Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 7
by Charles H. Sylvester
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Transcriber's Note

Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. A list of changes is found at the end of the book. Oe ligatures have been expanded.

Journeys Through Bookland


BY CHARLES H. SYLVESTER Author of English and American Literature





PAGE THE DAFFODILS William Wordsworth 1 TO THE FRINGED GENTIAN William Cullen Bryant 4 TO A MOUSE Robert Burns 5 TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY Robert Burns 8 THE OLD OAKEN BUCKET Samuel Wordsworth 11 BANNOCKBURN Robert Burns 15 BOAT SONG Sir Walter Scott 17 THE GOVERNOR AND THE NOTARY Washington Irving 20 THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER Samuel T. Coleridge 29 THE BLACK HAWK TRAGEDY Edwin D. Coe 58 THE PETRIFIED FERN Mary Bolles Branch 77 AN EXCITING CANOE RACE J. Fenimore Cooper 79 THE BUFFALO Francis Parkman 96 THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE Alfred Tennyson 147 FOR A' THAT AND A' THAT Robert Burns 149 BREATHES THERE THE MAN Sir Walter Scott 151 HOW SLEEP THE BRAVE William Collins 151 QUEEN VICTORIA Anna McCaleb 152 THE RECESSIONAL Rudyard Kipling 164 THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER Francis Scott Key 167 HOW'S MY BOY? Sydney Dobell 169 THE SOLDIER'S DREAM Thomas Campbell 170 MAKE WAY FOR LIBERTY James Montgomery 172 THE OLD CONTINENTALS Guy Humphreys McMaster 175 THE PICKET-GUARD Mrs. Ethel Lynn Beers 177 MY OLD KENTUCKY HOME Stephen Collins Foster 179 THE FORSAKEN MERMAN Matthew Arnold 180 TOM AND MAGGIE TULLIVER George Eliot 186 A GORILLA HUNT Paul du Chaillu 247 THE CLOUD Percy Bysshe Shelley 257 BRUTE NEIGHBORS Henry David Thoreau 260 ODE TO A SKYLARK Percy Bysshe Shelley 275 THE POND IN WINTER Henry David Thoreau 280 SALMON FISHING Rudyard Kipling 285 WINTER ANIMALS Henry David Thoreau 293 TREES AND ANTS THAT HELP EACH OTHER Thomas Belt 306 THE FAMILY OF MICHAEL AROUT Emile Souvestre 314 ON THE RECEIPT OF MY MOTHER'S PICTURE William Cowper 331 THOSE EVENING BELLS Thomas Moore 340 ANNABEL LEE Edgar Allan Poe 341 THE THREE FISHERS Charles Kingsley 343 THE REAPER'S DREAM Thomas Buchanan Read 345 THE RECOVERY OF THE HISPANIOLA Robert Louis Stevenson 352 JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER Grace E. Sellon 381 WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT 391 TO A WATERFOWL William Cullen Bryant 395 OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES Grace E. Sellon 398 THE CUBES OF TRUTH Oliver Wendell Holmes 406 THE LOST CHILD James Russell Lowell 409 JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL Grace E. Sellon 411 A CHILD'S THOUGHT OF GOD Elizabeth Barrett Browning 418 ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING 419 DON QUIXOTE Cervantes 431


For Classification of Selections, see General Index, at end of Volume X





I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd,— A host of golden daffodils Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the Milky Way, They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I, at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they Outdid the sparkling waves in glee; A poet could not but be gay In such a jocund company; I gazed—and gazed—but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought.

For oft, when on my couch I lie, In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.

When we look at this little poem we see at a glance that the stanzas are all the same length, that the rhyme scheme is ababcc (see "To My Infant Son," Vol. VI), and that the indentation at the beginning of the lines corresponds with the rhymes. This poem, then, is perfectly regular in form.

There are other things, however, which go to make up perfect structure in a poem. First and foremost, the words are so arranged that the accented syllables in any given line come at regular intervals. Take, for instance, the first two lines of this poem. Each line contains eight syllables. If you number these syllables 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, you will see that it is the second one each time that bears the accent, thus:

I wan'dered lone'ly as' a cloud' That floats' on high' o'er vales' and hills'.

Now, if you read the four remaining lines of the stanza you will see that in each one of these the second syllable bears the accent, until you come to the last line, where in the word fluttering, which, by the way, you pronounce flutt'ring, the accent is on the first syllable. If the poet did not now and then change the accent a little it would become tedious and monotonous.

It is a very simple matter, you see, to separate every line of poetry into groups of syllables, and in every group to place one accented syllable and one or more syllables that are not accented. Such a group is called a foot. Thus in each of the first two lines in this poem there are four feet. Each foot contains an accented and an unaccented syllable.

If you examine To the Fringed Gentian, To a Mouse, and To a Mountain Daisy, the three poems which follow this, you will see the same structure, except that in To a Mouse and in To A Mountain Daisy there are some short lines and some double rhymes, making the last foot a little different in character from the others.

When a line of poetry is composed of two-syllable feet in which the second syllable bears the accent we call that meter iambic. It is the prevalent foot in English poetry, and if you examine the different poems in these volumes you will be surprised to find out how many of them are written substantially on the plan of The Daffodils.

In naming the meter of a poem two things are considered: First the character of the feet, and second, the number of feet. In this poem the feet are iambic and there are four of them, consequently we name the meter of this poem iambic tetrameter. Whenever you hear those words you think of a poem whose meter is exactly like that of The Daffodils.

These words seem long and hard to remember. It may help you to remember them if you think that the word iam'bic contains an iambic foot.

In naming the meter we use the Greek numerals—mono (one), di (two), tri (three), tetra (four), penta (five), hexa (six), hepta (seven), and octa (eight), and add to them the word meter, thus: Mo-nom'e-ter, a line containing one foot, dim'e-ter, trim'e-ter, te-tram'e-ter, pen-tam'e-ter, hex-am'e-ter, hep-tam'e-ter, and oc-tam'e-ter.



Thou blossom, bright with autumn dew, And colored with the heaven's own blue, That openest when the quiet light Succeeds the keen and frosty night;

Thou comest not when violets lean O'er wandering brooks and springs unseen, Or columbines, in purple dressed, Nod o'er the ground-bird's hidden nest.

Thou waitest late, and com'st alone, When woods are bare and birds are flown, And frosts and shortening days portend The aged Year is near his end.

Then doth thy sweet and quiet eye Look through its fringes to the sky, Blue—blue—as if that sky let fall A flower from its cerulean wall.

I would that thus, when I shall see The hour of death draw near to me, Hope, blossoming within my heart, May look to heaven as I depart.




Wee, sleekit,[5-1] cow'rin', tim'rous beastie, O, what a panic's in thy breastie! Thou need na start awa sae hasty, Wi' bickering brattle![5-2] I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee, Wi' murdering pattle![5-3]

I'm truly sorry man's dominion Has broken Nature's social union, An' justifies that ill opinion Which makes thee startle At me, thy poor earth-born companion, An' fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve; What then? poor beastie, thou maun live! A daimen-icker[6-4] in a thrave[6-5] 'S a sma' request: I'll get a blessin' wi' the lave[6-6] And never miss't!

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin! Its silly wa's the win's are strewin'! An' naething, now, to big a new ane, O' foggage[7-7] green! An' bleak December's winds ensuin', Baith snell[7-8] and keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste, And weary winter comin' fast, And cozie, here, beneath the blast, Thou thought to dwell, Till crash! the cruel coulter[7-9] past Out thro' thy cell.

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble, Has cost thee mony a weary nibble! Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble, But house or hald,[7-10] To thole[7-11] the winter's sleety dribble, An' cranreuch[7-12] cauld!

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,[7-13] In proving foresight may be vain; The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men, Gang aft a-gley,[7-14] An' lea'e us nought but grief and pain, For promis'd joy.

Still them are blest, compar'd wi' me! The present only toucheth thee: But, Och! I backward cast my e'e On prospects drear; An' forward, tho' I canna see,[8-15] I guess an' fear.


[5-1] Sleekit means sly.

[5-2] Brattle means a short race.

[5-3] A pattle is a scraper for cleaning a plow.

[6-4] Daimen-icker means an ear of corn occasionally.

[6-5] A thrave is twenty-four sheaves.

[6-6] Lave is the Scotch word for remainder.

[7-7] Foggage is coarse uncut grass.

[7-8] Snell means sharp.

[7-9] The coulter is the sharp iron which cuts the sod before the plow.

[7-10] Hald means a resting place. But here means without.

[7-11] Thole is the Scotch word for endure.

[7-12] Cranreuch is hoar-frost.

[7-13] No thy lane means not alone.

[7-14] Gang aft a-gley means often go wrong.

[8-15] In this poem and the one To a Mountain Daisy, does the allusion to the poet's own hard fate add to or detract from the beauty of the composition? Do these allusions give any insight into his character? What was always uppermost in his mind?




Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flower, Thou's met me in an evil hour, For I maun[8-1] crush amang the stoure[8-2] Thy slender stem; To spare thee now is past my power, Thou bonny gem.

Alas! it's no thy neibor sweet, The bonny lark, companion meet, Bending thee' mang the dewy weet, Wi' spreckled[8-3] breast, When upward springing, blithe, to greet The purpling east.

Cauld blew the bitter biting north Upon thy early, humble birth; Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth Amid the storm, Scarce reared above the parent earth Thy tender form.

The flaunting flowers our gardens yield, High sheltering woods and wa's maun shield. But thou beneath the random bield[9-4] O' clod or stane, Adorns the histie[9-5] stibble-field, Unseen, alane.

There, in thy scanty mantle clad, Thy snawie bosom sunward spread, Thou lifts thy unassuming head In humble guise; But now the share uptears thy bed, And low thou lies!

Such is the fate of artless maid, Sweet floweret of the rural shade! By love's simplicity betrayed, And guileless trust, Till she, like thee, all soiled, is laid Low i' the dust.

Such is the fate of simple bard, On life's rough ocean luckless starred! Unskilful he to note the card Of prudent lore, Till billows rage, and gales blow hard And whelm him o'er!

Such fate to suffering worth is given, Who long with wants and woes has striven, By human pride or cunning driven To misery's brink, Till wrenched of every stay but Heaven, He, ruined, sink!

Even thou who mourn'st the daisy's fate, That fate is thine,—no distant date: Stern Ruin's ploughshare drives, elate, Full on thy bloom, Till crushed beneath the furrow's weight, Shall be thy doom!


[8-1] Maun is the Scotch word for must.

[8-2] Stoure is the Scotch name for dust.

[8-3] Spreckled is the Scotch and provincial English form of speckled.

[9-4] Bield means shelter.

[9-5] Histie means dry or barren.



How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood, When fond[11-2] recollection presents them to view; The orchard, the meadow, the deep, tangled wild-wood, And every loved spot that my infancy[11-3] knew. The wide-spreading pond, and the mill[11-4] that stood by it; The bridge and the rock where the cataract fell; The cot of my father, the dairy house[11-5] nigh it, And e'en the rude bucket which hung in the well— The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket, The moss-covered bucket which hung in the well.

That moss-covered bucket I hail as a treasure; For often at noon, when returned from the field, I found it the source of an exquisite pleasure, The purest and sweetest that nature can yield. How ardent I seized it, with hands that were glowing, And quick to the white-pebbled bottom it fell[12-6]; Then soon with the emblem of truth[12-7] overflowing, And dripping with coolness it rose from the well— The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket, The moss-covered bucket arose from the well.

How sweet from the green mossy brim to receive it, As poised on the curb,[12-8] it inclined to my lips! Not a full blushing goblet[13-9] could tempt me to leave it, Though filled with the nectar[13-10] that Jupiter sips. And now, far removed from the loved situation,[13-11] The tear of regret will oftentimes swell, As fancy returns to my father's plantation, And sighs for the bucket which hangs in the well— The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket, The moss-covered bucket which hangs in the well.

If we compare The Old Oaken Bucket with The Daffodils (page 1), we will see that the lines of the former are longer, and when we read aloud a few lines from the one and compare the other, we see that the movement is very different. In The Old Oaken Bucket the accents are farther apart, and the result is to make the movement long and smooth, like that of a swing with long ropes.

Let us examine more closely the lines of The Old Oaken Bucket in a manner similar to that suggested on page 2, for The Daffodils. If we place the accent on the proper syllables in the first four lines, they will read as follows:

How dear' to my heart' are the scenes' of my child' hood, When fond' rec-ol-lec' tion pre-sents' them to view'; The or' chard, the mead' ow, the deep' tan-gled wild' -wood, And ev' 'ry loved spot' that my in' fan-cy knew.'

The vertical lines above are drawn at the ends of the feet. How many feet are there in the first line; how many in the second; how many in the third; how many in the fourth? How many syllables in the first foot in the first line? How many other feet do you find containing the same number of syllables? How many syllables are there in the second foot in the first line? How many other feet are there containing the same number of syllables? Examine the feet that contain three syllables. On which syllable is the accent placed when there are three syllables in the foot? A poetic foot of three syllables which bears the accent on the third syllable is called an anapestic foot. The meter of this poem, then is anapestic tetrameter, varied by an added syllable in most of the odd-numbered lines and by an iambic foot at the beginning of each line.

Can you find any other poem in this volume in which the meter is the same? Can you find such poems in other volumes?


[11-1] Samuel Woodworth, the author of this familiar song, was an American, the editor of many publications and the writer of a great many poems; but no one of the latter is now remembered, except The Old Oaken Bucket.

[11-2] This means that the author remembers fondly the scenes of his childhood, or remembers the things of which he was fond in his childhood.

[11-3] As the term is used in the law-books, a person is an infant until he is twenty-one years of age; though, probably the word infancy here means the same as childhood.

[11-4] Let us picture a large mill-pond with a race running out of one side of it past the old-fashioned mill, which has a big wooden water wheel on the outside of it.

[11-5] The dairy house was probably a low, broad building through which the water from the stream ran. The milkpans were set on low shelves or in a trough so that the water could run around them and keep the milk cool.

[12-6] If he could see the white-pebbled bottom of the well, it must have been a shallow one, or perhaps merely a square box built around a deep spring.

[12-7] Water is usually spoken of as an emblem of purity, not of truth; but sometimes truth is spoken of as hiding at the bottom of a well.

[12-8] The curb is the square box usually built around the mouth of the well to a height of a few feet, to protect the water from dirt. Sometimes three of the sides are carried up to a height of six or eight feet, and a roof is built over the whole, making a little house of the curb. The fourth side is left open, except for two or three feet at the bottom. In these old wells two buckets were often used. They were attached to a rope which ran over a wheel suspended from the roof of the well house. When a bucket was drawn up it was often rested on the low curb in front, while people drank from it.

[13-9] Blushing goblet alludes to wine or some other liquor that has a reddish color.

[13-10] Nectar was the drink of the old Greek gods, of whom Jupiter was the chief.

[13-11] Situation and plantation do not rhyme well, and situation is scarcely the right word to use. Location would be better, so far as the meaning is concerned.




Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled; Scots, wham Bruce has aften led; Welcome to your gory bed, Or to glorious victorie!

Now's the day and now's the hour— See the front o' battle lour; See approach proud Edward's power— Edward! chains and slaverie!

Wha will be a traitor knave? Wha can fill a coward's grave? Wha sae base as be a slave? Traitor! coward! turn and flee!

Wha for Scotland's king and law Freedom's sword will strongly draw! Freeman stand or freeman fa', Caledonian! on wi' me!

By oppression's woes and pains! By our sons in servile chains! We will drain our dearest veins, But they shall be—shall be free!

Lay the proud usurpers low! Tyrants fall in every foe! Liberty's in every blow! Forward! let us do or die!

On pages 2, and 13, of this volume we talked about the different meters in which poetry is written. In iambic poetry each foot contains two syllables, the second of which is accented. There is another kind of foot composed of two syllables. In this the accent falls on the first syllable. Bannockburn gives examples of this. To illustrate, we will rewrite the first stanza, using the words in their English form, and mark off the feet and the accent:

Scots', who have' with Wal'-lace bled', Scots', whom Bruce' has of'-ten led'; Wel'-come to' your go'-ry bed', Or' to glo'rious vic'-to ry'.

Each one of these lines ends with an accented syllable, but that may be disregarded in studying the feet. This foot is called the trochee, and it will help you to remember it if you will think that the word tro'chee has two syllables and is accented on the first. This poem, then, is in trochaic trimeter, with added accented syllables at the ends of the lines. Read the other stanzas carefully, throwing the accent prominently on the first syllable of each foot.

When you read to bring out the meter of a poem you are said to be scanning it. When you are in the habit of scanning poetry you will find that you can do it very nicely and without spoiling the sound. At first you will probably accent the syllables too strongly, and then people will say that you are reading in a sing-song way, a thing to be avoided. Of course you will understand that the only way to bring out the meter of a poem is to read it aloud, but after you have become familiar with the various meters and have read aloud a great deal, you will be conscious of the rhythm when you read to yourself. It is this consciousness of rhythm that gives much of the enjoyment to those who love poetry, even when they do not read it aloud.




Hail to the Chief who in triumph advances! Honored and blest be the evergreen pine! Long may the tree, in his banner that glances, Flourish, the shelter and grace of our line! Heaven send it happy dew, Earth lend it sap anew, Gayly to bourgeon, and broadly to grow, While every Highland glen Sends our shout back again, "Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho! ieroe!"

Ours is no sapling, chance sown by the fountain, Blooming at Beltane, in winter to fade; When the whirlwind has stripped every leaf on the mountain The more shall Clan Alpine exult in her shade. Moored in the rifted rock, Proof to the tempest's shock, Firmer he roots him the ruder it blow: Menteith and Breadalbane, then Echo his praise again, "Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho! ieroe!"

Proudly our pibroch has thrilled in Glen Fruin, And Bannochar's groans to our slogan replied; Glen Luss and Ross-dhu, they are smoking in ruin, And the best of Loch-Lomond lie dead on her side. Widow and Saxon maid Long shall lament our raid, Think of Clan Alpine with fear and with woe; Lennox and Leven-glen Shake when they hear again, "Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho! ieroe!"

Row, vassals, row for the pride of the Highlands! Stretch to your oars for the evergreen pine! O that the rosebud that graces yon islands Were wreathed in a garland around him to twine! O that some seedling gem, Worthy such noble stem, Honored and blessed in their shadow might grow! Loud should Clan Alpine then Ring from her deepmost glen, "Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho! ieroe!"

The last of the common feet which we shall have to consider in reading English poetry is called dactyl. This foot consists of three syllables, the first of which is accented. Scott's Boat Song is a very fine example of dactylic tetrameter, in which the last foot consists either of a trochee (see page 16) or of a single accented syllable. In every stanza there are four short lines of dactylic dimeter. Study the four lines which we have divided for you below:

Hail' to the chief' who in tri'umph ad van'ces! Hon'ored and blest' be the ev'er green pine!' Long' may the tree', in his ban'ner that glan'ces, Flou'rish, the shel'ter and grace' of our line.'

This is one of the finest meters in which poetry may be written, and one which you will learn to recognize and like whenever you see it.

To assist you in remembering what we have said on this subject in the four poems we have studied, we will give this brief outline:

Poetic feet

1. Consisting of two syllables: Iambic, when the second syllable is accented. Example: I wan' dered lone ly as' a cloud'. Trochaic, when the first syllable is accented. Example: Scots', who have' with Wal'lace bled'.

2. Consisting of three syllables: Anapestic, when the third syllable is accented. Example: How dear' to my heart' are the scenes' of my child' hood. Dactylic, when the first syllable is accented. Example: Hail' to the chief' who in tri'umph ad van'ces.

There are two other feet which are found occasionally in English poetry, namely the spondee, which has two accented syllables, and the amphilbrach, which consists of three syllables with the accent on the middle one.

Of course it is not necessary for you to know the names of these different feet in order to enjoy poetry, but it is interesting information. What you must do is to notice whenever you read poetry the kind of feet that compose the lines and how many there are in the line. After a while this becomes second nature to you, and while you may not really pause to think about it at any time, yet you are always conscious of the rhythm and remember that it is produced by a fixed arrangement of the accented syllables. If you would look over the poems in these volumes, beginning even with the nursery rhymes, it would not take you long to become familiar with all the different forms.

While study of this kind may seem tiresome at first, you will soon find that you are making progress and will really enjoy it, and you will never be sorry that you took the time when you were young to learn to understand the structure of poetry.



In former times there ruled, as governor of the Alhambra[20-1], a doughty old cavalier, who, from having lost one arm in the wars, was commonly known by the name of El Gobernador Manco, or the one-armed governor. He in fact prided himself upon being an old soldier, wore his mustachios curled up to his eyes, a pair of campaigning boots, and a toledo[20-2] as long as a spit, with his pocket handkerchief in the basket-hilt.

He was, moreover, exceedingly proud and punctilious, and tenacious of all his privileges and dignities. Under his sway, the immunities of the Alhambra, as a royal residence and domain, were rigidly exacted. No one was permitted to enter the fortress with firearms, or even with a sword or staff, unless he were of a certain rank, and every horseman was obliged to dismount at the gate and lead his horse by the bridle. Now, as the hill of the Alhambra rises from the very midst of the city of Granada, being, as it were, an excrescence of the capital, it must at all times be somewhat irksome to the captain-general, who commands the province, to have thus an imperium in imperio,[21-3] a petty, independent post in the very core of his domains. It was rendered the more galling in the present instance, from the irritable jealousy of the old governor, that took fire on the least question of authority and jurisdiction, and from the loose, vagrant character of the people that had gradually nestled themselves within the fortress as in a sanctuary, and from thence carried on a system of roguery and depredation at the expense of the honest inhabitants of the city. Thus there was a perpetual feud and heart-burning between the captain-general and the governor; the more virulent on the part of the latter, inasmuch as the smallest of two neighboring potentates is always the most captious about his dignity. The stately palace of the captain-general stood in the Plaza Nueva, immediately at the foot of the hill of the Alhambra, and here was always a bustle and parade of guards, and domestics, and city functionaries. A beetling bastion of the fortress overlooked the palace and the public square in front of it; and on this bastion the old governor would occasionally strut backward and forward, with his toledo girded by his side, keeping a wary eye down upon his rival, like a hawk reconnoitering his quarry from his nest in a dry tree.

Whenever he descended into the city it was in grand parade, on horseback, surrounded by his guards, or in his state coach, an ancient and unwieldy Spanish edifice of carved timber and gilt leather, drawn by eight mules, with running footmen, outriders, and lackeys, on which occasions he flattered himself he impressed every beholder with awe and admiration as vicegerent of the king, though the wits of Granada were apt to sneer at his petty parade, and, in allusion to the vagrant character of his subjects, to greet him with the appellation of "the king of the beggars."

One of the most fruitful sources of dispute between these two doughty rivals was the right claimed by the governor to have all things passed free of duty through the city, that were intended for the use of himself or his garrison. By degrees, this privilege had given rise to extensive smuggling. A nest of contrabandistas[22-4] took up their abode in the hovels of the fortress and the numerous caves in its vicinity, and drove a thriving business under the connivance of the soldiers of the garrison.

The vigilance of the captain-general was aroused. He consulted his legal adviser and factotum, a shrewd, meddlesome Escribano or notary, who rejoiced in an opportunity of perplexing the old potentate of the Alhambra, and involving him in a maze of legal subtilities. He advised the captain-general to insist upon the right of examining every convoy passing through the gates of his city, and he penned a long letter for him, in vindication of the right. Governor Manco was a straightforward, cut-and-thrust old soldier, who hated an Escribano worse than the devil, and this one in particular, worse than all other Escribanoes.

"What!" said he, curling up his mustachios fiercely, "does the captain-general set this man of the pen to practice confusions upon me? I'll let him see that an old soldier is not to be baffled by schoolcraft."

He seized his pen, and scrawled a short letter in a crabbed hand, in which he insisted on the right of transit free of search, and denounced vengeance on any custom-house officer who should lay his unhallowed hand on any convoy protected by the flag of the Alhambra.

While this question was agitated between the two pragmatical potentates, it so happened that a mule laden with supplies for the fortress arrived one day at the gate of Xenil, by which it was to traverse a suburb of the city on its way to the Alhambra. The convoy was headed by a testy old corporal, who had long served under the governor, and was a man after his own heart—as trusty and stanch as an old Toledo blade. As they approached the gate of the city, the corporal placed the banner of the Alhambra on the pack saddle of the mule, and drawing himself up to a perfect perpendicular, advanced with his head dressed to the front, but with the wary side glance of a cur passing through hostile grounds, and ready for a snap and a snarl.

"Who goes there?" said the sentinel at the gate.

"Soldier of the Alhambra," said the corporal, without turning his head.

"What have you in charge?"

"Provisions for the garrison."


The corporal marched straight forward, followed by the convoy, but had not advanced many paces before a posse of custom-house officers rushed out of a small toll-house.

"Halloo there!" cried the leader. "Muleteer, halt and open those packages."

The corporal wheeled round, and drew himself up in battle array. "Respect the flag of the Alhambra," said he; "these things are for the governor."

"A fig for the governor, and a fig for his flag. Muleteer, halt, I say."

"Stop the convoy at your peril!" cried the corporal, cocking his musket. "Muleteer, proceed."

The muleteer gave his beast a hearty thwack, the custom-house officer sprang forward and seized the halter; whereupon the corporal leveled his piece and shot him dead.

The street was immediately in an uproar. The old corporal was seized, and after undergoing sundry kicks and cuffs, and cudgelings, which are generally given impromptu by the mob in Spain, as a foretaste of the after penalties of the law, he was loaded with irons, and conducted to the city prison; while his comrades were permitted to proceed with the convoy, after it had been well rummaged, to the Alhambra.

The old governor was in a towering passion, when he heard of this insult to his flag and capture of his corporal. For a time he stormed about the Moorish halls, and vapored about the bastions, and looked down fire and sword upon the palace of the captain-general. Having vented the first ebullition of his wrath, he dispatched a message demanding the surrender of the corporal, as to him alone belonged the right of sitting in judgment on the offenses of those under his command. The captain-general, aided by the pen of the delighted Escribano, replied at great length, arguing that as the offense had been committed within the walls of his city, and against one of his civil officers, it was clearly within his proper jurisdiction. The governor rejoined by a repetition of his demand; the captain-general gave a surrejoinder of still greater length, and legal acumen; the governor became hotter and more peremptory in his demands, and the captain-general cooler and more copious in his replies; until the old lion-hearted soldier absolutely roared with fury at being thus entangled in the meshes of legal controversy.

While the subtle Escribano was thus amusing himself at the expense of the governor, he was conducting the trial of the corporal; who, mewed up in a narrow dungeon of the prison, had merely a small grated window at which to show his iron-bound visage, and receive the consolations of his friends; a mountain of written testimony was diligently heaped up, according to Spanish form, by the indefatigable Escribano; the corporal was completely overwhelmed by it. He was convicted of murder, and sentenced to be hanged.

It was in vain the governor sent down remonstrance and menace from the Alhambra. The fatal day was at hand, and the corporal was put in capilla, that is to say, in the chapel of the prison; as is always done with culprits the day before execution, that they may meditate on their approaching end and repent them of their sins.

Seeing things drawing to an extremity, the old governor determined to attend to the affair in person. He ordered out his carriage of state and, surrounded by his guards, rumbled down the avenue of the Alhambra into the city. Driving to the house of the Escribano, he summoned him to the portal.

The eye of the old governor gleamed like a coal at beholding the smirking man of the law advancing with an air of exultation.

"What is this I hear," cried he, "that you are about to put to death one of my soldiers?"

"All according to law—all in strict form of justice," said the self-sufficient Escribano, chuckling and rubbing his hands. "I can show your excellency the written testimony in the case."

"Fetch it hither," said the governor.

The Escribano bustled into his office, delighted with having another opportunity of displaying his ingenuity at the expense of the hard-headed veteran. He returned with a satchel full of papers, and began to read a long deposition with professional volubility. By this time a crowd had collected, listening with outstretched necks and gaping mouths.

"Prithee man, get into the carriage out of this pestilent throng, that I may the better hear thee," said the governor. The Escribano entered the carriage, when in a twinkling the door was closed, the coachman smacked his whip, mules, carriage, guards, and all dashed off at a thundering rate, leaving the crowd in gaping wonderment, nor did the governor pause until he had lodged his prey in one of the strongest dungeons of the Alhambra.

He then sent down a flag of truce in military style, proposing a cartel or exchange of prisoners, the corporal for the notary. The pride of the captain-general was piqued, he returned a contemptuous refusal, and forthwith caused a gallows, tall and strong, to be erected in the center of the Plaza Nueva, for the execution of the corporal.

"Oho! is that the game?" said Governor Manco; he gave orders, and immediately a gibbet was reared on the verge of the great beetling bastion that overlooked the Plaza. "Now," said he, in a message to the captain-general, "hang my soldier when you please; but at the same time that he is swung off in the square, look up to see your Escribano dangling against the sky."

The captain-general was inflexible; troops were paraded in the square; the drums beat; the bell tolled; an immense multitude of amateurs had collected to behold the execution; on the other hand, the governor paraded his garrison on the bastion, and tolled the funeral dirge of the notary from the Torre de la Campana, or tower of the bell.

The notary's wife pressed through the crowd with a whole progeny of little embryo Escribanoes at her heels, and throwing herself at the feet of the captain-general implored him not to sacrifice the life of her husband and the welfare of herself and her numerous little ones to a point of pride.

The captain-general was overpowered by her tears and lamentations, and the clamors of her callow brood. The corporal was sent up to the Alhambra under a guard, in his gallows garb, like a hooded friar; but with head erect and a face of iron. The Escribano was demanded in exchange, according to the cartel. The once bustling and self-sufficient man of the law was drawn forth from his dungeon, more dead than alive. All his flippancy and conceit had evaporated; his hair, it is said, had nearly turned gray with fright, and he had a downcast, dogged look, as if he still felt the halter round his neck.

The old governor stuck his one arm akimbo, and for a moment surveyed him with an iron smile. "Henceforth, my friend," said he, "moderate your zeal in hurrying others to the gallows; be not too certain of your own safety, even though you should have the law on your side; and, above all, take care how you play off your schoolcraft another time upon an old soldier."


[20-1] The Alhambra was the fortified palace, or citadel, of the Moorish kings when they reigned over Granada, in Spain. It was built in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and is one of the most beautiful examples of Moorish architecture.

[20-2] A toledo is a sword having a blade made at Toledo, in Spain, a place famous for blades of remarkably fine temper and great elasticity.

[21-3] Imperium in imperio is a Latin phrase meaning a government within a government.

[22-4] Contrabandista is a Spanish name for a smuggler.




It is an ancient Mariner, And he stoppeth one of three. "By thy long gray beard and glittering eye, Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?

"The Bridegroom's doors are opened wide, And I am next of kin; The guests are met, the feast is set: May'st hear the merry din."

He holds him with a skinny hand. "There was a ship," quoth he. "Hold off! unhand me, gray-beard loon!" Eftsoons[30-1] his hand dropt he.

He holds him with his glittering eye— The Wedding-guest stood still, And listens like a three years' child: The Mariner hath his will.

The Wedding-guest sat on a stone: He cannot choose but hear; And thus spake on that ancient man, The bright-eyed Mariner:[30-2]—

"The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared, Merrily did we drop Below the kirk, below the hill, Below the lighthouse top.

"The sun came up upon the left,[30-3] Out of the sea came he! And he shone bright, and on the right Went down into the sea.

"Higher and higher every day, Till over the mast at noon—"[30-4] The Wedding-guest here beat his breast, For he heard the loud bassoon.

The bride hath paced into the hall, Red as a rose is she; Nodding their heads before her goes The merry minstrelsy.

The Wedding-guest he beat his breast, Yet he cannot choose but hear; And thus spake on that ancient man, The bright-eyed Mariner:—

"And now the storm-blast came, and he Was tyrannous and strong; He struck with his o'ertaking wings, And chased us south along.

"With sloping masts and dipping prow, As who[31-5] pursued with yell and blow Still treads the shadow of his foe[31-6], And forward bends his head, The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast, And southward aye we fled.

"And now there came both mist and snow, And it grew wondrous cold: And ice, mast-high, came floating by, As green as emerald.[32-7]

"And through the drifts, the snowy clifts[32-8] Did send a dismal sheen: Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken— The ice was all between.

"The ice was here, the ice was there, The ice was all around: It cracked and growled, and roared and howled, Like noises in a swound![32-9]

"At length did cross an Albatross, Thorough[32-10] the fog it came; As if it had been a Christian soul, We hailed it in God's name.[32-11]

"It ate the food it ne'er had eat, And round and round it flew. The ice did split with a thunder-fit; The helmsman steered us through.

"And a good south wind sprung up behind;[34-12] The Albatross did follow, And every day, for food or play, Came to the mariner's hollo!

"In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud, It perched for vespers nine; Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white, Glimmered the white moonshine."

"God save thee, ancient Mariner, From the fiends that plague thee thus!— Why look'st thou so?"—"With my cross-bow I shot the Albatross."


"The Sun now rose upon the right:[34-13] Out of the sea came he, Still hid in mist, and on the left Went down into the sea.

"And the good south wind still blew behind, But no sweet bird did follow, Nor any day for food or play Came to the mariner's hollo!

"And I had done a hellish thing, And it would work 'em woe: For all averred I had killed the bird That made the breeze to blow,— Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay, That made the breeze to blow.

"Nor dim, nor red, like God's own head, The glorious Sun uprist:[35-14] Then all averred I had killed the bird That brought the fog and mist. 'Twas right, said they, such birds to slay, That bring the fog and mist.[35-15]

"The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew, The furrow followed free;[35-16] We were the first that ever burst Into that silent sea.

"Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down, 'Twas sad as sad could be; And we did speak only to break The silence of the sea!

"All in a hot and copper sky, The bloody Sun, at noon, Right up above the mast did stand,[35-17] No bigger than the Moon.[35-18]

"Day after day, day after day, We stuck, nor breath nor motion; As idle as a painted ship Upon a painted ocean.

"Water, water, everywhere, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.

"The very deep did rot: O Christ! That ever this should be! Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs Upon the slimy sea.

"About, about, in reel and rout[36-19] The death-fires[36-20] danced at night; The water, like a witch's oils, Burnt green, and blue, and white.

"And some in dreams assured were Of the Spirit that plagued us so; Nine fathom deep he had followed us From the land of mist and snow.

"And every tongue, through utter drought, Was withered at the root; We could not speak, no more than if We had been choked with soot.

"Ah! well a day! what evil looks Had I from old and young! Instead of the cross, the Albatross About my neck was hung.[36-21]


"There passed a weary time. Each throat Was parched, and glazed each eye. A weary time! a weary time! How glazed each weary eye! When looking westward, I beheld A something in the sky.

"At first it seemed a little speck, And then it seemed a mist: It moved and moved, and took at last A certain shape, I wist.[37-22]

"A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist! And still it neared and neared: As if it dodged a water-sprite, It plunged, and tacked, and veered.

"With throats unslaked, with black lips baked We could not laugh nor wail; Through utter drought all dumb we stood! I bit my arm, I sucked the blood, And cried, A sail! a sail!

"With throats unslaked, with black lips baked, Agape they heard me call: Gramercy![37-23] they for joy did grin,[37-24] And all at once their breath drew in, As they were drinking all.

"See! see! (I cried) she tacks no more! Hither to work us weal; Without a breeze, without a tide, She steadies with upright keel!

"The western wave was all a-flame, The day was well-nigh done! Almost upon the western wave Rested the broad, bright Sun; When that strange shape drove suddenly Betwixt us and the Sun.

"And straight the Sun was flecked with bars, (Heaven's Mother send us grace!) As if through a dungeon grate he peered With broad and burning face.

"Alas! (thought I, and my heart beat loud) How fast she nears and nears! Are those her sails that glance in the Sun, Like restless gossameres?[39-25]

"Are those her ribs through which the Sun Did peer, as through a grate? And is that Woman all her crew? Is that a Death? and are there two? Is Death that Woman's mate?

"Her lips were red, her looks were free, Her locks were yellow as gold: Her skin was as white as leprosy, The Night-mare Life-in-Death was she, Who thicks man's blood with cold.

"The naked hulk alongside came, And the twain were casting dice; 'The game is done! I've won, I've won!'[39-26] Quoth she, and whistles thrice.

"The Sun's rim dips: the stars rush out: At one stride comes the dark;[40-27] With far-heard whisper, o'er the sea, Off shot the spectre-bark.

"We listened and looked sideways up! Fear at my heart, as at a cup, My life-blood seemed to sip! The stars were dim, and thick the night, The steersman's face by his lamp gleamed white; From the sails the dew did drip— Till clomb[40-28] above the eastern bar The horned Moon,[40-29] with one bright star Within the nether tip.

"One after one, by the star-dogged Moon, Too quick for groan or sigh, Each turned his face with a ghastly pang, And cursed me with his eye.

"Four times fifty living men, (And I heard nor sigh nor groan) With heavy thump, a lifeless lump, They dropped down one by one.

"The souls did from their bodies fly,— They fled to bliss or woe! And every soul, it passed me by, Like the whiz of my cross-bow!"


"I fear thee, ancient Mariner! I fear thy skinny hand! And thou art long, and lank and brown. As is the ribbed sea-sand.[41-30]

"I fear thee and thy glittering eye, And thy skinny hand so brown." "Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding-guest! This body dropt not down.

"Alone, alone, all, all alone, Alone on a wide, wide sea! And never a saint took pity on My soul in agony.

"The many men, so beautiful! And they all dead did lie: And a thousand, thousand slimy things Lived on; and so did I.

"I looked upon the rotting sea, And drew my eyes away; I looked upon the rotting deck, And there the dead men lay.

"I looked to heaven, and tried to pray But or ever a prayer had gusht, A wicked whisper came, and made My heart as dry as dust.

"I closed my lids, and kept them close, And the balls like pulses beat; For the sky and the sea, and the sea and the sky,[42-31] Lay like a load on my weary eye, And the dead were at my feet.

"The cold sweat melted from their limbs, Nor rot nor reek did they: The look with which they looked on me Had never passed away.

"An orphan's curse would drag to hell A spirit from on high; But oh! more horrible than that Is the curse in a dead man's eye! Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse, And yet I could not die.

"The moving Moon went up the sky, And nowhere did abide: Softly she was going up, And a star or two beside—

"Her beams bemock'd the sultry main, Like April hoar-frost spread; But where the ship's huge shadow lay, The charmed water burnt alway A still and awful red.

"Beyond the shadow of the ship, I watched the water-snakes: They moved in tracks of shining white, And when they reared, the elfish light Fell off in hoary flakes.

"Within the shadow of the ship I watched their rich attire: Blue, glossy green, and velvet black, They coiled and swam; and every track Was a flash of golden fire.

"O happy living things! no tongue Their beauty might declare: A spring of love gushed from my heart, And I blessed them unaware: Sure my kind saint took pity on me, And I blessed them unaware.[43-32]

"The selfsame moment I could pray; And from my neck so free The Albatross fell off, and sank Like lead into the sea."


"O sleep! it is a gentle thing, Beloved from pole to pole! To Mary Queen the praise be given! She sent the gentle sleep from heaven, That slid into my soul.

"The silly[44-33] buckets on the deck, That had so long remained, I dreamt that they were filled with dew; And when I awoke, it rained.

"My lips were wet, my throat was cold, My garments all were dank; Sure I had drunken in my dreams, And still my body drank.

"I moved, and could not feel my limbs: I was so light—almost I thought that I had died in sleep, And was a blessed ghost.

"And soon I heard a roaring wind: It did not come anear; But with its sound it shook the sails, That were so thin and sere.

"The upper air burst into life! And a hundred fire-flags sheen,[44-34] To and fro they were hurried about! And to and fro, and in and out, The wan stars danced between.

"And the coming wind did roar more loud, And the sails did sigh like sedge:[45-35] And the rain poured down from one black cloud: The Moon was at its edge.

"The thick black cloud was cleft, and still The Moon was at its side: Like waters shot from some high crag, The lightning fell with never a jag, A river steep and wide.

"The loud wind never reached the ship, Yet now the ship moved on! Beneath the lightning and the Moon The dead men gave a groan.

"They groaned, they stirred, they all uprose, Nor spake, nor moved their eyes; It had been strange, even in a dream, To have seen those dead men rise.

"The helmsman steered; the ship moved on; Yet never a breeze up blew; The mariners all 'gan work the ropes, Where they were wont to do; They raised their limbs like lifeless tools— We were a ghastly crew.

"The body of my brother's son Stood by me, knee to knee: The body and I pulled at one rope, But he said naught to me."

"I fear thee, ancient Mariner!" "Be calm, thou Wedding-guest! 'Twas not those souls that fled in pain, Which to their corses came again, But a troop of spirits blest:

"For when it dawned—they dropped their arms, And clustered round the mast; Sweet sounds rose slowly through their mouths, And from their bodies passed.

"Around, around, flew each sweet sound, Then darted to the Sun; Slowly the sounds came back again, Now mixed, now one by one.

"Sometimes a-drooping from the sky I heard the sky-lark sing; Sometimes all little birds that are, How they seemed to fill the sea and air With their sweet jargoning!

"And now 'twas like all instruments, Now like a lonely flute; And now it is an angel's song, That makes the heavens be mute.

"It ceased; yet still the sails made on A pleasant noise till noon, A noise like of a hidden brook In the leafy month of June, That to the sleeping woods all night Singeth a quiet tune.

"Till noon we quietly sailed on, Yet never a breeze did breathe: Slowly and smoothly went the ship, Moved onward from beneath.

"Under the keel nine fathom deep, From the land of mist and snow, The spirit slid: and it was he That made the ship to go. The sails at noon left off their tune, And the ship stood still also.

"The Sun, right up above the mast, Had fixed her to the ocean: But in a minute she 'gan stir, With a short, uneasy motion— Backwards and forwards half her length With a short, uneasy motion.

"Then like a pawing horse let go, She made a sudden bound: It flung the blood into my head, And I fell down in a swound.

"How long in that same fit I lay, I have not to declare; But ere my living life returned, I heard, and in my soul discerned, Two voices in the air.

"'Is it he?' quoth one, 'Is this the man? By him who died on cross, With his cruel bow he laid full low The harmless Albatross.

"'The spirit who bideth by himself In the land of mist and snow, He loved the bird that loved the man Who shot him with his bow.'

"The other was a softer voice, As soft as honey-dew: Quoth he, 'The man hath penance done, And penance more will do.'"


First Voice

"'But tell me, tell me! speak again, Thy soft response renewing— What makes that ship drive on so fast? What is the ocean doing?'

Second Voice

"'Still as a slave before his lord, The ocean hath no blast; His great bright eye most silently Up to the Moon is cast—

"'If he may know which way to go; For she guides him smooth or grim. See, brother, see! how graciously She looketh down on him.'

First Voice

"'But why drives on that ship so fast, Without or wave or wind?'[49-36]

Second Voice

"'The air is cut away before, And closes from behind.

"'Fly, brother, fly! more high, more high! Or we shall be belated: For slow and slow that ship will go, When the mariner's trance is abated.'

"I woke, and we were sailing on As in a gentle weather: 'Twas night, calm night, the Moon was high; The dead men stood together.

"All stood together on the deck, For a charnel-dungeon[50-37] fitter: All fixed on me their stony eyes, That in the Moon did glitter.

"The pang, the curse, with which they died, Had never passed away: I could not draw my eyes from theirs, Nor turn them up to pray.

"And now this spell was snapt:[50-38] once more I viewed the ocean green, And looked far forth, yet little saw Of what had else been seen—

"Like one, that on a lonesome road Doth walk in fear and dread, And having once turned round walks on, And turns no more his head; Because he knows a frightful fiend Doth close behind him tread.

"But soon there breathed a wind on me, Nor sound nor motion made: Its path was not upon the sea, In ripple or in shade.

"It raised my hair, it fanned my cheek Like a meadow-gale of spring— It mingled strangely with my fears, Yet it felt like a welcoming.

"Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship, Yet she sailed softly too: Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze— On me alone it blew.

"Oh! dream of joy! is this indeed The lighthouse top I see? Is this the hill? is this the kirk? Is this mine own countree?

"We drifted o'er the harbour-bar, And I with sobs did pray— O let me be awake, my God! Or let me sleep alway.

"The harbour-bay was clear as glass, So smoothly it was strewn! And on the bay the moonlight lay, And the shadow of the Moon.

"The rock shone bright, the kirk no less, That stands above the rock: The moonlight steeped in silentness The steady weathercock.

"And the bay was white with silent light, Till, rising from the same, Full many shapes, that shadows were, In crimson colours came.

"A little distance from the prow Those crimson shadows were: I turned my eyes upon the deck— O Christ! what saw I there!

"Each corse lay flat, lifeless and flat, And, by the holy rood![52-39] A man all light, a seraph-man, On every corse there stood.

"This seraph-band, each waved his hand: It was a heavenly sight! They stood as signals to the land. Each one a lovely light;

"This seraph-band, each waved his hand: No voice did they impart— No voice; but oh! the silence sank Like music on my heart.[52-40]

"But soon I heard the dash of oars, I heard the Pilot's cheer; My head was turned perforce away, And I saw a boat appear.

"The Pilot and the Pilot's boy, I heard them coming fast: Dear Lord in Heaven! it was a joy The dead men could not blast.

"I saw a third—I heard his voice: It is the Hermit good! He singeth loud his godly hymns That he makes in the wood. He'll shrieve my soul, he'll wash away The Albatross's blood."


"This Hermit good lives in that wood Which slopes down to the sea. How loudly his sweet voice he rears! He loves to talk with marineres That come from a far countree.

"He kneels at morn, and noon, and eve— He hath a cushion plump: It is the moss that wholly hides The rotted old oak-stump.

"The skiff-boat neared: I heard them talk, 'Why, this is strange, I trow! Where are those lights so many and fair, That signal made but now?'

"'Strange, by my faith!' the Hermit said— 'And they answered not our cheer. The planks look warped! and see those sails, How thin they are and sere! I never saw aught like to them, Unless perchance it were

"'Brown skeletons of leaves that lag My forest-brook along; When the ivy-tod[53-41] is heavy with snow, And the owlet whoops to the wolf below, That eats the she-wolf's young.'

"'Dear Lord! it hath a fiendish look!' (The Pilot made reply) 'I am a-feared'—'Push on, push on!' Said the Hermit cheerily.

"The boat came closer to the ship, But I nor spake nor stirred; The boat came close beneath the ship, And straight a sound was heard.

"Under the water it rumbled on, Still louder and more dread: It reached the ship, it split the bay; The ship went down like lead.

"Stunned by that loud and dreadful sound, Which sky and ocean smote, Like one that hath been seven days drowned My body lay afloat; But swift as dreams, myself I found Within the Pilot's boat.

"Upon the whirl where sank the ship, The boat spun round and round; And all was still, save that the hill Was telling of the sound.

"I moved my lips—the Pilot shrieked And fell down in a fit; The holy Hermit raised his eyes, And prayed where he did sit.

"I took the oars: the Pilot's boy, Who now doth crazy go, Laughed loud and long, and all the while His eyes went to and fro. 'Ha! ha!' quoth he, 'full plain I see, The Devil knows how to row.'

"And now, all in my own countree, I stood on the firm land! The Hermit stepped forth from the boat, And scarcely he could stand.

"'O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man!' The Hermit crossed his brow. 'Say quick,' quoth he, 'I bid thee say— What manner of man art thou?'

"Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched With a woeful agony, Which forced me to begin my tale; And then it left me free.

"Since then, at an uncertain hour, That agony returns: And till my ghastly tale is told, This heart within me burns.

"I pass, like night, from land to land; I have strange power of speech; The moment that his face I see, I know the man that must hear me: To him my tale I teach.

"What loud uproar bursts from that door! The wedding-guests are there: But in the garden-bower the bride And bridesmaids singing are: And hark the little vesper bell, Which biddeth me to prayer!

"O Wedding-guest! This soul hath been Alone on a wide, wide sea: So lonely 'twas, that God himself Scarce seemed there to be.

"O sweeter than the marriage feast, 'Tis sweeter far to me, To walk together to the kirk With a goodly company!

"To walk together to the kirk, And all together pray, While each to his great Father bends, Old men, and babes, and loving friends, And youths and maidens gay!

"Farewell, farewell! but this I tell To thee, thou Wedding-guest! He prayeth well, who loveth well Both man and bird and beast.

"He prayeth best, who loveth best All things both great and small; For the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all."[57-42]

The Mariner, whose eye is bright, Whose beard with age is hoar, Is gone: and now the Wedding-guest Turned from the bridegroom's door.

He went like one that hath been stunned, And is of sense forlorn: A sadder and a wiser man, He rose the morrow morn.


[29-*] NOTE.—In 1798 there was published in England a little volume of poems known as Lyrical Ballads. This collection brought to its two young authors, Wordsworth and Coleridge, little immediate fame, but not long afterward people began to realize that much that was contained in the little book was real poetry, and great poetry. The chief contribution of Coleridge to this venture was The Ancient Mariner.

The poem as originally printed had a series of quaintly explanatory notes in the margin, and an introductory argument which read as follows:

"How a ship having passed the Line, was driven by storms to the cold Country towards the South Pole; and how from thence she made her course to the tropical latitudes of the great Pacific Ocean, and of the strange things that befell; and in what manner the Ancient Mariner came back to his own country."

[30-1] Eftsoons means quickly. The poem is written in ballad form, and many quaint old words are introduced.

[30-2] Such rhymes as this—Mariner with hear,—were common in the old ballads which Coleridge so perfectly imitates.

[30-3] Does this line tell you anything about the direction in which they were sailing?

[30-4] Where was the ship when the sun stood "over the mast at noon"?

[31-5] Two words are to be understood in this line—"As one who is pursued."

[31-6] Is not this an effective line? Can you think of any way in which the closeness of the foe could be more effectively suggested?

[32-7] Coleridge's wonderful power of painting word-pictures is shown in this and the succeeding stanzas. With the simplest language he makes us realize the absolute lonesomeness and desolateness of the scene: he produces in us something of the same feeling of awe and horror that we should have were we actually in the situation he describes.

[32-8] Clifts means cleft rocks.

[32-9] "Like noises one hears in a swound."

[32-10] Thorough is used here instead of through, as it often is in poetry, for the sake of the meter.

[32-11] Besides the joy the sailors felt at seeing a living creature after the days in which they had seen "nor shapes of men nor beasts," they had a special pleasure in welcoming the albatross because it was regarded as a bird of good omen.

[34-12] Coleridge does not state that it was the albatross that brought the "good south wind:" he lets us infer it.

[34-13] In what direction were they sailing now?

[35-14] Uprist is an old form for uprose.

[35-15] It was this attitude of the sailors toward the mariner's brutal act of killing the bird that brought punishment upon them; they cared nothing for the death of the harmless bird, but only for its effect upon them.

[35-16] Note the striking alliteration in these two lines. Read this stanza and the succeeding one aloud, and see how much easier it is to read these alliterative lines rapidly than it is any of the other six lines. Such relation of movement to meaning is one of the artistic things about the poem.

[35-17] How far northward had the ship returned?

[35-18] When such a definite picture is presented, close your eyes and try to see it. Did you ever see the sun when it seemed to have no radiance—when it was just a red circle?

[36-19] A rout is a confused and whirling dance.

[36-20] The death-fires are a sort of phosphorescent light, or will-o'-the-wisp, supposed to portend death.

[36-21] The shipmates try in this manner to fasten all the guilt on the ancient mariner and mark him alone for punishment.

[37-22] Wist means knew.

[37-23] Gramercy is an exclamation derived from the French grand merci, which means great thanks.

[37-24] In a comment on The Ancient Mariner Coleridge says: "I took the thought of 'grinning for joy' from my companion's remark to me, when we had climbed to the top of Plinlimmon, and were nearly dead with thirst. We could not speak from the constriction, till we found a little puddle under a stone. He said to me: 'You grinned like an idiot.' He had done the same."

[39-25] Gossameres are the cobweb-like films seen floating in the air in summer.

[39-26] Death and Life-in-Death have been casting dice for the crew, as to whether they shall die, or live and suffer. Life-in-Death has won the ancient mariner.

[40-27] This is Coleridge's beautiful way of telling us that in the tropics there is little or no twilight.

[40-28] Clomb is an old form of climbed.

[40-29] That is, the waning moon. Did you ever see the moon "with one bright star within the nether tip"?

[41-30] In his notes on the poem, Coleridge stated that the last two lines of this stanza were composed by Wordsworth.

[42-31] Can you see any reason for the repetition in this line, and for the unusual length? Does it suggest the load and the weariness in the next line?

[43-32] This is the turning point of the poem. As soon as the mariner felt in his heart love for the "happy living things," the spell which had been laid on him for the wanton slaying of the albatross began to break. In the third stanza from the end of the poem, this point is clearly brought out.

[44-33] Silly here means helpless, useless.

[44-34] Sheen means bright, glittering.

[45-35] Note this fine alliterative line.

[49-36] The mariner has been thrown into a trance, for the ship is being driven northward faster than a human being could endure.

[50-37] A charnel-dungeon is a vault or chamber underneath or near a church, where the bones of the dead are laid.

[50-38] The sin is finally expiated.

[52-39] The holy rood is the holy cross.

[52-40] "The silence sank like music on my heart," is among the beautiful lines that you will often hear quoted.

[53-41] An ivy-tod is a thick clump of ivy.

[57-42] A friend of Coleridge's once told him that she admired The Ancient Mariner, but had a serious fault to find with it—it had no moral. Do you think, as you read this stanza, that her objection was a valid one?



I do not pose as an Indian lover. In fact the instincts and impressions of my early life bent me in the opposite direction. My father's log house, in which I was born, stood within a few rods of Rock River, about forty-five miles west of this city. The stream was the boundary line, in a half-recognized way, between two tribes of Indians, and a common highway for both. I well remember their frequent and unheralded entries into our house, and their ready assumption of its privileges. I can see them yet—yes, and smell them, too. In some unventilated chamber of my rather capacious nostrils an abiding breath of that intense, all-conquering odor of fish, smoke and muskrat, which they brought with them, still survives. I well remember their impudent and sometimes bullying demeanor; and the horror of one occasion I shall never forget, when a stalwart Winnebago, armed with a knife, tomahawk and gun, seized my mother by the shoulder as she stood by her ironing table, and shook her because she said she had no bread for him. I wrapped myself in her skirts and howled in terror. Having been transplanted from the city to the wilderness, she had a mortal fear of Indians, but never revealed it to them. She had nerve, and resolution as well; and this particular fellow she threatened with her hot flat-iron and drove him out of the house. So you see I have no occasion for morbid or unnatural sympathy with any of the Indian kind.

Black Hawk was born in 1767 at Saukenuk. His father was the war chief of the nation and a very successful leader. Young Black Hawk inherited his martial spirit and conducted himself so valorously in battle that he was recognized as a brave when only fifteen years old. He was enthusiastic and venturesome, and before the close of his twentieth year had led several expeditions against the Osages and Sioux. It was his boast that he had been in a hundred Indian battles and had never suffered defeat.

Life passed pleasantly with Black Hawk and his tribe at Saukenuk for many years. The location combined all the advantages possible for their mode of existence. When Black Hawk was taken to Washington after his capture in 1832, he made an eloquent and most pathetic speech at one of the many interviews which he held with the high officials of the government. He said: "Our home was very beautiful. My house always had plenty. I never had to turn friend or stranger away for lack of food. The island was our garden. There the young people gathered plums, apples, grapes, berries and nuts. The rapids furnished us fish. On the bottom lands our women raised corn, beans and squashes. The young men hunted game on the prairie and in the woods. It was good for us. When I see the great fields and big villages of the white people, I wonder why they wish to take our little territory from us."

We are apt to regard the agriculture of the Indians as of small moment, but the Sauks and Foxes cultivated three thousand acres on the peninsula between the Rock and the Mississippi. Black Hawk said it was eight hundred acres, but the measurement of the cornfields shows that the area was nearly four times that. Of this the Foxes, who were much the smaller and weaker tribe, farmed five hundred acres; they also occupied considerable land on the opposite side of the Mississippi, where the city of Davenport now stands. These lands were all fenced with posts and rails, the latter being held in place by bark withes. The barrier was sufficient to keep the ponies out of the corn, but their lately acquired razor-back hogs gave them more trouble. The work of preparing a field for their planting involved much labor. The women heaped the ground into hills nearly three feet high, and the corn was planted in the top for many successive years without renewing the hills. Accordingly a field was much more easily prepared on the mellow bottom lands than on the tough prairie sod. They raised three kinds of corn: a sweet corn for roasting ears, a hard variety for hominy and a softer for meal. They also cultivated beans, squashes, pumpkins, artichokes and some tobacco. The Sauks at one time sold three thousand bushels of corn to the government officials at Fort Crawford for their horses. The Winnebagoes at Lake Koshkonong sold four thousand bushels of corn to General Atkinson when he was pursuing Black Hawk in 1832. The hundreds of acres of corn hills still visible about the latter lake show how extensively that region was inhabited and farmed by the Indians.

Aside from the devastating wars which the tribe carried on with their new enemies west of the great river, whereby their numbers were steadily reduced, no serious shadow fell upon their life at and about Rock Island till the year 1804. A French trader had established himself a few miles below on the Mississippi. The young braves and squaws delighted in visiting his place and were always sure of a dance in the evening. One night in that year an Indian killed one of the habitues of the place, the provocation being unbearable. A few weeks after demand was made that he be given up, and he was at once surrendered and taken to Saint Louis.

Soon after, his relative, Quashquamme, one of the sub-chiefs of the tribe, and four or five other Sauks went to Saint Louis to work for his release. A bargain was made to the effect that a tract of land including parts of Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin and Illinois, comprising fifty million acres, be ceded to the government, the consideration being the cancellation of a debt of $2,400, which the Indians owed trader Choteau, of Saint Louis, and a perpetual annuity of $1,000 thereafter. It was also tacitly agreed that the imprisoned Indian should be released. This part of the program was carried out, but the poor fellow had not gone three hundred feet before he was shot dead. We are sorry to say that General William Henry Harrison was the chief representative of the government in this one-sided treaty, though, of course, he knew nothing of the predetermined killing of the Indian prisoner. This treaty, made without due authority on the part of Quashquamme, was not accepted by the Sauks till 1816, when its ratification was made a side issue in an agreement which the government negotiated between the Sauks and the Osages or Sioux.

Black Hawk always claimed that he had never consented to the sale of Saukenuk; and it is but fair to Quashquamme to say that he always insisted that his cession of land went only to the Rock—and therefore did not include Saukenuk—and not to the Wisconsin, as the whites asserted. I have been thus explicit, as the disagreement about this treaty led to the final conflict between the Sauks and the whites.

One proposition of the original paper was that the Indians should be allowed to occupy all the territory as aforetime until it was surveyed and sold to settlers. Along in the '20's the frontier line rapidly approached the great river; and about 1823, when still fifty miles distant, squatters began to settle on the Indian lands at Saukenuk. Protest was made against this to the commander of Fort Armstrong (which was built on Rock Island in 1816) and to the government, but without avail.

The squatters, relying for protection on the troops near by, perpetrated outrages of the most exasperating character. They turned their horses into the Indian cornfields, threw down fences, whipped one young woman who had pulled a few corn suckers from one of their fields to eat, while on her way to work, and finally two ruffians met Black Hawk himself one day as he was hunting on the river bottom and accused him of shooting their hogs. He indignantly denied it, but they snatched his rifle from his hand, wrenched the flint out, and then beat the old man with a hickory stick till the blood ran down his back, and he could not leave his house for days. Doubtless this indignity surpassed all other outrages in the proud old chief's estimation, and we can imagine him sitting in his cabin on the highest ground in the village, looking over the magnificent landscape, brooding upon the blight which had fallen upon the beautiful home of his tribe, and harboring thoughts of revenge. Still he refrained from open resistance till the spring of 1831.

It was the custom of the tribe to spend the winter months hunting and trapping in northeastern Missouri, returning in the spring to Saukenuk. This time they found the whites more aggressive than ever. They had fenced in the most of the cultivated land, plowed over the burying ground, and destroyed a number of houses. They received the Indians with hostile looks, but Black Hawk at last did what he ought to have done at first, ordered the squatters all off the peninsula. He then went to an island where a squatter sold liquor and had paid no heed to his entreaties not to sell to the Indians, and with a party of his braves knocked in the heads of the whisky barrels and poured their contents on the ground. The liquor vendor immediately hurried to Governor Reynolds, of Illinois, with his tale of woe and represented that Black Hawk was devastating the country with torch and tomahawk.

Governor Reynolds at once issued a flamboyant proclamation calling for volunteers, and asked the United States authorities at Saint Louis for aid. A considerable body of regulars was dispatched up the river and reached Saukenuk before the volunteers. Black Hawk told his people to remain in their houses, and not to obey any orders to leave Saukenuk, for they had not sold their home and had done no wrong. But when he saw the undisciplined, lawless and wildly excited volunteers, who came a few days later, he told the people that their lives were in danger and they must go. Accordingly the next morning at an early hour all embarked in their canoes and crossed the Mississippi. They were visited there by the officials, and Black Hawk entered into an agreement to remain west of the river.

Black Hawk's band spent the fall and winter, after their expulsion from Saukenuk, in great unhappiness and want. It was too late to plant corn, and they suffered from hunger. Their winter's hunt was unsuccessful, as they lacked ammunition, and many of their guns and traps had gone to pay for the whisky they had drunk before Black Hawk broke up the traffic. In the meantime Black Hawk was planning to recover Saukenuk by force. He visited Canada, but received little encouragement there, except sympathy and the assurance that his cause was just.

Black Hawk's worst adviser was Neapope, his second in command, and a terrible liar. He also visited Canada and claimed that the British whom he had seen stood ready to help Black Hawk with men, arms and ammunition, and that a steamboat would bring them to Milwaukee in the spring. This was good news to the credulous old chief; and quite as acceptable as this was Neapope's story that the Winnebagoes and Pottawatomi would join in the campaign to secure his rights. Added to these encouragements were the entreaties of the homesick hungry women, who longed for their houses and cornfields at Saukenuk.

Keokuk did his utmost to dissuade Black Hawk but in vain, and then he gave warning to the whites of Black Hawk's purpose. He feared that the whole nation might be drawn into the war if it was once started. Black Hawk's first move with his band in the spring of 1832 was to visit Keokuk's village, set up his war post and call for recruits. He wore a British uniform and displayed a British flag. This foolishness and gratification of vanity cost him dearly in the end. He made an impassioned speech and wrought the Indians up to such enthusiasm that they demanded that Keokuk join with Black Hawk. It was a critical moment for the young chief—even his life was in danger; but he was a more skillful master of oratory than even the eloquent Black Hawk, and, seeming at first to fall in with his plan, he gradually showed up its danger and its impracticable character, until at last he saved all his own party and even won a considerable number away from Black Hawk.

On the 26th of April the Black Hawk band crossed the Mississippi several miles below Rock River. They numbered twelve hundred in all, less than four hundred being warriors, and these only partly armed. Their destination was Prophetstown, as Black Hawk's plan was to raise a crop there and go on the war path in the fall. The braves struck across the country, while the women, weak with famine, slowly paddled the canoes up against the swift current of the river. They reached Prophetstown late in April, the heavy rains which had swollen the rivers greatly impeding their progress. A marvelous feature of this journey across the territory which the whites claimed had been ceded to them, is the fact that not the slightest depredation was committed at any farm or house on the march. The inhabitants fled, but the hungry Indians touched none of the abundant food which they left behind. Not a gun was fired. Black Hawk had ordered that no offense be given, and he was strictly obeyed.

Black Hawk was disappointed to find that the Winnebagoes were lukewarm as to his enterprise, and also reluctant to let him plant a crop, fearing to get into trouble with the government. He then pushed on to confer with the Pottawatomi, who had a village at Sycamore Creek about forty miles farther on. Here he found similar conditions; also he learned the falsity of the story that he could get aid from the British.

He says that he then determined to return to Iowa and make the best of it there. But he was too late—Governor Reynolds had issued another proclamation, and two thousand volunteers besides a considerable body of regulars were on his trail. He had made a farewell dog feast for his Pottawatomi friends, when a scout brought news that about three hundred whites were going into camp five miles distant. This was a sort of independent command under Major Stillman, who had pushed ahead of the main body. It was composed of lawless, undisciplined material, and at that moment was suffering under the effects of drinking two barrels of whisky which the troops had poured down their throats rather than leave it on a wagon that was hopelessly stuck in the mud.

Black Hawk directed three young braves to take a white flag, go to the camp, ask what the purpose of the command was, and to say that he desired a conference with them. He then sent five others on horseback to report the reception which the flag bearers met with. Three of them an hour later came at full speed into camp, reporting that the whites had surrounded the flag bearers and killed them and then chased the five who had followed, killing two of them, and were coming on in full force. All the devil in the old warrior's heart was roused by this brutal treachery, and calling on the forty warriors who were with him at the conference, the rest being in camp some miles away, he hastened to meet the enemy. Forming an ambush in the brush, the Indians fired their guns as the whites approached, just at nightfall, and rose up and charged with a wild yell. The drunken volunteers at once turned and fled, the panic gathering force as they went. The fugitives rushed through the camp pell-mell, and all who were left there joined in the stampede. In their desperate fear, every soldier thought every other an Indian and fired hither and yon. Eleven were killed, probably only one by the redskins. The survivors for the most part continued their flight, spreading the most exaggerated stories of the numbers and ferocity of the Indians, until they reached their several homes. As it proved, the three Indian flag bearers were not harmed till the stampede began, when one of them was shot by a soldier just mounting his horse to run. One of the surviving Indians immediately killed him with his tomahawk.

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