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24

THE ORPHAN BOY'S TALE.

1 This is perhaps the finest war-song

in the English language. It was composed when a war with Russia seemed ready to break out. The patriotic feeling that breathed throughout it and The Battle of the Baltic, procured for Campbell

a pension of £200 a year. ? Where Blake and mighty Nelson fell.

Blake was the first of that noble

race of sailors of whom Nelson is the type, whose one watchword is Duty' (Smith's History of England). Blake died within sight of his native shores, 1657. Nelson died in the hour of victory,

at Trafalgar, Oct. 21, 1805. 8 Bulwarks, defences, fortifications. 4 Steep, the precipitous cliffs that border

the shores.

THE ORPHAN BOY'S TALE.

Stay, lady! stay, for mercy's sake,

And hear a helpless orphan's tale ; Ah! sure my looks must pity wake'Tis want that makes my

cheek so pale.
Yet I was once a mother's pride,

And my brave father's hope and joy ;
But in the Nile's proud fight he died,

And I am now an orphan boy.

Poor foolish child! how pleased was I,

When news of Nelson's victory came,
Along the crowded streets to fly,

And see the lighted windows flame !
To force me home my mother sought ;

She could not bear to see my joy,
For with my father's life 'twas bought,

And made me a poor orphan boy.

The people's shouts were long and loud

My mother, shuddering, closed her ears ;
• Rejoice ! rejoice !' still cried the crowd-

My mother answered with her tears.
“Oh! why do tears steal down your cheek,'

Cried I, 'while others shout for joy ?'
She kissed me, and in accents weak,

She called me her poor orphan boy.

• What is an orphan boy ?' I said,

When suddenly she gasped for breath,
And her eyes closed ; I shrieked for aid-

But ah! her eyes were closed in death!
My hardships since I will not tell ;

But now no more a parent's joy-
Ah, lady! I have learnt too well

What 'tis to be an orphan boy!

Oh, were I by your bounty fed !

Nay, gentle lady ! do not chide ;
Trust me I mean to earn my bread

The sailor's orphan boy has pride.
Lady, you weep : what is 't you say?

You 'll give me clothing, food, employ ?
Look down, dear parents ! look and see
Your happy, happy orphan boy.

Mrs Opie.

1 The Nile's proud fight. The battle of

Aboukir Bay, fought on Aug. 1, 1798, where the British fleet under

Nelson entirely destroyed the
French fleet commanded by
Admiral Brueys.

THE PILGRIM FATHERS.I

The breaking waves dashed high

On a stern and rock-bound coast;
And the woods, against a stormy sky,

Their giant branches tossed ;
And the heavy night hung dark,

The hills and waters o'er,
When a band of exiles moored their bark

On the wild New England shore.

Not as the conqueror comes,

They, the true-hearted, came;
Not with the roll of the stirring drums,

And the trumpet that sings of fame;

26

THE PILGRIM FATHERS.

Not as the flying come,

In silence and in fear;
They shook the depths of the desert's gloom

With their hymns of lofty cheer.'

Amidst the storm they sang :

This the stars heard, and the sea;
And the sounding aisles 2 of the dim woods rang

To the anthem of the free.
The ocean-eagle soared,

From his nest by the white wave's foam,
And the rocking pines of the forest roared :

Such was their welcome home.

There were men with hoary hair

Amidst that pilgrim band :
Why had they come to wither there,

Away from their childhood's land ?
There was woman's fearless eye,

Lit by her deep love's truth;
There was manhood's brow serenely high,

And the fiery heart of youth.

What sought they thus afar ?

Bright jewels of the mine?
The wealth of seas ? the spoils of war?

No_twas a faith's pure shrine.
Yes, call that holy ground,

Which first their brave feet trod !
They have left unstained what there they found
FREEDOM TO WORSHIP GOD!

Mrs Hemans.

1 The Pilgrim Fathers. During the per

secution of the Puritans by James I., several sought refuge in Holland, but they felt as strangers and exiles, and longed for a land of their own. Many of them embarked for America in order to plant there a new colony. They

sailed in the Mayflower, and after great privations by sea and land, during which their faith in God was never shaken, they succeeded in establishing themselves in the

New World. 2 Aisles, avenues.

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

‘Moor, moor the barge, ye gallant crew!

And, gentle ladye, deign to stay! Rest thee in Castle Ravensheugh,

Nor tempt the stormy firth 1 to-day. “The blackening wave is edged with white;

To inch 2 and rock the sea-mews fly; The fishers have heard the Water Sprite, 3

Whose screams forebode that wreck is nigh. Last night the gifted seer did view

A wet shroud swathed round ladye gay ; Then stay thee, Fair, in Ravensheugh:

Why cross the gloomy firth to-day ?'

28

ROSABELLE

''Tis not because Lord Lindesay's heir

To-night at Roslin leads the ball ;
But that my lady-mother there

Sits lonely in her castle hall

"'Tis not because the ring they ride

And Lindesay at the ring rides well ;
But that my sire the wine will chide,

If 'tis not filled by Rosabelle.'

O’er Roslin all that dreary night

A wondrous blaze was seen to gleam ; 4 'Twas broader than the watch-fire light,

And redder than the bright moonbeam.

It glared on Roslin's castled rock,

It ruddied all the copse-wood glen ; 'Twas seen from Dryden's groves of oak,

And seen from caverned Hawthornden.

Seemed all on fire that chapel proud,

Where Roslin's chiefs uncoffined lie ;
Each baron, for a sable shroud,

Sheathed in his iron panoply.5

Seemed all on fire within, around,

Deep sacristy and altar's pale ;
Shone every pillar foliage bound,

And glimmered all the dead men's mail.

Blazed battlement and pinnet high,

Blazed every rose-carved buttress fairSo still they blaze when fate is nigh

The lordly line of high St Clair.?

There are twenty of Roslin's barons bold

Lie buried within that proud chapelle ; Each one the holy vault doth hold

But the sea holds lovely Rosabelle !

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