Robert, the Bruce, in his dungeon stood,

Waiting the hour of doom;
Behind him the palace of Holyrood,

Before him-a nameless tomb.
And the foam on his lip was flecked with red,
As away to the past his memory sped,
Upcalling the day of his past renown,
When he won, and he wore, the Scottish crown:

Yet come there shadow or come there shine,

The spider is spinning his thread so fine. "I have sat on the royal seat of Scone,”

He muttered below his breath; " It's a luckless change, from a kingly throne

To a felon's shameful death." And he clenched his hands in his mad despair, And he struck at the shapes that were gathering there, Pacing his cell in impatient rage, As a new-caught lion paces his cage:

But come there shadow or come there shine,

The spider is spinning his thread so fine. “Oh! were it my fate to yield up life

At the head of my liegemen all,
In the foremost shock of the battle-strife

Breaking my country's thrall,
I'd welcome death from the foeman's steel,
Breathing a prayer for old Scotland's weal;
But here, where no pitying heart is nigh,
By a loathly hand it is hard to die:”

Yet come there shadow or come there shine,

The spider is spinning his thread so fine. “Time and again I have fronted the tide

Of the tyrant's vast array,
But only to see on the crimson tide

My hopes swept far away ;-
Now a landless chief and a crownless king,
On the broad, broad earth not a living thing
To keep me court, save this insect small,
Striving to reach from wall to wall:”

For come there shadow or come there shine,

The spider is spinning his thread so fine. “Work! work like a fool, to the certain loss,

Like myself, of your time and pain;

The space is too wide to be bridged across,

You but waste your strength in vain!”
And Bruce for the moment forgot his grief,
His soul now filled with the sure belief
That, howsoever the issue went,
For evil or good was the omen sent:

And come there shadow or come there shine,

The spider is spinning his thread so fine.
As a gambler watches the turning card

On which his all is staked,-
As a mother waits for the hopeful word

For which her soul has ached, -
It was thus Bruce watched, with every sense
Centred alone in that look intense;
All rigid he stood, with scattered breath-
Now white, now red, but as still as death:

Yet come there shadow or come there shine,

The spider is spinning his thread so fine.
Six several times the creature tried,

When at the seventh, "See, see!
He has spanned it over!” the captive cried;

“Lo! a bridge of hope to me;
Thee, God, I thank, for this lesson here
Has tutored my soul to PERSEVERE!”
And it served him well, for erelong he wore
In freedom the Scottish crown once more:

And come there shadow or come there shine,
The spider is spinning his thread so tine.


The ways of life, mysterious,

Work slowly toward some finite ends.
Jehovah, 'neath a seeming cloud,

His creatures to his purpose bends;
When suddenly the end appears,
And breaks the spell of waiting years.
O weary pilgrim! where the path

Seems fraught with endless perils great,
Thy fainting heart may almost sink

Öerawed by thy apparent fate;
Take courage new, for soon or late,
Thy steps will reach the Golden Gate.

O warrior, weary with the strife!

Be not oppressed when numbers fright;
Thy stalwart foes may legion seem,

But don the armor, fight the fight;
And in the end, so strong is right,
Thy foes shall yield them to thy might.
O seaman! when the tempests rouse

And haste thy craft to dangers dark,
When mighty billows in the night,

Lash with their foam thy struggling bark,
Be of stout heart, thy trusiy hand
Will bring thy cargo safe to land.
O pilgrim! to each weary path

There is an ending in good time;
O warrior! in each contest fierce

There is a victory sublime;
O seaman! when the voyage is o’er,
There is a haven near the shore.

Only be firm; have faith in God

When darkness swallows up the light; Oft is the sun obscured by clouds

To every day there is a night; But unto those who work and pray, There comes an EVERLASTING DAY,


I am thy father's spirit;
Doomed for a certain term to walk the night;
And, for the day, confined to fast in fires,
Till the foul crimes, done in my days of nature,
Are burned and purged away. But that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my prison-house,
I could a tale unfold, whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul; freeze thy young blood;
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres ;
Thy knotted and combined locks to part,
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Like quills upon the fretful porcupine.
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, oh, list
If thou didst ever thy dear father love.


In company one evening, when the song, “Would I were a boy again," was called for, a gray-headed “old boy” discoursed thus:

A boy again! Who would be a boy again, if he could? to have measles, itch, and mumps; to get licked by bigger boys and scolded by older brothers; to stub toes; to slip up on the ice; to do chores; to get your ears boxed; to get whaled by a thick-headed schoolmaster; to be made to stand up as the dunce for the amusement of the whole school and be told how miserable, weak, and stupid you were when you were born, and to have the master ask you what would have become of you at that interesting time in life if your parents had not been so patient with and so kind to you; to eat at the second table when company comes; to set out cabbage plants and thin corn because you are little, and consequently it wouldn't make your back ache so much; to be made to go to school when you don't want to; to lose your marbles; to have your sled broken; to get hit in the eyes with frozen apples and soggy snow balls; to cut your finger; to lose your knife; to have a hole in your only pair of pants when your pretty cousin from the city comes to see you; to be called a coward at school if you don't fight; to be whaled at home if you do fight; to be struck after a little girl and dare not tell her; to have a boy too big for you to lick to tell you that your sweetheart squints; to have your sweetheart cut you dead and affiliate with that boy John Smith, whom you hate particularly because he set your nose out of joint the week before; to be made to go to bed when you know you ain't a bit sleepy; to have no fire-crackers on the Fourth of July, no skates on Christmas; to want a piece of bread and butter with honey and get your ears pulled; to be kept from the circus when it comes to town and when all other boys go; to get pounded for stealing roasting ears; to get run by bulldogs for trying to nip watermelons; to have the canker rash, catechism, stone bruises; to be called up to kiss old women that visit your mother; to be scolded because you like Maggie Love better than your own sister; to be told of a scorching time little boys will have who tell lies, and are not like George Washington; to catch your big brother kissing the pretty school ma'am on the sly, and wish you were big so you could kiss her too, and-and-why who'd be a boy again ?


Not far advanced was morning day,
When Marmion did his troop array

To Surrey's camp to ride;
He had safe-conduct for his band,
Beneath the royal seal and hand,

And Douglas gave a guide.
The ancient Earl, with stately grace,
Would Clara on her palfrey place,
And whispered in an undertone,
“Let the hawk stoop,-his prey is flown.”—
The train from out the castle drew,
But Marmion stopped to bid adieu :-

“Though something I might 'plain," he said,
“Of cold respect to stranger guest,
Sent hither by your king's behest,

While in Tantallon's towers I stayed,
Part we in friendship from your land,
And, noble Earl, receive my hand.”
But Douglas round him drew his cloak,
Folded his arms, and thus he spoke;-
“My manors, halls, and bowers shall still
Be open, at my sovereign's will,
To each one whom he lists, howe'er
Unmeet to be the owner's peer;
My castles are my king's alone,
From turret to foundation-stone,-
The hand of Douglas is his own,
And never shall in friendly, grasp
The hand of such as Marmion clasp."
Burned Marmion's swarthy cheek like fire,
And shook his very frame for ire,

And—“This to me!” he said,
"An 't were not for thy hoary beard,
Such hand as Marmion's had not spared

To cleave the Douglas' head!

« ElőzőTovább »