENT OF NEW ENGLAND, Daniel Webster SUPPOSED SPEECH OF JOHN ADAMS, Daniel Webster SOUTH CAROLINA AND THE UNION, Robert Hayne REPLY TO HAYNE, Daniel Webster DEDICATION SPEECH AT GETTYSBURG, Abraham Lincoln LINCOLN, THE GREAT COMMONER, Edwin Markham O CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN, Walt Whitman FAREWELL ADDRESS, George Washington THE MEMORY OF OUR FATHERS, Henry Ward Beecher THE AMERICAN FLAG, J. R. Drake WARREN'S ADDRESS AT THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL, John Pierpont COLUMBUS, Joaquin Miller RECESSIONAL—A VICTORIAN, Rudyard Kipling A DEFINITION OF A GENTLEMAN, Cardinal Newman



COURSE OF READING

In the ELSON READERS selections are grouped according to theme or authorship. This arrangement, however, is not intended to fix an order for reading in class; its purpose is to emphasise classification, facilitate comparison, and enable pupils to appreciate similarities and contrasts in the treatment of like themes by different authors.

To give variety, to meet the interests at different seasons and festivals, and to go from prose to poetry and from long to short selections, a carefully planned order of reading should be followed. Such an order of reading calls for a full consideration of all the factors mentioned above. The Course here offered meets these ends but may easily be varied to fit local conditions.

FIRST HALF-YEAR

BIOGRAPHY OF HAWTHORNE THE GREAT STONE FACE MY VISIT TO NIAGARA THE DIVERTING HISTORY OF JOHN GILPIN HOW THEY BROUGHT THE GOOD NEWS INCIDENT OF THE FRENCH CAMP HERVE RIEL COLUMBUS (COLUMBUS'S BIRTHDAY, OCT. 12) SUPPOSED SPEECH OF JOHN ADAMS SPEECH OF RESOLUTION TO PUT VIRGINIA INTO A STATE OF DEFENCE THE EVE BEFORE WATERLOO THE BUGLE SONG BIOGRAPHY OF HOLMES THE CHAMBERED NAUTILUS THE DEACON'S MASTERPIECE OLD IRONSIDES THE BOYS THE LAST LEAF MERIT BEFORE BIRTH WEBSTER-HAYNE DEBATE THE BROOK THE SONG OF THE CHATTAHOOCHEE THE CATARACT OF LODORE BIOGRAPHY OF POE A DESCENT INTO THE MAELSTROeM THE RAVEN ANNABEL LEE THE BELLS BIOGRAPHY OF WHITTIER (WHITTIER'S BIRTHDAY, DEC. 17) SNOW-BOUND (WHITTIER'S BIRTHDAY, DEC. 17) THE SHIP-BUILDERS (WHITTIER'S BIRTHDAY, DEC. 17) REGULUS BEFORE THE ROMAN SENATE THE RETURN OF REGULUS SPARTACUS TO THE GLADIATORS THE WAY TO WEALTH (FRANKLIN'S BIRTHDAY, JAN, 17) EMMET'S VINDICATION MARCO BOZZARIS RIENZI'S ADDRESS TO THE ROMANS BIOGRAPHY OF LANIER (LANIER'S BIRTHDAY, FEB. 3) THE MARSHES OF GLYNN (LANIER'S BIRTHDAY, FEB. 3)

SECOND HALF-YEAR

LOVE OF COUNTRY WARREN'S ADDRESS PEACE, THE POLICY OF A NATION THE AMERICAN FLAG (LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY, FEB. 12) LINCOLN, THE GREAT COMMONER (LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY, FEB. 12) DEDICATION SPEECH (LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY, FEB. 12) O CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN (WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY, FEB. 22) FAREWELL ADDRESS (WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY, FEB. 22) BIOGRAPHY OF LOWELL (LOWELL'S BIRTHDAY, FEB. 22) THE VISION OF SIR LAUNFAL (LOWELL'S BIRTHDAY, FEB. 22) YUSSOUF (LOWELL'S BIRTHDAY, FEB. 22) BIOGRAPHY OF LONGFELLOW (LONGFELLOW'S BIRTHDAY, FEB. 27) EVANGELINE (LONGFELLOW'S BIRTHDAY, FEB. 27) THE BUILDING OF THE SHIP (LONGFELLOW'S BIRTHDAY, FEB. 27) NAPOLEON BONAPARTE THE EVILS OF WAR BIOGRAPHY OF IRVING (IRVING'S BIRTHDAY, APRIL 3) RIP VAN WINKLE (IRVING'S BIRTHDAY, APRIL 3) THE VOYAGE (IRVING'S BIRTHDAY, APRIL 3) PAUL REVERE'S RIDE (APRIL 19) THE LEAP OF ROUSHAN BEG THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE SELECTIONS FROM SHAKESPEARE (SHAKESPEARE'S BIRTHDAY, APRIL 23) TO A WATER FOWL THE SKYLARK TO A SKYLARK (SPRING AND ARBOR DAY) THE CLOUD APOSTROPHE TO THE OCEAN ABSALOM LOCHINVAR PARTING OF MARMION AND DOUGLAS FOR A' THAT AND A' THAT KING PHILIP TO THE WHITE SETTLER THE CAPTURE OF QUEBEC ENGLAND AND HER COLONIES THE MAN WITHOUT A COUNTRY OPPORTUNITY THE DESTRUCTION OF SENNACHERIB SONG OF THE GREEK BARD THE BURIAL OF SIR JOHN MOORE THE TRUE GRANDEUR OF NATIONS THE MEMORY OF OUR FATHERS THE RECESSIONAL



INTRODUCTION

This book is designed to furnish reading material of choice literary and dramatic quality. The selections for the most part are those that have stood the test of time and are acknowledged masterpieces. The groupings into the separate parts will aid both teachers and pupils in the classification of the material, indicating at a glance the range and variety of the literature included.

Part One deals with poetry, and it is believed the poems offered in this group are unsurpassed. No effort on the teacher's part will be needed to arouse the enthusiasm of pupils who read the series of famous rides with which this group opens. The thrill of delight which children feel as they read of "A hurry of hoofs in a village street," or "Charging an army while all the world wondered," may lead to the stronger and more enduring emotions of patriotism and devotion. "John Gilpin's Ride," which has furnished amusement for generations of old and young, finds a place here. The rhythmic movement of these poems makes a natural transition to those selections especially designed as studies in rhythm. The series of nature poems and selections from Shakespeare complete a group of choice literary creations. Part Two is given to a study of the great American authors, and no apology is needed either for the choice of material or for the prominence given to this group. It is especially suited to parallel and supplement the work of this grade in American history. Part Three contains patriotic selections and some of the great orations. These are lofty and inspiring in style, within the grasp of the pupils, and are especially helpful in developing power of expression.

It is not expected that the order of selections will be followed. On the contrary, each teacher will follow the order which will best suit her own plans and purposes. While there is much material in the book that will re-enforce lessons in history, geography, and nature study, yet it is not for this that these selections should be studied, but rather for the pleasure that comes from reading beautiful thoughts beautifully expressed. The reading lesson should therefore be a study of literature, and it should lead the children to find beauty of thought and imagery, fitness in figures of speech, and delicate shades of meaning in words. Literature is an art, and the chief aim of the reading lesson is to discover and interpret its art qualities. In this way children learn how to read books and are enabled to appreciate the literary treasures of the race. The business of the reading book is to furnish the best available material for this purpose.

It is worth while to make a thorough study of a few well-chosen selections. Through the power gained in this way children are enabled to interpret and enjoy other selections without the aid of the teacher. If the class work is for the most part of the intensive kind, the pupils will read the remaining lessons alone for sheer pleasure, which is at once the secret and goal of good teaching in literature. Moreover, they will exercise a discriminating taste and judgment in their choice of reading matter. To love good literature, to find pleasure in reading it and to gain power to choose it with discrimination are the supreme ends to be attained by the reading lesson. For this reason, some selections should be read many times for the pleasure they give the children. In music the teacher sometimes calls for expressions of preference among songs: "What song shall we sing, children?" So in reading, "What selection shall we read?" is a good question for the teacher to ask frequently. Thus children come to make familiar friends of some of the stories and poems, and find genuine enjoyment in reading these again and again.

Good results may also be obtained by assigning to a pupil a particular lesson which he is expected to prepare. On a given day he will read to the class the selection assigned to him. The orations are especially suited to this mode of treatment. The pupil who can read one selection well has gone a long way toward being a good reader. The teacher who said to her pupils, "I shall read to you tomorrow," recognized this truth and knew the value of an occasional exercise of that kind. Good pedagogy approves of a judicious use of methods of imitation in teaching reading.

The biographies are intended to acquaint the children with the personal characteristics and lives of the authors, making them more interesting and real to the children, giving them the human touch and incidentally furnishing helpful data for interpreting their writings. In this connection, the authors have, by permission, drawn freely from Professor Newcomer's English and American Literatures. "Helps to Study" include questions and notes designed to stimulate inquiry on the part of pupils and to suggest fruitful lines of study. Only a few points are suggested, to indicate the way, and no attempt is made to cover the ground adequately; this remains for the teacher to do.

While placing emphasis primarily on the thought-getting process the formalities of thought-giving must not be overlooked. The technique of reading, though always subordinate and secondary to the mastery of the thought, nevertheless claims constant and careful attention. Good reading requires clear enunciation and correct pronunciation and these can be secured only when the teacher steadily insists upon them. The increase of foreign elements in our school population and the influence of these upon clearness and accuracy of speech furnish added reason for attention to these details. Special drill exercises should be given and the habit of using the dictionary freely should be firmly established in pupils. The ready use of the dictionary and other reference books for pronunciation and meaning of words, for historical and mythical allusions should be steadily cultivated. Without doubt much of the reading accepted in the public schools is seriously deficient in these particulars. The art of good reading can be cultivated by judicious training and the school should spare no pains to realize this result.

Professor Clark, in his book on "How to Teach Reading," sets forth the four elements of vocal expression—Time, Pitch, Quality and Force. We quote a few of the sentences from his treatment of each of these elementary topics.

"I. TIME. Time, then, refers to the rate of vocal movement. It may be fast, or moderate, or slow, according to the amount of what may be called the collateral thinking accompanying the reading, of any given passage. To put it another way: a phrase is read slowly because it means much; because the thought is large, sublime, deep. The collateral thinking may be revealed by an expansive paraphrase. For instance, in the lines

"Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note As his corse to the rampart we hurried,"

why do we read slowly? The paraphrase answers the question. It was midnight. There lay our beloved leader, who should have been borne in triumphal procession to his last resting place. Bells should have tolled, cannon thundered, and thousands should have followed his bier. But now, alas, by night, by stealth, without even a single drum tap, in fear and dread, we crept breathless to the rampart. This, or any one of a hundred other paraphrases, will suffice to render the vocal movement slow. And so it is with all slow time. Let it be remembered that a profound or sublime thought may be uttered in fast time; but that when we dwell upon that thought, when we hold it before the mind, the time must necessarily be slow. If a child read too rapidly, it is because his mind is not sufficiently occupied with the thought; if he read too slowly, it is because he does not get the words; or because he is temperamentally slow; or because, and this is the most likely explanation, he is making too much of a small idea. To tell him to read fast or slow is but to make him affected, and, incidentally, even if unconsciously, to impress upon him that reading is a matter of mechanics, and not of thought-getting and thought-giving."

"II. PITCH. By Pitch is meant everything that has to do with the acuteness or gravity of the tone—in other words, with keys, melodies, inflections and modulations. When we say of one that he speaks in a high key, we should be understood as meaning that his pitch is prevailingly high; and that the reverse is true when we say of one that he speaks in a low key. While it is true that the key differs in individuals, yet experience shows that within a note or two, we all use the same keys in expressing the same states of minds. The question for us is, what determines the key? It can be set down as a fixed principle, that controlled mental states are expressed by low keys, while the high keys are the manifestation of the less controlled mental conditions. Drills in inflections as such are of very little value, and potentially very harmful. Most pupils have no difficulty in making proper inflections, so that for them class drills are time wasted; for those whose reading is monotonous, because of lack of melodic variety, the best drills are those which teach them to make a careful analysis of the sentences, and those which awaken them to the necessity of impressing the thought upon others. We have learned that when a pupil has the proper motive in mind and is desirous of conveying his intention to another, a certain melody will always manifest that intention. The melody, then, is the criterion of the pupil's purpose. The moment a pupil loses sight of a phrase and its relation to the other phrases, that moment his melody betrays him."

"III. QUALITY. Quality manifests emotional states. By Quality we mean that subtle element in the voice by which is expressed at one time tenderness, at another harshness, at another awe, and so on through the whole gamut of feeling. The teacher now knows that emotion affects the quality of tone. Let him then use this knowledge as he has learned to use his knowledge of the other criteria. We recognize instinctively the qualities that express sorrow, tenderness, joy, and the other states of feeling. When the proper quality does not appear it is because the child has no feeling, or the wrong feeling, generally the former. There is but one way to correct the expression, i. e., by stimulating the imagination."

"IV. FORCE. Force manifests the degree of mental energy. When we speak in a loud voice, there is much energy; when softly, there is little. Do not tell the child to read louder. If you do, you will get loudness—that awful grating schoolboy loudness—without a particle of expression in it. Many a child reads well, but is bashful. When we tell him to read louder, he braces himself for the effort and kills the quality, which is the finer breath and spirit of oral expression, and gives us a purely physical thing—force. Put your weak-voiced readers on the platform; let them face the class and talk to you, seated in the middle of the room, and you will get all the force you need. On the whole, we have too much force, rather than too little. Let the teacher learn that we want quality, not quantity, and our statement of the mental action behind force will be of much benefit in creating the proper conditions."

To discriminating teachers it will be apparent that this book is not the usual school reader. On the contrary it differs widely from this in the cultural value of the selections, in the classification and arrangement of material, in the variety of interest to which it appeals, and in the abundance of classic literature from American authors which it contains. It aims to furnish the best in poetry and prose to be found in the literature of the English-speaking race and to furnish it in abundance. If these familiar old selections, long accepted as among the best in literature, shall be the means of cultivating in pupils a taste for good reading, the book will have fulfilled its purpose.

For permission to use valuable selections from their lists, acknowledgment is due to Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin and Company, Charles Scribner's Sons, and The Whitaker and Ray Company.

Grateful acknowledgment is also made to those teachers who have given valuable suggestions and criticisms in the compilation of this book.

THE AUTHORS.

April, 1909.

* * * * *

"We live in deeds, not years, in thoughts, not breaths; In feelings, not in figures on a dial."

PHILIP JAMES BAILEY.



PART I.

FAMOUS RIDES, SELECTIONS FROM SHAKESPEARE AND OTHER POETS, AND STUDIES IN RHYTHM

* * * * *

PAUL REVERE'S RIDE

HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW

Listen, my children, and you shall hear Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five: Hardly a man is now alive Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend: "If the British march By land or sea from the town tonight, Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry-arch Of the North Church tower, as a signal-light,— One if by land, and two if by sea; And I on the opposite shore will be, Ready to ride and spread the alarm Through every Middlesex village and farm, For the country-folk to be up and to arm."

Then he said "good night," and with muffled oar Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore, Just as the moon rose over the bay, Where, swinging wide at her moorings, lay The Somerset, British man-of-war: A phantom ship, with each mast and spar Across the moon, like a prison-bar, And a huge black hulk, that was magnified By its own reflection in the tide.

Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street Wanders and watches with eager ears, Till in the silence around him he hears The muster of men at the barrack-door, The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet, And the measured tread of the grenadiers Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Then he climbed to the tower of the church, Up the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread, To the belfry-chamber overhead, And startled the pigeons from their perch On the sombre rafters, that round him made Masses and moving shapes of shade,— Up the trembling ladder, steep and tall, To the highest window in the wall, Where he paused to listen and look down A moment on the roofs of the town, And the moonlight flowing over all.

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead In their night-encampment on the hill, Wrapped in silence so deep and still, That he could hear, like a sentinel's tread, The watchful night-wind, as it went Creeping along from tent to tent, And seeming to whisper, "All is well!" A moment only he feels the spell Of the place and the hour, the secret dread Of the lonely belfry and the dead; For suddenly all his thoughts are bent On a shadowy something far away, Where the river widens to meet the bay,— A line of black, that bends and floats On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats.

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride, Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride, On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere. Now he patted his horse's side, Now gazed at the landscape far and near, Then impetuous stamped the earth, And turned and tightened his saddle-girth; But mostly he watched with eager search The belfry-tower of the old North Church, As it rose above the graves on the hill, Lonely, and spectral, and sombre, and still. And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height, A glimmer, and then a gleam of light! He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns, But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight A second lamp in the belfry burns!

A hurry of hoofs in a village-street, A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark, And beneath from the pebbles, in passing, a spark Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet: That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light, The fate of a nation was riding that night; And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight, Kindled the land into flame with its heat.

He has left the village and mounted the steep, And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep, Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides; And under the alders, that skirt its edge, Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge, Is heard the tramp of the steed as he rides.

It was twelve by the village-clock When he crossed the bridge into Medford town. He heard the crowing of the cock, And the barking of the farmer's dog, And felt the damp of the river-fog That rises after the sun goes down.

It was one by the village-clock When he galloped into Lexington. He saw the gilded weathercock Swim in the moonlight as he passed, And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare, Gaze at him with a spectral glare, As if they already stood aghast At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village-clock When he came to the bridge in Concord town. He heard the bleating of the flock, And the twitter of birds among the trees, And felt the breath of the morning-breeze Blowing over the meadows brown. And one was safe and asleep in his bed Who at the bridge would be first to fall, Who that day would be lying dead, Pierced by a British musket-ball.

You know the rest. In the books you have read How the British regulars fired and fled,— How the farmers gave them ball for ball, From behind each fence and farmyard-wall, Chasing the redcoats down the lane, Then crossing the fields to emerge again Under the trees at the turn of the road, And only pausing to fire and load.

So through the night rode Paul Revere; And so through the night went his cry of alarm To every Middlesex village and farm,— A cry of defiance, and not of fear,— A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door, And a word that shall echo forevermore! For, borne on the night-wind of the Past, Through all our history, to the last, In the hour of darkness and peril and need, The people will waken and listen to hear The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed, And the midnight-message of Paul Revere.



HELPS TO STUDY.

Notes and Questions.

What message did Paul Revere bear?

Read an account of the battle of Lexington and observe how nearly this poem is true to history.

Who were John Hancock and Samuel Adams?

What does the second stanza tell you? The seventh stanza?

Does this poem call your attention chiefly to the horse, the rider, or the message?

Sketch a map locating Boston, Charlestown, Medford, Lexington, Concord.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

"the fate of a nation was riding that night" "gaze at him with a spectral glare" "the spark struck out by that steed in his flight kindled the land into flame with its heat" "sombre" "red-coats" "fearless and fleet"

* * * * *

THE LEAP OF ROUSHAN BEG

HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW

Mounted on Kyrat strong and fleet, His chestnut steed with four white feet, Roushan Beg, called Kurroglou, Son of the road and bandit chief, Seeking refuge and relief, Up the mountain pathway flew.

Such was the Kyrat's wondrous speed, Never yet could any steed Reach the dust-cloud in his course. More than maiden, more than wife, More than gold and next to life Roushan the Robber loved his horse.

In the land that lies beyond Erzeroum and Trebizond, Garden-girt, his fortress stood; Plundered khan, or caravan Journeying north from Koordistan, Gave him wealth and wine and food.

Seven hundred and fourscore Men at arms his livery wore, Did his bidding night and day; Now, through regions all unknown, He was wandering, lost, alone, Seeking, without guide, his way.

Suddenly the pathway ends, Sheer the precipice descends, Loud the torrent roars unseen; Thirty feet from side to side Yawns the chasm; on air must ride He who crosses this ravine.

Following close in his pursuit, At the precipice's foot Reyhan the Arab of Orfah Halted with his hundred men, Shouting upward from the glen, "La Illah ilia Allah!"

Gently Roushan Beg caressed Kyrat's forehead, neck and breast; Kissed him upon both his eyes, Sang to him in his wild way, As upon the topmost spray Sings a bird before it flies.

"O my Kyrat, O my steed, Bound and slender as a reed, Carry me this peril through! Satin housings shall be thine, Shoes of gold, O Kyrat mine, O thou soul of Kurroglou!

"Soft thy skin as silken skein, Soft as woman's hair thy mane, Tender are thine eyes and true; All thy hoofs like ivory shine, Polished bright; O life of mine, Leap, and rescue Kurroglou!"

Kyrat, then, the strong and fleet, Drew together his four white feet, Paused a moment on the verge, Measured with his eye the space, And into the air's embrace Leaped as leaps the ocean surge.

As the ocean surge o'er sand Bears a swimmer safe to land, Kyrat safe his rider bore; Rattling down the deep abyss Fragments of the precipice Rolled like pebbles on a shore.

Roushan's tasseled cap of red Trembled not upon his head; Careless sat he and upright; Neither hand nor bridle shook, Nor his head he turned to look, As he galloped out of sight.

Flash of harness in the air, Seen a moment, like the glare Of a sword drawn from its sheath; Thus the phantom horseman passed, And the shadow that he cast Leaped the cataract underneath.

Reyhan the Arab held his breath While this vision of life and death Passed above him. "Allahu!" Cried he. "In all Koordistan Lives there not so brave a man As this Robber Kurroglou!"

HELPS TO STUDY.

Notes and Questions.

What does the first stanza tell?

The second?

What is the purpose of the fifth stanza?

What comparison is found in the seventh stanza? In the eighth? In the ninth?

What do we mean by "figure of speech?" Illustrate.

State in your own words the thought in the eleventh stanza.

In next to the last stanza give the meaning of the last three lines.

What lesson of heroism does this poem give you?

Whom should you call the hero of this tale?

Who is Allah? Where is Koordistan?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

"phantom" "verge" "caravan" "abyss" "garden-girt" "cataract"

* * * * *

THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE AT BALAKLAVA

ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON

Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, All in the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. "Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!" he said: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. "Forward, the Light Brigade!" Was there a man dismay'd? Not tho' the soldier knew Some one had blunder'd: Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them Volley'd and thunder'd; Storm'd at with shot and shell, Boldly they rode and well, Into the jaws of Death, Into the mouth of Hell Rode the six hundred. Flash'd all their sabres bare, Flash'd as they turn'd in air Sabring the gunners there, Charging an army, while All the world wonder'd; Plunged in the battery-smoke Right thro' the line they broke; Cossack and Russian Reel'd from the sabre-stroke Shatter'd and sunder'd. Then they rode back, but not, Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon behind them Volley'd and thunder'd; Stormed at with shot and shell, While horse and hero fell, They that had fought so well Came through the jaws of Death Back from the mouth of Hell, All that was left of them, Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade! Oh the wild charge they made! All the world wondered. Honor the charge they made! Honor the Light Brigade, Noble six hundred!



HELPS TO STUDY.

Biographical and Historical: Alfred Tennyson was born in that memorable birth year, 1809, which brought into the world a company of the greatest men of the century, including Darwin, Gladstone, Lincoln, Poe, Chopin, and Mendelssohn. He was one of twelve children who lived together a healthful life of study and sport. Gathering the other children about him he held them captive with his stories of knightly deeds—tales drawn partly from his reading and partly from his fertile fancy. They lived again the thrilling life of joust and tournament. Past the house in the village of Somersby, in Lincolnshire, where his father was rector, flowed a brook, in all probability the brook that came "from haunts of coot and hern... to bicker down a valley." He was a student at Cambridge, where he met and became deeply attached to Arthur Henry Hallam, whose death not long afterward inspired the poem "In Memoriam." In 1850, upon Wordsworth's death, Tennyson was made poet laureate and the poem commemorating the heroic charge at Balaklava in 1854, "The Charge of the Light Brigade," shows how he adorned this office. In 1884 the queen raised him to the peerage, and from that time he was known as Lord Tennyson. He lived as much in retirement as was possible, part of the time making his home in the Isle of Wight. He died in 1892 and was buried in the Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey.

The event which this poem describes occurred at Balaklava in the Crimea, October 25th, 1854. Of six hundred seven men only about one hundred fifty survived. The order to charge, bearing the signature of Lord Lucan, was delivered by Captain Nolan to the Earl of Cardigan, who was in command of the "Light Brigade." Nolan was killed in the charge while Cardigan survived. The death of Nolan made it impossible to determine whether the signature to the order was genuine or forged.

It was in this war that Florence Nightingale rendered such noble service as hospital nurse. She arrived at Balaklava ten days after this charge.

Notes and Questions.

On your map find Balaklava on the Black Sea.

What nation attacked the Russians?

What was the significance of Sevastopol?

What is a brigade? A light brigade?

What is meant by "charging an army"?

Who had "blundered"?

What lines tell you that obedience is the first duty of the soldier?

What line tells you how vain and hopeless was this charge?

How does the poem impress you?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

"Valley of Death" "half a league" "the mouth of Hell" "the jaws of Death" "dismay'd" "volley'd and thunder'd"

* * * * *

THE DIVERTING HISTORY OF JOHN GILPIN

WILLIAM COWPER

John Gilpin was a citizen Of credit and renown, A trainband captain eke was he Of famous London town.

John Gilpin's spouse said to her dear, "Though wedded we have been These twice ten tedious years, yet we No holiday have seen.

"Tomorrow is our wedding day, And we will then repair Unto the Bell at Edmonton, All in a chaise and pair

"My sister, and my sister's child, Myself, and children three, Will fill the chaise, so you must ride On horseback after we."

He soon replied, "I do admire Of womankind but one, And you are she, my dearest dear, Therefore, it shall be done.

"I am a linen-draper bold, As all the world doth know, And my good friend, the calender, Will lend his horse to go."

Quoth Mrs. Gilpin, "That's well said: And for that wine is dear, We will be furnished with our own, Which is both bright and clear."

John Gilpin kissed his loving wife; O'erjoyed was he to find That, though on pleasure she was bent, She had a frugal mind.

The morning came, the chaise was brought, But yet was not allowed To drive up to the door, lest all Should say that she was proud.

So three doors off the chaise was stayed, Where they did all get in; Six precious souls, and all agog To dash through thick and thin.

Smack went the whip, 'round went the wheels, Were never folks so glad; The stones did rattle underneath As if Cheapside were mad.

John Gilpin at his horse's side Seized fast the flowing mane, And up he got, in haste to ride, But soon came down again;

For saddle-tree scarce reached had he, His journey to begin, When, turning round his head, he saw Three customers come in.

So down he came; for loss of time, Although it grieved him sore, Yet loss of pence, full well he knew, Would trouble him much more.

'Twas long before the customers Were suited to their mind, When Betty screaming came down stairs,— "The wine is left behind!"

"Good lack!" quoth he, "yet bring it me, My leathern belt likewise, In which I bear my trusty sword When I do exercise."

Now Mrs. Gilpin, careful soul, Had two stone bottles found, To hold the liquor that she loved, And keep it safe and sound.

Each bottle had a curling ear, Through which the belt he drew, And hung a bottle on each side, To make his balance true.

Then, over all, that he might be Equipped from top to toe, His long red cloak, well brushed and He manfully did throw.

Now see him mounted once again, Upon his nimble steed, Full slowly pacing o'er the stones With caution and good heed.

But finding soon a smoother road Beneath his well-shod feet, The snorting beast began to trot, Which galled him in his seat.

So "Fair and softly" John he cried, But John he cried in vain; That trot became a gallop soon, In spite of curb and rein.

So stooping down, as needs he must Who cannot sit upright, He grasped the mane with both his hands, And eke with all his might.

His horse, which never in that sort Had handled been before, What thing upon his back had got Did wonder more and more.

Away went Gilpin, neck or nought; Away went hat and wig; He little dreamed when he set out Of running such a rig.

The wind did blow, the cloak did fly, Like streamer long and gay, Till, loop and button failing both, At last it flew away.

Then might all people well discern, The bottles he had slung; A bottle swinging at each side, As hath been said or sung.

The dogs did bark, the children screamed, Up flew the windows all, And every soul cried out, "Well done!" As loud as he could bawl.

Away went Gilpin—who but he? His fame soon spread around; "He carries weight, he rides a race! 'Tis for a thousand pound!"

And still, as fast as he drew near, 'Twas wonderful to view, How in a trice the turnpike men Their gates wide open threw.

And now, as he went bowing down His reeking head full low, The bottles twain behind his back Were shattered at a blow.

Down ran the wine into the road, Most piteous to be seen, Which made his horse's flanks to smoke As they had basted been.

But still he seemed to carry weight, With leathern girdle braced; For all might see the bottle necks Still dangling at his waist.

Thus all through merry Islington These gambols he did play, Until he came unto the wash Of Edmonton so gay;

And there he threw the wash about On both sides of the way, Just like unto a trundling mop, Or a wild goose at play.

At Edmonton his loving wife From the balcony spied Her tender husband, wondering much To see how he did ride.

"Stop, stop, John Gilpin! Here's the house!" They all at once did cry; "The dinner waits and we are tired." Said Gilpin, "So am I!"

But yet his horse was not a whit Inclined to tarry there; For why? his owner had a house Full ten miles off, at Ware.

So like an arrow swift he flew, Shot by an archer strong; So did he fly—which brings me to The middle of my song.

Away went Gilpin, out of breath, And sore against his will, Till, at his friend the calender's, His horse at last stood still.

The calender, amazed to see His neighbor in such trim, Laid down his pipe, flew to the gate, And thus accosted him:

"What news? what news? your tidings tell; Tell me you must and shall; Say why bareheaded you are come, Or why you come at all?"

Now Gilpin had a pleasant wit, And loved a timely joke; And thus unto the calender, In merry guise, he spoke:

"I came because your horse would come; And, if I well forbode, My hat and wig will soon be here:— They are upon the road."

The calender, right glad to find His friend in merry pin, Returned him not a single word, But to the house went in;

Whence straight he came with hat and wig; A wig that flowed behind, A hat not much the worse for wear, Each comely in its kind.

He held them up and in his turn Thus showed his ready wit: "My head is twice as big as yours, They, therefore, needs must fit.

But let me scrape the dirt away That hangs upon your face; And stop and eat, for well you may Be in a hungry case."

Said John, "It is my wedding day, And all the world would stare, If wife should dine at Edmonton And I should dine at Ware."

So, turning to his horse, he said, "I am in haste to dine; 'Twas for your pleasure you came here, You shall go back for mine."

Ah! luckless speech and bootless boast, For which he paid full dear; For while he spake, a braying ass Did sing most loud and clear;

Whereat his horse did snort, as he Had heard a lion roar, And galloped off with all his might, As he had done before.

Away went Gilpin, and away Went Gilpin's hat and wig: He lost them sooner than at first; For why?—they were too big.

Now Mistress Gilpin, when she saw Her husband posting down Into the country far away, She pulled out half a crown;

And thus unto the youth she said, That drove them to the Bell, "This shall be yours when you bring back My husband safe and well."

The youth did ride, and soon did meet John coming back amain; Whom in a trice he tried to stop By catching at his rein;

But not performing what he meant And gladly would have done, The frightened steed he frighted more, And made him faster run.

Away went Gilpin, and away Went postboy at his heels, The postboy's horse right glad to miss The lumbering of the wheels.

Six gentlemen upon the road, Thus seeing Gilpin fly, With postboy scampering in the rear, They raised the hue and cry;—

"Stop thief! stop thief! a highwayman!" Not one of them was mute; And all and each that passed that way Did join in the pursuit.

And now the turnpike gates again Flew open in short space; The toll-men thinking as before, That Gilpin rode a race.

And so he did, and won it too, For he got first to town; Nor stopped till where he had got up He did again get down.

Now let us sing "Long Live the King," And Gilpin, long live he; And when he next doth ride abroad May I be there to see!



HELPS TO STUDY.

Biographical: William Cowper, 1731-1800, was a famous English poet. His poems range from religious to humorous subjects.

Notes and Questions.

What was the occasion of the ride?

What tells you that the linen-draper lived over his shop?

Which stanza is most amusing?

Why did people think John Gilpin rode for a wager?

Edmonton—a suburb of London.

The Bell—the Inn.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

"calender" "eke" "chaise and pair" "frugal" "gambols" "trainband" "repair" "he carries weight" "for that wine is dear" "turnpike" "basted" "bootless boast" "the postboy's horse right glad to miss the lumbering of the wheels"

* * * * *

HOW THEY BROUGHT THE GOOD NEWS FROM GHENT TO AIX

ROBERT BROWNING

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; "Speed!" echoed the wall to us galloping through; Behind shut the postern, the lights sank to rest, And into the midnight we galloped abreast.

Not a word to each other; we kept the great pace Neck by neck, stride by stride, never changing our place; I turned in my saddle and made its girths tight, Then shortened each stirrup, and set the pique right, Rebuckled the cheek-strap, chained slacker the bit, Nor galloped less steadily Roland a whit.

'Twas moonset at starting; but while we drew near Lokeren, the cocks crew and twilight dawned clear; At Boom, a great yellow star came out to see; At Dueffeld, 'twas morning as plain as could be; And from Mecheln church-steeple we heard the half-chime, So Joris broke silence with, "Yet there is time!"

At Aershot, up leaped of a sudden the sun, And against him the cattle stood black every one, To stare through the mist at us galloping past, And I saw my stout galloper Roland at last, With resolute shoulders, each butting away The haze, as some bluff river headland its spray:

And his low head and crest, just one sharp ear bent back For my voice, and the other pricked out on his track; And one eye's black intelligence,—ever that glance O'er its white edge at me, his own master, askance And the thick heavy spume-flakes which aye and anon His fierce lips shook upwards in galloping on.

By Hasselt, Dirck groaned; and cried Joris, "Stay spur! Your Roos galloped bravely, the fault's not in her, We'll remember at Aix"—for one heard the quick wheeze Of her chest, saw the stretched neck and staggering knees, And sunk tail, and horrible heave of the flank, As down on her haunches she shuddered and sank.

So, we were left galloping, Joris and I, Past Looz and past Tongres, no cloud in the sky; The broad sun above laughed a pitiless laugh, 'Neath our feet broke the brittle bright stubble like chaff; Till over by Dalhem, a dome-spire sprang white, And "Gallop," gasped Joris, "for Aix is in sight!"

"How they'll greet us!"—and all in a moment his roan Rolled neck and croup over, lay dead as a stone; And there was my Roland to bear the whole weight Of the news which alone could save Aix from her fate, With his nostrils like pits full of blood to the brim, And with circles of red for his eye-sockets' rim.

Then I cast loose my buffcoat, each holster let fall, Shook off both my jack-boots, let go belt and all, Stood up in the stirrup, leaned, patted his ear, Called my Roland his pet-name, my horse without peer; Clapped my hands, laughed and sang, any noise, bad or good, Till at length into Aix Roland galloped and stood.

And all I remember is—friends flocking round As I sat with his head 'twixt my knees on the ground; And no voice but was praising this Roland of mine, As I poured down his throat our last measure of wine, Which (the burgesses voted by common consent) Was no more than his due who brought good news from Ghent.



HELPS TO STUDY.

Biographical and Historical: Robert Browning was born in a suburb of London in 1812. His four grandparents were respectively of English, German, Scotch, and Creole birth. After his marriage with the poet, Elizabeth Barrett, he lived in Italy, where in the old palace Casa Guidi, in Florence, they spent years of rare companionship and happiness. After her death he returned to England, but spent most of his summers abroad. On the Grand Canal, in Venice, the gondoliers point out a palace where at his son's home, Browning died in 1889. He was buried in the Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey.

Browning's poems are not easy to read, because he condenses so much into a word or phrase and he often leaves large gaps to be filled in by the reader's imagination. Any one can make selections of lines and even entire poems from Tennyson, Poe, Southey, and Lanier, in which the poet has created for us verbal music and beauty. Browning, however, is not so much concerned with this side of poetry as he is with portraying correctly the varied emotions of the human soul.

"Love in the largest sense, as the divine principle working through all nature, is at the very center of Browning's creed. His is the heartiest, happiest, most beautiful poetic voice that his age has read. He stands apart from most others of his kind and age in the positiveness of his religious faith, a faith that is based upon a conviction of the conquering universality of love and self-sacrifice."

"How They Brought the Good News" is without historical basis; the ride occurred only in the imagination of the poet. The inspiration came from Browning's longing for a horseback gallop over the English downs.

Notes and Questions.

Find Ghent and Aix la Chapelle on your map.

What was probably the nature of the "good news" carried by the messengers?

How many messengers were there?

What makes you think so?

What does the fifth stanza tell you?

What tells you the praise given Roland?

The rhythm suggests the gallop of the horses. In which lines is this suggestion most marked?

Indicate the rhythmic movement.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

"postern" "pique" "askance" "burgesses" "stirrup" "twilight" "haunches" "holster" "Good speed! cried the watch as the gate-bolts undrew" "With resolute shoulders each butting away The haze, as some bluff river headland its spray"

* * * * *

INCIDENT OF THE FRENCH CAMP

ROBERT BROWNING

You know, we French stormed Ratisbon: A mile or so away, On a little mound, Napoleon Stood on our storming-day; With neck out-thrust, you fancy how, Legs wide, arms locked behind, As if to balance the prone brow Oppressive with its mind.

Just as perhaps he mused, "My plans That soar, to earth may fall, Let once my army-leader, Lannes, Waver at yonder wall,"— Out 'twixt the battery-smokes there flew A rider, bound on bound Full-galloping; nor bridle drew Until he reached the mound.

Then off there flung in smiling joy, And held himself erect By just his horse's mane, a boy: You hardly could suspect— (So tight he kept his lips compressed, Scarce any blood came through) You looked twice ere you saw his breast Was all but shot in two.

"Well," cried he, "Emperor, by God's grace, We've got you Ratisbon! The marshal's in the market-place, And you'll be there anon To see your flag-bird flap his vans Where I, to heart's desire, Perched him!" The chief's eye flashed; his plans Soared up again like fire.

The chiefs eye flashed; but presently Softened itself, as sheathes A film the mother eagle's eye When her bruised eaglet breathes: "You're wounded!" "Nay," the soldier's pride Touched to the quick, he said: "I'm killed, sire!" And his chief beside, Smiling, the boy fell dead.



HELPS TO STUDY.

Notes and Questions.

On your map find Ratisbon on the Danube River.

What picture have you of Napoleon from reading this poem?

What word used figuratively tells you of the rider's speed?

Tell the story of the boy rider.

What was the mission of the boy who rode alone?

Was his heroism greater because he was alone?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

"stormed" "soar" "prone" "waver" "battery-smokes" "vans" "sheathes" "film"

* * * * *

HERVE RIEL

ROBERT BROWNING

On the sea and at the Hogue, sixteen hundred ninety-two, Did the English fight the French—woe to France! And the thirty-first of May, helter-skelter through the blue, Like a crowd of frightened porpoises a shoal of sharks pursue, Came crowding ship on ship to St. Malo on the Rance, With the English fleet in view.

'Twas the squadron that escaped, with the victor in full chase; First and foremost of the drove, in his great ship, Damfreville; Close on him fled, great and small, Twenty-two good ships in all; And they signalled to the place, "Help the winners of a race! Get us guidance, give us harbor, take us quick—or, quicker still, Here's the English can and will!"

Then the pilots of the place put out brisk and leapt on board; "Why, what hope or chance have ships like these to pass?" laughed they: "Rocks to starboard, rocks to port, all the passage scarred and scored,— Shall the "Formidable" here, with her twelve and eighty guns, Think to make the river-mouth by the single narrow way, Trust to enter—where 'tis ticklish for a craft of twenty tons, And with flow at full beside? Now, 'tis slackest ebb of tide. Reach the mooring? Rather say, While rock stands or water runs, Not a ship will leave the bay!"

Then was called a council straight. Brief and bitter the debate: "Here's the English at our heels; would you have them take in tow All that's left us of the fleet, linked together stern and bow, For a prize to Plymouth Sound? Better run the ships aground!" (Ended Damfreville his speech). "Not a minute more to wait! Let the captains all and each Shove ashore, then blow up, burn the vessels on the beach! France must undergo her fate.

"Give the word!" But no such word Was ever spoke or heard: For up stood, for out stepped, for in struck, amid all these,— A captain? a lieutenant? a mate,—first, second, third? No such man of mark, and meet With his betters to compete! But a simple Breton sailor, pressed by Tourville for the fleet, A poor coasting-pilot, he,—-Herve Riel, the Croisickese.

And "What mockery or malice have we here?" cried Herve Riel. "Are you mad, you Malouins? Are you cowards, fools, or rogues? Talk to me of rocks and shoals?—me, who took the soundings, tell On my fingers every bank, every shallow, every swell, 'Twixt the offing here and Greve, where the river disembogues? Are you bought by English gold? Is it love the lying's for? Morn and eve, night and day, Have I piloted your bay, Entered free and anchored fast at the foot of Solidor. Burn the fleet, and ruin France? That were worse than fifty Hogues! Sirs, they know I speak the truth! Sirs, believe me, there's way! Only let me lead the line, Have the biggest ship to steer, Get this Formidable clear, Make the others follow mine, And I lead them, most and least, by a passage I know well, Right to Solidor past Greve, And there lay them safe and sound; And if one ship misbehave,— Keel so much as grate the ground, Why, I've nothing but my life,—here's my head!" cries Herve Riel.

Not a minute more to wait. "Steer us in, then, small and great! Take the helm, lead the line, save the squadron!" cried its chief. Captains, give the sailor place! He is Admiral, in brief. Still the north-wind, by God's grace! See the noble fellow's face As the big ship, with a bound, Clears the entry like a hound, Keeps the passage, as its inch of way were the wide sea's profound! See, safe thro' shoal and rock, How they follow in a flock, Not a ship that misbehaves, not a keel that grates the ground, Not a spar that comes to grief! The peril, see, is past. All are harbored to the last, And just as Herve Riel hollas "Anchor!" sure as fate, Up the English come,—too late!

So, the storm subsides to calm: They see the green trees wave On the heights o'erlooking Greve. Hearts that bled are stanched with balm. "Just our rapture to enhance, Let the English rake the bay, Gnash their teeth and glare askance As they cannonade away! 'Neath rampired Solidor pleasant riding on the Rance!" How hope succeeds despair on each captain's countenance! Out burst all with one accord, "This is paradise for hell! Let France, let France's king, Thank the man that did the thing!" What a shout, and all one word, "Herve Riel!" As he stepped in front once more; Not a symptom of surprise In the frank blue Breton eyes,— Just the same man as before.

Then said Damfreville, "My friend, I must speak out at the end, Though I find the speaking hard; Praise is deeper than the lips; You have saved the king his ships; You must name your own reward. Faith, our sun was near eclipse! Demand whate'er you will, France remains your debtor still. Ask to heart's content, and have! or my name's not Damfreville."

Then a beam of fun outbroke On the bearded mouth that spoke, As the honest heart laughed through Those frank eyes of Breton blue:— "Since I needs must say my say, Since on board the duty's done, And from Malo Roads to Croisic Point, what is it but a run! Since 'tis ask and have, I may— Since the others go ashore— Come! A good whole holiday! Leave to go and see my wife, whom I call the Belle Aurore!" That he asked and that he got,—nothing more.

Name and deed alike are lost: Not a pillar nor a post In his Croisic keeps alive the feat as it befell; Not a head in white and black On a single fishing-smack, In memory of the man but for whom had gone to wrack All that France saved from the fight whence England bore the bell. Go to Paris: rank on rank Search the heroes flung pell-mell On the Louvre, face and flank! You shall look long enough ere you come to Herve Riel. So, for better and for worse, Herve Riel, accept my verse! In my verse, Herve Riel, do thou once more Save the squadron, honor France, love thy wife the Belle Aurore!



HELPS TO STUDY.

Notes and Questions.

Find on your map: Saint Malo, le Croisic (St. Croisic), Plymouth Sound, Paris.

What forfeit did Herve Riel propose in case he failed to pilot the ships safely in?

What ships were seeking harbor?

Who were the "porpoises" and who the "sharks"?

What reward did he claim?

What comparison is found in the first stanza?

What do stanzas three and four tell?

In what way is the hero's memory perpetuated?

The rhythm gives spirit to the poem. Which lines or stanzas are most spirited?

What line gives the key-note to Herve Riel's character?

Contrast Herve Riel with the local pilots.

Saint Malo—noted for its high tides.

Rance—name of a river.

The Hogue—a cape on the French coast.

Malouins—residents of Saint Malo.

Tourville—the French admiral.

Greve—name given the beach.

Solidor—the old fortress.

Belle Aurore—the dawn.

Croisickese—inhabitants of Croisie.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

"Worse than fifty Hogues" "Clears the entry like a hound" "Just the same man as before" "He is Admiral, in brief" "Keeps the passage as its inch of way were the wide sea's profound" "Search the heroes flung pell-mell on the Louvre, face and flank" "pressed" "disembogues" "rampired" "bore the bell"

* * * * *

THE BUGLE SONG (From "The Princess")

ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON

The splendor falls on castle walls And snowy summits, old in story; The long light shakes across the lakes, And the wild cataract leaps in glory. Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying; Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

O, hark! O, hear! how thin and clear, And thinner, clearer, farther going! O, sweet and far from cliff and scar, The horns of Elfland, faintly blowing! Blow, let us hear the purple glens replying; Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

O, love, they die in yon rich sky; They faint on hill or field or river. Our echoes roll from soul to soul, And grow forever and forever. Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying; And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dying, dying.



HELPS TO STUDY.

Notes and Questions.

Why does the poet use "splendor" instead of "sun-set," and "summits" instead of "mountains"?

Line 2—What is meant by "old in story"?

Line 3—Why does the poet use "shakes"?

Line l3—To what does "they" relate?

Line l5—Explain.

Line l5—Why does the poet use "roll"?

Line l6—They "die" and "faint" while "our echoes" "roll" and "grow." Note that "grow" is the important word.

Note the refrain and the changes in its use; in the first stanza—the bugle; in the second—the echo; in the third—the spiritual echo.

Point out lines that have rhyme within themselves.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

"wild echoes" "cliff and scar" "horns of Elfland" "rich sky" "purple glens"

* * * * *

THE BROOK

ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON

I come from haunts of coot and hern, I make a sudden sally, And sparkle out among the fern, To bicker down a valley.

By thirty hills I hurry down, Or slip between the ridges, By twenty thorps, a little town, And half a hundred bridges,

Till last by Philip's farm I flow To join the brimming river, For men may come and men may go, But I go on forever.

I chatter over stony ways, In little sharps and trebles; I bubble into eddying bays, I babble on the pebbles.

With many a curve my banks I fret By many a field and fallow, And many a fairy foreland set With willow-weed and mallow.

I chatter, chatter, as I flow To join the brimming river, For men may come and men may go, But I go on forever.

I wind about, and in and out, With here a blossom sailing, And here and there a lusty trout, And here and there a grayling.

And here and there a foamy flake Upon me, as I travel With many a silvery water-break Above the golden gravel,

And draw them all along, and flow To join the brimming river, For men may come and men may go, But I go on forever.

I steal by lawns and grassy plots, I slide by hazel covers; I move the sweet forget-me-nots That grow for happy lovers.

I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance, Among my skimming swallows; I make the netted sunbeams dance Against my sandy shallows,

I murmur under moon and stars In brambly wildernesses; I linger by my shingly bars, I loiter round my cresses;

And out again I curve and flow To join the brimming river, For men may come and men may go, But I go on forever.



HELPS TO STUDY.

Notes and Questions.

These stanzas are part of a longer poem called "The Brook."

In this poem Tennyson personifies the brook. Why?

In what lines do the words and the rhythm suggest the sound of the brook?

Which lines do this most successfully?

Point out words that seem to you especially appropriate in giving the thought.

Where in the poem do we find a meaning for the following lines: "Oh! of all the songs sung No songs are so sweet As the songs with refrains Which repeat and repeat."

How does the repetition of "chatter" influence the melody of the first line in the sixth stanza?

How does it affect the thought?

Find another place in the poem where an expression is repeated.

Was this done for the sake of the rhythm, or the thought, or for both?

Alliteration is the repetition of the same letter or sound at the beginning of two or more words in close succession.

Find lines in which alliteration is used e. g. "sudden sally," "field and fallow," etc. What does this add to the poem?

Indicate the rhythm of the first four lines by placing them in these curves: / / / /

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

"coot and hern" (heron) "bicker" "thorps" "fairy foreland" "willow weed and mallow" "grayling" "water-break" "covers" "brambly" "shingly bars" "eddying" "fallow" "babble" "cresses" "brimming" "sharps and trebles" "skimming swallows" "netted sunbeams"

* * * * *

SONG OF THE CHATTAHOOCHEE

SIDNEY LANIER

Out of the hills of Habersham, Down the valleys of Hall, I hurry amain to reach the plain, Run the rapid and leap the fall; Split at the rock and together again, Accept my bed, or narrow or wide, And flee from folly on every side With a lover's pain to attain the plain Far from the hills of Habersham, Far from the valleys of Hall.

All down the hills of Habersham, All through the valleys of Hall, The rushes cried, "Abide, abide," The wilful water-weeds held me thrall, The laving laurel turned my tide, The ferns and the fondling grass said, "Stay," The dewberry dipped for to work delay, And the little reeds sighed, "Abide, abide," Here in the hills of Habersham, Here in the valleys of Hall.

High o'er the hills of Habersham, Veiling the valleys of Hall, The hickory told me manifold Fair tales of shade; the poplar tall Wrought me her shadowy self to hold; The chestnut, the oak, the walnut, the pine, Overleaning, with flickering meaning and sign, Said: "Pass not so cold, these manifold Deep shades of the hills of Habersham, These glades in the valleys of Hall."

And oft in the hills of Habersham, And oft in the valleys of Hall, The white quartz shone, and the smooth brook stone Did bar me of passage with friendly brawl; And many a luminous jewel lone (Crystals clear or a-cloud with mist, Ruby, garnet, or amethyst) Made lures with the lights of streaming stone In the clefts of the hills of Habersham, In the beds of the valleys of Hall.

But oh! not the hills of Habersham, And oh! not the valleys of Hall Avail; I am fain for to water the plain. Downward the voices of Duty call; Downward to toil and be mixed with the main. The dry fields burn and the mills are to turn, And a myriad flowers mortally yearn, And the lordly main from beyond the plain Calls o'er the hills of Habersham, Calls through the valleys of Hall.



HELPS TO STUDY.

Biographical and Historical: The South has given us two most melodious singers, Poe and Lanier. When only nineteen Sidney Lanier enlisted in the Confederate army, and the close of the war found him broken in health, with little else in the world than a brave wife and a brave heart. When his health permitted he played the flute in an orchestra in Baltimore. The rhythm, the rhyme and the melodious words of his poetry all show him the passionate lover of music that he was. Among his prose writings, "The Boy's Froissart" and "The Boy's King Arthur" are of especial interest to young readers.

Notes and Questions.

Find the Chattahoochee river on your map with its source in the "hills of Habersham" and its course through the "valleys of Hall."

Compare this poem with Tennyson's "The Brook."

What is peculiar in the phrases: "run the rapid," "flee from folly," "wilful waterweeds," "loving laurel," etc.

Find alliteration in other lines.

What is added to the poem by alliteration?

Notice the rhythm in the third line of the first stanza.

What is the peculiarity of the eighth line of the first stanza?

Find lines in the other stanzas which contain rhymes. Notice the last word in each of these lines. What two things have you found out?

Lanier believed that poetry is a kind of music. Does the rhythm in this poem sustain this definition?

Point out lines that are especially musical and pleasing.

Habersham, Hall—Counties in northern Georgia.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

"laving laurel" "fondling grass" "friendly brawl" "made lures" "lordly main" "run the rapid" "leap the fall" "hurry amain" "veiling the valleys" "flickering meaning" "the mills are to turn" "I am fain for to water the plain"

* * * * *

THE CATARACT OF LODORE

ROBERT SOUTHEY.

"How does the water Come down at Lodore?" My little boy asked me Thus, once on a time; And, moreover, he tasked me To tell him in rhyme. Anon at the word, There first came one daughter, And then came another, To second and third The request of their brother, And to hear how the water Comes down at Lodore, With its rush and its roar, As many a time They had seen it before. So I told them in rhyme— For of rhymes I had store; And 'twas my vocation For their recreation That so I should sing; Because I was Laureate To them and the king.

From its sources, which well In the tarn on the fell; From its fountains In the mountains, Its rills and its gills; Through moss and through brake, It runs and it creeps For a while, till it sleeps In its own little lake. And thence, at departing, Awakening and starting, It runs through the reeds, And away it proceeds, Through meadow and glade, In sun and in shade, And through the wood shelter, Among crags in its flurry, Helter-skelter, Hurry-skurry. Here it comes sparkling, And there it lies darkling; Now smoking and frothing In tumult and wrath in, Till, in this rapid race On which it is bent, It reaches the place Of its steep descent.

The cataract strong Then plunges along, Striking and raging, As if a war waging Its caverns and rocks among; Rising and leaping, Sinking and creeping, Swelling and sweeping, Showering and springing, Flying and flinging, Writhing and ringing, Eddying and whisking, Spouting and frisking, Turning and twisting, Around and around With endless rebound; Smiting and fighting, A sight to delight in; Confounding, astounding, Dizzying, and deafening the ear with its sound,

Collecting, projecting, Receding and speeding, And shocking and rocking, And darting and parting, And threading and spreading, And whizzing and hissing, And dripping and skipping, And hitting and splitting, And shining and twining, And rattling and battling, And shaking and quaking, And pouring and roaring, And waving and raving, And tossing and crossing, And flowing and going, And running and stunning, And foaming and roaming, And dinning and spinning, And dropping and hopping, And working and jerking, And guggling and struggling, And heaving and cleaving, And moaning and groaning, And glittering and frittering, And gathering and feathering, And whitening and brightening, And quivering and shivering, And hurrying and skurrying, And thundering and floundering;

Dividing and gliding and sliding, And falling and brawling and sprawling, And driving and riving and striving, And sprinkling and twinkling and wrinkling, And sounding and bounding and rounding, And bubbling and troubling and doubling, And grumbling and rumbling and tumbling, And chattering and battering and shattering; Retreating and beating and meeting and sheeting, Delaying and straying and playing and spraying, Advancing and prancing and glancing and dancing, Recoiling, turmoiling, and toiling and boiling, And gleaming and streaming and steaming and beaming, And rushing and flushing and brushing and gushing, And flapping and rapping and clapping and slapping, And curling and whirling and purling and twirling, And thumping and plumping and bumping and jumping. And dashing and flashing and splashing and clashing; And so never ending, but always descending, Sounds and motions forever and ever are blending, All at once, and all o'er, with a mighty uproar: And this way the water comes down at Lodore.



HELPS TO STUDY.

Biographical: Robert Southey, 1774-1843, was a great English poet. In 1813 he was made poet laureate.

Notes and Questions.

Who was "laureate"? What is it to be "laureate"?

Who was the king to whom Southey was poet-laureate?

To whom beside the king does he say he is laureate?

What do you think he means by this?

Find this cataract on your map (Derwent River in Cumberland). What is a cataract? Have you ever seen one?

Find changes in rhythm as the stream advances.

Where in the poem does Southey first use lines in which two words rhyme? In which three words rhyme?

Why does the poet use all these rhymes?

Compare the first and second stanzas as to rate.

Point out lines that are especially pleasing to you.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

"cataract" "tarn" "brake" "glade" "helter-skelter" "hurry-skurry" "vocation" "recreation" "fell"

* * * * *

THE BELLS

EDGAR ALLAN POE

Hear the sledges with the bells— Silver bells! What a world of merriment their melody foretells! How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, In the icy air of night! While the stars that oversprinkle All the heavens, seem to twinkle With a crystalline delight; Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells From the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells— From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.

Hear the mellow wedding-bells, Golden bells! What a world of happiness their harmony foretells! Through the balmy air of night How they ring out their delight! From the molten-golden notes, And all in tune, What a liquid ditty floats To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats On the moon! Oh, from out the sounding cells What a gush of euphony voluminously wells! How it swells! How it dwells On the Future! how it tells Of the rapture that impels To the swinging and the ringing Of the bells, bells, bells— Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells— To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!

Hear the loud alarum bells— Brazen bells! What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells! In the startled ear of night How they scream out their affright! Too much horrified to speak, They can only shriek, shriek, Out of tune, In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire, In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire Leaping higher, higher, higher, With a desperate desire, And a resolute endeavor, Now—now to sit or never, By the side of the pale-faced moon. Oh, the bells, bells, bells! What a tale their terror tells Of despair! How they clang, and clash, and roar! What a horror they outpour On the bosom of the palpitating air! Yet the ear it fully knows, By the twanging And the clanging, How the danger ebbs and flows; Yet the ear distinctly tells, In the jangling, And the wrangling, How the danger sinks and swells, By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells— Of the bells— Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells— In the clamor and the clangor of the bells!

Hear the tolling of the bells— Iron bells! What a world of solemn thought their monody compels! In the silence of the night, How we shiver with affright At the melancholy menace of their tone! For every sound that floats From the rust within their throats Is a groan. And the people—ah, the people— They that dwell up in the steeple, All alone, And who tolling, tolling, tolling, In that muffled monotone, Feel a glory in so rolling On the human heart a stone— They are neither man nor woman— They are neither brute nor human— They are Ghouls; And their king it is who tolls; And he rolls, rolls, rolls, Rolls, A paean from the bells! And his merry bosom swells With the paean of the bells! And he dances, and he yells; Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the paean of the bells— Of the bells: Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the throbbing of the bells— Of the bells, bells, bells— To the sobbing of the bells; Keeping time, time, time, As he knells, knells, knells, In a happy Runic rhyme, To the rolling of the bells— Of the bells, bells, bells— To the tolling of the bells, Of the bells, bells, bells, bells— Bells, bells, bells— To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.

HELPS TO STUDY.

Biographical and Historical: Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston on January 19th, 1809. Both his parents were members of a theatrical troupe then playing in Boston. He was left an orphan at the age of three years, and was adopted by a wealthy Virginia planter and by him educated in England and elsewhere. Owing to his erratic habits, Poe's foster-father disowned him, and after that life for him was a constant battle with poverty. His prose tales abound in adventure, allegory, and the supernatural. His poetry is full of imagery, beauty, and melody.

Notes and Questions.

What kinds of bells does the poet seek to reproduce the sound of?

Which bells has he described best?

Point out words particularly suited to express the sound they describe.

Which lines are especially musical and pleasing?

What can you say of the fire-bells of today?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

"euphony" "tintinnabulation" "expostulation" "Runic" "crystalline" "palpitating"

* * * * *

ANNABEL LEE

EDGAR ALLAN POE

It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of Annabel Lee; And this maiden she lived with no other thought Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child, In this kingdom by the sea: But we loved with a love that was more than love— I and my Annabel Lee; With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago, In this kingdom by the sea, A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling My beautiful Annabel Lee; So that her highborn kinsmen came And bore her away from me, To shut her up in a sepulchre In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven, Went envying her and me— Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know, In this kingdom by the sea) That the wind came out of the cloud by night, Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love Of those who were older than we— Of many far wiser than we— And neither the angels in heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side Of my darling,—my darling,—my life and my bride, In the sepulchre there by the sea, In her tomb by the sounding sea.



HELPS TO STUDY.

Notes and Questions.

Like "The Bells," this poem is musical and the words are chosen with reference to this quality.

Notice that the repetition of the word "many" adds to the music of the first line.

Find other lines in which a word is repeated for the sake of melody.

Find lines in which rhymes occur.

Mention lines that are especially pleasing to you.

What reason is given for the death of Annabel Lee?

Why did the angels "covet" and "envy" the lovers?

How strong was this love?

Why does not the lover feel separated from Annabel Lee?

Do you like this poem? Why?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

"winged seraphs" "sounding sea" "sepulchre" "highborn kinsmen" "coveted" "envying"

* * * * *

OPPORTUNITY

EDWARD ROWLAND SILL

This I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream:— There spread a cloud of dust along a plain; And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords Shocked upon swords and shields. A prince's banner Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes. A craven hung along the battle's edge, And thought, "Had I a sword of keener steel— That blue blade that the king's son bears,—but this Blunt thing—!" he snapt and flung it from his hand, And lowering crept away and left the field. Then came the king's son, wounded, sore bestead, And weaponless, and saw the broken sword, Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand, And ran and snatched it, and with battle-shout Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down, And saved a great cause that heroic day.



HELPS TO STUDY.

Biographical: Edward Rowland Sill was born in Connecticut in 1841. He graduated at Yale and lived most of his life in California, being for some years professor of English language and literature at the State University. Sill was a true poet, but the whole of his literary output is contained in two slender volumes. His poems are noted for their compressed thought. The selection here given shows this quality.

Notes and Questions.

What do you learn from this poem?

Where was the craven when he decided his sword was useless?

What word shows that he was there of his own choice?

What kind of sword had the craven?

What words tell you that he was greatly needed in the thick of the conflict?

What kind of sword had the king's son?

How long did the king's son look at the discarded sword before using it?

If the battle represents life, and the craven and the king's son are types of the people in the world, what do you think the swords represent?

Why is this poem called "Opportunity"?

Can you think of another title which might be given to it?

Such a story as this is called an allegory.

"furious"—What is a furious battle?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

"craven" "bestead" "hung along the battle's edge" "shocked" "hemmed by foes"

* * * * *

TO A WATERFOWL

WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT

Whither, midst falling dew, While glow the heavens with the last steps of day, Far through their rosy depths dost thou pursue Thy solitary way?

Vainly the fowler's eye Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong, As, darkly painted on the crimson sky, Thy figure floats along.

Seek'st thou the plashy brink Of weedy lake, or marge of river wide, Or where the rocking billows rise and sink On the chafed ocean-side?

There is a Power whose care Teaches thy way along that pathless coast,— The desert and illimitable air,— Lone wandering, but not lost.

All day thy wings have fanned, At that far height, the cold, thin atmosphere, Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome land, Though the dark night is near.

And soon that toil shall end; Soon shalt thou find a summer home, and rest, And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend Soon o'er thy sheltered nest.

Thou'rt gone; the abyss of heaven Hath swallowed up thy form; yet on my heart Deeply hath sunk the lesson thou hast given, And shall not soon depart.

He who, from zone to zone, Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight, In the long way that I must tread alone Will lead my steps aright.



HELPS TO STUDY.

Biographical and Historical: William Cullen Bryant was born in 1794 in Western Massachusetts. His education was carried on in the district school. At home he had the use of an exceptionally fine library, for that period, and he made the most of its opportunities. In 1816 he secured a license to practice law, and journeyed on foot to Plainfield, Mass., to look for a place to open an office. He felt forlorn and desolate, and the world seemed big and cold. In this mood, while pausing on his way to contemplate the beauty of the sunset, he saw a solitary bird wing its way along the horizon. He watched it until it was lost in the distance. Then he pursued his journey with new courage and on arriving at the place where he was to stop for the night, he sat down and wrote this beautiful poem of faith and hope.

Notes and Questions.

What lines tell you the time of day?

Which stanza do you like best? Why?

What lines give you the most beautiful picture?

What does the poet learn from the waterfowl?

Note that the rhythm gives the impression of the bird's flight.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

"thy solitary way" "rosy depths" "thin atmosphere" "the fowler's eye" "long way" "welcome land" "that toil shall end" "tread alone" "boundless sky" "last steps of day" "certain flight" "lone wandering but not lost" "chafed ocean-side" "pathless coast" "the abyss of heaven hath swallowed up thy form"

* * * * *

THE SKYLARK

JAMES HOGG.

Bird of the wilderness, Blithesome and cumberless, Sweet be thy matin o'er moorland and lea! Emblem of happiness, Blest is thy dwelling place,— O to abide in the desert with thee! Wild is thy lay and loud, Far in the downy cloud, Love gives it energy, love gave it birth. Where on thy dewy wing, Where art thou journeying? Thy lay is in heaven, thy love is on earth,

O'er fell and fountain sheen, O'er moor and mountain green, O'er the red streamer that heralds the day, Over the cloudlet dim, Over the rainbow's rim, Musical cherub, soar, singing, away! Then, when the gloaming comes, Low in the heather blooms, Sweet will thy welcome and bed of love be!



HELPS TO STUDY.

James Hogg was born in Ettrick, Scotland, in 1770, and was known as "the Ettrick Shepherd," because he followed the occupation of a shepherd until he was thirty. The beautiful selection here given was doubtless inspired by the poet's early communion with Nature.

Notes and Questions.

From this poem what can you tell of the home of the skylark? Of its nature?

Why is the lark called an emblem of happiness? Name something that might be called an emblem of strength; of sorrow.

What pictures do the following words make to you: "wilderness," "moor," "lea," "fell," "heather-bloom"?

What is the "red streamer that heralds the day"?

What does the word "dewy" suggest as to the habits of the bird?

What do "matin" and "gloaming" signify?

In the poem what tells you the nest is near the ground?

Why is "downy" used to describe "cloud"?

What makes lines 13 and 14 so musical?

Indicate the rhythm of the first six lines by writing them in groups as shown in the following curves:

/ / Bird of the wil-der-ness

* * * * *

TO A SKYLARK

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY

Hail to thee, blithe Spirit! Bird thou never wert, That from Heaven, or near it, Pourest thy full heart In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

Higher still and higher From the earth thou springest Like a cloud of fire; The blue deep thou wingest And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.

In the golden lightning Of the sunken sun, O'er which clouds are bright'ning, Thou dost float and run; Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.

The pale purple even Melts around thy flight; Like a star of heaven, In the broad daylight Thou art unseen,—but yet I hear thy shrill delight,

Keen as are the arrows Of that silver sphere, Whose intense lamp narrows In the white dawn clear Until we hardly see—we feel that it is there.

All the earth and air With thy voice is loud, As, when Night is bare, From one lonely cloud The moon rains out her beams, and Heaven is overflowed.

What thou art we know not; What is most like thee? From rainbow clouds there flow not Drops so bright to see As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.

Like a Poet hidden In the light of thought, Singing hymns unbidden Till the world is wrought To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:

Like a high-born maiden In a palace tower, Soothing her love-laden Soul in secret hour With music sweet as love,—which overflows her bower:

Like a glow-worm golden In a dell of dew, Scattering unbeholden Its aerial hue Among the flowers and grass which screen it from the view:

Like a rose embowered In its own green leaves, By warm winds deflowered, Till the scent it give Makes faint with too much sweet those heavy-winged thieves:

Sound of vernal showers On the twinkling grass, Bain-awakened flowers, All that ever was Joyous and clear and fresh, thy music doth surpass,

Teach us, Sprite or Bird, What sweet thoughts are thine; I have never heard Praise of love or wine That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.

Chorus Hymeneal, Or triumphal chaunt, Matched with thine, would be all But an empty vaunt, A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.

What objects are the fountains Of thy happy strain? What fields or waves or mountains? What shapes of sky or plain? What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of pain?

With thy clear keen joyance Languor cannot be; Shadow of annoyance Never came near thee; Thou lovest—but ne'er knew love's sad satiety.

Waking or asleep Thou of death must deem Things more true and deep Than we mortals dream— Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream?

We look before and after, And pine for what is not; Our sincerest laughter With some pain is fraught; Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

Yet if we could scorn Hate and pride and fear; If we were things born Not to shed a tear, I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.

Better than all measures Of delightful sound, Better than all treasures That in books are found, Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground!

Teach me half the gladness That thy brain must know, Such harmonious madness From my lips would flow, The world should listen then—as I am listening now.



HELPS TO STUDY.

Biographical and Historical: Percy Bysshe Shelley was born in 1792. He was an English poet who traveled much in Europe, and found Italy especially to his liking. His life was short and full of storm and stress, although he never allowed his personal sufferings to embitter his spirit. While only thirty, on a pleasure cruise off the coast of Italy, he was drowned.

"To a Skylark" and "The Cloud" are rare poems because of their wonderful harmony of sound.

The skylark is found in northern Europe. It is noted for its lofty flights and wonderful song. Note that Shelley, Wordsworth, and James Hogg have all written poems about the skylark.

Notes and Questions.

What country is the home of these poets? What does this fact suggest to you?

Explain the simile in the fifth stanza. In the sixth.

In the seventh stanza what two words are contrasted?

Note the four comparisons—stanzas eight, nine, ten and eleven. Which do you like best? Why?

In line 86 emphasize the first word and explain the stanza.

In line 95 emphasize the fifth word and explain the stanza.

In line 96 to end, what does Shelley say would be the result if a poet could feel such joy as the little bird seems to feel?

If we had no dark days do you think we could appreciate the bright days?

If we had no sadness could we appreciate the songs of gladness?

If Shelley had never experienced sadness could he have written this beautiful poem of gladness?

Explain the following:

"There is no music in the life That sounds with empty laughter wholly; There's not a string attuned to mirth But has its chord in melancholy."

What does the skylark mean to Shelley?

If we think only of being happy shall we be very helpful to others?

Make a list of all the names he gives the skylark.

Enumerate the expressions Shelley uses in characterizing the song.

Which stanza do you like best? Why?

"wert" rhymes with heart. (In England the sound is broad, er=aer).

"even"—a contraction of evening.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

"profuse strains" "panted forth" "heavy-winged thieves" "unpremeditated art" "rain of melody" "harmonious madness" "shrill delight" "flood of rapture" "float and run" "rains out" "triumphant chaunt" "scattering unbeholden"

* * * * *

THE CLOUD

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY

I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers, From the seas and the streams; I bear light shade for the leaves when laid In their noon-day dreams; From my wings are shaken the dews that waken The sweet buds every one, When rocked to rest on their mother's breast, As she dances about the sun. I wield the flail of the lashing hail, And whiten the green plains under; And then again I dissolve it in rain, And laugh as I pass in thunder.

I sift the snow on the mountains below, And their great pines groan aghast; And all the night 'tis my pillow white, While I sleep in the arms of the blast, Sublime on the towers of my skyey bowers, Lightning, my pilot, sits; In a cavern under is fettered the thunder,— It struggles and howls by fits; Over earth and ocean, with gentle motion, This pilot is guiding me, Lured by the love of the genii that move In the depths of the purple sea; Over the rills, and the crags, and the hills, Over the lakes and the plains, Wherever he dream, under mountain or stream, The spirit he loves remains; And I, all the while, bask in heaven's blue smile, Whilst he is dissolving in rains.

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     Next Part
Home - Random Browse