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EDMUND SPENSER (1553-1599) was born in London, and educated at Cambridge. He is one of the greatest English poets; his chief work is the Faerie Queene, an allegorical poem, designed to celebrate the principal virtues. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.
So forth issued the Seasons of the year;
First lusty Spring, all dight* in leaves and flowers
Then came the jolly Summer, being dight
Had hunted late the libbard or the boar,
Then came the Autumn, all in yellow clad,
Had by the belly oft him pinchèd sore;
To reap the ripened fruits the which the earth
Yold, yielded, given.
Frize (frieze), a coarse kind of cloth, with nap on one side of it.
Limbeck, a vessel used in distilling.
Lastly came Winter, clothed all in frize,* Chattering his teeth for cold that did him chill, 30 Whilst on his hoary* beard his breath did freeze, Hoary, grey. And the dull drops that from his purpled bill As from a limbeck* did adown distil; In his right hand a tippèd staff he held, With which his feeble steps he stayed still, 35 For he was faint with cold and weak with eld That scarce his loosed limbs he able was to Weld, to use, to weld.*
Eld, old age.
THE SPANISH CHAMPION.*—Mrs. Hemans.
THE warrior bowed his crested head, and tamed
And sued the haughty* king to free his long-
"I bring thee here my fortress keys, I bring
I pledge my faith, my liege,* my lord-oh!
"Rise! rise! even now thy father comes, a
Mount thy good steed, and thou and I will
Then lightly rose that loyal son, and bounded
And urged, as if with lance in hand, his
And lo! from far, as on they pressed, there
came a glittering * band,
With one that 'mid them stately rode, as a
"Now haste, Bernardo, haste! for there, in
The father-whom thy grateful heart hath
yearned so long to see."
Sued, begged, im
sire, Don Sancho,
Spain, had been kept
in prison for many years by the king. At length his son, Bernardo del Carpio, took up arms to effect
Captive train, the prisoners taken in battle.
Liege, lord, a feudal superior; one having
vassals or liegemen.
Ransomed, redeemed, saved.
Glittering, bright, beautiful to behold.
Fearned, desired very much.
Champion, a hero, one who fights in single combat for himself or for another.
His dark eye flashed, his proud breast heaved, his cheek's
He reached that grey-haired chieftain's side, and there
A lowly knee to earth he bent, his father's hand he 15
What was there in its touch that all his fiery spirit
That hand was cold, a frozen thing-it dropped from his
He looked up to the face above-the face was of the
A plume waved o'er that noble brow-the brow was
He met at length his father's eyes, but in them was no
Up from the ground he sprang, and gazed; but who can
They hushed their very hearts who saw its horror and
They might have chained him, as before that noble form
For the power was stricken from his arm, and from his
"Father!" at length he murmured low, and wept like 25 childhood then
(Talk not of grief till thou hast seen the tears of warlike
He thought on all his glorious hopes, on all his high
Then flung the falchion * from his side, and in the dust
short curved And, covering with his steel-gloved hand his darkly
Wildered, astonished, surprised. Courtier, a person who lives at court.
"No more, there is no more," he said, " to lift the sword 30
My king is false ! my hope betrayed ! my father-oh!
The glory, and the loveliness, are passed away from
Up from the ground he sprang once more, and seized the
Amid the pale and wildered * looks of all the courtier
35 And with a fierce, o'ermastering* grasp, the rearing war-
And sternly set them face to face-the king before the
"Came I not forth upon thy pledge,* my father's hand Pledge, pro-
Be still, and gaze thou on, false king! and tell me what
The voice, the glance, the heart I sought-give answer,
soul, send life
40 If thou wouldst clear thy perjured
"Into these glassy eyes put light-be still, keep down
Bid these white lips a blessing speak-this earth is not
Give me back him for whom I strove, for whom my
Thou canst not !—and, O king! his dust be mountains
45 He loosed the steed-his slack hand fell; upon the
He cast one long, deep, troubled look, then turned from
His hope was crushed-his after-fate untold in martial
His banner led the spears no more amidst the hills of
one who knowingly takes a false
HOW THEY BROUGHT THE GOOD NEWS FROM
ROBERT BROWNING (1812- ), born at Camberwell, and educated at London University, ranks among the foremost of living poets. He possesses a wonderful power of condensed expression, and his writings are deeply thoughtful and expressive. Chief works: Men and Women, The Ring and the Book, Dramatic Lyrics, and other poems.
sprang to the stirrup, and Joris, and he;
I galloped, Dirck galloped, we galloped all three ;
"Good speed!" cried the watch, as the gate-bolts
"Speed!" echoed* the wall to us galloping through:
Echo, to send
back a sound,
*Ghent, the chief town of East Flanders, in Belgium. Aix-la-Chapelle, a city in Rhenish Prussia. The two towns are more than a hundred miles apart.
small door or
gate in or by the side of
a larger entrance-gate,
Pique, a lance carried at the saddle.
A whit, a point, a jot.
Lokeren, in East Flanders, Belgium.
Boom, Düf feld, Mechlin, in Antwerp Mechlin is
noted for its lace.
Behind shut the postern,* the lights sank to rest,
Not a word to each other, we kept the great pace,
I turned in my saddle, and made its girths tight,
Rebuckled the check-strap, chained slacker the bit,
'Twas moonset at starting; but while we drew near
So Joris broke silence with, "Yet there is time!"
At Aerschot, up leaped of a sudden the sun,
for a horse.
And his low head and crest, just one sharp ear bent 25
For my voice, and the other pricked out on his track;
His fierce lips shook upwards in galloping on.
By Hasselt,* Dirck groaned, and cried Joris, "Stay
Your Roos galloped bravely, the fault's not in her,
Of her chest, saw the stretched neck and staggering
And sunk tail, and horrible heave of the flank,
As down on her haunches she shuddered and sank.
So we were left galloping, Joris and I,