Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

heart like the star. This was the origin of the color of the Bluebell.

There is no better established fact in nature and in life than this, that what one admires, longs for, strives for, aspires to, he comes to resemble more and more; he “takes their image by and by.”

THE BLUEBELL

There is a story I have heard
A poet learned it of a bird,
And kept its music every word-

A story of a dim ravine,
O’er which the towering treetops lean,
With one blue rift of sky between ;

And there, two thousand years ago,
A little flower as white as snow
Swayed in the silence to and fro.

4
Day after day with longing eye,
The floweret watched the narrow sky,
And fleecy clouds that floated by.

And through the darkness, night by night,
One gleaming star would climb the height,
And cheer the lonely floweret's sight.

Thus, watching the blue heavens afar,
And the rising of its favorite star,
A slow change came—but not to mar;

For softly o’er its petals white
There crept a blueness, like the light
Of skies upon a summer night;

8
And in its chalice, I am told,
The bonny bell was formed to hold
A tiny star that gleamed like gold.

9
Now, little people sweet and true,
I find a lesson here for you
Writ in the floweret's bell of blue:

10
The patient child whose watchful eye
Strives after all things pure and high
Shall take their image by and by.

-Julia A. Eastman.

[Note for the teacher: Get the pupils to draw a picture of the scene described, no matter how crude their drawing may be. By attempting in this way to express their impressions of the scene they will get a better understanding of it. The dim ravine with towering treetops leaning over it, the streak of blue sky above with its one gleaming star of gold, and the little white flower at the bottom of the ravine constantly looking up to the sky and the star should be definitely imaged in their minds, otherwise they cannot really read the poem, no matter how glibly they may say the words.]

Hawthorne's story of The Great Stone Face should be read in connection with The Bluebell.

MAKE WAY FOR LIBERTY

The legend upon which this poem is founded is as follows, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica:

“The incident with which Arnold von Winkelried's name is connected is, after the feat of Tell, the best known and most popular in the early history of the Swiss Federation. We are told how, at a certain moment in the great battle of Sempach (July 9, 1386) when the Swiss had failed to break the serried ranks of the Austrian knights, a man of Unterwalden, Arnold von Winkelried by name, came to the rescue. Commending his wife and children to the care of his comrades, he rushed towards the Austrians, gathered a number of their spears together against his breast, and fell pierced through and through, having opened a way into the hostile ranks for his fellow countrymen, though at the price of his own life.

“The story has some solid ground to rest upon, and Winkelried's act might well have been performed, though as yet the amount of genuine and early evidence in support of it is very far from being sufficient."..

The American Cyclopedia gives it as a historical fact.

The Austrians were very heavily armored in this battle, so that they resembled a "human wood,” or a stone wall, each soldier being a "conscious stone," and they stood so close together that each seemed grown fast to “kindred thousands” of other armored knights (stanza two).

The Swiss were fighting to free their country from the oppression of the Austrians, and the incident retold in the poem is one of the most splendid and heroic in all the annals of patriotism.

MAKE WAY FOR LIBERTY

1

“Make way for Liberty !” he cried;
Made way for Liberty, and died !

2
In arms the Austrian phalanx stood,
A living wall, a human wood !
A wall, where every conscious stone
Seemed to its kindred thousands grown;

A rampart all assaults to bear,
Till time to dust their frames should wear;
A wood like that enchanted grove,
In which, with fiends, Rinaldo strove,
Where every silent tree possessed
A spirit prisoned in its breast,
Which the first stroke of coming strife
Would startle into hideous life:
So dense, so still, the Austrians stood,
A living wall, a human wood !

3

Impregnable their front appears,
All horrent with projected spears,
Whose polished points before them shine,
From flank to flank, one brilliant line,
Bright as the breakers' splendors run
Along the billows to the sun.

Opposed to these, a hovering band,
Contended for their native land;
Peasants, whose new-found strength had broke
From manly necks the ignoble yoke,
And forged their fetters into swords,
On equal terms to fight their lords ;
And what insurgent rage had gained,
In many a mortal fray maintained :
Marshaled once more at Freedom's call,

« ElőzőTovább »