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THE INCHCAPE ROCK.*—Southey.
ROBERT SOUTHEY (1774-1843), an eminent English poet, was born at Bristol.
No stir in the air, no stir in the sea,
5 Without either sign or sound of their shock,
The good old Abbot* of Aberbrothok*
When the rock was hid by the surge's* swell,
15 And then they knew the perilous* rock,
The sun in heaven was shining gay,
The buoy of the Inchcape Bell was seen,
25 He felt the cheering power of spring,
It made him whistle, it made him sing;
His eye was on the Inchcape float ;*
And I'll plague* the abbot of Aberbrothok.”
Keel, the bottom of a ship.
Abbot, head of
Surge, the swell or
Perilous, very dan
gerous, unsafe. Joyance, joyfulness, gladness.
Deck, the floor or covering of a ship.
Rover, a robber or pirate, a wanderer. Float, the raft to which the bell was fastened.
Plague, to tease or annoy, to vex.
*The Inchcape, or Bell Rock, is fourteen miles east of the entrance to the Firth of Tay, and is the site of a celebrated lighthouse, built by Robert Stevenson in 1807-10.
The boat is lower'd, the boatmen row,
And he cut the bell from the Inchcape float.
Gurgling, making an irregular sound, as water does when flowing from a bottle.
Scour, to travel from
Haze, a mist or fog.
Gale, a strong stormy wind.
Down sank the bell with a gurgling * sound,
Quoth Sir Ralph, "The next who comes to the
Won't bless the Abbot of Aberbrothok."
Sir Ralph the Rover sail'd away,
He scour❜d * the seas for many a day ;
So thick a haze* o'erspreads the sky
On the deck the Rover takes his stand,
Quoth Sir Ralph, "It will be lighter soon,
"Can'st hear," said one, "the breakers * roar?
But I wish I could hear the Inchcape Bell."
They hear no sound, the swell * is strong;
Sir Ralph the Rover tore his hair,
But even in his dying fear
One dreadful sound could the Rover hear,
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH (1770-1850), a great English poet, was born at Cockermouth in Cumberland. He was educated at Cambridge. On the death of Southey in 1843, he was made Poet-Laureate. Chief poems: The Excursion, Lyrical Ballads, White Doe of Rylstone, and a very fine collection of Sonnets.
You yet may spy the fawn* at play,
"To-night will be a stormy night-
"That, father! will I gladly do ;
The minster-clock * has just struck two,
At this the father raised his hook,
Not blither* is the mountain roe: *
The storm came on before its time;
THE UNIVERSAL PRAYER.-Pope.
ALEXANDER POPE (1688-1744), the greatest poet of his time. His literary career began at the age of sixteen, when he published the Pastorals. His poems are characterised by a gracefulness of versification that is unequalled. Chief poems: Rape of the Lock, Essay on Man, Moral Epistles, The Dunciad, and translations of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey.