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In childhood's sports, companions gay,
In sorrow, on life's downward way,
How soothing! in our last decay
Memorials prompt and true.

Relics ye are of Eden's bowers,
As pure, as fragrant, and as fair,
As when ye crowned the sunshine hours
Of happy wanderers there.

Fallen all beside the world of life
How is it stained with fear and strife!
In reason's world what storms are rife,
What passions range and glare!

Ye fearless in your nests abide-
Nor may we scorn, too proudly wise,
Your silent lessons, undescried
By all but lowly eyes:

For ye could draw the admiring gaze1
Of Him who worlds and hearts surveys;
Your order wild, your fragrant maze,
He taught us how to prize.

Alas! of thousand bosoms kind
That daily court you and caress,
How few the happy secret find
Of your calm loveliness!

"Live for to day; to-morrow's light
To-morrow's cares shall bring to sight,
Go sleep like closing flowers at night,
And heaven thy morn will bless."



ATTEND all ye who list to hear our noble England's praise,
I tell of the thrice-famous deeds she wrought in ancient days,
When that great Fleet Invincible against her bore in vain
The richest spoils of Mexico, the stoutest hearts of Spain.

1 Admiring gaze, &c.-See Matthew vi, 28-30.

2 It is needless to point out the life and spirit that pervade these lines, and which soon draw the reader under their spell. The poet's imagination-like the alarm-fire he depicts-lights up tower after tower and hill after hill, until night becomes as bright and busy as the day."

It was about the lovely close of a warm summer day, There came a gallant merchant ship full sail to Plymouth bay; Her crew hath seen Castille's black fleet, beyond Aurigny's isle,' At earliest twilight, on the waves lie heaving many a mile; At sunrise she escaped their van, by God's especial grace; And the tall Pinta, till the noon, had held her close in chase. Forthwith a guard at every gun was placed along the wall, The beacon blazed upon the roof of Edgecumbe's lofty hall; Many a light fishing-bark put out to pry along the coast; And with loose rein and bloody spur rode inland many a post. With his white hair unbonneted the stout old sheriff comes; Behind him march the halberdiers,3 before him sound the drums ; His yeomen, round the market-cross, make clear an ample space, For there behoves him to set up the standard of her Grace. And haughtily the trumpets peal, and gaily dance the bells, As slow upon the labouring wind the royal blazon swells. Look how the Lion of the sea lifts up his ancient crown, And underneath his deadly paw treads the gay lilies down. So stalked he when he turned to flight, on that famed Picard field,* Bohemia's plume, and Genoa's bow, and Cæsar's eagle shield: So glared he when at Agincourt in wrath he turned to bay, And crushed and torn beneath his claws the princely hunters lay. Ho! strike the flagstaff deep, sir knight: ho! scatter flowers, fair maids: Ho! gunners, fire a loud salute: ho! gallants, draw your blades : Thou sun shine on her joyously-ye breezes waft her wide; Our glorious SEMPER EADEM 5-the banner of our pride.

The freshening breeze of eve unfurled that banner's massy fold, The parting gleam of sunshine kissed that haughty scroll of gold; Night sunk upon the dusky beach, and on the purple seaSuch night in England ne'er had been, nor e'er again shall be. From Eddystone to Berwick bounds, from Lynn to Milford bay, That time of slumber was as bright and busy as the day; For swift to east and swift to west the warning radiance spread; High on St. Michael's Mount it shone-it shone on Beachy Head. Far on the deep the Spaniard saw, along each southern shire, Cape beyond cape, in endless range, those twinkling points of fire; The fisher left his skiff to rock on Tamar's glittering waves, The rugged miners poured to war from Mendip's sunless caves. O'er Longleat's towers, o'er Cranbourne's oaks, the fiery herald flew ; He roused the shepherds of Stonehenge, the rangers of Beaulieu :

1 Aurigny's isle—the isle of Alderney.

2 Pinta-a Spanish vessel of war built for fast sailing.

3 Halberdier-one who carried a halberd, which in early times was a long pole, terminating in a battle axe. This word is thought by some to be a corruption of helm-barte or helm-axe, so called from its original use.

4 Picard field-Crecy is in the province of Picardy.

5 Semper Eadem-always the same-Queen Elizabeth's motto.

Right sharp and quick the bells all night rang out from Bristol town,
And ere the day three hundred horse had met on Clifton down;
The sentinel on Whitehall Gate looked forth into the night,
And saw o'erhanging Richmond Hill the streak of blood-red light.
Then bugle's note and cannon's roar the death-like silence broke,
And with one start, and with one cry, the royal city woke.
At once on all her stately gates arose the answering fires;
At once the wild alarum clashed from all her reeling1 spires;
From all the batteries of the Tower pealed loud the voice of fear,
And all the thousand masts of Thames sent back a louder cheer;
And from the farthest wards2 was heard the rush of hurrying feet,
And the broad streams of flags and pikes dashed down each roaring


And broader still became the blaze, and louder still the din,
As fast from every village round the horse came spurring in,
And eastward straight from wild Blackheath, the warlike errand went,
And roused in many an ancient hall the gallant squires of Kent.
Southward from Surrey's pleasant hills flew those bright couriers forth;
High on bleak Hampstead's swarthy moor they started for the north
And on, and on, without a pause, untired they bounded still,
All night from tower to tower they sprang-they sprang from hill to


Till the proud Peak unfurled the flag o'er Darwin's rocky dales-
Till like volcanoes flared to heaven the stormy hills of Wales-
Till twelve fair counties saw the blaze on Malvern's lonely height-
Till streamed in crimson on the wind the Wrekin's crest of light-
Till broad and fierce the star came forth on Ely's stately fane,
And tower and hamlet rose in arms o'er all the boundless plain;
Till Belvoir's lordly terraces the sign to Lincoln sent,
And Lincoln sped the message on o'er the wide vale of Trent,
Till Skiddaw saw the fire that burned on Gaunt's embattled pile.3
And the red glare on Skiddaw roused the burghers of Carlisle.

TAX not the royal saint5 with vain expense,

With ill-matched aims the architect who planned

1 Reeling a bold use of the word to denote the shaking of the steeples by the bells.

2 Wards-districts or divisions of the city.

3 Gaunt's embattled pile-Lancaster castle.

4 These are noble lines on a noble subject, and may, without much question be admitted amongst those :

"Whose very sweetness yieldeth proof, That they were born for immortality." 5 Royal saint.-Henry VI. See note 4, p. 123.

Albeit labouring for a scanty band

Of white-robed scholars only-this immense
And glorious work of fine intelligence!

Give all thou canst; high heaven rejects the lore
Of nicely calculated less or more;

So deemed the man who fashioned for the sense
These lofty pillars, spread that branching roof
Self-poised, and scooped into ten thousand cells,
Where light and shade repose, where music dwells
Lingering and wandering on as loath to die;
Like thoughts whose very sweetness yieldeth proof
That they were born for immortality.

They dreamt not of a perishable home

Who thus could build! Be mine, in hours of fear
Or grovelling thought, to seek a refuge here;
Or through the aisles of Westminster to roam;
Where bubbles burst, and folly's dancing foam
Melts, if it cross the threshold; where the wreath
Of awe-struck wisdom droops:1- -or let my path
Lead to that younger pile, whose sky-like dome
Hath typified by reach of daring art
Infinity's embrace; whose guardian crest,
The silent cross, among the stars shall spread
As now, when she hath also seen her breast
Filled with mementos, satiate3 with its part
Of grateful England's overflowing dead.



How many of my poorest subjects

Are at this hour asleep! Sleep, gentle sleep,

Where the wreath, &c.-i. e. where man's boasted wisdom sinks into insignificance a very impressive metaphor.

2 Younger pile-St. Paul's.

3 Satiate, &c.-i. e. when her breast shall have received its full share, &c. 4 These lines are put into the mouth of the usurper, Henry IV. Independently of the striking character of the thoughts themselves, the versification is deliciously melodious. The cadence of the lines beginning, "And steep, &c.," is most aptly modulated, while that beginning, "And lulled, &c.," exhibits the most harmonious correspondence between sound and sense-ending in a beautiful "dying fall."


Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down,
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?

Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,

And hushed with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber;
Than in the perfumed chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,

And lulled with sounds of sweetest melody?
O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile,
In loathsome beds; and leavest1 the kingly couch,
A watch-case, or a common 'larum bell?
Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast
Seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains
In cradle of the rude imperious surge,
And in the visitation2 of the winds,

Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them
With deafening clamours in the slippery3 clouds,
That, with the hurly,+ death itself awakes?
Canst thou, O partial sleep! give thy repose
To the wet sea-boy, in an hour so rude;
And in the calmest and most stillest5 night,
With all appliances and means to boot,

Deny it to a king? Then, happy, low-lie-down!6
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.


Thou leavest, &c.-This difficult passage may perhaps be thus interpreted :Thou, O sleep, forsakest the kingly couch-a luxurious and inviting place of repose as if it were a place designed for wakefulness, like a watch case, or sentry-box, or an alarm-bell, the very name of which suggests disturbance and inquietude.

2 And in the visitation, &c.—i. e. and wilt thou still keep his eyes sealed up at a time when the boisterous winds are roaring round him, ("in the visitation") and taking "the ruffian billows by the top and curling," &c.

3 Slippery-because the clouds do not hold them, but let them, as it were, slip down again.

Hurly—a word of uncertain derivation-disturbance, confusion, din. 5 Most stillest-this double superlative is common in our early writers.

6 Happy low-lie-down-The common reading is "happy low, lie down," the meaning of which is obscure. Dr. Warburton altered the text on his own authority, to "happy, lowly clown;" that given above is from Knight's text, and was suggested by Coleridge, taking "low-lie-down" as a sort of compound appellative. The meaning then would be, "Then, happy is he whose head lies low," &c.

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