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Your glorious standard launch again
And sweep through the deep,
While the stormy winds do blow; While the battle rages loud and long, And the stormy winds do blow.
The spirits of
Shall start from every wave !
For the deck it was their field of fame,
Britannia needs no bulwarks,
No towers along the steep;
As they roar on the shore,
When the stormy winds do blow;
The meteor flag of England
Till danger's troubled night depart,
When the storm has ceased to blow;
THE MOTHER'S SACRIFICE.
"WHAT shall I render Thee, Father Supreme,
"Thou hast a little bud
Wrapt in thy breast, and fed with dews of love:
"Thou hast a little harp-
Was cleft in twain.
Morn came. A blight had struck
The harp-strings rang a thrilling strain and broke—
In childless agony.
Again the voice
That stirred her vision:
"He who asked of thee
Loveth a cheerful giver." So she raised
Her gushing eyes, and, ere the tear-drop dried
(1) This beautiful metaphor is also found in Coleridge's "Epitaph on an Infant:"
"Ere sin could blight or sorrow fade,
Death came with friendly care,
SONG FOR THE WANDERING JEW.1
THOUGH the torrents from their fountains
Yet they find among the mountains
Clouds that love through air to hasten
What, if through the frozen centre
And the sea-horse, though the ocean
If on windy days the raven
The fleet ostrich till day closes
Day and night my toils redouble,
(1) The legend of the wandering Jew is of great, but unknown, antiquity. He was, the fable informs us, Pilate's porter, and when the soldiers were dragging the Saviour out of the judgment-hall, struck him on the back, saying, "Go faster, Jesus, go faster; why dost thou linger?" upon which Christ said to him, "I indeed am going, but thou shalt tarry till I come." He was soon after converted, but the doom rested upon him, and even so lately as 1228, an Armenian bishop, visiting England, professed with all sincerity to have dined recently with the man. See Percy's "Reliques of Ancient English Poetry," vol. iii. p. 133.
THE seas are quiet1 when the winds give o'er;
Clouds of affection from our younger eyes
Stronger by weakness, wiser, men become,
As they draw near to their eternal home:
THE BURIAL OF SIR JOHN MOORE.5
NOT a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
(1) Quiet, calm-That is quiet which is made so by circumstances, and is, therefore, superficially at rest; that is calm which is quiet by constitution-or which is altogether at rest. An angry man may be quiet externally, but certainly not calm.
(2) Affection-i. e. love for the "fleeting things" of the world.
(3) Soul's dark cottage-i. e. the body, called in Job iv. 19, "a house of clay," and in 2 Cor. v. 1, our earthly house of this tabernacle;" or, more correctly, "this earthly house, this tabernacle."
(4) Stronger by weakness—because the soul's strength increases as the body's decays. Milton, in his "Prose Works," employs a very fine expression, something like this of Waller's, when he speaks of "the martyrs, with the unresistible might of weakness, shaking the powers of darkness."
(5) This poem is doubtless one of the most affecting of its kind ever written. The conceptions, the language, the rhythm, all unite in forcibly impressing the reader with the reality of the scene, and making him not a spectator merely, but a sharer in the mournful ceremony. Sir John Moore died January 16th, 1809, at Corunna, of a wound which he received in the battle which took place there between the English under his command, and the French headed by Marshal Soult.
We buried him darkly, at dead of night,
By the struggling moonbeam's misty light,
No useless coffin enclosed his breast,
Few and short were the prayers we said,
But we steadfastly gazed on the face of the dead,"
We thought, as we hollowed his narrow bed,
And smoothed down his lonely pillow,*
That the foe and the stranger would tread o'er his head,
Lightly they'll talk of the spirit that's gone,
(1) Lord Byron, who considered this poem one of the finest in our language, pronounced this stanza perfect. particularly the last two lines. The art with which the writer, under the semblance of a figure, displays the actual circumstances, is very striking. It reminds one of the Grecian artist's picture of a curtain, which was taken for the curtain itself.
(2) Face of the dead-Some copies read "face that was dead," which is discarded from the text, first, because we can scarcely with propriety speak of "a dead face," and secondly, if we could, the meaning is unnecessarily restricted by confining the triumph of death to a part only of the once active frame.
(3) The morrow-because the British troops were to embark the next morning. (4) Narrow bed-the conception of the bed and pillow gracefully harmonises with that of the warrior" taking his rest.”
(5) Sullenly firing-As if in spite, because they had been defeated. One of the readings of these two lines is:
"And we heard by the distant and random gun
That the foe was suddenly firing."
That is, we heard by the firing that the enemy was suddenly firing, which is either a redundant expression, or else implies that the report of the guns notified a sudden, that is, a new attack, which, however, is inconsistent with the facts.