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For the mother, doomed unseen to keep

By the dying babe, her place,
And to feel its flitting pulse, and weep,

Yet not behold its face !

Darkness in chieftain's hall

;
Darkness in peasant's cot;
While Freedom, under that shadowy pall,

Sat mourning o'er her lot.
Oh, the fireside's peace we well may prize,

For blood hath flowed like rain,
Poured forth to make sweet sanctuaries

Of England's homes again!

Heap the yule-faggots high,

Till the red light fills the room ; It is home's own hour,—when the stormy sky

Grows thick with evening gloom. Gather ye round the holy hearth,

And, by its gladdening blaze, Unto thankful bliss we will change our mirth,

With a thought of the olden days.

ERE the morning's busy ray
Call you to your work away,
Ere the silent evening close
Your wearied eyes in sweet repose,
To lift your heart and voice in prayer
Be your first and latest care.
And oh! where'er your days be past,
And oh! howe'er your lot be cast,
Still think on Him whose eye surveys,
Whose hand is over all your ways.

REV. GEORGE CRABBE.

THE BURIAL OF William The

CONQUEROR"

FELICIA

HEMANS.

LOWLY upon his bier

The royal conqueror lay;
Baron and chief stood near,

Silent, in war-array.

Down the long minster's aisle

Crowds mutely gazing streamed ;
Altar and tomb the while

Through mists of incense gleamed.

And, by the torches' blaze,

The stately priest had said
High words of power and praise,

To the glory of the dead.
They lowered him, with the sound

Of requiems, to repose ;
When, from the throngs around,

A solemn voice arose :

“Forbear! forbear!” it cried,

“In the holiest name, forbear! He hath conquered regions wide,

But he shall not slumber there!

“ By the violated hearth

Which made way for yon proud shrine ; By the harvests which this earth

Hath borne for me and mine;

"By the house e'en here o'erthrown,

On my brethren's native spot; Hence with his dark renown,

Cumber our birth-place not !

“Will my sire's unransomed field,

O’er which your censers wave, To the buried spoiler yield

Soft slumbers in the grave ?

« The tree before him fell

Which we cherished many a year, But its deep root yet shall swell,

And heave against his bier.

« The land that I have tilled

Hath yet its brooding breast, With my home's wbite ashes filled,

And it shall not give him rest!

“Each pillar's massy bed

Hath been wet by weeping eyes; Away! bestow your dead

Where no wrong against him cries.” Shame glowed on each dark face

Of those proud and steel-girt men, And they bought with gold a place

For their leaders' dust e'en then

A little earth for him

Whose banner flew so far!
And the peasant's tale could dim

The name a nation's star!

One deep voice thus arose

From a heart which wrongs had riven : Oh! who shall number those

That were but heard in heaven?

THE NORMAN BARON.

H. W. LONGFELLOW.

In his chamber, weak and dying,
Was the Norman Baron lying ;
Loud, without, the tempest thundered,

And the castle-turret shook.

In this fight was Death the gainer,
Spite of vassal and retainer,
And the lands his sires had plundered,

Written in the Doomsday Book.

By his bed a Monk was seated,
Who in humble voice repeated
Many a prayer and pater-noster,

From the missal on his knee;

And, amid the tempest pealing,
Sounds of bells came faintly stealing-
Bells, that from the neighbouring kloster,

Rang for the Nativity
In the ball, the serf and vassal
Held, that night, their Christmas wassail ;
Many a carol, old and saintly,

Sang the minstrels and the waits. And so loud these Saxon gleemen Sang to slaves the songs of freemen, That the storm was heard but faintly,

Knocking at the castle-gates.

Till at length the lays they chaunted
Reached the chamber terror-haunted,
Where the Monk, with accents holy,

Whispered at the baron's ear.
Tears upon his eyelids glistened,
As he paused awhile and listened,
And the dying baron slowly

Turned his weary head to hear.
“Wassail for the kingly stranger,
Born and cradled in a manger !
King, like David-priest, like Aaron,

Christ is born to set us free !"

And the lightning showed the sainted
Figures on the casement painted,
And exclaimed the shuddering baron,

"Miserere, Domine!
In that hour of deep contrition,
He beheld, with clearer vision,
Through all outward show and fashion,

Justice, the Avenger, rise.
All the pomp of earth had vanished,
Falsehood and deceit were banished,
Reason spake more loud than passion,

And the truth wore no disguise.

Every vassal of his banner,
Every serf born to his manor,
All those wronged and wretched creatures,

By his hand were freed again.
And, as on the sacred missal
He recorded their dismissal,
Death relaxed his iron features,

And the Monk replied, " Amen!”

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