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Oh, come you from the Indies? and, soldier, can you tell,
Oh, many a shaft, at random sent,
Oh, that those lips had language! Life hath passed,
Oh, young Lochinvar is come out of the west,
Oh, where is the knight or the squire so bold,
One morn a Peri at the gate,
Our bugles sang truce, for the night-cloud had lowered,
Since our country, our God-O my sire!
The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,.
The dew was falling fast, the stars began to blink,
The King was on his throne,
The pall was settled. He who slept beneath,
The spearman heard the bugle sound,
The stately Homes of England,
The sun stepped down from his golden throne,
The warrior bowed his crested head, and tamed his heart of fire,
What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted?
Ye distant spires, ye antique towers,
Yet once more, O ye laurels, and once more,
SENIOR POETICAL READER.
AN APRIL DAY.-Chaucer.*
GEOFFREY CHAUCER (1328-1400) was closely connected with the court of Edward III. He is looked upon as the Father of English poetry. His chief work is the Canterbury Tales, consisting of stories told by some pilgrims whom Chaucer accompanied to the shrine of St. Thomas at Canterbury.
ALL day the low-hung clouds have dropt
All day that soft grey mist hath wrapt
There has not been a sound to-day
To break the calm of nature,
Nor motion, I might almost say,
Of waving bough, or warbling* bird,
I could have half believed I heard
I stood to hear-I love it well,
The rain's continuous* sound
15 Small drops, but thick and fast they fell,
Down straight into the ground.
For leafy thickness is not yet
Earth's naked breast to screen,*
Though every dripping branch is set
With shoots of tender green.
Sure, since I looked at early morn,
Those honeysuckle* buds
Have swelled to double growth; that thorn
Honeysuckle, a climbing plant.
Hath put forth larger studs.
These verses are given in the spelling of the present day, as Chaucer's old mode of orthography would not be intelligible to young readers.
That lilac's cleaving cones* have burst,
The very earth, the steamy air
And grace and beauty everywhere
Down, down they come-those fruitful stores!
A momentary * deluge* pours,
Then thins, decreases, stops.
And ere the dimples on the stream
Lo! from the west a parting gleam
But yet behold-abrupt* and loud,
A PSALM OF LIFE.-Longfellow.
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW (1807-1882) was an eminent American poet. He was born at Portland, Maine, U.S., and for many years was Professor of Modern Languages and Literature at Harvard College, Massachusetts. Chief poems: Voices of the Night, Evangeline, Song of Hiawatha, Golden Legend, and Tales of a Wayside Inn.
Numbers, verse or poetry.
Goal, the place one is trying to reach; the end of a race-course. Dust thou art, &c., referring to the death of the body and its decay in the grave.
Destined, appointed, intended.
TELL me not, in mournful numbers,*
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
Life is real! Life is earnest !
And the grave is not its goal;*
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Great men. Alfred
Footprints, &c., the
JOSEPH ADDISON (1672-1719) was born in Wiltshire. He was one of the most elegant of our prose-writers, and gained a high reputation by his poems. He became Secretary of State in 1717. Chief works: The Campaign, a poem celebrating Marlborough's victory of Blenheim (1704); essays to the Tatler, Spectator, and Guardian, on which his fame chiefly rests; and Cato, a tragedy written in 1713.
How are Thy servants blest, O Lord!
How sure is their defence!
Eternal wisdom is their guide,
Their help Omnipotence."
Omnipotence here means God, who is All-powerful.