« ElőzőTovább »
Too brave to save his life in flight,
He sought the thickest of the fight,
There, amid a heap of dead,
Pierced with wounds, he laid his head,
Soon his noble soul was gone,
And Leila was left alone.
An awful rout and slaughter then began,
As to the river the defeated ran;
For, whilst they strove its torrent to repass,
Volleys were poured into the quivering mass.
To add fresh horror to the fearful scene,
Their tents in fierce, high-mounting flames were seen.
Thus British arms and power won the cause,
And all the Punjab bows to British laws.
THE SAILOR'S CHRISTMAS EVE.
“ Vela dabant læti ; spumas salis ære ruebant.”
A NOBLE barque was crossing o'er the sea,
Fraught with rich stores of spice from Araby;
Swiftly she scudded with a prosperous wind,
And swelling gales rejoiced the master's mind;
Low and aloft the stud sails wide extend,
The creaking booms with crowds of canvas bend;
Swift as an arrow to her course she speeds,
Nor much attention from the helmsman needs.
The decks were swept, and every brace was coiled,
All the spare ropes were in the steerage piled;
The serving-boards and spun-yarn stowed away,
Along the deck the hardy sailors lay.
“ All hands abaft!” the sun-burnt skipper cries:
Ay, ay, Sir,” each with ready tongue replies, To the companion wriggling wends his way, Anxious to hear what may the skipper say.
My lads,” says he, “'tis Christmas eve, you know, So, save the helmsman, all
may go below; I'll tell the steward double
to serve, 'Twill cheer your hearts and gladden every nerve." Away they roll, delighted with the news, Each one his quid with novel ardour chews, And swears the skipper is the smartest hand He e'er has met with or by sea or land.
And now they hear the steward's welcome call,
His pompous “Grog, O!” much desired by all;
With pannikins and pots they waddle aft,
And straight with joy receive the generous draught.
Then down below at once they disappear,
To quaff at ease the master's bounteous cheer,
Each to his hammock turns, and, lounging there,
Strives in the general glee to take a share.
Th' exhausted rum at last dispels the joke,
Says Jack, “What say, suppose we have a smoke."
“A good idea," they cry; the pipes are lit,
Each on their chests in circling order sit,
The clouds of smoke in fragrant rings ascend,
And from the beams in balmy wreaths depend.
“Now, Jack,” says Bill, “I vote we have a song; — "Twill serve the evening's pleasure to prolong." The willing Jack, obedient, clears his throat, Lays down his pipe, and tries to raise a note; While through the hold rebounding echoes rang, Thus the bold tar to listening hearers sang.
“O, 'twas a bright balmy morning in May,
When Jack to his lovely Susanna did say:
Once more, my own life, I must plough the salt
And part for a while from Old England and thee.
“Once more o'er the billowy deep I must cross,
Once more see the far-roaming, bold albatross;
But though in the spice-breathing Ind I may be,
I shall oft heave a sigh for Old England and thee.
And when, at dark midnight, the deck I must
tread, And the cold ocean breeze blusters fierce o'er my
head, I will dream of your little cot under the tree, And rove in my thoughts to Old England and thee.
“. Then adieu, dearest Susey; if ever you fear,
When the wind raises hills on the ocean so drear, O think that 'tis wafting me over the sea, Returning rejoiced to Old England and thee."
The carol ends ’mid universal praise,
His mite of thanks each one with pleasure pays,
Whilst Jack proceeds 'twixt long drawn whiffs to tell
He learn'd the ballad at the Dog and Bell.
The steward now descends, the fun to share,
And brings a pot
Drink, and pass round,” says he, “but first I beg
Some one will promise just to shake a leg."
All acquiesce, but greatly we're afraid
Much can't about “fantastic toes” be said;
Bill scrapes a fiddle, while the rest advance,
And thumping heels proclaim the sailors' dance.
And next the steward one and all invite
Some mighty tale of marvels to recite;
He makes excuse, but soon with grace relents,
And to regale the gaping crowd assents.
All fixed their
man, And thus at length the wondrous story ran: