The Project Gutenberg EBook of Elson Grammer School Literature, Book Four.
by William H. Elson and Christine Keck

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Title: Elson Grammer School Literature, Book Four.

Author: William H. Elson and Christine Keck

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PART I--Famous Rides, Selections from Shakespeare and other Poets, and Studies in Rhythm.


PAUL REVERE'S RIDE, Henry W. Longfellow
THE LEAP OF ROUSHAN BEG, Henry W. Longfellow
HERVÉ RIEL, Robert Browning


THE BUGLE SONG, Alfred, Lord Tennyson
THE BROOK, Alfred, Lord Tennyson
THE BELLS, Edgar Allan Poe
ANNABEL LEE, Edgar Allan Poe
OPPORTUNITY, Edward Rowland Sil


TO A WATERFOWL, William Cullen Bryant
TO A SKYLARK, Percy Bysshe Shelley
THE CLOUD, Percy Bysshe Shelley


MARCO BOZZARIS,  Fitz-Greene Halleck
ABSALOM,  Nathaniel Parker Wills
LOCHINVAR, Sir Walter Scott
FOR A' THAT AND A' THAT, Robert Burns


MERCY, The Merchant of Venice
MAN, Hamlet

PART II--Great American Authors












      THE BOYS





PART III--Patriotic Selections  

THE WAY TO WEALTH, Benjamin Franklin
LOVE OF COUNTRY, Sir Walter Scott
REPLY TO HAYNE, Daniel Webster
FAREWELL ADDRESS, George Washington
COLUMBUS, Joaquin Miller


In the ELSON READERS selections are grouped according to theme or authorship. This arrangement, however, is not intended to fix an order for reading in class; its purpose is to emphasise classification, facilitate comparison, and enable pupils to appreciate similarities and contrasts in the treatment of like themes by different authors.

To give variety, to meet the interests at different seasons and festivals, and to go from prose to poetry and from long to short selections, a carefully planned order of reading should be followed. Such an order of reading calls for a full consideration of all the factors mentioned above. The Course here offered meets these ends but may easily be varied to fit local conditions.






This book is designed to furnish reading material of choice literary and dramatic quality. The selections for the most part are those that have stood the test of time and are acknowledged masterpieces. The groupings into the separate parts will aid both teachers and pupils in the classification of the material, indicating at a glance the range and variety of the literature included.

Part One deals with poetry, and it is believed the poems offered in this group are unsurpassed. No effort on the teacher's part will be needed to arouse the enthusiasm of pupils who read the series of famous rides with which this group opens. The thrill of delight which children feel as they read of "A hurry of hoofs in a village street," or "Charging an army while all the world wondered," may lead to the stronger and more enduring emotions of patriotism and devotion. "John Gilpin's Ride," which has furnished amusement for generations of old and young, finds a place here. The rhythmic movement of these poems makes a natural transition to those selections especially designed as studies in rhythm. The series of nature poems and selections from Shakespeare complete a group of choice literary creations. Part Two is given to a study of the great American authors, and no apology is needed either for the choice of material or for the prominence given to this group. It is especially suited to parallel and supplement the work of this grade in American history. Part Three contains patriotic selections and some of the great orations. These are lofty and inspiring in style, within the grasp of the pupils, and are especially helpful in developing power of expression.

It is not expected that the order of selections will be followed. On the contrary, each teacher will follow the order which will best suit her own plans and purposes. While there is much material in the book that will re-enforce lessons in history, geography, and nature study, yet it is not for this that these selections should be studied, but rather for the pleasure that comes from reading beautiful thoughts beautifully expressed. The reading lesson should therefore be a study of literature, and it should lead the children to find beauty of thought and imagery, fitness in figures of speech, and delicate shades of meaning in words. Literature is an art, and the chief aim of the reading lesson is to discover and interpret its art qualities. In this way children learn how to read books and are enabled to appreciate the literary treasures of the race. The business of the reading book is to furnish the best available material for this purpose.

It is worth while to make a thorough study of a few well-chosen selections. Through the power gained in this way children are enabled to interpret and enjoy other selections without the aid of the teacher. If the class work is for the most part of the intensive kind, the pupils will read the remaining lessons alone for sheer pleasure, which is at once the secret and goal of good teaching in literature. Moreover, they will exercise a discriminating taste and judgment in their choice of reading matter. To love good literature, to find pleasure in reading it and to gain power to choose it with discrimination are the supreme ends to be attained by the reading lesson. For this reason, some selections should be read many times for the pleasure they give the children. In music the teacher sometimes calls for expressions of preference among songs: "What song shall we sing, children?" So in reading, "What selection shall we read?" is a good question for the teacher to ask frequently. Thus children come to make familiar friends of some of the stories and poems, and find genuine enjoyment in reading these again and again.

Good results may also be obtained by assigning to a pupil a particular lesson which he is expected to prepare. On a given day he will read to the class the selection assigned to him. The orations are especially suited to this mode of treatment. The pupil who can read one selection well has gone a long way toward being a good reader. The teacher who said to her pupils, "I shall read to you tomorrow," recognized this truth and knew the value of an occasional exercise of that kind. Good pedagogy approves of a judicious use of methods of imitation in teaching reading.

The biographies are intended to acquaint the children with the personal characteristics and lives of the authors, making them more interesting and real to the children, giving them the human touch and incidentally furnishing helpful data for interpreting their writings. In this connection, the authors have, by permission, drawn freely from Professor Newcomer's English and American Literatures. "Helps to Study" include questions and notes designed to stimulate inquiry on the part of pupils and to suggest fruitful lines of study. Only a few points are suggested, to indicate the way, and no attempt is made to cover the ground adequately; this remains for the teacher to do.

While placing emphasis primarily on the thought-getting process the formalities of thought-giving must not be overlooked. The technique of reading, though always subordinate and secondary to the mastery of the thought, nevertheless claims constant and careful attention. Good reading requires clear enunciation and correct pronunciation and these can be secured only when the teacher steadily insists upon them. The increase of foreign elements in our school population and the influence of these upon clearness and accuracy of speech furnish added reason for attention to these details. Special drill exercises should be given and the habit of using the dictionary freely should be firmly established in pupils. The ready use of the dictionary and other reference books for pronunciation and meaning of words, for historical and mythical allusions should be steadily cultivated. Without doubt much of the reading accepted in the public schools is seriously deficient in these particulars. The art of good reading can be cultivated by judicious training and the school should spare no pains to realize this result.

Professor Clark, in his book on "How to Teach Reading," sets forth the four elements of vocal expression--Time, Pitch, Quality and Force. We quote a few of the sentences from his treatment of each of these elementary topics.

"I. TIME. Time, then, refers to the rate of vocal movement. It may be fast, or moderate, or slow, according to the amount of what may be called the collateral thinking accompanying the reading, of any given passage. To put it another way: a phrase is read slowly because it means much; because the thought is large, sublime, deep. The collateral thinking may be revealed by an expansive paraphrase. For instance, in the lines

    "Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note
    As his corse to the rampart we hurried,"

why do we read slowly? The paraphrase answers the question. It was midnight. There lay our beloved leader, who should have been borne in triumphal procession to his last resting place. Bells should have tolled, cannon thundered, and thousands should have followed his bier. But now, alas, by night, by stealth, without even a single drum tap, in fear and dread, we crept breathless to the rampart. This, or any one of a hundred other paraphrases, will suffice to render the vocal movement slow. And so it is with all slow time. Let it be remembered that a profound or sublime thought may be uttered in fast time; but that when we dwell upon that thought, when we hold it before the mind, the time must necessarily be slow. If a child read too rapidly, it is because his mind is not sufficiently occupied with the thought; if he read too slowly, it is because he does not get the words; or because he is temperamentally slow; or because, and this is the most likely explanation, he is making too much of a small idea. To tell him to read fast or slow is but to make him affected, and, incidentally, even if unconsciously, to impress upon him that reading is a matter of mechanics, and not of thought-getting and thought-giving."

"II. PITCH. By Pitch is meant everything that has to do with the acuteness or gravity of the tone--in other words, with keys, melodies, inflections and modulations. When we say of one that he speaks in a high key, we should be understood as meaning that his pitch is prevailingly high; and that the reverse is true when we say of one that he speaks in a low key. While it is true that the key differs in individuals, yet experience shows that within a note or two, we all use the same keys in expressing the same states of minds. The question for us is, what determines the key? It can be set down as a fixed principle, that controlled mental states are expressed by low keys, while the high keys are the manifestation of the less controlled mental conditions. Drills in inflections as such are of very little value, and potentially very harmful. Most pupils have no difficulty in making proper inflections, so that for them class drills are time wasted; for those whose reading is monotonous, because of lack of melodic variety, the best drills are those which teach them to make a careful analysis of the sentences, and those which awaken them to the necessity of impressing the thought upon others. We have learned that when a pupil has the proper motive in mind and is desirous of conveying his intention to another, a certain melody will always manifest that intention. The melody, then, is the criterion of the pupil's purpose. The moment a pupil loses sight of a phrase and its relation to the other phrases, that moment his melody betrays him."

"III. QUALITY. Quality manifests emotional states. By Quality we mean that subtle element in the voice by which is expressed at one time tenderness, at another harshness, at another awe, and so on through the whole gamut of feeling. The teacher now knows that emotion affects the quality of tone. Let him then use this knowledge as he has learned to use his knowledge of the other criteria. We recognize instinctively the qualities that express sorrow, tenderness, joy, and the other states of feeling. When the proper quality does not appear it is because the child has no feeling, or the wrong feeling, generally the former. There is but one way to correct the expression, i. e., by stimulating the imagination."

"IV. FORCE. Force manifests the degree of mental energy. When we speak in a loud voice, there is much energy; when softly, there is little. Do not tell the child to read louder. If you do, you will get loudness--that awful grating schoolboy loudness--without a particle of expression in it. Many a child reads well, but is bashful. When we tell him to read louder, he braces himself for the effort and kills the quality, which is the finer breath and spirit of oral expression, and gives us a purely physical thing--force. Put your weak-voiced readers on the platform; let them face the class and talk to you, seated in the middle of the room, and you will get all the force you need. On the whole, we have too much force, rather than too little. Let the teacher learn that we want quality, not quantity, and our statement of the mental action behind force will be of much benefit in creating the proper conditions."

To discriminating teachers it will be apparent that this book is not the usual school reader. On the contrary it differs widely from this in the cultural value of the selections, in the classification and arrangement of material, in the variety of interest to which it appeals, and in the abundance of classic literature from American authors which it contains. It aims to furnish the best in poetry and prose to be found in the literature of the English-speaking race and to furnish it in abundance. If these familiar old selections, long accepted as among the best in literature, shall be the means of cultivating in pupils a taste for good reading, the book will have fulfilled its purpose.

For permission to use valuable selections from their lists, acknowledgment is due to Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin and Company, Charles Scribner's Sons, and The Whitaker and Ray Company.

Grateful acknowledgment is also made to those teachers who have given valuable suggestions and criticisms in the compilation of this book.


April, 1909.



    "We live in deeds, not years, in thoughts, not breaths;
    In feelings, not in figures on a dial."




    Listen, my children, and you shall hear
    Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
    On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five:
    Hardly a man is now alive
    Who remembers that famous day and year.

    He said to his friend: "If the British march
    By land or sea from the town tonight,
    Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry-arch
    Of the North Church tower, as a signal-light,--
    One if by land, and two if by sea;
    And I on the opposite shore will be,
    Ready to ride and spread the alarm
    Through every Middlesex village and farm,
    For the country-folk to be up and to arm."

    Then he said "good night," and with muffled oar
    Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
    Just as the moon rose over the bay,
    Where, swinging wide at her moorings, lay
    The Somerset, British man-of-war:
    A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
    Across the moon, like a prison-bar,
    And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
    By its own reflection in the tide.

    Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street
    Wanders and watches with eager ears,
    Till in the silence around him he hears
    The muster of men at the barrack-door,
    The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
    And the measured tread of the grenadiers
    Marching down to their boats on the shore.

    Then he climbed to the tower of the church,
    Up the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
    To the belfry-chamber overhead,
    And startled the pigeons from their perch
    On the sombre rafters, that round him made
    Masses and moving shapes of shade,--
    Up the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
    To the highest window in the wall,
    Where he paused to listen and look down
    A moment on the roofs of the town,
    And the moonlight flowing over all.

    Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead
    In their night-encampment on the hill,
    Wrapped in silence so deep and still,
    That he could hear, like a sentinel's tread,
    The watchful night-wind, as it went
    Creeping along from tent to tent,
    And seeming to whisper, "All is well!"
    A moment only he feels the spell
    Of the place and the hour, the secret dread
    Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
    For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
    On a shadowy something far away,
    Where the river widens to meet the bay,--
    A line of black, that bends and floats
    On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats.

    Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
    Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride,
    On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
    Now he patted his horse's side,
    Now gazed at the landscape far and near,
    Then impetuous stamped the earth,
    And turned and tightened his saddle-girth;
    But mostly he watched with eager search
    The belfry-tower of the old North Church,
    As it rose above the graves on the hill,
    Lonely, and spectral, and sombre, and still.
    And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height,
    A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
    He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
    But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
    A second lamp in the belfry burns!

    A hurry of hoofs in a village-street,
    A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
    And beneath from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
    Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet:
    That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
    The fate of a nation was riding that night;
    And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
    Kindled the land into flame with its heat.

    He has left the village and mounted the steep,
    And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
    Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
    And under the alders, that skirt its edge,
    Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
    Is heard the tramp of the steed as he rides.

    It was twelve by the village-clock
    When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
    He heard the crowing of the cock,
    And the barking of the farmer's dog,
    And felt the damp of the river-fog
    That rises after the sun goes down.

    It was one by the village-clock
    When he galloped into Lexington.
    He saw the gilded weathercock
    Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
    And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare,
    Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
    As if they already stood aghast
    At the bloody work they would look upon.

    It was two by the village-clock
    When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
    He heard the bleating of the flock,
    And the twitter of birds among the trees,
    And felt the breath of the morning-breeze
    Blowing over the meadows brown.
    And one was safe and asleep in his bed
    Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
    Who that day would be lying dead,
    Pierced by a British musket-ball.

    You know the rest. In the books you have read
    How the British regulars fired and fled,--
    How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
    From behind each fence and farmyard-wall,
    Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
    Then crossing the fields to emerge again
    Under the trees at the turn of the road,
    And only pausing to fire and load.

    So through the night rode Paul Revere;
    And so through the night went his cry of alarm
    To every Middlesex village and farm,--
    A cry of defiance, and not of fear,--
    A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
    And a word that shall echo forevermore!
    For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
    Through all our history, to the last,
    In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
    The people will waken and listen to hear
    The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
    And the midnight-message of Paul Revere.


Notes and Questions.

What message did Paul Revere bear?

Read an account of the battle of Lexington and observe how nearly this poem is true to history.

Who were John Hancock and Samuel Adams?

What does the second stanza tell you? The seventh stanza?

Does this poem call your attention chiefly to the horse, the rider, or the message?

Sketch a map locating Boston, Charlestown, Medford, Lexington, Concord.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "the fate of a nation was riding that night"
    "gaze at him with a spectral glare"
    "the spark struck out by that steed in his flight
    kindled the land into flame with its heat"
    "fearless and fleet"



    Mounted on Kyrat strong and fleet,
    His chestnut steed with four white feet,
        Roushan Beg, called Kurroglou,
    Son of the road and bandit chief,
    Seeking refuge and relief,
        Up the mountain pathway flew.

    Such was the Kyrat's wondrous speed,
    Never yet could any steed
        Reach the dust-cloud in his course.
    More than maiden, more than wife,
    More than gold and next to life
        Roushan the Robber loved his horse.

    In the land that lies beyond
    Erzeroum and Trebizond,
        Garden-girt, his fortress stood;
    Plundered khan, or caravan
    Journeying north from Koordistan,
        Gave him wealth and wine and food.

    Seven hundred and fourscore
    Men at arms his livery wore,
        Did his bidding night and day;
    Now, through regions all unknown,
    He was wandering, lost, alone,
        Seeking, without guide, his way.

    Suddenly the pathway ends,
    Sheer the precipice descends,
        Loud the torrent roars unseen;
    Thirty feet from side to side
    Yawns the chasm; on air must ride
        He who crosses this ravine.

    Following close in his pursuit,
    At the precipice's foot
        Reyhan the Arab of Orfah
    Halted with his hundred men,
    Shouting upward from the glen,
        "La Illáh ilia Alláh!"

    Gently Roushan Beg caressed
    Kyrat's forehead, neck and breast;
        Kissed him upon both his eyes,
    Sang to him in his wild way,
    As upon the topmost spray
        Sings a bird before it flies.

    "O my Kyrat, O my steed,
    Bound and slender as a reed,
        Carry me this peril through!
    Satin housings shall be thine,
    Shoes of gold, O Kyrat mine,
        O thou soul of Kurroglou!

    "Soft thy skin as silken skein,
    Soft as woman's hair thy mane,
        Tender are thine eyes and true;
    All thy hoofs like ivory shine,
    Polished bright; O life of mine,
        Leap, and rescue Kurroglou!"

    Kyrat, then, the strong and fleet,
    Drew together his four white feet,
        Paused a moment on the verge,
    Measured with his eye the space,
    And into the air's embrace
        Leaped as leaps the ocean surge.

    As the ocean surge o'er sand
    Bears a swimmer safe to land,
        Kyrat safe his rider bore;
    Rattling down the deep abyss
    Fragments of the precipice
        Rolled like pebbles on a shore.

    Roushan's tasseled cap of red
    Trembled not upon his head;
        Careless sat he and upright;
    Neither hand nor bridle shook,
    Nor his head he turned to look,
        As he galloped out of sight.

    Flash of harness in the air,
    Seen a moment, like the glare
        Of a sword drawn from its sheath;
    Thus the phantom horseman passed,
    And the shadow that he cast
        Leaped the cataract underneath.

    Reyhan the Arab held his breath
    While this vision of life and death
        Passed above him. "Allahu!"
    Cried he. "In all Koordistan
    Lives there not so brave a man
        As this Robber Kurroglou!"


Notes and Questions.

What does the first stanza tell?

The second?

What is the purpose of the fifth stanza?

What comparison is found in the seventh stanza? In the eighth? In the ninth?

What do we mean by "figure of speech?" Illustrate.

State in your own words the thought in the eleventh stanza.

In next to the last stanza give the meaning of the last three lines.

What lesson of heroism does this poem give you?

Whom should you call the hero of this tale?

Who is Allah? Where is Koordistan?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.




    Half a league, half a league,
        Half a league onward,
    All in the valley of Death
        Rode the six hundred.
    "Forward, the Light Brigade!
    Charge for the guns!" he said:
    Into the valley of Death
        Rode the six hundred.
    "Forward, the Light Brigade!"
    Was there a man dismay'd?
    Not tho' the soldier knew
        Some one had blunder'd:
    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do and die:
    Into the valley of Death
        Rode the six hundred.

    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon in front of them
        Volley'd and thunder'd;
    Storm'd at with shot and shell,
    Boldly they rode and well,
    Into the jaws of Death,
    Into the mouth of Hell
        Rode the six hundred.
    Flash'd all their sabres bare,
    Flash'd as they turn'd in air
    Sabring the gunners there,
    Charging an army, while
        All the world wonder'd;
    Plunged in the battery-smoke
    Right thro' the line they broke;
    Cossack and Russian
    Reel'd from the sabre-stroke
        Shatter'd and sunder'd.
    Then they rode back, but not,
        Not the six hundred.

    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon behind them
        Volley'd and thunder'd;
    Stormed at with shot and shell,
    While horse and hero fell,
    They that had fought so well
    Came through the jaws of Death
    Back from the mouth of Hell,
    All that was left of them,
        Left of six hundred.

    When can their glory fade!
    Oh the wild charge they made!
        All the world wondered.
    Honor the charge they made!
    Honor the Light Brigade,
        Noble six hundred!


Biographical And Historical: Alfred Tennyson was born in that memorable birth year, 1809, which brought into the world a company of the greatest men of the century, including Darwin, Gladstone, Lincoln, Poe, Chopin, and Mendelssohn. He was one of twelve children who lived together a healthful life of study and sport. Gathering the other children about him he held them captive with his stories of knightly deeds--tales drawn partly from his reading and partly from his fertile fancy. They lived again the thrilling life of joust and tournament. Past the house in the village of Somersby, in Lincolnshire, where his father was rector, flowed a brook, in all probability the brook that came "from haunts of coot and hern... to bicker down a valley." He was a student at Cambridge, where he met and became deeply attached to Arthur Henry Hallam, whose death not long afterward inspired the poem "In Memoriam." In 1850, upon Wordsworth's death, Tennyson was made poet laureate and the poem commemorating the heroic charge at Balaklava in 1854, "The Charge of the Light Brigade," shows how he adorned this office. In 1884 the queen raised him to the peerage, and from that time he was known as Lord Tennyson. He lived as much in retirement as was possible, part of the time making his home in the Isle of Wight. He died in 1892 and was buried in the Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey.

The event which this poem describes occurred at Balaklava in the Crimea, October 25th, 1854. Of six hundred seven men only about one hundred fifty survived. The order to charge, bearing the signature of Lord Lucan, was delivered by Captain Nolan to the Earl of Cardigan, who was in command of the "Light Brigade." Nolan was killed in the charge while Cardigan survived. The death of Nolan made it impossible to determine whether the signature to the order was genuine or forged.

It was in this war that Florence Nightingale rendered such noble service as hospital nurse. She arrived at Balaklava ten days after this charge.

Notes and Questions.

On your map find Balaklava on the Black Sea.

What nation attacked the Russians?

What was the significance of Sevastopol?

What is a brigade? A light brigade?

What is meant by "charging an army"?

Who had "blundered"?

What lines tell you that obedience is the first duty of the soldier?

What line tells you how vain and hopeless was this charge?

How does the poem impress you?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "Valley of Death"
    "half a league"
    "the mouth of Hell"
    "the jaws of Death"
    "volley'd and thunder'd"



    John Gilpin was a citizen
        Of credit and renown,
    A trainband captain eke was he
        Of famous London town.

    John Gilpin's spouse said to her dear,
        "Though wedded we have been
    These twice ten tedious years, yet we
        No holiday have seen.

    "Tomorrow is our wedding day,
        And we will then repair
    Unto the Bell at Edmonton,
        All in a chaise and pair

    "My sister, and my sister's child,
        Myself, and children three,
    Will fill the chaise, so you must ride
        On horseback after we."

    He soon replied, "I do admire
        Of womankind but one,
    And you are she, my dearest dear,
        Therefore, it shall be done.

    "I am a linen-draper bold,
        As all the world doth know,
    And my good friend, the calender,
        Will lend his horse to go."

    Quoth Mrs. Gilpin, "That's well said:
        And for that wine is dear,
    We will be furnished with our own,
        Which is both bright and clear."

    John Gilpin kissed his loving wife;
        O'erjoyed was he to find
    That, though on pleasure she was bent,
        She had a frugal mind.

    The morning came, the chaise was brought,
        But yet was not allowed
    To drive up to the door, lest all
        Should say that she was proud.

    So three doors off the chaise was stayed,
        Where they did all get in;
    Six precious souls, and all agog
        To dash through thick and thin.

    Smack went the whip, 'round went the wheels,
        Were never folks so glad;
    The stones did rattle underneath
        As if Cheapside were mad.

    John Gilpin at his horse's side
        Seized fast the flowing mane,
    And up he got, in haste to ride,
        But soon came down again;

    For saddle-tree scarce reached had he,
        His journey to begin,
    When, turning round his head, he saw
        Three customers come in.

    So down he came; for loss of time,
        Although it grieved him sore,
    Yet loss of pence, full well he knew,
        Would trouble him much more.

    'Twas long before the customers
        Were suited to their mind,
    When Betty screaming came down stairs,--
        "The wine is left behind!"

    "Good lack!" quoth he, "yet bring it me,
        My leathern belt likewise,
    In which I bear my trusty sword
        When I do exercise."

    Now Mrs. Gilpin, careful soul,
        Had two stone bottles found,
    To hold the liquor that she loved,
        And keep it safe and sound.

    Each bottle had a curling ear,
        Through which the belt he drew,
    And hung a bottle on each side,
        To make his balance true.

    Then, over all, that he might be
        Equipped from top to toe,
    His long red cloak, well brushed and
        He manfully did throw.

    Now see him mounted once again,
        Upon his nimble steed,
    Full slowly pacing o'er the stones
        With caution and good heed.

    But finding soon a smoother road
        Beneath his well-shod feet,
    The snorting beast began to trot,
        Which galled him in his seat.

    So "Fair and softly" John he cried,
        But John he cried in vain;
    That trot became a gallop soon,
        In spite of curb and rein.

    So stooping down, as needs he must
        Who cannot sit upright,
    He grasped the mane with both his hands,
        And eke with all his might.

    His horse, which never in that sort
        Had handled been before,
    What thing upon his back had got
        Did wonder more and more.

    Away went Gilpin, neck or nought;
        Away went hat and wig;
    He little dreamed when he set out
        Of running such a rig.

    The wind did blow, the cloak did fly,
        Like streamer long and gay,
    Till, loop and button failing both,
        At last it flew away.

    Then might all people well discern,
        The bottles he had slung;
    A bottle swinging at each side,
        As hath been said or sung.

    The dogs did bark, the children screamed,
        Up flew the windows all,
    And every soul cried out, "Well done!"
        As loud as he could bawl.

    Away went Gilpin--who but he?
        His fame soon spread around;
    "He carries weight, he rides a race!
        'Tis for a thousand pound!"

    And still, as fast as he drew near,
        'Twas wonderful to view,
    How in a trice the turnpike men
        Their gates wide open threw.

    And now, as he went bowing down
        His reeking head full low,
    The bottles twain behind his back
        Were shattered at a blow.

    Down ran the wine into the road,
        Most piteous to be seen,
    Which made his horse's flanks to smoke
        As they had basted been.

    But still he seemed to carry weight,
        With leathern girdle braced;
    For all might see the bottle necks
        Still dangling at his waist.

    Thus all through merry Islington
        These gambols he did play,
    Until he came unto the wash
        Of Edmonton so gay;

    And there he threw the wash about
        On both sides of the way,
    Just like unto a trundling mop,
        Or a wild goose at play.

    At Edmonton his loving wife
        From the balcony spied
    Her tender husband, wondering much
        To see how he did ride.

    "Stop, stop, John Gilpin! Here's the house!"
        They all at once did cry;
    "The dinner waits and we are tired."
        Said Gilpin, "So am I!"

    But yet his horse was not a whit
        Inclined to tarry there;
    For why? his owner had a house
        Full ten miles off, at Ware.

    So like an arrow swift he flew,
        Shot by an archer strong;
    So did he fly--which brings me to
        The middle of my song.

    Away went Gilpin, out of breath,
        And sore against his will,
    Till, at his friend the calender's,
        His horse at last stood still.

    The calender, amazed to see
        His neighbor in such trim,
    Laid down his pipe, flew to the gate,
        And thus accosted him:

    "What news? what news? your tidings tell;
        Tell me you must and shall;
    Say why bareheaded you are come,
        Or why you come at all?"

    Now Gilpin had a pleasant wit,
        And loved a timely joke;
    And thus unto the calender,
        In merry guise, he spoke:

    "I came because your horse would come;
        And, if I well forbode,
    My hat and wig will soon be here:--
        They are upon the road."

    The calender, right glad to find
        His friend in merry pin,
    Returned him not a single word,
        But to the house went in;

    Whence straight he came with hat and wig;
        A wig that flowed behind,
    A hat not much the worse for wear,
        Each comely in its kind.

    He held them up and in his turn
        Thus showed his ready wit:
    "My head is twice as big as yours,
        They, therefore, needs must fit.

    But let me scrape the dirt away
        That hangs upon your face;
    And stop and eat, for well you may
        Be in a hungry case."

    Said John, "It is my wedding day,
        And all the world would stare,
    If wife should dine at Edmonton
        And I should dine at Ware."

    So, turning to his horse, he said,
        "I am in haste to dine;
    'Twas for your pleasure you came here,
        You shall go back for mine."

    Ah! luckless speech and bootless boast,
        For which he paid full dear;
    For while he spake, a braying ass
        Did sing most loud and clear;

    Whereat his horse did snort, as he
        Had heard a lion roar,
    And galloped off with all his might,
        As he had done before.

    Away went Gilpin, and away
        Went Gilpin's hat and wig:
    He lost them sooner than at first;
        For why?--they were too big.

    Now Mistress Gilpin, when she saw
        Her husband posting down
    Into the country far away,
        She pulled out half a crown;

    And thus unto the youth she said,
        That drove them to the Bell,
    "This shall be yours when you bring back
        My husband safe and well."

    The youth did ride, and soon did meet
        John coming back amain;
    Whom in a trice he tried to stop
        By catching at his rein;

    But not performing what he meant
        And gladly would have done,
    The frightened steed he frighted more,
        And made him faster run.

    Away went Gilpin, and away
        Went postboy at his heels,
    The postboy's horse right glad to miss
        The lumbering of the wheels.

    Six gentlemen upon the road,
        Thus seeing Gilpin fly,
    With postboy scampering in the rear,
        They raised the hue and cry;--

    "Stop thief! stop thief! a highwayman!"
        Not one of them was mute;
    And all and each that passed that way
        Did join in the pursuit.

    And now the turnpike gates again
        Flew open in short space;
    The toll-men thinking as before,
        That Gilpin rode a race.

    And so he did, and won it too,
        For he got first to town;
    Nor stopped till where he had got up
        He did again get down.

    Now let us sing "Long Live the King,"
        And Gilpin, long live he;
    And when he next doth ride abroad
        May I be there to see!


Biographical: William Cowper, 1731-1800, was a famous English poet. His poems range from religious to humorous subjects.

Notes and Questions.

What was the occasion of the ride?

What tells you that the linen-draper lived over his shop?

Which stanza is most amusing?

Why did people think John Gilpin rode for a wager?

Edmonton--a suburb of London.

The Bell--the Inn.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "chaise and pair"
    "he carries weight"
    "for that wine is dear"
    "bootless boast"
    "the postboy's horse right glad to miss the lumbering of the wheels"



    I sprang to the stirrup, and Joris, and he;
    I galloped, Dirck galloped, we galloped all three;
    "Good speed!" cried the watch, as the gate-bolts undrew;
    "Speed!" echoed the wall to us galloping through;
    Behind shut the postern, the lights sank to rest,
    And into the midnight we galloped abreast.

    Not a word to each other; we kept the great pace
    Neck by neck, stride by stride, never changing our place;
    I turned in my saddle and made its girths tight,
    Then shortened each stirrup, and set the pique right,
    Rebuckled the cheek-strap, chained slacker the bit,
    Nor galloped less steadily Roland a whit.

    'Twas moonset at starting; but while we drew near
    Lokeren, the cocks crew and twilight dawned clear;
    At Boom, a great yellow star came out to see;
    At Düffeld, 'twas morning as plain as could be;
    And from Mecheln church-steeple we heard the half-chime,
    So Joris broke silence with, "Yet there is time!"

    At Aershot, up leaped of a sudden the sun,
    And against him the cattle stood black every one,
    To stare through the mist at us galloping past,
    And I saw my stout galloper Roland at last,
    With resolute shoulders, each butting away
    The haze, as some bluff river headland its spray:

    And his low head and crest, just one sharp ear bent back
    For my voice, and the other pricked out on his track;
    And one eye's black intelligence,--ever that glance
    O'er its white edge at me, his own master, askance
    And the thick heavy spume-flakes which aye and anon
    His fierce lips shook upwards in galloping on.

    By Hasselt, Dirck groaned; and cried Joris, "Stay spur!
    Your Roos galloped bravely, the fault's not in her,
    We'll remember at Aix"--for one heard the quick wheeze
    Of her chest, saw the stretched neck and staggering knees,
    And sunk tail, and horrible heave of the flank,
    As down on her haunches she shuddered and sank.

    So, we were left galloping, Joris and I,
    Past Looz and past Tongres, no cloud in the sky;
    The broad sun above laughed a pitiless laugh,
    'Neath our feet broke the brittle bright stubble like chaff;
    Till over by Dalhem, a dome-spire sprang white,
    And "Gallop," gasped Joris, "for Aix is in sight!"

    "How they'll greet us!"--and all in a moment his roan
    Rolled neck and croup over, lay dead as a stone;
    And there was my Roland to bear the whole weight
    Of the news which alone could save Aix from her fate,
    With his nostrils like pits full of blood to the brim,
    And with circles of red for his eye-sockets' rim.

    Then I cast loose my buffcoat, each holster let fall,
    Shook off both my jack-boots, let go belt and all,
    Stood up in the stirrup, leaned, patted his ear,
    Called my Roland his pet-name, my horse without peer;
    Clapped my hands, laughed and sang, any noise, bad or good,
    Till at length into Aix Roland galloped and stood.

    And all I remember is--friends flocking round
    As I sat with his head 'twixt my knees on the ground;
    And no voice but was praising this Roland of mine,
    As I poured down his throat our last measure of wine,
    Which (the burgesses voted by common consent)
    Was no more than his due who brought good news from Ghent.


Biographical and Historical: Robert Browning was born in a suburb of London in 1812. His four grandparents were respectively of English, German, Scotch, and Creole birth. After his marriage with the poet, Elizabeth Barrett, he lived in Italy, where in the old palace Casa Guidi, in Florence, they spent years of rare companionship and happiness. After her death he returned to England, but spent most of his summers abroad. On the Grand Canal, in Venice, the gondoliers point out a palace where at his son's home, Browning died in 1889. He was buried in the Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey.

Browning's poems are not easy to read, because he condenses so much into a word or phrase and he often leaves large gaps to be filled in by the reader's imagination. Any one can make selections of lines and even entire poems from Tennyson, Poe, Southey, and Lanier, in which the poet has created for us verbal music and beauty. Browning, however, is not so much concerned with this side of poetry as he is with portraying correctly the varied emotions of the human soul.

"Love in the largest sense, as the divine principle working through all nature, is at the very center of Browning's creed. His is the heartiest, happiest, most beautiful poetic voice that his age has read. He stands apart from most others of his kind and age in the positiveness of his religious faith, a faith that is based upon a conviction of the conquering universality of love and self-sacrifice."

"How They Brought the Good News" is without historical basis; the ride occurred only in the imagination of the poet. The inspiration came from Browning's longing for a horseback gallop over the English downs.

Notes and Questions.

Find Ghent and Aix la Chapelle on your map.

What was probably the nature of the "good news" carried by the messengers?

How many messengers were there?

What makes you think so?

What does the fifth stanza tell you?

What tells you the praise given Roland?

The rhythm suggests the gallop of the horses. In which lines is this suggestion most marked?

Indicate the rhythmic movement.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "Good speed! cried the watch as the gate-bolts undrew"
    "With resolute shoulders each butting away
    The haze, as some bluff river headland its spray"



    You know, we French stormed Ratisbon:
        A mile or so away,
    On a little mound, Napoleon
        Stood on our storming-day;
    With neck out-thrust, you fancy how,
        Legs wide, arms locked behind,
    As if to balance the prone brow
        Oppressive with its mind.

    Just as perhaps he mused, "My plans
        That soar, to earth may fall,
    Let once my army-leader, Lannes,
        Waver at yonder wall,"--
    Out 'twixt the battery-smokes there flew
        A rider, bound on bound
    Full-galloping; nor bridle drew
        Until he reached the mound.

    Then off there flung in smiling joy,
        And held himself erect
    By just his horse's mane, a boy:
        You hardly could suspect--
    (So tight he kept his lips compressed,
        Scarce any blood came through)
    You looked twice ere you saw his breast
        Was all but shot in two.

    "Well," cried he, "Emperor, by God's grace,
        We've got you Ratisbon!
    The marshal's in the market-place,
        And you'll be there anon
    To see your flag-bird flap his vans
        Where I, to heart's desire,
    Perched him!" The chief's eye flashed; his plans
        Soared up again like fire.

    The chiefs eye flashed; but presently
        Softened itself, as sheathes
    A film the mother eagle's eye
        When her bruised eaglet breathes:
    "You're wounded!" "Nay," the soldier's pride
        Touched to the quick, he said:
    "I'm killed, sire!" And his chief beside,
        Smiling, the boy fell dead.


Notes and Questions.

On your map find Ratisbon on the Danube River.

What picture have you of Napoleon from reading this poem?

What word used figuratively tells you of the rider's speed?

Tell the story of the boy rider.

What was the mission of the boy who rode alone?

Was his heroism greater because he was alone?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.




    On the sea and at the Hogue, sixteen hundred ninety-two,
        Did the English fight the French--woe to France!
    And the thirty-first of May, helter-skelter through the blue,
    Like a crowd of frightened porpoises a shoal of sharks pursue,
        Came crowding ship on ship to St. Malo on the Rance,
    With the English fleet in view.

    'Twas the squadron that escaped, with the victor in full chase;
        First and foremost of the drove, in his great ship, Damfreville;
            Close on him fled, great and small,
            Twenty-two good ships in all;
    And they signalled to the place,
    "Help the winners of a race!
        Get us guidance, give us harbor, take us quick--or, quicker still,
        Here's the English can and will!"

    Then the pilots of the place put out brisk and leapt on board;
        "Why, what hope or chance have ships like these to pass?" laughed they:
        "Rocks to starboard, rocks to port, all the passage scarred and scored,--
    Shall the "Formidable" here, with her twelve and eighty guns,
        Think to make the river-mouth by the single narrow way,
    Trust to enter--where 'tis ticklish for a craft of twenty tons,
            And with flow at full beside?
            Now, 'tis slackest ebb of tide.
        Reach the mooring? Rather say,
    While rock stands or water runs,
        Not a ship will leave the bay!"

    Then was called a council straight.
    Brief and bitter the debate:
    "Here's the English at our heels; would you have them take in tow
    All that's left us of the fleet, linked together stern and bow,
    For a prize to Plymouth Sound? Better run the ships aground!"
        (Ended Damfreville his speech).
    "Not a minute more to wait!
        Let the captains all and each
        Shove ashore, then blow up, burn the vessels on the beach!
    France must undergo her fate.

    "Give the word!" But no such word
    Was ever spoke or heard:
        For up stood, for out stepped, for in struck, amid all these,--
    A captain? a lieutenant? a mate,--first, second, third?
            No such man of mark, and meet
            With his betters to compete!
            But a simple Breton sailor, pressed by Tourville for the fleet,
        A poor coasting-pilot, he,---Hervé Riel, the Croisickese.

    And "What mockery or malice have we here?" cried Hervé Riel.
        "Are you mad, you Malouins? Are you cowards, fools, or rogues?
    Talk to me of rocks and shoals?--me, who took the soundings, tell
    On my fingers every bank, every shallow, every swell,
        'Twixt the offing here and Grève, where the river disembogues?
    Are you bought by English gold? Is it love the lying's for?
            Morn and eve, night and day,
            Have I piloted your bay,
    Entered free and anchored fast at the foot of Solidor.
        Burn the fleet, and ruin France? That were worse than fifty Hogues!
        Sirs, they know I speak the truth! Sirs, believe me, there's way!
    Only let me lead the line,
        Have the biggest ship to steer,
        Get this Formidable clear,
    Make the others follow mine,
    And I lead them, most and least, by a passage I know well,
        Right to Solidor past Grève,
            And there lay them safe and sound;
        And if one ship misbehave,--
            Keel so much as grate the ground,
    Why, I've nothing but my life,--here's my head!" cries Hervé Riel.

    Not a minute more to wait.
    "Steer us in, then, small and great!
            Take the helm, lead the line, save the squadron!" cried its chief.
    Captains, give the sailor place!
            He is Admiral, in brief.
    Still the north-wind, by God's grace!
    See the noble fellow's face
    As the big ship, with a bound,
    Clears the entry like a hound,
    Keeps the passage, as its inch of way were the wide sea's profound!
        See, safe thro' shoal and rock,
        How they follow in a flock,
    Not a ship that misbehaves, not a keel that grates the ground,
        Not a spar that comes to grief!
    The peril, see, is past.
    All are harbored to the last,
    And just as Hervé Riel hollas "Anchor!" sure as fate,
    Up the English come,--too late!

    So, the storm subsides to calm:
    They see the green trees wave
        On the heights o'erlooking Grève.
    Hearts that bled are stanched with balm.
    "Just our rapture to enhance,
            Let the English rake the bay,
    Gnash their teeth and glare askance
            As they cannonade away!
    'Neath rampired Solidor pleasant riding on the Rance!"
    How hope succeeds despair on each captain's countenance!
    Out burst all with one accord,
            "This is paradise for hell!
        Let France, let France's king,
        Thank the man that did the thing!"
    What a shout, and all one word,
          "Hervé Riel!"
    As he stepped in front once more;
        Not a symptom of surprise
        In the frank blue Breton eyes,--
    Just the same man as before.

    Then said Damfreville, "My friend,
    I must speak out at the end,
        Though I find the speaking hard;
    Praise is deeper than the lips;
    You have saved the king his ships;
        You must name your own reward.
    Faith, our sun was near eclipse!
    Demand whate'er you will,
    France remains your debtor still.
    Ask to heart's content, and have! or my name's not Damfreville."

    Then a beam of fun outbroke
    On the bearded mouth that spoke,
        As the honest heart laughed through
        Those frank eyes of Breton blue:--
    "Since I needs must say my say,
        Since on board the duty's done,
        And from Malo Roads to Croisic Point, what is it but a run!
    Since 'tis ask and have, I may--
        Since the others go ashore--
    Come! A good whole holiday!
        Leave to go and see my wife, whom I call the Belle Aurore!"
        That he asked and that he got,--nothing more.

    Name and deed alike are lost:
    Not a pillar nor a post
        In his Croisic keeps alive the feat as it befell;
    Not a head in white and black
        On a single fishing-smack,
    In memory of the man but for whom had gone to wrack
        All that France saved from the fight whence England bore the bell.
    Go to Paris: rank on rank
        Search the heroes flung pell-mell
    On the Louvre, face and flank!
        You shall look long enough ere you come to Hervé Riel.
    So, for better and for worse, Hervé Riel, accept my verse!
    In my verse, Hervé Riel, do thou once more
    Save the squadron, honor France, love thy wife the Belle Aurore!


Notes and Questions.

Find on your map: Saint Malo, le Croisic (St. Croisic), Plymouth Sound, Paris.

What forfeit did Hervé Riel propose in case he failed to pilot the ships safely in?

What ships were seeking harbor?

Who were the "porpoises" and who the "sharks"?

What reward did he claim?

What comparison is found in the first stanza?

What do stanzas three and four tell?

In what way is the hero's memory perpetuated?

The rhythm gives spirit to the poem. Which lines or stanzas are most spirited?

What line gives the key-note to Hervé Riel's character?

Contrast Hervé Riel with the local pilots.

Saint Malo--noted for its high tides.

Rance--name of a river.

The Hogue--a cape on the French coast.

Malouins--residents of Saint Malo.

Tourville--the French admiral.

Grève--name given the beach.

Solidor--the old fortress.

Belle Aurore--the dawn.

Croisickese--inhabitants of Croisie.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "Worse than fifty Hogues"
    "Clears the entry like a hound"
    "Just the same man as before"
    "He is Admiral, in brief"
    "Keeps the passage as its inch of way were the wide sea's profound"
    "Search the heroes flung pell-mell on the Louvre, face and flank"
    "bore the bell"

(From "The Princess")


        The splendor falls on castle walls
            And snowy summits, old in story;
        The long light shakes across the lakes,
            And the wild cataract leaps in glory.
    Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying;
    Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

        O, hark! O, hear! how thin and clear,
            And thinner, clearer, farther going!
        O, sweet and far from cliff and scar,
            The horns of Elfland, faintly blowing!
    Blow, let us hear the purple glens replying;
    Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

        O, love, they die in yon rich sky;
            They faint on hill or field or river.
        Our echoes roll from soul to soul,
            And grow forever and forever.
    Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying;
    And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dying, dying.


Notes and Questions.

Why does the poet use "splendor" instead of "sun-set," and "summits" instead of "mountains"?

Line 2--What is meant by "old in story"?

Line 3--Why does the poet use "shakes"?

Line l3--To what does "they" relate?

Line l5--Explain.

Line l5--Why does the poet use "roll"?

Line l6--They "die" and "faint" while "our echoes" "roll" and "grow." Note that "grow" is the important word.

Note the refrain and the changes in its use; in the first stanza--the bugle; in the second--the echo; in the third--the spiritual echo.

Point out lines that have rhyme within themselves.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "wild echoes"
    "cliff and scar"
    "horns of Elfland"
    "rich sky"
    "purple glens"



    I come from haunts of coot and hern,
        I make a sudden sally,
    And sparkle out among the fern,
        To bicker down a valley.

    By thirty hills I hurry down,
        Or slip between the ridges,
    By twenty thorps, a little town,
        And half a hundred bridges,

    Till last by Philip's farm I flow
        To join the brimming river,
    For men may come and men may go,
        But I go on forever.

    I chatter over stony ways,
        In little sharps and trebles;
    I bubble into eddying bays,
        I babble on the pebbles.

    With many a curve my banks I fret
        By many a field and fallow,
    And many a fairy foreland set
        With willow-weed and mallow.

    I chatter, chatter, as I flow
        To join the brimming river,
    For men may come and men may go,
        But I go on forever.

    I wind about, and in and out,
        With here a blossom sailing,
    And here and there a lusty trout,
        And here and there a grayling.

    And here and there a foamy flake
        Upon me, as I travel
    With many a silvery water-break
        Above the golden gravel,

    And draw them all along, and flow
        To join the brimming river,
    For men may come and men may go,
        But I go on forever.

    I steal by lawns and grassy plots,
        I slide by hazel covers;
    I move the sweet forget-me-nots
        That grow for happy lovers.

    I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,
        Among my skimming swallows;
    I make the netted sunbeams dance
        Against my sandy shallows,

    I murmur under moon and stars
        In brambly wildernesses;
    I linger by my shingly bars,
        I loiter round my cresses;

    And out again I curve and flow
        To join the brimming river,
    For men may come and men may go,
        But I go on forever.


Notes and Questions.

These stanzas are part of a longer poem called "The Brook."

In this poem Tennyson personifies the brook. Why?

In what lines do the words and the rhythm suggest the sound of the brook?

Which lines do this most successfully?

Point out words that seem to you especially appropriate in giving the thought.

Where in the poem do we find a meaning for the following lines:
    "Oh! of all the songs sung
    No songs are so sweet
    As the songs with refrains
    Which repeat and repeat."

How does the repetition of "chatter" influence the melody of the first line in the sixth stanza?

How does it affect the thought?

Find another place in the poem where an expression is repeated.

Was this done for the sake of the rhythm, or the thought, or for both?

Alliteration is the repetition of the same letter or sound at the beginning of two or more words in close succession.

Find lines in which alliteration is used e. g. "sudden sally," "field and fallow," etc. What does this add to the poem?

Indicate the rhythm of the first four lines by placing them in these curves:
  _______    _______    _______    _______
/                \/                \/                \/                \

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "coot and hern" (heron)
    "fairy foreland"
    "willow weed and mallow"
    "shingly bars"
    "sharps and trebles"
    "skimming swallows"
    "netted sunbeams"



        Out of the hills of Habersham,
        Down the valleys of Hall,
    I hurry amain to reach the plain,
    Run the rapid and leap the fall;
    Split at the rock and together again,
    Accept my bed, or narrow or wide,
    And flee from folly on every side
    With a lover's pain to attain the plain
        Far from the hills of Habersham,
        Far from the valleys of Hall.

        All down the hills of Habersham,
        All through the valleys of Hall,
    The rushes cried, "Abide, abide,"
    The wilful water-weeds held me thrall,
    The laving laurel turned my tide,
    The ferns and the fondling grass said, "Stay,"
    The dewberry dipped for to work delay,
    And the little reeds sighed, "Abide, abide,"
        Here in the hills of Habersham,
        Here in the valleys of Hall.

        High o'er the hills of Habersham,
        Veiling the valleys of Hall,
    The hickory told me manifold
    Fair tales of shade; the poplar tall
    Wrought me her shadowy self to hold;
    The chestnut, the oak, the walnut, the pine,
    Overleaning, with flickering meaning and sign,
        Said: "Pass not so cold, these manifold
        Deep shades of the hills of Habersham,
        These glades in the valleys of Hall."

        And oft in the hills of Habersham,
        And oft in the valleys of Hall,
    The white quartz shone, and the smooth brook stone
    Did bar me of passage with friendly brawl;
    And many a luminous jewel lone
    (Crystals clear or a-cloud with mist,
    Ruby, garnet, or amethyst)
    Made lures with the lights of streaming stone
        In the clefts of the hills of Habersham,
        In the beds of the valleys of Hall.

        But oh! not the hills of Habersham,
        And oh! not the valleys of Hall
    Avail; I am fain for to water the plain.
    Downward the voices of Duty call;
    Downward to toil and be mixed with the main.
    The dry fields burn and the mills are to turn,
    And a myriad flowers mortally yearn,
    And the lordly main from beyond the plain
        Calls o'er the hills of Habersham,
        Calls through the valleys of Hall.


Biographical and Historical: The South has given us two most melodious singers, Poe and Lanier. When only nineteen Sidney Lanier enlisted in the Confederate army, and the close of the war found him broken in health, with little else in the world than a brave wife and a brave heart. When his health permitted he played the flute in an orchestra in Baltimore. The rhythm, the rhyme and the melodious words of his poetry all show him the passionate lover of music that he was. Among his prose writings, "The Boy's Froissart" and "The Boy's King Arthur" are of especial interest to young readers.

Notes and Questions.

Find the Chattahoochee river on your map with its source in the "hills of Habersham" and its course through the "valleys of Hall."

Compare this poem with Tennyson's "The Brook."

What is peculiar in the phrases: "run the rapid," "flee from folly," "wilful waterweeds," "loving laurel," etc.

Find alliteration in other lines.

What is added to the poem by alliteration?

Notice the rhythm in the third line of the first stanza.

What is the peculiarity of the eighth line of the first stanza?

Find lines in the other stanzas which contain rhymes. Notice the last word in each of these lines. What two things have you found out?

Lanier believed that poetry is a kind of music. Does the rhythm in this poem sustain this definition?

Point out lines that are especially musical and pleasing.

Habersham, Hall--Counties in northern Georgia.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "laving laurel"
    "fondling grass"
    "friendly brawl"
    "made lures"
    "lordly main"
    "run the rapid"
    "leap the fall"
    "hurry amain"
    "veiling the valleys"
    "flickering meaning"
    "the mills are to turn"
    "I am fain for to water the plain"



    "How does the water
        Come down at Lodore?"
    My little boy asked me
        Thus, once on a time;
    And, moreover, he tasked me
        To tell him in rhyme.
    Anon at the word,
    There first came one daughter,
        And then came another,
    To second and third
        The request of their brother,
    And to hear how the water
    Comes down at Lodore,
    With its rush and its roar,
        As many a time
    They had seen it before.
        So I told them in rhyme--
    For of rhymes I had store;
    And 'twas my vocation
    For their recreation
        That so I should sing;
    Because I was Laureate
        To them and the king.

    From its sources, which well
        In the tarn on the fell;
    From its fountains
        In the mountains,
    Its rills and its gills;
    Through moss and through brake,
        It runs and it creeps
        For a while, till it sleeps
    In its own little lake.
    And thence, at departing,
    Awakening and starting,
    It runs through the reeds,
    And away it proceeds,
    Through meadow and glade,
    In sun and in shade,
    And through the wood shelter,
        Among crags in its flurry,
    Here it comes sparkling,
    And there it lies darkling;
    Now smoking and frothing
    In tumult and wrath in,
    Till, in this rapid race
        On which it is bent,
    It reaches the place
        Of its steep descent.

        The cataract strong
        Then plunges along,
        Striking and raging,
        As if a war waging
    Its caverns and rocks among;
        Rising and leaping,
        Sinking and creeping,
        Swelling and sweeping,
        Showering and springing,
        Flying and flinging,
        Writhing and ringing,
        Eddying and whisking,
        Spouting and frisking,
        Turning and twisting,
        Around and around
        With endless rebound;
        Smiting and fighting,
        A sight to delight in;
        Confounding, astounding,
    Dizzying, and deafening the ear with its sound,

        Collecting, projecting,
        Receding and speeding,
        And shocking and rocking,
        And darting and parting,
        And threading and spreading,
        And whizzing and hissing,
        And dripping and skipping,
        And hitting and splitting,
        And shining and twining,
        And rattling and battling,
        And shaking and quaking,
        And pouring and roaring,
        And waving and raving,
        And tossing and crossing,
        And flowing and going,
        And running and stunning,
        And foaming and roaming,
        And dinning and spinning,
        And dropping and hopping,
        And working and jerking,
        And guggling and struggling,
        And heaving and cleaving,
        And moaning and groaning,
        And glittering and frittering,
        And gathering and feathering,
        And whitening and brightening,
        And quivering and shivering,
        And hurrying and skurrying,
        And thundering and floundering;

    Dividing and gliding and sliding,
    And falling and brawling and sprawling,
    And driving and riving and striving,
    And sprinkling and twinkling and wrinkling,
    And sounding and bounding and rounding,
    And bubbling and troubling and doubling,
    And grumbling and rumbling and tumbling,
    And chattering and battering and shattering;
    Retreating and beating and meeting and sheeting,
    Delaying and straying and playing and spraying,
    Advancing and prancing and glancing and dancing,
    Recoiling, turmoiling, and toiling and boiling,
    And gleaming and streaming and steaming and beaming,
    And rushing and flushing and brushing and gushing,
    And flapping and rapping and clapping and slapping,
    And curling and whirling and purling and twirling,
    And thumping and plumping and bumping and jumping.
    And dashing and flashing and splashing and clashing;
    And so never ending, but always descending,
    Sounds and motions forever and ever are blending,
        All at once, and all o'er, with a mighty uproar:
        And this way the water comes down at Lodore.


Biographical: Robert Southey, 1774-1843, was a great English poet. In 1813 he was made poet laureate.

Notes and Questions.

Who was "laureate"? What is it to be "laureate"?

Who was the king to whom Southey was poet-laureate?

To whom beside the king does he say he is laureate?

What do you think he means by this?

Find this cataract on your map (Derwent River in Cumberland). What is a cataract? Have you ever seen one?

Find changes in rhythm as the stream advances.

Where in the poem does Southey first use lines in which two words rhyme? In which three words rhyme?

Why does the poet use all these rhymes?

Compare the first and second stanzas as to rate.

Point out lines that are especially pleasing to you.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.




            Hear the sledges with the bells--
                        Silver bells!
    What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
        How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
            In the icy air of night!
        While the stars that oversprinkle
        All the heavens, seem to twinkle
            With a crystalline delight;
                Keeping time, time, time,
                In a sort of Runic rhyme,
    To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
        From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
                    Bells, bells, bells--
    From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.

        Hear the mellow wedding-bells,
                    Golden bells!
    What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!
        Through the balmy air of night
        How they ring out their delight!
            From the molten-golden notes,
                And all in tune,
            What a liquid ditty floats
    To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats
                    On the moon!
        Oh, from out the sounding cells
    What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!
                    How it swells!
                    How it dwells
            On the Future! how it tells
            Of the rapture that impels
        To the swinging and the ringing
            Of the bells, bells, bells--
                    Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
                            Bells, bells, bells--
    To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!

                    Hear the loud alarum bells--
                            Brazen bells!
    What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
                In the startled ear of night
                How they scream out their affright!
                    Too much horrified to speak,
                    They can only shriek, shriek,
                            Out of tune,
    In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
    In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire
                    Leaping higher, higher, higher,
                    With a desperate desire,
                            And a resolute endeavor,
                            Now--now to sit or never,
                    By the side of the pale-faced moon.
                            Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
                            What a tale their terror tells
                                  Of despair!
                    How they clang, and clash, and roar!
                    What a horror they outpour
                On the bosom of the palpitating air!
                        Yet the ear it fully knows,
                                  By the twanging
                                  And the clanging,
                        How the danger ebbs and flows;
                    Yet the ear distinctly tells,
                                  In the jangling,
                                  And the wrangling,
                    How the danger sinks and swells,
    By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells--
                                        Of the bells--
                    Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
                                        Bells, bells, bells--
    In the clamor and the clangor of the bells!

            Hear the tolling of the bells--
                Iron bells!
    What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
        In the silence of the night,
        How we shiver with affright
    At the melancholy menace of their tone!
        For every sound that floats
        From the rust within their throats
                Is a groan.
        And the people--ah, the people--
        They that dwell up in the steeple,
                All alone,
        And who tolling, tolling, tolling,
            In that muffled monotone,
        Feel a glory in so rolling
            On the human heart a stone--
        They are neither man nor woman--
        They are neither brute nor human--
                They are Ghouls;
        And their king it is who tolls;
        And he rolls, rolls, rolls,
            A paean from the bells!
        And his merry bosom swells
            With the paean of the bells!
        And he dances, and he yells;
            Keeping time, time, time,
            In a sort of Runic rhyme,
        To the paean of the bells--
                Of the bells:
        Keeping time, time, time,
        In a sort of Runic rhyme,
            To the throbbing of the bells--
                Of the bells, bells, bells--
            To the sobbing of the bells;
        Keeping time, time, time,
            As he knells, knells, knells,
            In a happy Runic rhyme,
            To the rolling of the bells--
                      Of the bells, bells, bells--
              To the tolling of the bells,
                  Of the bells, bells, bells, bells--
                        Bells, bells, bells--
        To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.


Biographical and Historical: Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston on January 19th, 1809. Both his parents were members of a theatrical troupe then playing in Boston. He was left an orphan at the age of three years, and was adopted by a wealthy Virginia planter and by him educated in England and elsewhere. Owing to his erratic habits, Poe's foster-father disowned him, and after that life for him was a constant battle with poverty. His prose tales abound in adventure, allegory, and the supernatural. His poetry is full of imagery, beauty, and melody.

Notes and Questions.

What kinds of bells does the poet seek to reproduce the sound of?

Which bells has he described best?

Point out words particularly suited to express the sound they describe.

Which lines are especially musical and pleasing?

What can you say of the fire-bells of today?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.




    It was many and many a year ago,
        In a kingdom by the sea,
    That a maiden there lived whom you may know
        By the name of Annabel Lee;
    And this maiden she lived with no other thought
        Than to love and be loved by me.

    I was a child and she was a child,
        In this kingdom by the sea:
    But we loved with a love that was more than love--
        I and my Annabel Lee;
    With a love that the wingèd seraphs of heaven
        Coveted her and me.

    And this was the reason that, long ago,
        In this kingdom by the sea,
    A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
        My beautiful Annabel Lee;
    So that her highborn kinsmen came
        And bore her away from me,
    To shut her up in a sepulchre
        In this kingdom by the sea.

    The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
        Went envying her and me--
    Yes!--that was the reason (as all men know,
        In this kingdom by the sea)
    That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
        Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

    But our love it was stronger by far than the love
        Of those who were older than we--
        Of many far wiser than we--
    And neither the angels in heaven above,
        Nor the demons down under the sea,
    Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
        Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:

    For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
        Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
    And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
        Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
    And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
    Of my darling,--my darling,--my life and my bride,
        In the sepulchre there by the sea,
        In her tomb by the sounding sea.


Notes and Questions.

Like "The Bells," this poem is musical and the words are chosen with reference to this quality.

Notice that the repetition of the word "many" adds to the music of the first line.

Find other lines in which a word is repeated for the sake of melody.

Find lines in which rhymes occur.

Mention lines that are especially pleasing to you.

What reason is given for the death of Annabel Lee?

Why did the angels "covet" and "envy" the lovers?

How strong was this love?

Why does not the lover feel separated from Annabel Lee?

Do you like this poem? Why?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "winged seraphs"
    "sounding sea"
    "highborn kinsmen"



    This I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream:--
    There spread a cloud of dust along a plain;
    And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged
    A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords
    Shocked upon swords and shields. A prince's banner
    Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes.
    A craven hung along the battle's edge,
    And thought, "Had I a sword of keener steel--
    That blue blade that the king's son bears,--but this
    Blunt thing--!" he snapt and flung it from his hand,
    And lowering crept away and left the field.
    Then came the king's son, wounded, sore bestead,
    And weaponless, and saw the broken sword,
    Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,
    And ran and snatched it, and with battle-shout
    Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down,
    And saved a great cause that heroic day.


Biographical: Edward Rowland Sill was born in Connecticut in 1841. He graduated at Yale and lived most of his life in California, being for some years professor of English language and literature at the State University. Sill was a true poet, but the whole of his literary output is contained in two slender volumes. His poems are noted for their compressed thought. The selection here given shows this quality.

Notes and Questions.

What do you learn from this poem?

Where was the craven when he decided his sword was useless?

What word shows that he was there of his own choice?

What kind of sword had the craven?

What words tell you that he was greatly needed in the thick of the conflict?

What kind of sword had the king's son?

How long did the king's son look at the discarded sword before using it?

If the battle represents life, and the craven and the king's son are types of the people in the world, what do you think the swords represent?

Why is this poem called "Opportunity"?

Can you think of another title which might be given to it?

Such a story as this is called an allegory.

"furious"--What is a furious battle?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "hung along the battle's edge"
    "hemmed by foes"



        Whither, midst falling dew,
    While glow the heavens with the last steps of day,
    Far through their rosy depths dost thou pursue
        Thy solitary way?

        Vainly the fowler's eye
    Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong,
    As, darkly painted on the crimson sky,
        Thy figure floats along.

        Seek'st thou the plashy brink
    Of weedy lake, or marge of river wide,
    Or where the rocking billows rise and sink
        On the chafed ocean-side?

        There is a Power whose care
    Teaches thy way along that pathless coast,--
    The desert and illimitable air,--
        Lone wandering, but not lost.

        All day thy wings have fanned,
    At that far height, the cold, thin atmosphere,
    Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome land,
        Though the dark night is near.

        And soon that toil shall end;
    Soon shalt thou find a summer home, and rest,
    And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend
        Soon o'er thy sheltered nest.

        Thou'rt gone; the abyss of heaven
    Hath swallowed up thy form; yet on my heart
    Deeply hath sunk the lesson thou hast given,
        And shall not soon depart.

        He who, from zone to zone,
    Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,
    In the long way that I must tread alone
        Will lead my steps aright.


Biographical and Historical: William Cullen Bryant was born in 1794 in Western Massachusetts. His education was carried on in the district school. At home he had the use of an exceptionally fine library, for that period, and he made the most of its opportunities. In 1816 he secured a license to practice law, and journeyed on foot to Plainfield, Mass., to look for a place to open an office. He felt forlorn and desolate, and the world seemed big and cold. In this mood, while pausing on his way to contemplate the beauty of the sunset, he saw a solitary bird wing its way along the horizon. He watched it until it was lost in the distance. Then he pursued his journey with new courage and on arriving at the place where he was to stop for the night, he sat down and wrote this beautiful poem of faith and hope.

Notes and Questions.

What lines tell you the time of day?

Which stanza do you like best? Why?

What lines give you the most beautiful picture?

What does the poet learn from the waterfowl?

Note that the rhythm gives the impression of the bird's flight.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "thy solitary way"
    "rosy depths"
    "thin atmosphere"
    "the fowler's eye"
    "long way"
    "welcome land"
    "that toil shall end"
    "tread alone"
    "boundless sky"
    "last steps of day"
    "certain flight"
    "lone wandering but not lost"
    "chafed ocean-side"
    "pathless coast"
    "the abyss of heaven hath swallowed up thy form"



        Bird of the wilderness,
        Blithesome and cumberless,
    Sweet be thy matin o'er moorland and lea!
        Emblem of happiness,
        Blest is thy dwelling place,--
    O to abide in the desert with thee!
        Wild is thy lay and loud,
        Far in the downy cloud,
    Love gives it energy, love gave it birth.
        Where on thy dewy wing,
        Where art thou journeying?
    Thy lay is in heaven, thy love is on earth,

        O'er fell and fountain sheen,
        O'er moor and mountain green,
    O'er the red streamer that heralds the day,
        Over the cloudlet dim,
        Over the rainbow's rim,
    Musical cherub, soar, singing, away!
        Then, when the gloaming comes,
        Low in the heather blooms,
    Sweet will thy welcome and bed of love be!


James Hogg was born in Ettrick, Scotland, in 1770, and was known as "the Ettrick Shepherd," because he followed the occupation of a shepherd until he was thirty. The beautiful selection here given was doubtless inspired by the poet's early communion with Nature.

Notes and Questions.

From this poem what can you tell of the home of the skylark? Of its nature?

Why is the lark called an emblem of happiness? Name something that might be called an emblem of strength; of sorrow.

What pictures do the following words make to you: "wilderness," "moor," "lea," "fell," "heather-bloom"?

What is the "red streamer that heralds the day"?

What does the word "dewy" suggest as to the habits of the bird?

What do "matin" and "gloaming" signify?

In the poem what tells you the nest is near the ground?

Why is "downy" used to describe "cloud"?

What makes lines 13 and 14 so musical?

Indicate the rhythm of the first six lines by writing them in groups as shown in the following curves:

  __________    ____________
/                      \/                          \
    Bird of the        wil-der-ness



                  Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!
                      Bird thou never wert,
                  That from Heaven, or near it,
                      Pourest thy full heart
    In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

                  Higher still and higher
                      From the earth thou springest
                  Like a cloud of fire;
                      The blue deep thou wingest
    And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.

                  In the golden lightning
                      Of the sunken sun,
                  O'er which clouds are bright'ning,
                      Thou dost float and run;
    Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.

                  The pale purple even
                      Melts around thy flight;
                  Like a star of heaven,
                      In the broad daylight
    Thou art unseen,--but yet I hear thy shrill delight,

                  Keen as are the arrows
                      Of that silver sphere,
                  Whose intense lamp narrows
                      In the white dawn clear
    Until we hardly see--we feel that it is there.

                  All the earth and air
                      With thy voice is loud,
                  As, when Night is bare,
                      From one lonely cloud
    The moon rains out her beams, and Heaven is overflowed.

                  What thou art we know not;
                      What is most like thee?
                  From rainbow clouds there flow not
                      Drops so bright to see
    As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.

                  Like a Poet hidden
                      In the light of thought,
                  Singing hymns unbidden
                      Till the world is wrought
    To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:

                  Like a high-born maiden
                      In a palace tower,
                  Soothing her love-laden
                      Soul in secret hour
    With music sweet as love,--which overflows her bower:

                  Like a glow-worm golden
                      In a dell of dew,
                  Scattering unbeholden
                      Its aërial hue
    Among the flowers and grass which screen it from the view:

                  Like a rose embowered
                      In its own green leaves,
                  By warm winds deflowered,
                      Till the scent it give
    Makes faint with too much sweet those heavy-winged thieves:

                  Sound of vernal showers
                      On the twinkling grass,
                  Bain-awakened flowers,
                      All that ever was
    Joyous and clear and fresh, thy music doth surpass,

                  Teach us, Sprite or Bird,
                      What sweet thoughts are thine;
                  I have never heard
                      Praise of love or wine
    That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.

                  Chorus Hymeneal,
                      Or triumphal chaunt,
                  Matched with thine, would be all
                      But an empty vaunt,
    A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.

                  What objects are the fountains
                      Of thy happy strain?
                  What fields or waves or mountains?
                      What shapes of sky or plain?
    What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of pain?

                  With thy clear keen joyance
                      Languor cannot be;
                  Shadow of annoyance
                      Never came near thee;
    Thou lovest--but ne'er knew love's sad satiety.

                  Waking or asleep
                      Thou of death must deem
                  Things more true and deep
                      Than we mortals dream--
    Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream?

                  We look before and after,
                      And pine for what is not;
                  Our sincerest laughter
                      With some pain is fraught;
    Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

                  Yet if we could scorn
                      Hate and pride and fear;
                  If we were things born
                      Not to shed a tear,
    I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.

                  Better than all measures
                      Of delightful sound,
                  Better than all treasures
                      That in books are found,
    Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground!

                  Teach me half the gladness
                      That thy brain must know,
                  Such harmonious madness
                      From my lips would flow,
    The world should listen then--as I am listening now.


Biographical and Historical: Percy Bysshe Shelley was born in 1792. He was an English poet who traveled much in Europe, and found Italy especially to his liking. His life was short and full of storm and stress, although he never allowed his personal sufferings to embitter his spirit. While only thirty, on a pleasure cruise off the coast of Italy, he was drowned.

"To a Skylark" and "The Cloud" are rare poems because of their wonderful harmony of sound.

The skylark is found in northern Europe. It is noted for its lofty flights and wonderful song. Note that Shelley, Wordsworth, and James Hogg have all written poems about the skylark.

Notes and Questions.

What country is the home of these poets? What does this fact suggest to you?

Explain the simile in the fifth stanza. In the sixth.

In the seventh stanza what two words are contrasted?

Note the four comparisons--stanzas eight, nine, ten and eleven. Which do you like best? Why?

In line 86 emphasize the first word and explain the stanza.

In line 95 emphasize the fifth word and explain the stanza.

In line 96 to end, what does Shelley say would be the result if a poet could feel such joy as the little bird seems to feel?

If we had no dark days do you think we could appreciate the bright days?

If we had no sadness could we appreciate the songs of gladness?

If Shelley had never experienced sadness could he have written this beautiful poem of gladness?

Explain the following:

      "There is no music in the life
        That sounds with empty laughter wholly;
        There's not a string attuned to mirth
        But has its chord in melancholy."

What does the skylark mean to Shelley?

If we think only of being happy shall we be very helpful to others?

Make a list of all the names he gives the skylark.

Enumerate the expressions Shelley uses in characterizing the song.

Which stanza do you like best? Why?

"wert" rhymes with heart. (In England the sound is broad, er=är).

"even"--a contraction of evening.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "profuse strains"
    "panted forth"
    "heavy-winged thieves"
    "unpremeditated art"
    "rain of melody"
    "harmonious madness"
    "shrill delight"
    "flood of rapture"
    "float and run"
    "rains out"
    "triumphant chaunt"
    "scattering unbeholden"



    I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
            From the seas and the streams;
    I bear light shade for the leaves when laid
            In their noon-day dreams;
    From my wings are shaken the dews that waken
            The sweet buds every one,
    When rocked to rest on their mother's breast,
            As she dances about the sun.
    I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
            And whiten the green plains under;
    And then again I dissolve it in rain,
            And laugh as I pass in thunder.

    I sift the snow on the mountains below,
            And their great pines groan aghast;
    And all the night 'tis my pillow white,
        While I sleep in the arms of the blast,
    Sublime on the towers of my skyey bowers,
        Lightning, my pilot, sits;
    In a cavern under is fettered the thunder,--
        It struggles and howls by fits;
    Over earth and ocean, with gentle motion,
        This pilot is guiding me,
    Lured by the love of the genii that move
        In the depths of the purple sea;
    Over the rills, and the crags, and the hills,
        Over the lakes and the plains,
    Wherever he dream, under mountain or stream,
        The spirit he loves remains;
    And I, all the while, bask in heaven's blue smile,
        Whilst he is dissolving in rains.

    The sanguine sunrise, with his meteor eyes,
        And his burning plumes outspread,
    Leaps on the back of my sailing rack,
        When the morning-star shines dead,
    As on the jag of a mountain-crag,
        Which an earthquake rocks and swings,
    An eagle, alit, one moment may sit,
        In the light of its golden wings.
    And when sunset may breathe, from the lit sea beneath,
        Its ardors of rest and love,
    And the crimson pall of eve may fall
        From the depth of heaven above,
    With wings folded I rest, on mine airy nest,
        As still as a brooding dove.

    That orbèd Maiden, with white fire laden,
        Whom mortals call the Moon,
    Glides glimmering o'er my fleece-like floor,
        By the midnight breezes strewn;
    And wherever the beat of her unseen feet,
        Which only the angels hear,
    May have broken the woof of my tent's thin roof,
        The stars peep behind her, and peer!
    And I laugh to see them whirl and flee,
        Like a swarm of golden bees,
    When I widen the rent in my wind-built tent,
        Till the calm rivers, lakes, and seas,
    Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high,
        Are each paved with the moon and these.

    I bind the sun's throne with a burning zone,
        And the moon's with a girdle of pearl;
    The volcanoes are dim, and the stars reel and swim,
        When the whirlwinds my banner unfurl.
    From cape to cape, with a bridge-like shape,
        Over a torrent of sea,
    Sun-beam proof, I hang like a roof,
        The mountains its columns be.
    The triumphal arch through which I march
        With hurricane, fire, and snow,
    When the powers of the air are chained to my chair,
        Is the million-colored bow;
    The sphere-fire above its soft colors wove,
        While the moist earth was laughing below.

    I am the daughter of earth and water,
        And the nursling of the sky;
    I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
        I change, but I can not die.
    For after the rain, when, with never a stain,
        The pavilion of heaven is bare,
    And the winds and sunbeams, with their convex gleams,
        Build up the blue dome of air,
    I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
        And out of the caverns of rain,
    Like a sprite from the gloom, like a ghost from the tomb,
        I rise and unbuild it again.


Notes and Questions.

In this poem Shelley personifies the Cloud. Why?

What does the second stanza mean to you?

The third stanza relates to the sun; what comparisons are made?

What comparisons are found in the fourth stanza?

Read the last stanza and tell what lesson the poem teaches. What line tells you?

What pictures do you get from the fifth stanza?

Which stanza is most musical and pleasing?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "sanguine sunrise"
    "pavilion of heaven"
    "reel and swim"
    "meteor eyes"
    "caverns of rain"
    "million-colored bow"
    "burning plumes"
    "fleece-like floor"
    "orbed maiden"
    "wind-built tent"

(From "Childe Harold," Canto IV.)


        There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
        There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
        There is society, where none intrudes,
        By the deep sea, and music in its roar;
        I love not man the less, but nature more,
        From these our interviews, in which I steal
        From all I may be, or have been before,
        To mingle with the universe, and feel
    What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.

        Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean--roll!
        Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;
        Man marks the earth with ruin--his control
        Stops with the shore; upon the watery plain
        The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain
        A shadow of man's ravage, save his own,
        When, for a moment, like a drop of rain,
        He sinks into thy depths, with bubbling groan--
    Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown.

        His steps are not upon thy paths--thy fields
        Are not a spoil for him--thou dost arise
        And shake him from thee; the vile strength he wields
        For earth's destruction thou dost all despise,
        Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies,
        And send'st him, shivering in thy playful spray,
        And howling to his gods, where haply lies
        His petty hope in some near port or bay,
    And dashest him again to earth: there let him lay.

        The armaments which thunder-strike the walls
        Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake,
        And monarchs tremble in their capitals,
        The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make
        Their clay creator the vain title take
        Of lord of thee, and arbiter of war:
        These are thy toys, and, as the snowy flake,
        They melt into thy yeast of waves, which mar
    Alike the Armada's pride, or spoils of Trafalgar.

        Thy shores are empires changed in all save thee--
        Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they?
        Thy waters washed them power while they were free,
        And many a tyrant since; their shores obey
        The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay
        Has dried up realms to deserts; not so thou;
        Unchangeable save to thy wild waves' play.
        Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow:
    Such as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now.

        Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form
        Glasses itself in tempests; in all time,
        Calm or convulsed--in breeze or gale or storm,
        Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime
        Dark-heaving; boundless, endless, and sublime--
        The image of Eternity--the throne
        Of the Invisible; even from out thy slime
        The monsters of the deep are made; each zone
    Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.

        And I have loved thee, Ocean! and my joy
        Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be
        Borne, like thy bubbles, onward: from a boy
        I wantoned with thy breakers--they to me
        Were a delight; and if the freshening sea
        Made them a terror--'twas a pleasing fear;
        For I was as it were a child of thee,
        And trusted to thy billows far and near,
    And laid my hand upon thy mane--as I do here.


Biographical and Historical: George Gordon Byron was born in London the year before the outbreak of the French Revolution. At the age of ten, upon the death of his grand-uncle he became Lord Byron. He traveled extensively through Europe, spending much time in Italy. At Pisa he formed a warm friendship for the poet Shelley. So deeply was he moved by his impulses toward liberty and freedom that in the summer of 1823 he left Genoa with a supply of arms, medicines, and money to aid the Greeks in their struggle for independence. In the following year he became commander-in-chief at Missolonghi, but he died of a fever before he had an opportunity to actually engage in battle. Hearing the news, the boy Tennyson, dreaming at Somersby on poetic greatness, crept away to weep and carve upon sandstone the words, "Byron is dead."

Notes and Questions.

In the first stanza why "pathless woods" and "lonely shore"?

In the second and third stanzas Byron contrasts the ocean and the earth in their relation to man.

Line 12--What two words require emphasis?

Line 13--With what is "watery plain" contrasted?

Line 14--With what is "thy" contrasted?

Line 22--What word requires emphasis?

In the fourth stanza what contrast does Byron make?

What does the fifth stanza tell? The sixth?

Which stanza do you like best? Why?

Which lines are the most beautiful?

"The Invincible Armada"--an immense Spanish fleet consisting of one hundred thirty vessels, sailed from Corunna in 1588 and attacked the English fleet but suffered defeat. This event furnished Southey the inspiration for a poem, "The Spanish Armada."

"Trafalgar"--one of Lord Nelson's great sea-fights, occurring off Cape Trafalgar on the coast of Spain in 1805. Here he defeated the combined fleets of France and Spain, but was himself killed.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "playful spray"
    "oak leviathans"
    "yeast of waves"
    "These are thy toys"
    "The Armada's pride"
    "spoils of Trafalgar"
    "glasses itself"



    The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
    And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
    And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
    When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

    Like the leaves of the forest when summer is green,
    That host with their banners at sunset were seen;
    Like the leaves of the forest when autumn hath flown,
    That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.

    For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
    And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
    And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
    And their hearts but once heaved, and forever grew still!

    And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
    But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride;
    And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
    And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.
    And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
    With the dew on his brow and the rust on his mail;
    And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
    The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.

    And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
    And their idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
    And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
    Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!


Historical: Sennacherib was King of Assyria. His army invaded Judea and besieged Jerusalem but was overthrown; 185,000 of his men were destroyed in a single night. Sennacherib returned in haste with the remnant to his own country. For the Bible story of this event read 2 Kings XIX. 6-36.

Notes and Questions.

Find Assyria and Galilee on your map.

Note the development:
1. Brilliant outset of the Assyrian cavalry.
2. Their summer changes to winter.
3. The angel turns their sleep into death.
4. The steed and the rider.
5. The mourning.
6. Their idols powerless to help them.
7. Their religion broken down.
8. Their power "melted like snow."

What two comparisons are found in the first stanza?

Note the movement and rhythm.

Point out the fitness of the two similes in the second stanza.

Find a comparison in the sixth stanza.


"Baal"--the sun-god worshipped by the Assyrians.

Indicate the rhythm of the four lines of the second stanza by writing them in groups under curves as on page 47:

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "idols are broke" (broken)
    "purple and gold"
    "withered and strown"
    "rock-beating surf"

(From "Childe Harold," Canto III.)


        There was a sound of revelry by night,
        And Belgium's capital had gathered then
        Her beauty and her chivalry, and bright
        The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men.
        A thousand hearts beat happily; and when
        Music arose with its voluptuous swell,
        Soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again,
        And all went merry as a marriage bell.
    But, hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell!

        Did ye not hear, it?--No; 'twas but the wind,
        Or the car rattling o'er the stony street.
        On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
        No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
        To chase the glowing hours with flying feet!
        But, hark! that heavy sound breaks in once more,
        As if the clouds its echo would repeat;
        And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before!
    Arm! arm! it is--it is the cannon's opening roar!

        Within a windowed niche of that high hall
        Sate Brunswick's fated chieftain; he did hear
        That sound the first amidst the festival,
        And caught its tone with Death's prophetic ear;
        And when they smiled because he deemed it near,
        His heart more truly knew that peal too well
        Which stretched his father on a bloody bier,
        And roused the vengeance blood alone could quell;
    He rushed into the field, and, foremost fighting, fell.

        Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro,
        And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress,
        And cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago
        Blushed at the praise of their own loveliness;
        And there were sudden partings, such as press
        The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs
        Which ne'er might be repeated: who could guess
        If ever more should meet those mutual eyes,
    Since upon night so sweet such awful morn could rise!

        And there was mounting in hot haste: the steed,
        The mustering squadron, and the clattering car,
        Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
        And swiftly forming in the ranks of war;
        And the deep thunder peal on peal afar;
        And near, the beat of the alarming drum
        Roused up the soldier ere the morning star;
        While thronged the citizens with terror dumb,
    Or whispering with white lips, "The foe! They come! they come!"

        And wild and high the "Cameron's Gathering" rose!
        The war note of Lochiel, which Albyn's hills
        Have heard--and heard, too, have her Saxon foes:
        How in the noon of night that pibroch thrills,
        Savage and shrill! But with the breath which fills
        Their mountain pipe, so fill the mountaineers
        With the fierce native daring which instills
        The stirring memory of a thousand years,
    And Evan's, Donald's fame rings in each clansman's ears!

        And Ardennes waves above them her green leaves,
        Dewy with Nature's tear-drops, as they pass,
        Grieving, if aught inanimate e'er grieves,
        Over the unreturning brave--alas!
        Ere evening to be trodden like the grass
        Which now beneath them, but above shall grow
        In its next verdure, when this fiery mass
        Of living valor, rolling on the foe,
    And burning with high hope, shall molder cold and low.

        Last noon beheld them full of lusty life,
        Last eve in Beauty's circle proudly gay;
        The midnight brought the signal sound of strife--
        The morn, the marshaling in arms--the day,
        Battle's magnificently stern array!
        The thunderclouds close o'er it, which when rent
        The earth is covered thick with other clay,
        Which her own clay shall cover, heaped and pent,
    Rider and horse--friend, foe--in one red burial blent!


Historical: On the evening of June 15, 1815, the Duchess of Richmond gave a ball at Brussels. Wellington's officers, at his request, were present, his purpose being to conceal the near approach of battle. Napoleon, the leader of the French army, was the military genius of the age; Wellington, the leader of the English forces, had, Tennyson tells us, "gained a hundred fights nor ever lost an English gun." These two great generals now met for the first time. The event was of supreme interest to all the world. The engagement that followed next day was fought at Quatre Bras; the great battle of Waterloo took place June 18th, Sunday. Read Thackeray's "Vanity Fair" for description of this night in Brussels. This is a great martial poem--the greatest inspired by this event.

Note the movement of the poem. The revelry, the beauty and the chivalry, the music and the merry-making, the alarm, the hurrying to and fro, the gathering tears, the mounting in hot haste, the whispering with white lips, the Scotch music, the green leaves of Ardennes, the closing scene.

Notes and Questions.

Find Belgium's capital on your map; also Waterloo, twelve miles away.

What does the first stanza tell? The second stanza?

Note the differences between the fourth and fifth stanzas.

The sixth stanza describes the Scottish martial music--What purpose does this stanza serve in the poem?

Which lines do you like best? Why?

Which is the most beautiful stanza?

What words seem to be especially appropriate?

Note the rhythm and the change in movement. "Cameron's Gathering"--The Cameron Highlander's call to arms. "Lochiel"--Donald Cameron of Lochiel was a famous highland chieftain. Read the poem "Lochiel's Warning."

"Albyn"--name given poetically to northern Scotland, the Highland region.

"Pibroch"--martial music upon the bagpipe.

"Evan's, Donald's fame"--Evan Cameron (another Lochiel) and his grandson, Donald, were famous Highland chiefs.

"Ardennes"--Arden, a forest on the Meuse river between Brussels and Waterloo, called Arden by Shakespeare in "As You Like It."

"car"--a cart.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "voluptuous swell"
    "rising knell"
    "glowing hours"
    "opening roar"
    "terror dumb"
    "noon of night"
    "stirring memory"
    "mustering squadron"
    "clattering car"
    "pouring forward"
    "impetuous speed"
    "unreturning brave"
    "rolling on the foe"
    "magnificently stern"

(From "Don Juan," Canto-III.)


    The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece!
        Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
    Where grew the arts of war and peace,
        Where Delos rose and Phoebus sprung!
    Eternal summer gilds them yet,
    But all, except their sun, is set.

    The Scian and the Teian muse,
        The hero's harp, the lover's lute,
    Have found the fame your shores refuse;
        Their place of birth alone is mute
    To sounds which echo further west
    Than your sires' "Islands of the Blest."

    The mountains look on Marathon--
        And Marathon looks on the sea;
    And musing there an hour alone,
        I dreamed that Greece might still be free:
    For, standing on the Persian's grave,
    I could not deem myself a slave.

    A king sat on the rocky brow
        Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis;
    And ships by thousands lay below,
      And men in nations;--all were his!
    He counted them at break of day--
    And when the sun set, where were they?

    And where are they? and where art thou
        My country? On thy voiceless shore
    The heroic lay is tuneless now--
        The heroic bosom beats no more.
    And must thy lyre, so long divine,
        Degenerate into hands like mine?

    'Tis something in the dearth of fame,
        Though linked among a fettered race,
    To feel at least a patriot's shame,
        Even as I sing, suffuse my face;
    For what is left the poet here?
        For Greeks a blush--for Greece a tear.

    Must we but weep o'er days more blest?
        Must we but blush?--Our fathers bled.
    Earth, render back from out thy breast
        A remnant of our Spartan dead!
    Of the three hundred grant but three,
    To make a new Thermopylæ!

    What, silent still? and silent all?
        Ah, no; the voices of the dead
    Sound like a distant torrent's fall,
        And answer, "Let one living head,
    But one, arise--we come, we come!"
    'Tis but the living who are dumb.

    In vain--in vain: strike other chords;
        Fill high the cup with Samian wine!
    Leave battles to the Turkish hordes,
        And shed the blood of Scio's vine!
    Hark! rising to the ignoble call--
    How answers each bold bacchanal!

    You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet--
        Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone?
    Of two such lessons, why forget
        The nobler and the manlier one?
    You have the letters Cadmus gave--
    Think you he meant them for a slave?

    The tyrant of the Chersonese
        Was freedom's best and bravest friend;
    That tyrant was Miltiades!
        O that the present hour would lend
    Another despot of the kind!
    Such chains as his were sure to bind.

    Trust not for freedom to the Franks--
        They have a king who buys and sells--
    In native swords and native ranks
        The only hope of courage dwells;
    But Turkish force and Latin fraud
    Would break your shield, however broad.

    Place me on Sunium's marbled steep,
        Where nothing, save the waves and I
    May hear our mutual murmurs sweep;
        There, swan-like, let me sing and die;
    A land of slaves shall ne'er be mine--
    Dash down yon cup of Samian wine!


Historical: The decline of Greece is the theme of this poem. Byron represents a Greek poet as contrasting ancient and modern Greece, showing that, in modern Greece, "all except their sun is set."

Notes and Questions.

What does the first stanza tell?

What are "the arts of war and peace"?

What nation is meant by the Franks?

"I could not deem myself a slave." Why?

Line 19--relates to Xerxes.

Lines 23, 24. Explain these lines,

Explain lines 67, 70.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "Persian's grave"
    "eternal summer"
    "rocky brow"
    "voiceless shore"
    "heroic lay"
    "fettered race"
    "dearth of fame"
    "Of the three hundred grant but three,
     To make a new Thermopylæ"



    At midnight, in his guarded tent,
        The Turk was dreaming of the hour
    When Greece, her knee in suppliance bent,
        Should tremble at his power.
    In dreams, through camp and court he bore
    The trophies of a conqueror;
        In dreams, his song of triumph heard;
    Then wore his monarch's signet-ring;
    Then pressed that monarch's throne--a king:
    As wild his thoughts, and gay of wing,
        As Eden's garden-bird.

    At midnight, in the forest shades,
        Bozzaris ranged his Suliote band,
    True as the steel of their tried blades,
        Heroes in heart and hand.
    There had the Persian's thousands stood,
    There had the glad earth drunk their blood,
        On old Platæa's day:
    And now there breathed that haunted air,
    The sons of sires who conquered there,
    With arms to strike, and soul to dare,
        As quick, as far as they.

    An hour passed on--the Turk awoke;
        That bright dream was his last:
    He woke--to hear his sentries shriek,
    "To arms! they come! the Greek! the Greek!"
    He woke--to die mid flames and smoke,
    And shout and groan, and sabre-stroke,
        And death-shots falling thick and fast
    As lightnings from the mountain-cloud;
    And heard, with voice as trumpet loud,
        Bozzaris cheer his band:
    "Strike!--till the last armed foe expires;
    Strike!--for your altars and your fires;
    Strike!--for the green graves of your sires;
        God--and your native land!"

    They fought--like brave men, long and well;
        They piled the ground with Moslem slain;
    They conquered--but Bozzaris fell,
        Bleeding at every vein.
    His few surviving comrades saw
    His smile, when rang their proud--"Hurrah,"
        And the red field was won:
    Then saw in death his eyelids close,
    Calmly as to a night's response,
        Like flowers at set of sun.

    But to the hero, when his sword
        Has won the battle for the free,
    Thy voice sounds like a prophet's word,
    And in its hollow tones are heard
        The thanks of millions yet to be.
    Bozzaris! with, the storied brave
    Greece nurtured in her glory's time,
    Rest thee--there is no prouder grave,
        Even in her own proud clime.
    We tell thy doom without a sigh;
    For thou art Freedom's now, and Fame's--
    One of the few, the immortal names
        That were not born to die.


Biographical and Historical: Fitz-Greene Halleck was born in Connecticut, July 8, 1790, and died November 19, 1867. Of his poems, "Marco Bozzaris" is probably the best known. Marco Bozzaris, leader of the Greek revolution, was, killed August 20, 1823, in an attack upon the Turks near Missolonghi, a Greek town. His last words were: "To die for liberty is a pleasure, not a pain."

Notes and Questions.

Over whom did the Turk dream he gained a victory?

What might be the "trophies of a conqueror"?

Upon whom would a monarch confer the privilege of wearing his signet ring?

Trace the successive steps by which the Turk in his dream rises to the summit of his ambition.

What other "immortal names" do you know?

"Suliote"--natives of Suli, a mountainous district in Albania (European Turkey).

"Platæa's day" refers to the victory of the Greeks over the Persians on this field 479 B. C.

"Moslem"--Mohammedans--name given the Turks.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "tried blades"
    "haunted air"
    "storied brave"



    Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
        At his corse to the rampart we hurried;
    Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
        O'er the grave where our hero we buried.

    We buried him darkly at dead of night,
        The sods with our bayonets turning,
    By the struggling moonbeams' misty light,
        And the lantern dimly burning.

    No useless coffin inclosed his breast,
        Nor in sheet nor in shroud we wound him;
    But he lay like a warrior taking his rest,
        With his martial cloak around him.

    Few and short were the prayers we said,
        And we spike not a word of sorrow;
    But we steadfastly gazed on the face of the dead,
        And we bitterly thought of the morrow.

    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,
        And we far away on the billow.

    Lightly they'll talk of the spirit that's gone,
        And o'er his cold ashes upbraid him;
    But little he'll reck, if they let him sleep on
        In the grave where a Briton has laid him.

    But half of our heavy task was done
        When the clock struck the hour for retiring;
    And we heard the distant and random gun
        That the foe was sullenly firing.

    Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
        From the field of his fame fresh and gory;
    We carved not a line, we raised not a stone,
        But we left him alone with his glory.


Charles Wolfe, a British clergyman, was born at Dublin, December 14, 1791, and died at Cork, February 21, 1823. His poem, "The Burial of Sir John Moore," is the only one of his works now widely read.

Historical: Sir John Moore, an English general, was killed (January 16, 1809) in an engagement between the English and the army of Napoleon at Corunna, in Spain. In accordance with an expressed wish, he was buried at night on the battlefield. In St. Paul's Cathedral, London, a monument was erected to his memory, and a stone also marks the spot where he was buried on the ramparts, at Corunna. Note that it was from this port that the Spanish Armada sailed.

Notes and Questions.

Who tells the story of the poem?

What is the narrator's feeling for Sir John Moore? How do you know?

What impressions of Sir John Moore do you get from reading this poem?

Which stanza or stanzas do you like best? Why?

Select the lines that seem to you most beautiful and memorize them.

Which is the greater memorial, a monument of stone or bronze, or such a poem as this? Why?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot"
    "The struggling moonbeam"
    "We bitterly thought of the morrow"



        The waters slept. Night's silvery veil hung low
    On Jordan's bosom, and the eddies curled
    Their glassy rings beneath it, like the still,
    Unbroken beating of the sleeper's pulse.
    The reeds bent down the stream; the willow leaves,
    With a soft cheek upon the lulling tide,
    Forgot the lifting winds; and the long stems,
    Whose flowers the water, like a gentle nurse,
    Bears on its bosom, quietly gave way,
    And leaned in graceful attitudes to rest.
    How strikingly the course of nature tells,
    By its light heed of human suffering,
    That it was fashioned for a happier world!

        King David's limbs were weary. He had fled
    From far Jerusalem; and now he stood,
    With his faint people, for a little rest,
    Upon the shore of Jordan. The light wind
    Of morn was stirring, and he bared his brow
    To its refreshing breath; for he had worn
    The mourner's covering, and he had not felt
    That he could see his people until now.
    They gathered round him on the fresh green bank,
    And spoke their kindly words; and as the sun
    Rose up in heaven, he knelt among them there,
    And bowed his head upon his hands to pray.
    Oh, when the heart is full--when bitter thoughts
    Come crowding thickly up for utterance,
    And the poor, common words of courtesy
    Are such an empty mockery--how much
    The bursting heart may pour itself in prayer!
    He prayed for Israel; and his voice went up
    Strongly and fervently. He prayed for those
    Whose love had been his shield; and his deep tones.
    Grew tremulous. But oh! for Absalom--
    For his estranged, misguided Absalom--
    The proud, bright being who had burst away
    In all his princely beauty, to defy
    The heart that cherished him--for him he poured,
    In agony that would not be controlled,
    Strong supplication, and forgave him there,
    Before his God, for his deep sinfulness.
        The pall was settled. He who slept beneath
    Was straightened for the grave; and as the folds
    Sunk to the still proportions, they betrayed
    The matchless symmetry of Absalom.
    His hair was yet unshorn, and silken curls
    Were floating round the tassels as they swayed
    To the admitted air, as glossy now
    As when, in hours of gentle dalliance, bathing
    The snowy fingers of Judea's daughters.
    His helm was at his feet; his banner, soiled
    With trailing through Jerusalem, was laid,
    Reversed, beside him; and the jeweled hilt,
    Whose diamonds lit the passage of his blade,
    Rested, like mockery, on his covered brow.
    The soldiers of the king trod to and fro,
    Clad in the garb of battle; and their chief,
    The mighty Joab, stood beside the bier,
    And gazed upon the dark pall steadfastly,
    As if he feared the slumberer might stir.
    A slow step startled him. He grasped his blade
    As if a trumpet rang; but the bent form
    Of David entered, and he gave command,
    In a low tone, to his few followers,
    And left him with his dead. The King stood still
    Till the last echo died; then, throwing off
    The sackcloth from his brow, and laying back
    The pall from the still features of his child,
    He bowed his head upon him, and broke forth
    In the resistless eloquence of woe:

    "Alas, my noble boy, that thou shouldst die!
        Thou, who wert made so beautifully fair!
    That death should settle in thy glorious eye,
        And leave his stillness in this clustering hair!
    How could he mark thee for the silent tomb,
        My proud boy, Absalom?

    "Cold is thy brow, my son, and I am chill
        As to my bosom I have tried to press thee!
    How I was wont to feel my pulses thrill,
        Like a rich harp-string, yearning to caress thee,
    And hear thy sweet 'My father!' from these dumb
        And cold lips, Absalom!

    "But death is on thee. I shall hear the gush
        Of music, and the voices of the young;
    And life will pass me in the mantling blush,
        And the dark tresses to the soft winds flung--
    But thou no more, with thy sweet voice, shalt come
        To meet me, Absalom!

    "And oh! when I am stricken, and my heart,
        Like a bruised reed, is waiting to be broken,
    How will its love for thee, as I depart,
        Yearn for thine ear to drink its last deep token!
    It were so sweet, amid death's gathering gloom,
        To see thee, Absalom!

    "And now, farewell! 'Tis hard to give thee up,
        With death so like a gentle slumber on thee;
    And thy dark sin! Oh, I could drink the cup,
        If from this woe its bitterness had won thee.
    May God have called thee, like a wanderer, home,
        My lost boy, Absalom!"

    He covered up his face, and bowed himself
    A moment on his child; then, giving him
    A look of melting tenderness, he clasped
    His hands convulsively, as if in prayer;
    And, as if strength were given him of God,
    He rose up calmly, and composed the pall
    Firmly and decently, and left him there,
    As if his rest had been a breathing sleep.


Nathaniel Parker Willis was born in Maine in 1806. He was a graduate of Yale and was an early contributor to various periodicals, including the "Youths' Companion," which magazine had been founded by his father. The selection here given is regarded as the poet's masterpiece.

Historical: Absalom, the son of David, King of Israel, rebelled against his father. David sent his army to put down the rebellion, but said to his captains, "Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom." In spite of this entreaty, Absalom was slain by Joab, a captain in David's army. The first forty-one lines relate to events preceding the battle, the remainder to events following the battle. Read 2 Samuel XVIII.

Notes and Questions.

Find the Jordan on your map.

Locate the Dead Sea; the wood of Ephraim where Absalom was killed.

Describe the picture you see when you read the first stanza.

What do we call such expressions as "Night's silvery veil"?

What is night's silvery veil?

"The willow leaves with a soft cheek upon the lulling tide, Forgot the lifting winds"--What does this mean? Why "lulling tide"?

What flowers does the poet mean in the eighth line? Is the poet true to nature in what he says of them? Show why.

Select two words or expressions that seem to you to be especially beautiful or fit, and tell why. Do you like the selection? Why?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "waters slept"
    "melting tenderness"
    "fashioned for a happier world"
    "lifting winds"
    "mantling blush"
    "straightened for the grave"
    "breathing sleep"
    "resistless eloquence"
    "bruised reed"
    "still proportions"
    "Whose diamonds lit the passage of his blade"

(From "Marmion.")


    O, young Lochinvar is come out of the West,--
    Through all the wide Border his steed was the best;
    And, save his good broadsword, he weapons had none,--
    He rode all unarmed and he rode all alone.
    So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war,
    There never was knight like the young Lochinvar.

    He stayed not for brake, and he stopped not for stone,
    He swam the Esk river, where ford there was none;
    But ere he alighted at Netherby gate,
    The bride had consented, the gallant came late:
    For a laggard in love, and a dastard in war,
    Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar.

    So boldly he entered the Netherby hall,
    'Mong bridesmen, and kinsmen, and brothers, and all:
    Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his sword
    (For the poor, craven bridegroom said never a word),
    "O, come ye in peace here, or come ye in war,
    Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar?"

    "I long wooed your daughter,--my suit you denied;--
    Love swells like the Selway, but ebbs like its tide;
    And now am I come, with this lost love of mine,
    To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine.
    There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far,
    That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar!"

    The bride kissed the goblet; the knight took it up,
    He quaffed off the wine, and he threw down the cup.
    She looked down to blush, and she looked up to sigh,
    With a smile on her lips, and a tear in her eye.
    He took her soft hand, ere her mother could bar,--
    "Now tread we a measure!" said young Lochinvar.

    So stately his form, and so lovely her face,
    That never a hall such a galliard did grace;
    While her mother did fret, and her father did fume,
    And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and plume,
    And the bridemaidens whispered, "'Twere better, by far,
    To have matched our fair cousin with young Lochinvar."

    One touch to her hand, and one word in her ear,
    When they reached the hall-door, and the charger stood near,
    So light to the croupe the fair lady he swung,
    So light to the saddle before her he sprung!
    "She is won! we are gone, over bank, bush, and scaur;
    They'll have fleet steeds that follow," quoth young Lochinvar.

    There was mounting 'mong Græmes of the Netherby clan;
    Forsters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode, and they ran;
    There was racing and chasing on Cannobie Lee,
    But the lost bride of Netherby ne'er did they see.
    So daring in love, and so dauntless in war,
    Have ye e'er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar?


Biographical and Historical: Walter Scott was born in Edinburgh, in 1771. He loved the romance of Scotland's history and legends. A collection of legendary ballads, songs, and traditions, published by him early in life met with such immediate success that it confirmed him in his resolution to devote himself to literary pursuits. The two selections here given, are taken from his second metrical romance, "Marmion." Later Scott turned his attention to prose and became the creator of the historical novel, of which "Ivanhoe," "Kenilworth," and "Woodstock" are conspicuous examples. He died in 1832, and lies buried in one of the most beautiful ruins in Scotland, Dryburgh Abbey.

Notes and Questions.

Find Esk River and Solway Firth on your map.

Scott describes the tides of Solway Firth in Chapter IV of his novel, "Redgauntlet." Compare the rhythm with that in "How They Brought the Good News."

What impression of Lochinvar do the opening stanzas give you?

What purpose does the fourth stanza serve?

Line 20--Explain this line.

Line 46--What was the result?

What picture does the sixth stanza give you?

Which stanza do you like best?

Which lines are most pleasing?

"galliard"--a gay dance.

"scaur"--steep bank of river.

"clan"--a group of related families.

Translate into your own words: "'They'll have fleet steeds that follow,' quoth young Lochinvar."

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "bonnet and plume"

(From "Marmion.")


    Not far advanced was morning day,
    When Marmion did his troop array,
        To Surrey's camp to ride;
    He had safe conduct for his band,
    Beneath the royal seal and hand,
        And Douglas gave a guide.

    The train from out the castle drew,
    But Marmion stopped to bid adieu:
    "Though something I might 'plain," he said,
        "Of cold respect to stranger guest,
        Sent hither by your king's behest,
    While in Tantallon's towers I staid;
        Part we in friendship from your land,
        And, noble Earl, receive my hand."
    But Douglas round him drew his cloak,
    Folded his arms, and thus he spoke:
    "My manors, halls, and bowers shall still
    Be open, at my sovereign's will,
        To each one whom he lists, howe'er
        Unmeet to be the owner's peer.
    My castles are my king's alone,
    From turret to foundation stone;
    The hand of Douglas is his own;
        And never shall, in friendly grasp,
        The hand of such as Marmion clasp."

    Burned Marmion's swarthy cheek like fire,
    And shook his very frame for ire;
        And "This to me," he said;
    "An 'twere not for thy hoary beard,
    Such hand as Marmion's had not spared
        To cleave the Douglas' head!
    And, first, I tell thee, haughty peer,
    He, who does England's message here,
    Although the meanest in her state,
    May well, proud Angus, be thy mate:
    And, Douglas, more, I tell thee here,
        Even in thy pitch of pride--
    Here, in thy hold, thy vassals near,
        I tell thee, thou'rt defied!
    And if thou said'st, I am not peer
    To any lord in Scotland here,
    Lowland or Highland, far or near,
        Lord Angus, thou hast lied!"

    On the Earl's cheek, the flush of rage
    O'ercame the ashen hue of age:
    Fierce he broke forth; "And dar'st thou then
    To beard the lion in his den,
        The Douglas in his hall?
    And hopest thou hence unscathed to go?
    No, by Saint Bride of Bothwell, no!
    Up draw-bridge, grooms,--what, warder, ho!
        Let the portcullis fall."
    Lord Marmion turned,--well was his need,
    And dashed the rowels in his steed,
    Like arrow through the archway sprung;
    The ponderous grate behind him rung:
    To pass there was such scanty room,
    The bars, descending, razed his plume.

    The steed along the draw-bridge flies,
    Just as it trembled on the rise;
    Nor lighter does the swallow skim
    Along the smooth lake's level brim;
    And when Lord Marmion reached his band
    He halts, and turns with clinched hand
    And shout of loud defiance pours,
    And shook his gauntlet at the towers.
    "Horse! horse!" the Douglas cried, "and chase!"
    But soon he reined his fury's pace:
    "A royal messenger he came,
    Though most unworthy of the name.
    Saint Mary mend my fiery mood!
    Old age ne'er cools the Douglas' blood;
    I thought to slay him where he stood.
    'Tis pity of him, too," he cried;
    "Bold he can speak, and fairly ride--
    I warrant him a warrior tried."
    With this his mandate he recalls,
    And slowly seeks his castle halls.


Historical: Marmion, an English nobleman, is sent as an envoy by Henry the Eighth, King of England, to James the Fourth, King of Scotland. The two countries are on the eve of war with each other. Arriving in Edinburgh, Marmion is entrusted by King James to the care and hospitality of Douglas, Earl of Angus, who, taking him to his castle at Tantallon, treats him with the respect due his position as representative of the king, but at the same time dislikes him. The war approaching, Marmion leaves to join the English camp. This sketch describes the leave-taking.

Notes and Questions.

In what part of the castle does this conversation take place? What tells you?

Where are Marmion's followers during this time? Where are Douglas's soldiery and servants? What lines tell you?

Notice how simply Marmion reminds Douglas of the claim he had upon hospitality, while in Scotland. Lines 9 to 12.

Note the claims that have always been allowed the stranger: "And stranger is a holy name, Guidance and rest and food and fire, In vain he never must require."

What part of Marmion's claim does Douglas recognize? Which lines show this?

What claim does Marmion make for one "who does England's message"?

What do we call one "who do England's message" at Washington?

Is this Marmion's personal pride or pride of country (patriotism)? Read the lines in which Marmion's personal pride shows itself in resentment of Douglas's insults.

What does Douglas forget when he threatens Marmion? Line 69.

Which man appears to greater advantage in this scene?



"Tantal'lon"--Douglas's castle.



"peer"--a nobleman.

"Saint Bride"--a saint belonging to the house of Douglas,

"rowel"--wheel of a spur.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "pitch of pride"
    "ponderous grate"
    "swarthy cheek"
    "flush of rage"
    "level brim"
    "haughty peer"



    Is there, for honest poverty,
        That hangs his head, and a' that?
    The coward-slave, we pass him by;
        We dare be poor for a' that!
            For a' that, and a' that,
                Our toils obscure, and a' that;
            The rank is but the guinea stamp,
                The man's the gowd for a' that.

    What though on hamely fare we dine,
        Wear hodden-gray, an a' that;
    Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine,
        A man's a man for a' that!
            For a' that, and a' that,
                Their tinsel show, and a' that;
            The honest man, though e'er sae poor,
                Is king o' men for a' that.

    Ye see yon birkie, ca'd a lord,
        Wha struts, and stares, and a' that;
    Though hundreds worship at his word,
        He's but a coof for a' that;
            For a' that, and a' that,
                His ribband, star, and a' that;
            The man of independent mind,
                He looks and laughs at a' that.

    A prince can make a belted knight,
        A marquis, duke, and a' that;
    But an honest man's aboon his might,
        Guid faith, he maunna fa' that!
            For a' that, and a' that;
                Their dignities, and a' that;
            The pith o' sense, and pride o' worth,
                Are higher rank than a' that.

    Then let us pray that come it may,
        As come it will for a' that,
    That sense and worth, o'er a' the earth,
        Shall bear the gree, and a' that.
            For a' that, and a' that,
                It's comin' yet, for a' that,
            That man to man, the warld o'er
                Shall brothers be for a' that.


Biographical: Robert Burns was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, in 1759. His life was short and full of poverty and privation; but he saw poetry in all the commonplace occurrences of every-day life. His sympathy went out to all human kind and, as the above selection shows, he had a high regard for the real worth of man.

Notes and Questions.

Does birth or station in life determine the man?

Lines 7, 8. Explain these lines.

Lines 29-40. What do these lines mean?

In the following what is omitted? Man's (27); It's (38); o'er (39).

Why did Burns use the word "coward-slave"?

Does the poet say a man is "king of men" because he is poor?

What makes a man a king among his fellowmen?

Scotch words and their English equivalents: a'--all; wha--who; gowd--gold; hamely--homely; hodden--gray--coarse gray cloth; gie--give; sae--so; birkie--clever fellow; ca'd--called; coof--dunce; aboon--above; guid--good; maunna fa'--must not try; gree--prize.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "toils obscure"
    "pith o' sense"
    "guinea stamp"
    "belted knight"




    The quality of mercy is not strained;
    It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
    Upon the place beneath; it is twice blessed;
    It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes.
    'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
    The thronéd monarch better than his crown;
    His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
    The attribute to awe and majesty,
    Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings:
    But mercy is above the sceptred sway:
    It is enthronéd in the hearts of kings,
    It is an attribute of God himself:
    And earthly power doth then show likest God's,
    When mercy seasons justice. Therefore,
    Jew, though justice be thy plea, consider this,--
    That, in the course of justice, none of us
    Should see salvation; we do pray for mercy;
    And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
    The deeds of mercy.


Biographical and Historical: William Shakespeare, the greatest of English poets, indeed one of the greatest of the world's poets, was born in 1564 at Stratford-on-Avon. As a young man of twenty-two, after his marriage with Anne Hathaway, he went up to London, where he became connected with theaters, first, tradition says, by holding horses at the doors. The next twenty years he spent in London as an actor, and in writing poems and plays, later becoming a shareholder as well as an actor. The last ten years of his life were spent at Stratford, where he died at the age of fifty-two. This was the time of Queen Elizabeth and is known as the Elizabethan Age. It was the age richest in genius of all kinds, but especially in the creation of dramatic literature.

In the foregoing selection, Portia, disguised as a lawyer, makes this famous speech in pleading the cause of Antonio against Shylock.


"strained"--restrained "shows"--is the emblem of

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "temporal power"
    "sceptered sway"
    "Earthly power doth then show likest
    God's When mercy seasons justice"



        All the world's a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players:
    They have their exits and their entrances;
    And one man in his time plays many parts,
    His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
    Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms;
    Then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
    And shining morning face, creeping like snail
    Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
    Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
    Made to his mistress' eye-brow. Then a soldier,
    Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
    Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
    Seeking the bubble reputation
    Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the Justice,
    In fair round belly with good capon lined,--
    With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
    Full of wise saws and modern instances;
    And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
    Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
    With spectacles on nose, and pouch on side;
    His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
    For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
    Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
    And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
    That ends this strange eventful history,
    Is second childishness, and mere oblivion,
        Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.



"his"--its, which was just coming into use at this time.
"formal cut"--trim, near--not shaggy as that of the soldier's,
"wise saws"--wise sayings.
"modern instances"--everyday examples, illustrations.
"strange oaths"--soldiers are proverbially profane--probably satirical reference to the affectation of foreign oaths by soldiers who have been abroad.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "creeping like snail"
    "sighing like furnace"
    "bearded like the pard"

    "eyes severe"
    "woeful ballad"
    "mere oblivion"
    "Seeking the bubble reputation
     Even in the cannon's mouth"



        Give thy thoughts no tongue,
    Nor any unproportioned thought his act.
    Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar:
    The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
    Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
    But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
    Of each new-hatched, unfledged comrade. Beware
    Of entrance to a quarrel; but, being in,
    Bear it, that the opposed may beware of thee.
    Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice:
    Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment
    Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
    But not expressed in fancy; rich, not gaudy:
    For the apparel oft proclaims the man.
    Neither a borrower nor a lender be:
    For loan oft loses both itself and friend;
    And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
    This above all,--to thine own self be true;
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.


Notes and Questions.

"unproportioned"--not worthy or fitting the occasion.
"familiar"--courteous, friendly.
"vulgar"-unduly familiar.
"their adoption tried"--tested by long acquaintance.
"dull thy palm"--lose discrimination.
"expressed in fancy"--loud, ostentatious.

Put in your own words:

    "Give thy thoughts no tongue,
    Nor any unproportioned thought his act."

    "Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice."

    "The apparel oft proclaims the man."

    "Borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry."

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "hoops of steel"

4. MAN


        What a piece of work is man!
    How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties!
    In form and movement, how express and admirable!
    In action, how like an angel! In apprehension, how like a god!
    The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals!


Words and Phrases for Discussion.




    To be or not to be: that is the question:
    Whether 'tis nobler in the mind, to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
    And by opposing end them. To die; to sleep;
    No more; and, by a sleep to say we end
    The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
    That flesh is heir to. 'Tis a consummation
    Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep;
    To sleep? Perchance to dream! ay, there's the rub;
    For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
    When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
    Must give us pause: there's the respect
    That makes calamity of so long life;
    For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
    The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
    The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
    The insolence of office and the spurns
    That patient merit of the unworthy takes
    When he himself might his quietus make
    With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
    To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
    But that the dread of something after death,
    The undiseover'd country, from whose bourn
    No traveler returns, puzzles the will
    And makes us rather bear those ills we have
    Than fly to others that we know not of?
    Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
    And thus the native hue of resolution
    Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
    And enterprises of great pitch and moment,
    With this regard their currents turn awry,
    And lose the name of action.




Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "shuffled off this mortal coil"
    "puzzles the will"
    "native hue of resolution"
    "pale cast of thought"
    "great pitch and moment"



    Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
    Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
    Who steals my purse, steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
    'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
    But he, that filches from me my good name,
    Robs me of that which not enriches him,
    And makes me poor indeed.


Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "immediate jewel of their souls"
    "Who steals my purse steals trash"



    WOLSEY: Farewell, a long farewell, to all my greatness!
    This is the state of man: Today he puts forth
    The tender leaves of hope; tomorrow blossoms,
    And bears his blushing honors thick upon him;
    The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,
    And--when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
    His greatness is a-ripening--nips his root;
    And then he falls, as I do. I have ventured,
    Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
    This many summers, in a sea of glory;
    But far beyond my depth: my high-blown pride
    At length broke under me, and now has left me,
    Weary and old with service, to the mercy
    Of a rude stream, that must forever hide me.
    Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye:
    I feel my heart new opened. O, how wretched
    Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favors!
    There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
    That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,
    More pangs and fears than wars or women have;
    And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
    Never to hope again.--

    Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear
    In all my miseries; but thou hast forced me,
    Out of thy honest truth, to play the woman.
    Let's dry our eyes; and thus far hear me, Cromwell;
    And--when I am forgotten, as I shall be,
    And sleep in dull cold marble, where no mention
    Of me more must be heard of--say, I taught thee;
    Say, Wolsey--that once trod the ways of glory,
    And sounded all the depths and shoals of honor--
    Found thee a way, out of his wreck, to rise in;
    A sure and safe one, though thy master missed it.
    Mark but my fall, and that that ruined me.
    Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition:
    By that sin fell the angels: how can man, then,
    The image of his Maker, hope to win by't?
    Love thyself last; cherish those hearts that hate thee;
    Corruption wins not more than honesty:
    Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace,
    To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not.
    Let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy country's,
    Thy God's, and truth's; then, if thou fall'st, O Cromwell,
    Thou fall'st a blessed martyr! Serve the king;
    And--Prithee, lead me in:
    There take an inventory of all I have,
    To the last penny; 'tis the king's; my robe,
    And my integrity to Heaven, is all
    I dare now call mine own. O Cromwell, Cromwell,
    Had I but served my God with half the zeal
    I served my king, he would not in mine age
    Have left me naked to mine enemies!



"This many summers"--this nineteen years.
"Like Lucifer"--See Isaiah XIV, 12.
"To play the woman"--to shed tears.



Iago. What, are you hurt, lieutenant?

Cassio. Ay, past all surgery.

Iago. Marry, heaven forbid!

Cas. Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial. My reputation, Iago, my reputation!

Iago. As I am an honest man, I thought you had received some bodily wound; there is more sense in that than in reputation. Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit, and lost without deserving: you have lost no reputation at all, unless you repute yourself such a loser. What, man! there are ways to recover the general again: you are but now cast in his mood, a punishment more in policy than in malice; even so as one would beat his offenceless dog to affright an imperious lion: sue to him again, and he's yours.

Cas. I will rather sue to be despised than to deceive so good a commander with so slight, so drunken, and so indiscreet an officer. Drunk? and speak parrot? and squabble? swagger? swear? and discourse fustian with one's own shadow? O thou invisible spirit of wine, if thou hast no name to be known by, let us call thee devil!

Iago. What was he that you followed with your sword? What had he done to you?

Cas. I know not.

Iago. Is't possible?

Cas. I remember a mass of things, but nothing distinctly; a quarrel, but nothing wherefore. O God, that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains! that we should, with joy, pleasance, revel, and applause, transform ourselves into beasts!

Iago. Why, but you are now well enough: how came you thus recovered?

Cas. It hath pleased the devil drunkenness to give place to the devil wrath: one unperfectness shows me another, to make me frankly despise myself.

Iago. Come, you are too severe a moraler: as the time, the place, and the condition of this country stands, I could heartily wish this had not befallen; but, since it is as it is, mend it for your own good.

Cas. I will ask him for my place again; he shall tell me I am a drunkard! Had I as many mouths as Hydra, such an answer would stop them all. To be now a sensible man, by and by a fool, and presently a beast! O strange! Every inordinate cup is unblessed and the ingredient is a devil.

Iago. Come, come, good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be well used: exclaim no more against it. And, good lieutenant, I think you think I love you.

Cas. I have well approved it, sir. I drunk!

Iago. You or any man living may be drunk at a time, man. I'll tell you what you shall do. Our general's wife is now the general: I may say so in this respect, for that he hath devoted and given up himself to the contemplation, mark, and denotement of her parts and graces: confess yourself freely to her: importune her help to put you in your place again: she is of so free, so kind, so apt, so blessed a disposition, she holds it a vice in her goodness not to do more than she is requested: this broken joint between you and her husband entreat her to splinter; and my fortunes against any lay worth naming, this crack of your love shall grow stronger than it was before.

Cas. You advise me well.

Iago. I protest in the sincerity of love and honest kindness.

Cas. I think it freely; and betimes in the morning I will beseech the virtuous Desdemona to undertake for me: I am desperate of my fortunes if they check me here.

Iago. You are in the right. Good night, lieutenant; I must to the watch.

Cas. Good night, honest Iago.



"marry"--an exclamation--indeed!
"fustian"--empty phrasing,

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "immortal part of myself"
    "repute yourself"
    "as many mouths as Hydra"
    "crack of your love"
    "false imposition"
    "speak parrot"
    "must to the watch"



"He cometh unto you with a tale which holdeth children from play and old men from the chimney corner."



"Washington's work is ended and the child shall be named after him," so said the mother of Washington Irving at his birth in New York, April 3, 1783. When, six years later, all New York was enthusiastically greeting the first President of the United States, a Scotch servant in the Irving family followed the President into a shop with the youngest son of the family and approaching him said, "Please, your honor, here's a bairn was named for you." Washington, putting his hand upon the boy's head, gave him his blessing. It seems eminently fitting that this boy, who became known as the Father of American Letters, should write the biography of the man whose name he bore, and whom we know as the Father of his Country.

New York was then the capital of the country, a city of about twenty-five thousand inhabitants, small enough so that it was an easy matter for the city boy to get into the country. New York itself retained many traces of its Dutch origin, and upon its streets could be seen men from all parts of the world. Here the boy grew up happy, seeing many sides of American life, both in the city and in the country. He was fun-loving and social, and could hardly be called a student. He greatly preferred "Robinson Crusoe" and "Sinbad" to the construing of Latin. Best of all, he liked to go exploring down to the water front to see the tall ships setting sail for the other side of the world, or, as he grew older, up the Hudson and into the Catskills, or to that very Sleepy Hollow which lives for us now because of him. Irving liked people, and had many warm friends.

These three tastes--for people, for books, and for travel--his life was destined to gratify. His health being delicate, he was sent abroad at twenty-one, and the captain of the ship he sailed in, noting his fragile appearance, said, "There's one who'll go overboard before we get across," but he happily proved a mistaken prophet. Irving not only survived the voyage, but spent two years traveling in Italy, France, Sicily, and the Netherlands. The romantic spirit strong within him eagerly absorbed mediæval history and tradition. "My native country was full of youthful promise; Europe was rich in the accumulated treasures of age."

Upon his return home, Irving was admitted to the bar, but he never seriously turned his attention to law. In 1809 he published "A History of New York by Diedrich Knickerbocker." It was a humorous history of New Amsterdam, a delicious mingling of sense and nonsense, over which Walter Scott said his "sides were absolutely sore with laughing." While writing this history a great sorrow touched his life--the death of a young girl to whom he was deeply attached.

Ten years later, upon his second visit to Europe, Irving published "The Sketch Book." It rapidly won favor both in England and America. Byron said of it: "I know it by heart; at least there is not a passage that I cannot refer to immediately." This second visit to Europe was to be a short business trip, but as it chanced, it lasted seventeen years. The first five years were spent in England. Later he went to Spain, and as a result of this visit, we have a series of books dealing with Spanish history and tradition--"The Alhambra," "The Conquest of Granada" and "The Life of Columbus." During all these years and in all these places, he met and won the regard of hosts of interesting people. Everyone praised his books, and everyone liked the likable American, with his distinguished face and gentle manners.

In 1832 Irving was gladly welcomed back to America, for many had feared that his long absence might mean permanent residence abroad. The next ten years were spent in his beautiful home, Sunnyside, at Tarrytown-on-the-Hudson. Daniel Webster, Secretary of State, could find no person more gratifying to the Spanish people, than the author of the "Life of Columbus" and, in 1842, persuaded Irving to represent us at the Spanish court. After four years, he returned to America and passed his time almost exclusively in writing. The work which he finished just before his death, in November, 1859, was the "Life of Washington." He was buried on a hill overlooking the river and a portion of the Sleepy Hollow Valley.

Because of the ease and smoothness of his style, and his delicate sense of form, Irving delighted his own and succeeding generations of both his countrymen and his British cousins. All his work is pervaded by the strong and winning personal quality that brought him the love and admiration of all. Charles Dudley Warner says of him: "The author loved good women and little children and a pure life; he had faith in his fellow-men, a kindly sympathy with the lowest, without any subservience to the highest. His books are wholesome, full of sweetness and charm, of humor without any sting, of amusement without any stain; and their more solid qualities are marred by neither pedantry nor pretension."




        By Woden, God of Saxons,
        From whence comes Wensday, that is Wodensday.
        Truth is a thing that ever I will keep
        Unto thylke day in which I creep into
        My sepulchre.

The following tale was found among the papers of the late Diedrich Knickerbocker, an old gentleman of New York, who was very curious in the Dutch history of the province, and the manners of the descendants from its primitive settlers. His historical researches, however, did not lie so much among books as among men; for the former are lamentably scanty on his favorite topics; whereas he found the old burghers, and still more their wives, rich in that legendary lore so invaluable to true history. Whenever, therefore, he happened upon a genuine Dutch family, snugly shut up in its low-roofed farmhouse under a spreading sycamore, he looked upon it as a little clasped volume of black-letter, and studied it with the zeal of a book worm. The result of all these researches was a history of the province during the reign of the Dutch governors, which he published some years since. There have been various opinions as to the literary character of his work, and, to tell the truth, it is not a whit better than it should be. Its chief merit is its scrupulous accuracy, which indeed was a little questioned on its first appearance, but has since been completely established; and it is now admitted into all historical collections, as a book of unquestionable authority.

The old gentleman died shortly after the publication of his work, and now that he is dead and gone, it cannot do much harm to his memory to say that his time might have been much better employed in weightier labors. He, however, was apt to ride his hobby his own way; and though it did now and then kick up the dust a little in the eyes of his neighbors, and grieve the spirit of some friends, for whom he felt the truest deference and affection; yet his errors and follies are remembered "more in sorrow than in anger," and it begins to be suspected that he never intended to injure or offend. But however his memory may be appreciated by critics, it is still held dear by many folk, whose good opinion is worth having; particularly by certain biscuit-bakers, who have gone so far as to imprint his likeness on their new-year cakes; and have thus given him a chance for immortality, almost equal to the being stamped on a Waterloo Medal, or a Queen Anne's Farthing.

Whoever has made a voyage up the Hudson must remember the Kaatskill Mountains. They are a dismembered branch of the great Appalachian family, and are seen away to the west of the river, swelling up to a noble height, and lording it over the surrounding country. Every change of season, every change of weather, indeed, every hour of the day, produces some change in the magical hues and shapes of these mountains, and they are regarded by all the good wives, far and near, as perfect barometers. When the weather is fair and settled, they are clothed in blue and purple, and print their bold outlines on the clear evening sky; but sometimes when the rest of the landscape is cloudless they will gather a hood of gray vapors about their summits, which, in the last rays of the setting sun, will glow and light up like a crown of glory.

At the foot of these fairy mountains, the voyager may have descried the light smoke curling up from a village, whose shingle-roofs gleam among the trees, just where the blue tints of the upland melt away into the fresh green of the nearer landscape. It is a little village of great antiquity, having been founded by some of the Dutch colonists in the early time of the province, just about the beginning of the government of the good Peter Stuyvesant (may he rest in peace!), and there were some of the houses of the original settlers standing within a few years, built of small yellow bricks brought from Holland, having latticed windows and gable fronts, surmounted with weathercocks.

In that same village, and in one of these very houses (which, to tell the precise truth, was sadly time-worn and weather-beaten), there lived many years since, while the country was yet a province of Great Britain, a simple, good-natured fellow, of the name of Rip Van Winkle. He was a descendant of the Van Winkles who figured so gallantly in the chivalrous days of Peter Stuyvesant, and accompanied him to the siege of Fort Christina. He inherited, however, but little of the martial character of his ancestors. I have observed that he was a simple, good-natured man; he was, moreover, a kind neighbor, and an obedient henpecked husband. Indeed, to the latter circumstance might be owing that meekness of spirit which gained him such universal popularity; for those men are most apt to be obsequious and conciliating abroad, who are under the discipline of shrews at home. Their tempers, doubtless, are rendered pliant and malleable in the fiery furnace of domestic tribulation; and a curtain lecture is worth all the sermons in the world for teaching the virtues of patience and long-suffering. A termagant wife may, therefore, in some respects be considered a tolerable blessing, and if so, rip Van Winkle was thrice blessed.

Certain it is, that he was a great favorite among all the good wives of the village, who, as usual with the amiable sex, took his part in all family squabbles; and never failed, whenever they talked those matters over in their evening gossipings, to lay all the blame on Dame Van Winkle. The children of the village, too, would shout with joy whenever he approached. He assisted at their sports, made their playthings, taught them to fly kites and shoot marbles, and told them long stories of ghosts, witches, and Indians. Whenever he went dodging about the village, he was surrounded by a troop of them, hanging on his skirts, clambering on his back, and playing a thousand tricks on him with impunity; and not a dog would bark at him throughout the neighborhood.

The great error in Rip's composition was an insuperable aversion to all kinds of profitable labor. It could not be from the want of assiduity or perseverance; for he would sit on a wet rock, with a rod as long and heavy as a Tartar's lance, and fish all day without a murmur, even though he should not be encouraged by a single nibble. He would carry a fowling-piece on his shoulder for hours together, trudging through woods and swamps, and up hill and down dale, to shoot a few squirrels or wild pigeons. He would never refuse to assist a neighbor, even in the roughest toil, and was a foremost man at all country frolics for husking Indian corn, or building stone-fences; the women of the village, too, used to employ him to run their errands, and to do such little odd jobs as their less obliging husbands would not do for them. In a word, Rip was ready to attend to anybody's business but his own; but as to doing family duty, and keeping his farm in order, he found it impossible.

In fact, he declared it was of no use to work on his farm; it was the most pestilent little piece of ground in the whole country; everything about it went wrong, and would go wrong, in spite of him. His fences were continually falling to pieces; his cow would either go astray or get among the cabbages; weeds were sure to grow quicker in his fields than anywhere else; the rain always made a point of setting in just as he had some out-door work to do; so that though his patrimonial estate had dwindled away under his management, acre by acre, until there was little more left than a mere patch of Indian corn and potatoes, yet it was the worst-conditioned farm in the neighborhood.

His children, too, were as ragged and wild as if they belonged to nobody. His son Rip, an urchin begotten in his own likeness, promised to inherit the habits, with the old clothes of his father. He was generally seen trooping like a colt at his mother's heels, equipped in a pair of father's cast-off galligaskins, which he had much ado to hold up with, one hand, as a fine lady does her train in bad weather.

Rip Van Winkle, however, was one of those happy mortals, of foolish, well-oiled dispositions, who take the world easy, eat white bread or brown, whichever can be got with least thought or trouble, and would rather starve on a penny than work for a pound. If left to himself, he would have whistled life away in perfect contentment; but his wife kept continually dinning in his ears about his idleness, his carelessness, and the ruin he was bringing on his family. Morning, noon, and night her tongue was incessantly going, and everything he said or did was sure to produce a torrent of household eloquence. Rip had but one way of replying to all lectures of the kind, and that, by frequent use, had grown into a habit. He shrugged his shoulders, shook his head, cast up his eyes, but said nothing. This, however, always provoked a fresh volley from his wife; so that he was fain to draw off his forces, and take to the outside of the house--the only side which, in truth, belongs to a henpecked husband.

Rip's sole domestic adherent was his dog Wolf, who was as much henpecked as his master; for Dame Van Winkle regarded them as companions in idleness, and even looked upon Wolf with an evil eye, as the cause of his master's going so often astray. True it is, in all points of spirit befitting an honorable dog, he was as courageous an animal as ever scoured the woods--but what courage can withstand the ever-during and all-besetting terrors of a woman's tongue? The moment Wolf entered the house his crest fell, his tail drooped to the ground, or curled between his legs, he sneaked about with a gallows air, casting many a sidelong glance at Dame Van Winkle, and at the least flourish of a broomstick or ladle he would fly to the door with yelping precipitation.

Times grew worse and worse with Rip Van Winkle as years of matrimony rolled on; a tart temper never mellows with age, and a sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with constant use. For a long while he used to console himself, when driven from home, by frequenting a kind of perpetual club of the sages, philosophers, and other idle personages of the village; which held its sessions on a bench before a small inn, designated by a rubicund portrait of His Majesty George the Third. Here they used to sit in the shade through a long lazy summer's day, talking listlessly over village gossip, or telling endless sleepy stories about nothing. But it would have been worth any statesman's money to have heard the profound discussions that sometimes took place, when by chance an old newspaper fell into their hands from some passing traveler. How solemnly they would listen to the contents, as drawled out by Derrick Van Bummel, the school-master, a dapper learned little man, who was not to be daunted by the most gigantic word in the dictionary; and how sagely they would deliberate upon public events some months after they had taken place.

The opinions of this junto were completely controlled by Nicholas Vedder, a patriarch of the village, and landlord of the inn, at the door of which he took his seat from morning till night, just moving sufficiently to avoid the sun and keep in the shade of a large tree; so that the neighbors could tell the hour by his movements as accurately as by a sun-dial. It is true he was rarely heard to speak, but smoked his pipe incessantly. His adherents, however (for every great man has his adherents), perfectly understood him, and knew how to gather his opinions. When anything that was read or related displeased him, he was observed to smoke his pipe vehemently, and to send forth short, frequent and angry puffs; but when pleased, he would inhale the smoke slowly and tranquilly, and emit it in light and placid clouds; and sometimes, taking the pipe from his mouth, and letting the fragrant vapor curl about his nose, would gravely nod his head in token of perfect approbation.

From even this stronghold the unlucky Rip was at length routed by his termagant wife, who would suddenly break in upon the tranquillity of the assemblage and call the members all to naught; nor was that august personage, Nicholas Vedder himself, sacred from the daring tongue of this terrible virago, who charged him outright with encouraging her husband in habits of idleness.

Poor Rip was at last reduced almost to despair; and his only alternative, to escape from the labor of the farm and clamor of his wife, was to take gun in hand and stroll away into the woods. Here he would sometimes seat himself at the foot of a tree, and share the contents of his wallet with Wolf, with whom he sympathized, as a fellow-sufferer in persecution. "Poor Wolf," he would say, "thy mistress leads thee a dog's life of it; but never mind, my lad, whilst I live thou shalt never want a friend to stand by thee!" Wolf would wag his tail, look wistfully in his master's face, and if dogs can feel pity I verily believe he reciprocated the sentiment with all his heart.

In a long ramble of the kind on a fine autumnal day, Rip had unconsciously scrambled to one of the highest parts of the Kaatskill Mountains. He was after his favorite sport of squirrel shooting, and the still solitudes had echoed and re-echoed with the reports of his gun. Panting and fatigued, he threw himself, late in the afternoon, on a green knoll, covered with mountain herbage, that crowned the brow of a precipice. From an opening between the trees he could overlook all the lower country for many a mile of rich woodland. He saw at a distance the lordly Hudson, far, far below him, moving on its silent but majestic course, with the reflection of a purple cloud, or the sail of a lagging bark, here and there sleeping on its glassy bosom, and at last losing itself in the blue highlands.

On the other side he looked down into a deep mountain glen, wild, lonely, and shagged, the bottom filled with fragments from the impending cliffs, and scarcely lighted by the reflected rays of the setting sun. For some time Rip lay musing on this scene; evening was gradually advancing; the mountains began to throw their long blue shadows over the valleys; he saw that it would be dark long before he could reach the village, and he heaved a heavy sigh when he thought of encountering the terrors of Dame Van Winkle.

As he was about to descend, he heard a voice from a distance, hallooing, "Rip Van Winkle! Rip Van Winkle!" He looked round, but could see nothing but a crow winging its solitary flight across the mountain. He thought his fancy must have deceived him, and turned again to descend, when he heard the same cry ring through the still evening air: "Rip Van Winkle! Rip Van Winkle!"--at the same time Wolf bristled up his back, and giving a low growl, skulked to his master's side, looking fearfully down into the glen. Rip now felt a vague apprehension stealing over him; he looked anxiously in the same direction, and perceived a strange figure slowly toiling up the rocks, and bending under the weight of something he carried on his back. He was surprised to see any human being in this lonely and unfrequented place; but supposing it to be some one of the neighborhood in need of assistance, he hastened down to yield it.

On nearer approach he was still more surprised at the singularity of the stranger's appearance. He was a short, square-built old fellow, with thick bushy hair, and a grizzled beard. His dress was of the antique Dutch fashion: a cloth jerkin strapped round the waist, several pair of breeches, the outer one of ample volume, decorated with rows of buttons down the sides, and bunches at the knees. He bore on his shoulder a stout keg, that seemed full of liquor, and made signs for Rip to approach and assist him with the load. Though rather shy and distrustful of this new acquaintance, Rip complied with his usual alacrity; and mutually relieving one another, they clambered up a narrow gully, apparently the dry bed of a mountain torrent. As they ascended, Rip every now and then heard long rolling peals like distant thunder, that seemed to issue out of a deep ravine, or rather cleft, between lofty rocks, toward which their rugged path conducted. He paused for a moment, but supposing it to be the muttering of one of those transient thunder-showers which often take place in mountain heights, he proceeded. Passing through the ravine, they came to a hollow, like a small amphitheatre, surrounded by perpendicular precipices, over the brinks of which impending trees shot their branches, so that you only caught glimpses of the azure sky and the bright evening cloud. During the whole time Rip and his companion had labored on in silence; for though the former marveled greatly what could be the object of carrying a keg of liquor up this wild mountain, yet there was something strange and incomprehensible about the unknown, that inspired awe and checked familiarity.

On entering the amphitheatre, new objects of wonder presented themselves. On a level spot in the centre was a company of odd-looking personages playing at ninepins. They were dressed in a quaint outlandish fashion; some wore short doublets, others jerkins, with long knives in their belts, and most of them had enormous breeches of similar style with that of the guide's. Their visages, too, were peculiar; one had a large beard, broad face, and small piggish eyes; the face of another seemed to consist entirely of nose, and was surmounted by a white sugar-loaf hat, set off with a little red cock's tail. They all had beards, of various shapes and colors. There was one who seemed to be the commander. He was a stout old gentleman, with a weather-beaten countenance; he wore a laced doublet, broad belt and hanger, high-crowned hat and feather, red stockings, and high-heeled shoes, with roses in them. The whole group reminded Rip of the figures in an old Flemish painting in the parlor of Dominie Van Shaick, the village parson, which had been brought over from Holland at the time of the settlement.

What seemed particularly odd to Rip was, that though these folks were evidently amusing themselves, yet they maintained the gravest faces, the most mysterious silence, and were, withal, the most melancholy party of pleasure he had ever witnessed. Nothing interrupted the stillness of the scene but the noise of the balls, which, whenever they were rolled, echoed along the mountains like rumbling peals of thunder.

As Rip and his companion approached them, they suddenly desisted from their play, and stared at him with such fixed, statue-like gaze, and such strange, uncouth, lack-lustre countenances, that his heart turned within him, and his knees smote together. His companion now emptied the contents of the keg into large flagons, and made signs to him to wait upon the company. He obeyed with fear and trembling; they quaffed the liquor in profound silence, and then returned to their game.

By degrees Rip's awe and apprehension subsided. He even ventured, when no eye was fixed upon him, to taste the beverage, which he found had much of the flavor of excellent Hollands. He was naturally a thirsty soul, and was soon tempted to repeat the draught. One taste provoked another; and he reiterated his visits to the flagon so often that at length his senses were overpowered, his eyes swam in his head, his head gradually declined, and he fell into a deep sleep.

On waking, he found himself on the green knoll whence he had first seen the old man of the glen. He rubbed his eyes--it was a bright, sunny morning. The birds were hopping and twittering among the bushes, and the eagle was wheeling aloft, and breasting the pure mountain breeze. "Surely," thought Rip, "I have not slept here all night." He recalled the occurrences before he fell asleep. The strange man with a keg of liquor--the mountain ravine--the wild retreat among the rocks--the woe-begone party at ninepins--the flagon--"Oh! that flagon! that wicked flagon!" thought Rip--"what excuse shall I make to Dame Van Winkle?"

He looked round for his gun, but in place of the clean, well-oiled fowling-piece, he found an old firelock lying by him, the barrel incrusted with rust, the lock falling off, and the stock worm-eaten. He now suspected that the grave roisterers of the mountain had put a trick upon him, and, having dosed him with liquor, had robbed him of his gun. Wolf, too, had disappeared, but he might have strayed away after a squirrel or partridge. He whistled after him, and shouted his name, but all in vain; the echoes repeated his whistle and shout, but no dog was to be seen.

He determined to revisit the scene of the last evening's gambol, and if he met with any of the party, to demand his dog and gun. As he rose to walk, he found himself stiff in the joints, and wanting in his usual activity. "These mountain beds do not agree with me," thought Rip, "and if this frolic should lay me up with a fit of the rheumatism, I shall have a blessed time with Dame Van Winkle." With some difficulty he got down into the glen; he found the gully up which he and his companion had ascended the preceding evening; but to his astonishment a mountain stream was now foaming down it, leaping from rock to rock, and filling the glen with babbling murmurs. He, however, made shift to scramble up its sides, working his toilsome way through thickets of birch, sassafras, and witchhazel, and sometimes tripped up or entangled by the wild grapevines that twisted their coils or tendrils from tree to tree, and spread a kind of network in his path.

At length he reached to where the ravine had opened through the cliffs to the amphitheatre; but no traces of such opening remained. The rocks presented a high, impenetrable wall, over which the torrent came tumbling in a sheet of feathery foam, and fell into a broad, deep basin, black from the shadows of the surrounding forest. Here, then, poor Rip was brought to a stand. He again called and whistled after his dog; he was only answered by the cawing of a flock of idle crows, sporting high in air about a dry tree that overhung a sunny precipice; and who, secure in their elevation, seemed to look down and scoff at the poor man's perplexities. What was to be done? the morning was passing away, and Rip felt famished for want of his breakfast. He grieved to give up his dog and gun; he dreaded to meet his wife; but it would not do to starve among the mountains. He shook his head, shouldered the rusty fire-lock, and, with a heart full of trouble and anxiety, turned his steps homeward.

As he approached the village he met a number of people, but none whom he knew, which somewhat surprised him, for he had thought himself acquainted with every one in the country round. Their dress, too, was of a different fashion from that to which he was accustomed. They all stared at him with equal marks of surprise, and whenever they cast their eyes upon him, invariably stroked their chins. The constant recurrence of this gesture induced Rip, involuntarily, to do the same, when, to his astonishment, he found his beard had grown a foot long!

He had now entered the skirts of the village. A troop of strange children ran at his heels, hooting after him, and pointing at his gray beard. The dogs, too, not one of which he recognized for an old acquaintance, barked at him as he passed. The very village was altered; it was larger and more populous. There were rows of houses which he had never seen before, and those which had been his familiar haunts had disappeared. Strange names were over the doors--strange faces at the windows,--everything was strange. His mind now misgave him; he began to doubt whether both he and the world around him were not bewitched. Surely this was his native village, which he had left but the day before. There stood the Kaatskill Mountains--there ran the silver Hudson at a distance--there was every hill and dale precisely as it had always been--Rip was sorely perplexed--"That flagon last night," thought he, "has addled my poor head sadly!"

It was with some difficulty that he found the way to his own house, which he approached with silent awe, expecting every moment to hear the shrill voice of Dame Van Winkle. He found the house gone to decay--the roof fallen in, the windows shattered, and the doors off the hinges. A half-starved dog that looked like Wolf was skulking about it. Rip called him by name, but the cur snarled, showed his teeth, and passed on. This was an unkind cut indeed--"My very dog," sighed poor Rip, "has forgotten me!"

He entered the house, which, to tell the truth, Dame Van Winkle had always kept in neat order. It was empty, forlorn, and apparently abandoned. This desolateness overcame all his connubial fears--he called loudly for his wife and children--the lonely chambers rang for a moment with his voice, and then again all was silence.

He now hurried forth, and hastened to his old resort, the village inn--but it, too, was gone. A large, rickety wooden building stood in its place, with great gaping windows, some of them broken and mended with old hats and petticoats, and over the door was painted, "The Union Hotel, by Jonathan Doolittle." Instead of the great tree that used to shelter the quiet little Dutch inn of yore, there now was reared a tall naked pole, with something on the top that looked like a red night-cap, and from it was fluttering a flag, on which was a singular assemblage of stars and stripes--all this was strange and incomprehensible. He recognized on the sign, however, the ruby face of King George, under which he had smoked so many a peaceful pipe; but even this was singularly metamorphosed. The red coat was changed for one of blue and buff, a sword was held in the hand instead of a sceptre, the head was decorated with a cocked hat, and underneath was painted in large characters, GENERAL WASHINGTON.

There was, as usual, a crowd of folk about the door, but none that Rip recollected. The very character of the people seemed changed. There was a busy, bustling, disputatious tone about it, instead of the accustomed phlegm and drowsy tranquillity. He looked in vain for the sage Nicholas Vedder, with his broad face, double chin, and fair long pipe, uttering clouds of tobacco-smoke instead of idle speeches; or Van Bummel, the schoolmaster, doling forth the contents of an ancient newspaper. In place of these, a lean bilious-looking fellow, with his pockets full of hand bills, was haranguing vehemently about rights of citizens--elections--members of congress--liberty--Bunker's Hill--heroes of seventy-six--and other words, which were a perfect Babylonish jargon to the bewildered Van Winkle.

The appearance of Rip, with his long grizzled heard, his rusty fowling-piece, his uncouth dress, and an army of women and children at his heels, soon attracted the attention of the tavern-politicians. They crowded round him, eying him from head to foot with great curiosity. The orator bustled up to him, and, drawing him partly aside, inquired "on which side he voted?" Rip stared in vacant stupidity. Another short but busy little fellow pulled him by the arm, and, rising on tiptoe, inquired in his ear, "Whether he was Federal or Democrat?" Rip was equally at a loss to comprehend the question; when a knowing, self-important old gentleman, in a sharp cocked hat, made his way through the crowd, putting them to the right and left with his elbows as he passed, and planting himself before Van Winkle, with one arm akimbo, the other resting on his cane, his keen eyes and sharp hat penetrating, as it were, into his very soul, demanded in an austere tone, "what brought him to the election with a gun on his shoulder and a mob at his heels, and whether he meant to breed a riot in the village?"--"Alas! gentlemen," cried Rip, somewhat dismayed, "I am a poor quiet man, a native of the place, and a loyal subject of the king, God bless him!"

Here a general shout burst from the bystanders--"A tory! a tory! a spy! a refugee! hustle him! away with him!" It was with great difficulty that the self-important man in the cocked hat restored order; and, having assumed a tenfold austerity of brow, demanded again of the unknown culprit what he came there for, and whom he was seeking? The poor man humbly assured him that he meant no harm, but merely came there in search of some of his neighbors, who used to keep about the tavern.

"Well--who are they?--name them."

Rip bethought himself a moment, and inquired, "Where's Nicholas Vedder?"

There was a silence for a little while, when an old man replied, in a thin, piping voice: "Nicholas Vedder! why, he is dead and gone these eighteen years! There was a wooden tombstone in the churchyard that used to tell all about him, but that's rotten and gone too."

"Where's Brom Dutcher?"

"Oh, he went off to the army in the beginning of the war; some say he was killed at the storming of Stony Point--others say he was drowned in a squall at the foot of Antony's Nose. I don't know--he never came back again."

"Where's Van Bummel, the schoolmaster?"

"He went off to the wars too, was a great militia general, and is now in Congress."

Rip's heart died away at hearing of these sad changes in his home and friends, and finding himself thus alone in the world. Every answer puzzled him too, by treating of such enormous lapses of time, and of matters which he could not understand: war--Congress--Stony Point; he had no courage to ask after any more friends, but cried out in despair, "Does nobody here know Rip Van Winkle?"

"Oh, Rip Van Winkle!" exclaimed two or three, "Oh, to be sure! that's Rip Van Winkle yonder, leaning against the tree."

Rip looked, and beheld a precise counterpart of himself, as he went up the mountain: apparently as lazy, and certainly as ragged. The poor fellow was now completely confounded. He doubted his own identity, and whether he was himself or another man. In the midst of his bewilderment, the man in the cocked hat demanded who he was, and what was his name?

"God knows," exclaimed he, at his wit's end; "I'm not myself--I'm somebody else--that's me yonder--no--that's somebody else got into my shoes--I was myself last night, but I fell asleep on the mountain, and they've changed my gun, and everything's changed, and I'm changed, and I can't tell what's my name, or who I am!"

The bystanders began now to look at each other, nod, wink significantly, and tap their fingers against their foreheads. There was a whisper, also, about securing the gun, and keeping the old fellow from doing mischief, at the very suggestion of which the self-important man in the cocked hat retired with some precipitation. At this critical moment a fresh, comely woman pressed through the throng to get a peep at the gray-bearded man. She had a chubby child in her arms, which, frightened at his looks, began to cry. "Hush, Rip," cried she, "hush, you little fool; the old man won't hurt you." The name of the child, the air of the mother, the tone of her voice, all awakened a train of recollections in his mind. "What is your name, my good woman?" asked he.

"Judith Gardenier."

"And your father's name?"

"Ah, poor man, Rip Van Winkle was his name, but it's twenty years since he went away from home with his gun, and never has been heard of since,--his dog came home without him; but whether he shot himself, or was carried away by the Indians, nobody can tell. I was then but a little girl."

Rip had but one question more to ask; and he put it with a faltering voice:--

"Where's your mother?"

"Oh, she too had died but a short time since; she broke a blood-vessel in a fit of passion at a New England peddler."

There was a drop of comfort at least, in this intelligence. The honest man could contain himself no longer. He caught his daughter and her child in his arms. "I am your father!" cried he--"Young Rip Van Winkle once--old Rip Van Winkle now! Does nobody know poor Rip Van Winkle?"

All stood amazed, until an old woman, tottering out from among the crowd, put her hand to her brow, and peering under it in his face for a moment, exclaimed, "Sure enough, it is Rip Van Winkle--it is himself! Welcome home again, old neighbor--Why, where have you been these twenty long years?"

Rip's story was soon told, for the whole twenty years had been to him but as one night. The neighbors stared when they heard it; some were seen to wink at each other, and put their tongues in their cheeks; and the self-important man in the cocked hat, who, when the alarm was over, had returned to the field, screwed down the corners of his mouth and shook his head--upon which there was a general shaking of the head throughout the assemblage.

It was determined, however, to take the opinion of old Peter Vanderdonk, who was seen slowly advancing up the road. He was a descendant of the historian of that name, who wrote one of the earliest accounts of the province. Peter was the most ancient inhabitant of the village, and well versed in all the wonderful events and traditions of the neighborhood. He recollected Rip at once, and corroborated his story in the most satisfactory manner. He assured the company that it was a fact, handed down from his ancestor the historian, that the Kaatskill Mountains had always been haunted by strange beings. That it was affirmed that the great Hendrick Hudson, the first discoverer of the river and country, kept a kind of vigil there every twenty years, with his crew of the Half-moon; being permitted in this way to revisit the scenes of his enterprise, and keep a guardian eye upon the river and the great city called by his name. That his father had once seen them in their old Dutch dresses playing at ninepins in a hollow of the mountain; and that he himself had heard, one summer afternoon, the sound of their balls like distant peals of thunder.

To make a long story short, the company broke up, and returned to the more important concerns of the election. Rip's daughter took him home to live with her; she had a snug well-furnished house, and a stout cheery farmer for a husband, whom Rip recollected for one of the urchins that used to climb upon his back. As to Rip's son and heir, who was the ditto of himself, seen leaning against the tree, he was employed to work on the farm; but evinced an hereditary disposition to attend to anything else but his business.

Rip now resumed his old walks and habits; he soon found many of his former cronies, though all rather the worse for the wear and tear of time; and preferred making friends among the rising generation, with whom he soon grew into great favor. Having nothing to do at home, and being arrived at that happy age when a man can be idle with impunity, he took his place once more on the bench at the inn door, and was reverenced as one of the patriarchs of the village, and a chronicle of the old times "before the war." It was some time before he could get into the regular track of gossip, or could be made to comprehend the strange events that had taken place during his torpor. How that there had been a revolutionary war--that the country had thrown off the yoke of old England--and that, instead of being a subject of his Majesty George the Third, he was now a free citizen of the United States. Rip, in fact, was no politician; the changes of states and empires made but little impression on him; but there was one species of despotism under which he had long groaned, and that was--petticoat government. Happily that was at an end; he had got his neck out of the yoke of matrimony, and could go in and out whenever he pleased, without dreading the tyranny of Dame Van Winkle. Whenever her name was mentioned, however, he shook his head, shrugged his shoulders, and cast up his eyes, which might pass either for an expression of resignation to his fate, or joy at his deliverance.

He used to tell his story to every stranger that arrived at Mr. Doolittle's hotel. He was observed, at first, to vary on some points every time he told it, which was, doubtless, owing to his having so recently awaked. It at last settled down precisely to the tale I have related, and not a man, woman, or child in the neighborhood but knew it by heart. Some always pretended to doubt the reality of it, and insisted that Rip had been out of his head, and that this was one point on which he always remained flighty. The old Dutch inhabitants, however, almost universally gave it full credit. Even to this day they never hear a thunder-storm of a summer afternoon about the Kaatskill, but they say Hendrick Hudson and his crew are at their game of ninepins; and it is a common wish of all henpecked husbands in the neighborhood, when life hangs heavy on their hands, that they might have a quieting draught out of Rip Van Winkle's flagon.


The three stages of the story are: The sleep, the return, the recognition. Through them all personal identity remains.

Notes and Questions.

Rip Van Winkle--the man: his characteristics, habits, family.

The place: the village, the inn, the surroundings, the times.

The autumn ramble: the woods, the dog, the gun, the Hudson, the stranger, the "ninepins" company, the flagon, the waking--the changed scenes.

The afternoon of the day, the afternoon of the year (autumn), and the afternoon of life (old man) are chosen by the author.

What is the fitness in selecting a village near the mountains? Why choose a village at all?

Note the civic progress of the people--the change from a royal dependency to an independent republic.

Locate on the map the scene of this selection and tell the period in which it occurred. Point out parts of the story that tell you when it happened.

Select descriptions in this selection that are especially pleasing.

Words and Phrases, for Discussion

    "self-important man"
    "vacant stupidity"
    "well-oiled disposition"
    "cocked hat"
    "torrent of household eloquence"
    "ruby face"
    "gaping windows"


From "The Sketch Book," by


                  Ships, ships, I will descrie you
                      Amidst the main,
                  I will come and try you,
                  What you are protecting,
                  And projecting,
                      What's your end and aim.

        One goes abroad for merchandise and trading.
        Another stays to keep his country from invading,
        A third is coming home with rich and wealthy lading.
            Halloo! my fancie, whither wilt thou go?

To an American visiting Europe, the long voyage he has to make is an excellent preparative. The temporary absence of worldly scenes and employments produces a state of mind peculiarly fitted to receive new and vivid impressions. The vast space of waters that separates the hemispheres is like a blank page in existence. There is no gradual transition, by which, as in Europe, the features and population of one country blend almost imperceptibly with those of another. From the moment you lose sight of the land you have left, all is vacancy until you step on the opposite shore, and are launched at once into the bustle and novelties of another world.

In traveling by land there is a continuity of scene and a connected succession of persons and incidents, that carry on the story of life, and lessen the effect of absence and separation. We drag, it is true, "a lengthening chain," at each remove of our pilgrimage; but the chain is unbroken: we can trace it back link by link; and we feel that the last still grapples us to home. But a wide sea voyage severs us at once. It makes us conscious of being cast loose from the secure anchorage of settled life, and sent adrift upon a doubtful world. It interposes a gulf, not merely imaginary, but real, between us and our homes--a gulf subject to tempest, and fear, and uncertainty, rendering distance palpable, and return precarious.

Such, at least, was the case with myself. As I saw the last blue line of my native land fade away like a cloud in the horizon, it seemed as if I had closed one volume of the world and its concerns, and had time for meditation, before I opened another. That land, too, now vanishing from my view, which contained all most dear to me in life; what vicissitudes might occur in it--what changes might take place in me, before I should visit it again! Who can tell, when he sets forth to wander, whither he may be driven by the uncertain currents of existence; or when he may return; or whether it may ever be his lot to revisit the scenes of his childhood?

I said that at sea all is vacancy; I should correct the expression. To one given to day-dreaming, and fond of losing himself in reveries, a sea voyage is full of subjects for meditation: but then they are the wonders of the deep, and of the air, and rather tend to abstract the mind from worldly themes. I delighted to loll over the quarter-railing, or climb to the maintop, of a calm day, and muse for hours together on the tranquil bosom of a summer's sea; to gaze upon the piles of golden clouds just peering above the horizon, fancy them some fairy realms, and people them with, a creation of my own;--to watch the gentle undulating billows, rolling their silver volumes, as if to die away on those happy shores.

There was a delicious sensation of mingled security and awe with which I looked down from my giddy height, on the monsters of the deep at their uncouth gambols. Shoals of porpoises tumbling about the bow of the ship, the grampus slowly heaving his huge form above the surface; or the ravenous shark, darting, like a spectre, through the blue waters. My imagination would conjure up all that I had heard or read of the watery world beneath me; of the finny herds that roam its fathomless valleys; of the shapeless monsters that lurk among the very foundations of the earth; and of those wild phantasms that swell the tales of fishermen and sailors.

Sometimes a distant sail, gliding along the edge of the ocean, would be another theme of idle speculation. How interesting this fragment of a world, hastening to rejoin the great mass of existence! What a glorious monument of human invention; which has in a manner triumphed over wind and wave; has brought the ends of the world into communion; has established an interchange of blessings, pouring into the sterile regions of the north all the luxuries of the south; has diffused the light of knowledge and the charities of cultivated life; and has thus bound together those scattered portions of the human race, between which nature seemed to have thrown an insurmountable barrier.

We one day descried some shapeless object drifting at a distance. At sea, everything that breaks the monotony of the surrounding expanse attracts attention. It proved to be the mast of a ship that must have been completely wrecked; for there were the remains of handkerchiefs, by which some of the crew had fastened themselves to this spar, to prevent their being washed off by the waves. There was no trace by which the name of the ship could be ascertained. The wreck had evidently drifted about for many months; clusters of shell-fish had fastened about it, and long sea-weeds flaunted at its sides! But where, thought I, is the crew? Their struggle has long been over--they have gone down amidst the roar of the tempest--their bones lie whitening among the caverns of the deep. Silence, oblivion, like the waves, have closed over them, and no one can tell the story of their end. What sighs have been wafted after that ship! what prayers offered up at the deserted fireside of home! How often has the mistress, the wife, the mother, pored over the daily news, to catch some casual intelligence of this rover of the deep! How has expectation darkened into anxiety--anxiety into dread--and dread into despair! Alas! not one memento may ever return for love to cherish. All that may ever be known, is, that she sailed from her port, "and was never heard of more!"

The sight of this wreck, as usual, gave rise to many dismal anecdotes. This was particularly the case in the evening, when the weather, which had hitherto been fair, began to look wild and threatening, and gave indications of one of those sudden storms which will sometimes break in upon the serenity of a summer voyage. As we sat round the dull light of a lamp in the cabin, that made the gloom more ghastly, every one had his tale of shipwreck and disaster. I was particularly struck with a short one related by the captain.

"As I was once sailing," said he, "in a fine stout ship across the banks of Newfoundland, one of those heavy fogs which prevail in those parts rendered it impossible for us to see far ahead even in the daytime; but at night the weather was so thick that we could not distinguish any object at twice the length of the ship. I kept lights at the mast-head, and a constant watch forward to look out for fishing smacks, which are accustomed to lie at anchor on the banks. The wind was blowing a smacking breeze, and we were going at a great fate through the water. Suddenly the watch gave the alarm of 'a sail ahead!'--it was scarcely uttered before we were upon her. She was a small schooner, at anchor, with her broadside towards us. The crew were all asleep, and had neglected to hoist a light. We struck her just amidships. The force, the size, the weight of our vessel bore her down below the waves; we passed over her and were hurried on our course. As the crashing wreck was sinking beneath us, I had a glimpse of two or three half-naked wretches rushing from her cabin; they just started from their beds to be swallowed shrieking by the waves. I heard their drowning cry mingling with the wind. The blast that bore it to our ears swept us out of all farther hearing. I shall never forget that cry! It was some time before we could put the ship about, she was under such headway. We returned, as nearly as we could guess, to the place where the smack had anchored. We cruised about for several hours in the dense fog. We fired signal guns, and listened if we might hear the halloo of any survivors: but all was silent--we never saw or heard anything of them more."

I confess these stories, for a time, put an end to all my fine fancies. The storm increased with the night. The sea was lashed into tremendous confusion. There was a fearful, sullen sound of rushing waves, and broken surges. Deep called unto deep. At times the black column of clouds overhead seemed rent asunder by flashes of lightning which quivered along the foaming billows, and made the succeeding darkness doubly terrible. The thunders bellowed over the wild waste of waters, and were echoed and prolonged by the mountain waves. As I saw the ship staggering and plunging among these roaring caverns, it seemed miraculous that she regained her balance, or preserved her buoyancy. Her yards would dip into the water: her bow was almost buried beneath the waves. Sometimes an impending surge appeared ready to overwhelm her, and nothing but a dexterous movement of the helm preserved her from the shock.

When I retired to my cabin, the awful scene still followed me. The whistling of the wind through the rigging sounded like funereal wailings. The creaking of the masts, the straining and groaning of bulk-heads, as the ship labored in the weltering sea, were frightful. As I heard the waves rushing along the sides of the ship, and roaring in my very ear, it seemed as if Death were raging round this floating prison, seeking for his prey: the mere starting of a nail, the yawning of a seam, might give him entrance.

A fine day, however, with a tranquil sea and favoring breeze, soon put all these dismal reflections to flight. It is impossible to resist the gladdening influence of fine weather and fair wind at sea. When the ship is decked out in all her canvas, every sail swelled, and careering gayly over the curling waves, how lofty, how gallant she appears--how she seems to lord it over the deep!

I might fill a volume with the reveries of a sea voyage, for with me it is almost a continual reverie--but it is time to get to shore.

It was a fine sunny morning when the thrilling cry of "land!" was given from the mast-head. None but those who have experienced it can form an idea of the delicious throng of sensations which rush into an American's bosom, when he first comes in sight of Europe. There is a volume of associations with the very name. It is the land of promise, teeming with every thing of which his childhood has heard, or on which his studious years have pondered.

From that time until the moment of arrival, it was all feverish excitement. The ships of war, that prowled like guardian giants along the coast; the headlands of Ireland, stretching out into the channel; the Welsh mountains, towering into the clouds; all were objects of intense interest. As we sailed up the Mersey I reconnoitred the shores with a telescope. My eye dwelt with delight on neat cottages, with their trim shrubberies and green grass plots. I saw the mouldering ruin of an abbey overrun with ivy, and the taper spire of a village church rising from the brow of a neighboring hill--all were characteristic of England.

The tide and wind were so favorable that the ship was enabled to come at once to the pier. It was thronged with people; some, idle lookers-on, others, eager expectants of friends or relatives. I could distinguish the merchant to whom the ship was consigned. I knew him by his calculating brow and restless air. His hands were thrust into his pockets; he was whistling thoughtfully, and walking to and fro, a small space having been accorded him by the crowd, in deference to his temporary importance. There were repeated cheerings and salutations interchanged between the shore and the ship, as friends happened to recognize each other. I particularly noticed one young woman of humble dress, but interesting demeanor. She was leaning forward from among the crowd; her eye hurried over the ship as it neared the shore, to catch some wished-for countenance. She seemed disappointed and agitated; when I heard a faint voice call her name. It was from a poor sailor who had been ill all the voyage, and had excited the sympathy of every one on board. When the weather was fine, his messmates had spread a mattress for him on deck in the shade, but of late his illness had so increased that he had taken to his hammock, and only breathed a wish that he might see his wife before he died. He had been helped on deck as we came up the river, and was now leaning against the shrouds, with a countenance so wasted, so pale, so ghastly, that it was no wonder even the eye of affection did not recognize him. But at the sound of his voice, her eye darted on his features; it read, at once, a whole volume of sorrow; she clasped her hands, uttered a faint shriek, and stood wringing them in silent agony.

All now was hurry and bustle. The meetings of acquaintances--the greetings of friends--the consultations of men of business. I alone was solitary and idle. I had no friend to meet, no cheering to receive. I stepped upon the land of my forefathers--but felt that I was a stranger in the land.


Notes and Questions.

Why did the author realize so clearly the extent of the journey he had undertaken?

How many days do you think Irving was on the ocean?

What change has taken place in the method of ocean travel since he made this voyage?

Find words and lines which tell you the kind of vessel in which he crossed the ocean.

Had Irving greater opportunity for observing "the monsters of the deep" than is afforded people crossing the ocean at the present day? Why do you think so?

What does Irving say is a "glorious monument of human invention"?

Name some inventions which seem to you more worthy of this designation.

Find the paragraph which describes the mast of a ship that was wrecked.

How does this description compare with his description of the "monsters of the deep"?

Which description in this selection do you like best? Why?

What do you think of Irving's powers of description?

What does this sketch tell you of Irving's own character?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "undulating billows"
    "idle speculation"
    "delicious sensation"
    "wild phantasms"
    "monument of human invention"
    "prowled like guardian giants"
    "light of knowledge"
    "insurmountable barrier"
    "dismal anecdotes"


The ancestors of Hawthorne, unlike those of most of the New England writers, were not of the clergy, but were seamen, soldiers, and magistrates. Concerning one of these, a judge who dealt harshly with the Salem witches, Hawthorne writes: "I take shame upon myself for their sakes and yet strong traits of their nature have intertwined themselves with mine." Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts, July 4, 1804, and when only four years old lost his father, a sea captain.

The happiest years of his boyhood were spent at his uncle's home in the forests of Maine. Here he loved to wander through the woods, afterwards recording carefully his observations. His early education was rather irregular; however, for a time he had for schoolmaster, Worcester, the author of the dictionary. At Bowdoin college his studies were largely literary. His life at college is chiefly remarkable for the friendships formed there. Both Franklin Pierce, who later became president of the United States, and Longfellow, the poet, were members of his class.

After graduation in 1825, while Longfellow was traveling in many lands and yielding himself to the charm of mediæval history and legend, Hawthorne drifted into a strange mode of life, virtually disappearing from the world for a dozen years and living in actual solitude. "I have made a captive of myself," he wrote to Longfellow, "and put me into a dungeon; and now I cannot find the key to let myself out." But the key was found. The appreciation of Elizabeth and Sophia Peabody and the deep affection for the latter acted as a spur to get him into active life. At thirty-eight he married Sophia Peabody and took up courageously enough a life of poverty and hard literary work at Concord in the Old Manse, which had formerly been Emerson's home. There he came to know and value the friendship of Emerson, who we may well believe was the inspiration of the allegory of the Great Stone Face.

In curious contradiction with his natural love for solitude, Hawthorne became interested in the experiment of communal life and spent the year before his marriage at Brook Farm, where a number of literary men tried to live simply and happily by combining intellectual and manual work.

During the years of his solitude he wrote incessantly and composed many of those sketches of the fancy which won for him his peculiar place in literature. Many of these sketches appeared in the collection "Twice Told Tales." For children he has written the little stories and biographies of "Grandfather's Chair" and the story of Greek and Roman Myths in his "Wonder-Book" and "Tanglewood Tales." Sin and the effect of guilt upon human conduct are the problems in his great romances.

Many of our literary men have held public positions, sometimes to help out the meager financial returns of literary work, but more often because they would bring honor to these positions. Hawthorne successively filled the offices of weigher and gauger in the Boston Custom House, collector of customs at Salem, and American consul at Liverpool, having been appointed as consul by his old friend President Pierce. After four years' residence in England he resigned his consulship and spent several years in travel on the continent, spending two winters in Rome. Here he conceived his "Marble Faun," which, though given an Italian setting, embodies the same problem of conscience that we find in his earlier "Scarlet Letter."

In June, 1860, he returned to America. He was deeply agitated by the Civil War, the more so because his sympathies were not entirely with his Northern friends. In May, 1864, his old friend General Pierce suggested that they make a journey to the scenes of their college days. On their way they stopped at Plymouth, New Hampshire, and there, early on the morning of the nineteenth, he passed quietly away.



One afternoon, when the sun was going down, a mother and her little boy sat at the door of their cottage, talking about the Great Stone Face. They had but to lift their eyes, and there it was plainly to be seen, though miles away, with the sunshine brightening all its features.

And what was the Great Stone Face?

Embosomed amongst a family of lofty mountains, there was a valley so spacious that it contained many thousand inhabitants. Some of these good people dwelt in log-huts, with the black forest all around them, on the steep and difficult hillsides. Others had their homes in comfortable farm-houses, and cultivated the rich soil on the gentle slopes or level surfaces of the valley. Others, again, were congregated into populous villages, where some wild, highland rivulet, tumbling down from its birthplace in the upper mountain region, had been caught and tamed by human cunning, and compelled to turn the machinery of cotton-factories. The inhabitants of this valley, in short, were numerous, and of many modes of life. But all of them, grown people and children, had a kind of familiarity with the Great Stone Face, although some possessed the gift of distinguishing this grand natural phenomenon more perfectly than many of their neighbors.

The Great Stone Face, then, was a work of Nature in her mood of majestic playfulness, formed on the perpendicular side of a mountain by some immense rocks, which had been thrown together in such a position as, when viewed at a proper distance, precisely to resemble the features of the human countenance. It seemed as if an enormous giant, or a Titan, had sculptured his own likeness on the precipice. There was the broad arch of the forehead, a hundred feet in height; the nose, with its long bridge; and the vast lips, which, if they could have spoken, would have rolled their thunder accents from one end of the valley to the other. True it is, that if the spectator approached too near, he lost the outline of the gigantic visage, and could discern only a heap of ponderous and gigantic rocks, piled in chaotic ruin one upon another. Retracing his steps, however, the wondrous features would again be seen; and the farther he withdrew from them, the more like a human face, with all its original divinity intact, did they appear; until, as it grew dim in the distance, with the clouds and glorified vapor of the mountains clustering about it, the Great Stone Face seemed positively to be alive.

It was a happy lot for children to grow up to manhood or womanhood with the Great Stone Face before their eyes, for all the features were noble, and the expression was at once grand and sweet, as if it were the glow of a vast, warm heart, that embraced all mankind in its affections, and had room for more. It was an education only to look at it. According to the belief of many people, the valley owed much of its fertility to this benign aspect that was continually beaming over it, illuminating the clouds, and infusing its tenderness into the sunshine.

As we began with saying, a mother and her little boy sat at their cottage-door, gazing at the Great Stone Face, and talking about it. The child's name was Ernest.

"Mother," said he, while the Titanic visage smiled on him, "I wish that it could speak, for it looks so very kindly that its voice must needs be pleasant. If I were to see a man with such a face, I should love him dearly."

"If an old prophecy should come to pass," answered his mother, "we may see a man, some time or other, with exactly such a face as that."

"What prophecy do you mean, dear mother?" eagerly inquired Ernest. "Pray tell me all about it!"

So his mother told him a story that her own mother had told to her, when she herself was younger than little Ernest; a story, not of things that were past, but of what was yet to come; a story, nevertheless, so very old, that even the Indians, who formerly inhabited this valley, had heard it from their forefathers, to whom, as they affirmed, it had been murmured by the mountain streams, and whispered by the wind among the tree-tops. The purport was, that, at some future day, a child should be born hereabouts, who was destined to become the greatest and noblest personage of his time, and whose countenance, in manhood, should bear an exact resemblance to the Great Stone Face. Not a few old-fashioned people, and young ones likewise, in the ardor of their hopes, still cherished an enduring faith in this old prophecy. But others, who had seen more of the world, had watched and waited till they were weary, and had beheld no man with such a face, nor any man that proved to be much greater or nobler than his neighbors, concluded it to be nothing but an idle tale. At all events, the great man of the prophecy had not yet appeared.

"O mother, dear mother!" cried Ernest, clapping his hands above his head, "I do hope that I shall live to see him!"

His mother was an affectionate and thoughtful woman, and felt that it was wisest not to discourage the generous hopes of her little boy. So she only said to him, "Perhaps you may."

And Ernest never forgot the story that his mother told him. It was always in his mind, whenever he looked upon the Great Stone Face. He spent his childhood in the log-cottage where he was born, and was dutiful to his mother, and helpful to her in many things, assisting her much with his little hands, and more with his loving heart. In this manner, from a happy yet often pensive child, he grew up to be a mild, quiet, unobtrusive boy, and sun-browned with labor in the fields, but with more intelligence brightening his aspect than is seen in many lads who have been taught at famous schools. Yet Ernest had had no teacher, save only that the Great Stone Face became one to him. When the toil of the day was over, he would gaze at it for hours, until he began to imagine that those vast features recognized him, and gave him a smile of kindness and encouragement, responsive to his own look of veneration. We must not take upon us to affirm that this was a mistake, although the Face may have looked no more kindly at Ernest than at all the world besides. But the secret was that the boy's tender and confiding simplicity discerned what other people could not see; and thus the love, which was meant for all, became his peculiar portion.

About this time there went a rumor throughout the valley, that the great man, foretold from ages long ago, who was to bear a resemblance to the Great Stone Face, had appeared at last. It seems that, many years before, a young man had migrated from the valley and settled at a distant seaport, where, after getting together a little money, he had set up as a shopkeeper. His name--but I could never learn whether it was his real one, or a nickname that had grown out of his habits and success in life--was Gathergold. Being shrewd and active, and endowed by Providence with that inscrutable faculty which develops itself in what the world calls luck, he became an exceedingly rich merchant, and owner of a whole fleet of bulky-bottomed ships. All the countries of the globe appeared to join hands for the mere purpose of adding heap after heap to the mountainous accumulation of this one man's wealth. The cold regions of the north, almost within the gloom and shadow of the Arctic Circle, sent him their tribute in the shape of furs; hot Africa sifted for him the golden sands of her rivers, and gathered up the ivory tusks of her great elephants out of the forests; the East came bringing him the rich shawls, and spices, and teas, and the effulgence of diamonds, and the gleaming purity of large pearls. The ocean, not to be behindhand with the earth, yielded up her mighty whales, that Mr. Gathergold might sell their oil, and make a profit on it. Be the original commodity what it might, it was gold within his grasp. It might be said of him, as of Midas in the fable, that whatever he touched with his finger immediately glistened, and grew yellow, and was changed at once into sterling metal, or, which suited him still better, into piles of coin. And, when Mr. Gathergold had become so very rich that it would have taken him a hundred years only to count his wealth, he bethought himself of his native valley, and resolved to go back thither, and end his days where he was born. With this purpose in view, he sent a skilful architect to build him such a palace as should be fit for a man of his vast wealth to live in.

As I have said above, it had already been rumored in the valley that Mr. Gathergold had turned out to be the prophetic personage so long and vainly looked for, and that his visage was the perfect and undeniable similitude of the Great Stone Face. People were the more ready to believe that this must needs be the fact, when they beheld the splendid edifice that rose, as if by enchantment, on the site of his father's old weather-beaten farm-house. The exterior was of marble, so dazzlingly white that it seemed as though the whole structure might melt away in the sunshine, like those humbler ones which Mr. Gathergold, in his young play-days, before his fingers were gifted with the touch of transmutation, had been accustomed to build of snow. It had a richly ornamented portico, supported by tall pillars, beneath which was a lofty door, studded with silver knobs, and made of a kind of variegated wood that had been brought from beyond the sea. The windows, from the floor to the ceiling of each stately apartment, were composed, respectively, of but one enormous pane of glass, so transparently pure that it was said to be a finer medium than even the vacant atmosphere. Hardly anybody had been permitted to see the interior of this palace; but it was reported, and with good semblance of truth, to be far more gorgeous than the outside, insomuch that whatever was iron or brass in other houses was silver or gold in this; and Mr. Gathergold's bedchamber, especially, made such a glittering appearance that no ordinary man would have been able to close his eyes there. But, on the other hand, Mr. Gathergold was now so inured to wealth, that perhaps he could not have closed his eyes unless where the gleam of it was certain to find its way beneath his eyelids.

In due time, the mansion was finished; next came the upholsterers, with magnificent furniture; then, a whole troop of black and white servants, the harbingers of Mr. Gathergold, who, in his own majestic person, was expected to arrive at sunset. Our friend Ernest, meanwhile, had been deeply stirred by the idea that the great man, the noble man, the man of prophecy, after so many ages of delay, was at length to be made manifest to his native valley. He knew, boy as he was, that there were a thousand ways in which Mr. Gathergold, with his vast wealth, might transform himself into an angel of beneficence, and assume a control over human affairs as wide and benignant as the smile of the Great Stone Face. Full of faith and hope, Ernest doubted not that what the people said was true, and that now he was to behold the living likeness of those wondrous features on the mountain-side. While the boy was still gazing up the valley, and fancying, as he always did, that the Great Stone Face returned his gaze and looked kindly at him, the rumbling of wheels was heard, approaching swiftly along the winding road.

"Here he comes!" cried a group of people who were assembled to witness the arrival. "Here comes the great Mr. Gathergold!" A carriage, drawn by four horses, dashed round the turn of the road. Within it, thrust partly out of the window, appeared the physiognomy of the old man, with a skin as yellow as if his own Midas-hand had transmuted it. He had a low forehead, small, sharp eyes, puckered about with innumerable wrinkles, and very thin lips, which he made still thinner by pressing them forcibly together.

"The very image of the Great Stone Face!" shouted the people. "Sure enough, the old prophecy is true; and here we have the great man come, at last!"

And, what greatly perplexed Ernest, they seemed actually to believe that here was the likeness which they spoke of. By the roadside there chanced to be an old beggar-woman and two little beggar-children, stragglers from some far-off region, who, as the carriage rolled onward, held out their hands and lifted up their doleful voices, most piteously beseeching charity. A yellow claw--the very same that had clawed together so much wealth--poked itself out of the coach-window, and dropt some copper coins upon the ground; so that, though the great man's name seems to have been Gathergold, he might just as suitably have been nicknamed Scattercopper. Still, nevertheless, with an earnest shout, and evidently with as much good faith as ever, the people bellowed,--

"He is the very image of the Great Stone Pace!"

But Ernest turned sadly from the wrinkled shrewdness of that sordid visage, and gazed up the valley, where, amid a gathering mist, gilded by the last sun beams, he could still distinguish those glorious features which had impressed themselves into his soul. Their aspect cheered him. What did the benign lips seem to say?

"He will come! Fear not, Ernest; the man will come!"

The years went on, and Ernest ceased to be a boy. He had grown, to be a young man now. He attracted little notice from the other inhabitants of the valley; for they saw nothing remarkable in his way of life, save that, when the labor of the day was over, he still loved to go apart and gaze and meditate upon the Great Stone Face. According to their idea of the matter, it was a folly, indeed, but pardonable, inasmuch as Ernest was industrious, kind, and neighborly, and neglected no duty for the sake of indulging this idle habit. They knew not that the Great Stone Face had become a teacher to him, and that the sentiment which was expressed in it would enlarge the young man's heart, and fill it with wider and deeper sympathies than other hearts. They knew not that thence would come a better wisdom than could be learned from books, and a better life than could be moulded on the defaced example of other human lives. Neither did Ernest know that the thoughts and affections which came to him so naturally, in the fields and at the fireside, and wherever he communed with himself, were of a higher tone than those which all men shared with him. A simple soul,--simple as when his mother first taught him the old prophecy,--he beheld the marvelous features beaming adown the valley, and still wondered that their human counterpart was so long in making his appearance.

By this time poor Mr. Gathergold was dead and buried; and the oddest part of the matter was, that his wealth, which was the body and spirit of his existence, had disappeared before his death, leaving nothing of him but a living skeleton, covered over with a wrinkled, yellow skin. Since the melting away of his gold, it had been very generally conceded that there was no such striking resemblance, after all, betwixt the ignoble features of the ruined merchant and that majestic face upon the mountainside. So the people ceased to honor him during his lifetime, and quietly consigned him to forgetfulness after his decease. Once in a while, it is true, his memory was brought up in connection with the magnificent palace which he had built, and which had long ago been turned into a hotel for the accommodation of strangers, multitudes of whom came, every summer, to visit that famous natural curiosity, the Great Stone Face. Thus, Mr. Gathergold being discredited and thrown into the shade, the man of prophecy was yet to come.

It so happened that a native-born son of the valley, many years before, had enlisted as a soldier, and, after a great deal of hard fighting, had now become an illustrious commander. Whatever he may be called in history, he was known in camps and on the battle-field under the nickname of Old Blood-and-Thunder. This war-worn veteran, being now infirm with age and wounds, and weary of the turmoil of a military life, and of the roll of the drum and the clangor of the trumpet, that had so long been ringing in his ears, had lately signified a purpose of returning to his native valley, hoping to find repose where he remembered to have left it. The inhabitants, his old neighbors and their grown-up children, were resolved to welcome the renowned warrior with a salute of cannon and a public dinner; and all the more enthusiastically, it being affirmed that now, at last, the likeness of the Great Stone Face had actually appeared. An aid-de-camp of Old Blood-and-Thunder, traveling through the valley, was said to have been struck with the resemblance. Moreover the schoolmates and early acquaintances of the general were ready to testify, on oath, that, to the best of their recollection, the aforesaid general had been exceedingly like the majestic image, even when a boy, only that the idea had never occurred to them at that period. Great, therefore, was the excitement throughout the valley; and many people, who had never once thought of glancing at the Great Stone Face for years before, now spent their time in gazing at it, for the sake of knowing exactly how General Blood-and-Thunder looked.

On the day of the great festival, Ernest, with all the other people of the valley, left their work, and proceeded to the spot where the sylvan banquet was prepared. As he approached, the loud voice of the Rev. Dr. Battleblast was heard, beseeching a blessing on the good things set before them, and on the distinguished friend of peace in whose honor they were assembled. The tables were arranged in a cleared space of the woods, shut in by the surrounding trees, except where a vista opened eastward, and afforded a distant view of the Great Stone Face. Over the general's chair, which was a relic from the home of Washington, there was an arch of verdant boughs, with the laurel profusely intermixed, and surmounted by his country's banner, beneath which he had won his victories. Our friend Ernest raised himself on his tiptoes, in hopes to get a glimpse of the celebrated guest; but there was a mighty crowd about the tables anxious to hear the toasts and speeches, and to catch any word that might fall from the general in reply; and a volunteer company, doing duty as a guard, pricked ruthlessly with their bayonets at any particularly quiet person among the throng. So Ernest, being of an unobtrusive character, was thrust quite into the background, where he could see no more of Old Blood-and-Thunder's physiognomy than if it had been still blazing on the battle-field. To console himself, he turned towards the Great Stone Face, which, like a faithful and long-remembered friend, looked back and smiled upon him through the vista of the forest. Meanwhile, however, he could overhear the remarks of various individuals, who were comparing the features of the hero with the face on the distant mountain-side.

"'Tis the same face, to a hair!" cried one man, cutting a caper for joy.

"Wonderfully like, that's a fact!" responded another.

"Like! why, I call it Old Blood-and-Thunder himself, in a monstrous looking-glass!" cried a third. "And why not? He's the greatest man of this or any other age, beyond a doubt."

And then all three of the speakers gave a great shout, which communicated electricity to the crowd, and called forth a roar from a thousand voices, that went reverberating for miles among the mountains, until you might have supposed that the Great Stone Face had poured its thunder-breath into the cry. All these comments, and this vast enthusiasm, served the more to interest our friend; nor did he think of questioning that now, at length, the mountain-visage had found its human counterpart. It is true, Ernest had imagined that this long-looked-for personage would appear in the character of a man of peace, uttering wisdom, and doing good, and making people happy. But, taking an habitual breadth of view, with all his simplicity, he contended that Providence should choose its own method of blessing mankind, and could conceive that this great end might be effected even by a warrior and a bloody sword, should inscrutable wisdom see fit to order matters so.

"The general! the general!" was now the cry. "Hush! silence! Old Blood-and-Thunder's going to make a speech."

Even so; for, the cloth being removed, the general's health had been drunk, amid shouts of applause, and he now stood upon his feet to thank the company. Ernest saw him. There he was, over the shoulders of the crowd, from the two glittering epaulets and embroidered collar upward, beneath the arch of green boughs with intertwined laurel, and the banner drooping as if to shade his brow! And there, too, visible in the same glance, through the vista of the forest, appeared the Great Stone Face! And was there, indeed, such a resemblance as the crowd had testified? Alas, Ernest could not recognize it! He beheld a war-worn and weather-beaten countenance, full of energy, and expressive of an iron will; but the gentle wisdom, the deep, broad, tender sympathies, were altogether wanting in Old Blood-and-Thunder's visage; and even if the Great Stone Face had assumed his look of stern command, the milder traits would still have tempered it.

"This is not the man of prophecy," sighed Ernest to himself, as he made his way out of the throng. "And must the world wait longer yet?"

The mists had congregated about the distant mountain-side, and there were seen the grand and awful features of the Great Stone Face, awful but benignant, as if a mighty angel were sitting among the hills, and enrobing himself in a cloud-vesture of gold and purple. As he looked, Ernest could hardly believe but that a smile beamed over the whole visage, with a radiance still brightening, although without motion of the lips. It was probably the effect of the western sunshine, melting through the thinly diffused vapors that had swept between him and the object that he gazed at. But--as it always did--the aspect of his marvelous friend made Ernest as hopeful as if he had never hoped in vain.

"Fear not, Ernest," said his heart, even as if the Great Face were whispering him,--"fear not, Ernest; he will come." More years sped swiftly and tranquilly away. Ernest still dwelt in his native valley, and was now a man of middle age. By imperceptible degrees, he had become known among the people. Now, as heretofore, he labored for his bread, and was the same simple-hearted man that he had always been. But he had thought and felt so much, he had given so many of the best hours of his life to unworldly hopes for some great good to mankind, that it seemed as though he had been talking with the angels, and had imbibed a portion of their wisdom unawares. It was visible in the calm and well-considered beneficence of his daily life, the quiet stream of which had made a wide green margin all along its course. Not a day passed by, that the world was not the better because this man, humble as he was, had lived. He never stepped aside from his own path, yet would always reach a blessing to his neighbor. Almost involuntarily, too, he had become a preacher. The pure and high simplicity of his thought, which, as one of its manifestations, took shape in the good deeds that dropped silently from his hand, flowed also forth in speech. He uttered truths that wrought upon and moulded the lives of those who heard him. His auditors, it may be, never suspected that Ernest, their own neighbor and familiar friend, was more than an ordinary man; least of all did Ernest himself suspect it; but, inevitably as the murmur of a rivulet, came thoughts out of his mouth that no other human lips had spoken.

When the people's minds had had a little time to cool, they were ready enough to acknowledge their mistake in imagining a similarity between General Blood-and-Thunder's truculent physiognomy and the benign visage on the mountain-side. But now, again, there were reports and many paragraphs in the newspapers, affirming that the likeness of the Great Stone Face had appeared upon the broad shoulders of a certain eminent statesman. He, like Mr. Gathergold and Old Blood-and-Thunder, was a native of the valley, but had left it in his early days, and taken up the trades of law and politics. Instead of the rich man's wealth and the warrior's sword, he had but a tongue, and it was mightier than both together. So wonderfully eloquent was he, that whatever he might choose to say, his auditors had no choice but to believe him; wrong looked like right, and right like wrong; for when it pleased him, he could make a kind of illuminated fog with his mere breath, and obscure the natural daylight with it. His tongue, indeed, was a magic instrument: sometimes it rumbled like the thunder; sometimes it warbled like the sweetest music. It was the blast of war,--the song of peace; and it seemed to have a heart in it, when there was no such matter. In good truth, he was a wondrous man; and when his tongue had acquired him all other imaginable success,--when it had been heard in halls of state, and in the courts of princes and potentates,--after it had made him known all over the world, even as a voice crying from shore to shore,--it finally persuaded his countrymen to select him for the Presidency. Before this time,--indeed, as soon as he began to grow celebrated,--his admirers had found out the resemblance between him and the Great Stone Face; and so much were they struck by it, that throughout the country this distinguished gentleman was known by the name of Old Stony Phiz. The phrase was considered as giving a highly favorable aspect to his political prospects; for, as is likewise the case with the Popedom, nobody ever becomes President without taking a name other than his own.

While his friends were doing their best to make him President, Old Stony Phiz, as he was called, set out on a visit to the valley where he was born. Of course, he had no other object than to shake hands with his fellow citizens, and neither thought nor cared about any effect which his progress through the country might have upon the election. Magnificent preparations were made to receive the illustrious statesman; a cavalcade of horsemen set forth to meet him at the boundary line of the State, and all the people left their business and gathered along the wayside to see him pass. Among these was Ernest. Though more than once disappointed, as we have seen, he had such a hopeful and confiding nature, that he was always ready to believe in whatever seemed beautiful and good. He kept his heart continually open, and thus was sure to catch the blessing from on high when it should come. So now again, as buoyantly as ever, he went forth to behold the likeness of the Great Stone Face. The cavalcade came prancing along the road, with a great clattering of hoofs and a mighty cloud of dust, which rose up so dense and high that the visage of the mountain-side was completely hidden from Ernest's eyes. All the great men of the neighborhood were there on horseback; militia officers, in uniform; the member of Congress; the sheriff of the county; the editors of newspapers; and many a farmer, too, had mounted his patient steed, with his Sunday coat upon his back. It really was a very brilliant spectacle, especially as there were numerous banners flaunting over the cavalcade, on some of which were gorgeous portraits of the illustrious statesman and the Great Stone Face, smiling familiarly at one another, like two brothers. If the pictures were to be trusted, the mutual resemblance, it must be confessed, was marvelous. We must not forget to mention that there was a band of music, which made the echoes of the mountains ring and reverberate with the loud triumph of its strains; so that airy and soul-thrilling melodies broke out among all the heights and hollows, as if every nook of his native valley had found a voice, to welcome the distinguished guest. But the grandest effect was when the far-off mountain precipice flung back the music; for then the Great Stone Face itself seemed to be swelling the triumphant chorus, in acknowledgment that, at length, the man of prophecy was come.

All this while the people were throwing up their hats and shouting with enthusiasm so contagious that the heart of Ernest kindled up, and he likewise threw up his hat, and shouted, as loudly as the loudest, "Huzza for the great man! Huzza for Old Stony Phiz!" But as yet he had not seen him.

"Here he is, now!" cried those who stood near Ernest. "There! There! Look at Old Stony Phiz and then at the Old Man of the Mountain, and see if they are not as like as two twin-brothers!"

In the midst of all this gallant array came an open barouche, drawn by four white horses; and in the barouche, with his massive head uncovered, sat the illustrious statesman, Old Stony Phiz himself.

"Confess it," said one of Ernest's neighbors to him, "the Great Stone Face has met its match at last!"

Now, it must be owned that, at his first glimpse of the countenance which was bowing and smiling from the barouche, Ernest did fancy that there was a resemblance between it and the old familiar face upon the mountain-side. The brow, with its massive depth and loftiness, and all the other features, indeed, were boldly and strongly hewn, as if in emulation of a more than heroic, of a Titanic model. But the sublimity and stateliness, the grand expression of a divine sympathy, that illuminated the mountain visage and etherealized its ponderous granite substance into spirit, might here be sought in vain. Something had been originally left out, or had departed. And therefore the marvelously gifted statesman had always a weary gloom in the deep caverns of his eyes, as of a child that has outgrown its playthings or a man of mighty faculties and little aims, whose life, with all its high performances, was vague and empty, because no high purpose had endowed it with reality.

Still, Ernest's neighbor was thrusting his elbow into his side, and pressing him for an answer.

"Confess! confess! Is not he the very picture of your Old Man of the Mountain?"

"No!" said Ernest, bluntly, "I see little or no likeness."

"Then so much the worse for the Great Stone Face!" answered his neighbor; and again he set up a shout for Old Stony Phiz.

But Ernest turned away, melancholy, and almost despondent: for this was the saddest of his disappointments, to behold a man who might have fulfilled the prophecy, and had not willed to do so. Meantime, the cavalcade, the banners, the music, and the barouches swept past him, with the vociferous crowd in the rear, leaving the dust to settle down, and the Great Stone Face to be revealed again, with the grandeur that it had worn for untold centuries.

"Lo, here I am, Ernest!" the benign lips seemed to say. "I have waited longer than thou, and am not yet weary. Fear not; the man will come."

The years hurried onward, treading in their haste on one another's heels. And now they began to bring white hairs, and scatter them over the head of Ernest; they made reverend wrinkles across his forehead, and furrows in his cheeks. He was an aged man. But not in vain had he grown old: more than the white hairs on his head were the sage thoughts in his mind; his wrinkles and furrows were inscriptions that Time had graved, and in which he had written legends of wisdom that had been tested by the tenor of a life. And Ernest had ceased to be obscure. Unsought for, undesired, had come the fame which so many seek, and made him known in the great world, beyond the limits of the valley in which he had dwelt so quietly. College professors, and even the active men of cities, came from far to see and converse with Ernest; for the report had gone abroad that this simple husbandman had ideas unlike those of other men, not gained from books, but of a higher tone,--a tranquil and familiar majesty, as if he had been talking with the angels as his daily friends. Whether it were sage, statesman, or philanthropist, Ernest received these visitors with the gentle sincerity that had characterized him from boyhood, and spoke freely with them of whatever came uppermost, or lay deepest in his heart or their own. While they talked together, his face would kindle, unawares, and shine upon them, as with a mild evening light. Pensive with the fulness of such discourse, his guests took leave and went their way; and passing up the valley, paused to look at the Great Stone Face, imagining that they had seen its likeness in a human countenance, but could not remember where.

While Ernest had been growing up and growing old, a bountiful Providence had granted a new poet to this earth. He, likewise, was a native of the valley, but had spent the greater part of his life at a distance from that romantic region, pouring out his sweet music amid the bustle and din of cities. Often, however, did the mountains which had been familiar to him in his childhood lift their snowy peaks into the clear atmosphere of his poetry. Neither was the Great Stone Face forgotten, for the poet had celebrated it in an ode, which was grand enough to have been uttered by its own majestic lips. This man of genius, we may say, had come down from heaven with wonderful endowments. If he sang of a mountain, the eyes of all mankind beheld a mightier grandeur reposing on its breast, or soaring to its summit, than had before been seen there. If his theme were a lovely lake, a celestial smile had now been thrown over it, to gleam forever on its surface. If it were the vast old sea, even the deep immensity of its dread bosom seemed to swell the higher, as if moved by the emotions of the song. Thus the world assumed another and a better aspect from the hour that the poet blessed it with his happy eyes. The Creator had bestowed him, as the last best touch to his own handiwork. Creation was not finished till the poet came to interpret, and so complete it.

The effect was no less high and beautiful, when his human brethren were the subject of his verse. The man or woman, sordid with the common dust of life, who crossed his daily path, and the little child who played in it, were glorified if he beheld them in his mood of poetic faith. He showed the golden links of the great chain that intertwined them with an angelic kindred; he brought out the hidden traits of a celestial birth that made them worthy of such kin. Some, indeed, there were, who thought to show the soundness of their judgment by affirming that all the beauty and dignity of the natural world existed only in the poet's fancy. Let such men speak for themselves, who undoubtedly appear to have been spawned forth by Nature with a contemptuous bitterness; she having plastered them up out of her refuse stuff, after all the swine were made. As respects all things else, the poet's ideal was the truest truth.

The songs of this poet found their way to Ernest. He read them after his customary toil, seated on the bench before his cottage-door, where for such a length of time he had filled his repose with thought, by gazing at the Great Stone Face. And now as he read stanzas that caused the soul to thrill within him, he lifted his eyes to the vast countenance beaming on him so benignantly.

"O majestic friend," he murmured, addressing the Great Stone Face, "is not this man worthy to resemble thee?"

The Face seemed to smile, but answered not a word.

Now it happened that the poet, though he dwelt so far away, had not only heard of Ernest, but had meditated much upon his character, until he deemed nothing so desirable as to meet this man, whose untaught wisdom walked hand in hand with the noble simplicity of his life. One summer morning, therefore, he took passage by the railroad, and, in the decline of the afternoon, alighted from the cars at no great distance from Ernest's cottage. The great hotel, which had formerly been the palace of Mr. Gathergold, was close at hand, but the poet, with his carpetbag on his arm, inquired at once where Ernest dwelt, and was resolved to be accepted as his guest.

Approaching the door, he there found the good old man, holding a volume in his hand, which alternately he read, and then, with a finger between the leaves, looked lovingly at the Great Stone Face.

"Good evening," said the poet. "Can you give a traveler a night's lodging?"

"Willingly," answered Ernest; and then he added, smiling, "Methinks I never saw the Great Stone Face look so hospitably at a stranger."

The poet sat down on the bench beside him, and he and Ernest talked together. Often had the poet held intercourse with the wittiest and the wisest, but never before with a man like Ernest, whose thoughts and feelings gushed up with such a natural freedom, and who made great truths so familiar by his simple utterance of them. Angels, as had been so often said, seemed to have wrought with him at his labor in the fields; angels seemed to have sat with him by the fireside; and, dwelling with angels as friend with friends, he had imbibed the sublimity of their ideas, and imbued it with the sweet and lowly charm of household words. So thought the poet. And Ernest, on the other hand, was moved and agitated by the living images which the poet flung out of his mind, and which peopled all the air about the cottage-door with shapes of beauty, both gay and pensive. The sympathies of these two men instructed them with a profounder sense than either could have attained alone. Their minds accorded into one strain, and made delightful music which neither of them could have claimed as all his own, nor distinguished his own share from the other's. They led one another, as it were, into a high pavilion of their thoughts, so remote, and hitherto so dim, that they had never entered it before, and so beautiful that they desired to be there always.

As Ernest listened to the poet, he imagined that the Great Stone Face was bending forward to listen too. He gazed earnestly into the poet's glowing eyes.

"Who are you, my strangely gifted guest?" he said. The poet laid his finger on the volume that Ernest had been reading.

"You have read these poems," said he. "You know me, then,--for I wrote them."

Again, and still more earnestly than before, Ernest examined the poet's features; then turned towards the Great Stone Face; then back, with an uncertain aspect, to his guest. But his countenance fell; he shook his head, and sighed.

"Wherefore are you sad?" inquired the poet.

"Because," replied Ernest, "all through life I have awaited the fulfilment of a prophecy; and, when I read these poems, I hoped that it might be fulfilled in you."

"You hoped," answered the poet, faintly smiling, "to find in me the likeness of the Great Stone Face. And you are disappointed, as formerly with Mr. Gathergold, and Old Blood-and-Thunder, and Old Stony Phiz. Yes, Ernest, it is my doom. You must add my name to the illustrious three, and record another failure of your hopes. For--in shame and sadness do I speak it, Ernest--I am not worthy to be typified by yonder benign and majestic image."

"And why?" asked Ernest. He pointed to the volume. "Are not those thoughts divine?"

"They have a strain of the Divinity," replied the poet. "You can hear in them the far-off echo of a heavenly song. But my life, dear Ernest, has not corresponded with my thought. I have had grand dreams, but they have been only dreams, because I have lived--and that, too, by my own choice--among poor and mean realities. Sometimes even--shall I dare to say it?--I lack faith in the grandeur, the beauty, and the goodness, which my own works are said to have made more evident in nature and in human life. Why, then, pure seeker of the good and true, shouldst thou hope to find me, in yonder image of the divine?"

The poet spoke sadly, and his eyes were dim with tears. So, likewise, were those of Ernest.

At the hour of sunset, as had long been his frequent custom, Ernest was to discourse to an assemblage of the neighboring inhabitants in the open air. He and the poet, arm in arm, still talking together as they went along, proceeded to the spot. It was a small nook among the hills, with a gray precipice behind, the stern front of which was relieved by the pleasant foliage of many creeping plants that made a tapestry for the naked rock, by hanging their festoons from all its rugged angles. At a small elevation above the ground, set in a rich framework of verdure, there appeared a niche, spacious enough to admit a human figure, with freedom for such gestures as spontaneously accompany earnest thought and genuine emotion. Into this natural pulpit Ernest ascended, and threw a look of familiar kindness around upon his audience. They stood, or sat, or reclined upon the grass, as seemed good to each, with the departing sunshine falling obliquely over them, and mingling its subdued cheerfulness with the solemnity of a grove of ancient trees, beneath and amid the boughs of which the golden rays were constrained to pass. In another direction was seen the Great Stone Face, with the same cheer, combined with the same solemnity, in its benignant aspect.

Ernest began to speak, giving to the people of what was in his heart and mind. His words had power, because they accorded with his thoughts; and his thoughts had reality and depth, because they harmonized with the life which he had always lived. It was not mere breath that this preacher uttered; they were the words of life, because a life of good deeds and holy love was melted into them. Pearls, pure and rich, had been dissolved into this precious draught. The poet, as he listened, felt that the being and character of Ernest were a nobler strain of poetry than he had ever written. His eyes glistening with tears, he gazed reverentially at the venerable man, and said within himself that never was there an aspect so worthy of a prophet and a sage as that mild, sweet, thoughtful countenance, with the glory of white hair diffused about it. At a distance, but distinctly to be seen, high up in the golden light of the setting sun, appeared the Great Stone Face, with hoary mists around it, like the white hairs around the brow of Ernest. Its look of grand beneficence seemed to embrace the world.

At that moment, in sympathy with a thought which he was about to utter, the face of Ernest assumed a grandeur of expression, so imbued with benevolence, that the poet, by an irresistible impulse, threw his arms aloft, and shouted,--

"Behold! Behold! Ernest is himself the likeness of the Great Stone Face!"

Then all the people looked, and saw that what the deep-sighted poet said was true. The prophecy was fulfilled. But Ernest, having finished what he had to say, took the poet's arm, and walked slowly homeward, still hoping that some wiser and better man than himself would by and by appear, bearing a resemblance to the GREAT STONE FACE.


Notes and Questions.

What part of the description of the Great Stone Face do you like the best?

What influence had this Face upon the valley? Upon the clouds? Upon the sunshine?

Show how each of the four characters failed to realize the ideal.

What purpose do you think Hawthorne had in creating these characters?

Why did so many people think that each of these men was the image of the Great Stone Face?

Why did not Ernest think so?

What were the characteristics of the ideal? What words name them?

What does the Great Stone Face symbolize?

What words tell you the source of Ernest's power?

What lines tell you of his humility?

Summarize his characteristics.

What pictures do you find in the selection?

Point out sentences that contain examples of alliteration.

Find a humorous sentence.

Who were the Titans?

Who was Midas?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "infusing its tenderness into the sunshine"
    "transform himself into an angel of beneficence"
    "the mountain visage had found its human counterpart"
    "a kind of illuminated fog"
    "the prophecy was fulfilled"



Never did a pilgrim approach Niagara with deeper enthusiasm than mine. I had lingered away from it, and wandered to other scenes, because my treasury of anticipated enjoyments, comprising all the wonders of the world, had nothing else so magnificent, and I was loath to exchange the pleasures of hope for those of memory so soon. At length the day came. The stage-coach, with a Frenchman and myself on the back seat, had already left Lewiston, and in less than an hour would set us down in Manchester. I began to listen for the roar of the cataract, and trembled with a sensation like dread, as the moment drew nigh, when its voice of ages must roll, for the first time, on my ear. The French gentleman stretched himself from the window, and expressed loud admiration, while, by a sudden impulse, I threw myself back and closed my eyes. When the scene shut in, I was glad to think, that for me the whole burst of Niagara was yet in futurity. We rolled on, and entered the village of Manchester, bordering on the falls.

I am quite ashamed of myself here. Not that I ran like a madman to the falls, and plunged into the thickest of the spray,--never stopping to breathe, till breathing was impossible; not that I committed this, or any other suitable extravagance. On the contrary, I alighted with perfect decency and composure, gave my cloak to the black waiter, pointed out my baggage, and inquired, not the nearest way to the cataract, but about the dinner-hour. The interval was spent in arranging my dress. Within the last fifteen minutes, my mind had grown strangely benumbed, and my spirits apathetic, with a slight depression, not decided enough to be termed sadness. My enthusiasm was in a deathlike slumber. Without aspiring to immortality, as he did, I could have imitated that English traveller, who turned back from the point where he first heard the thunder of Niagara, after crossing the ocean to behold it. Many a Western trader, by the by, has performed a similar act of heroism with more heroic simplicity, deeming it no such wonderful feat to dine at the hotel and resume his route to Buffalo or Lewiston, while the cataract was roaring unseen.

Such has often been my apathy, when objects, long sought, and earnestly desired, were placed within my reach. After dinner--at which an unwonted and perverse epicurism detained me longer than usual--I lighted a cigar and paced the piazza, minutely attentive to the aspect and business of a very ordinary village. Finally, with reluctant step, and the feeling of an intruder, I walked towards Goat Island. At the toll-house, there were farther excuses for delaying the inevitable moment. My signature was required in a huge ledger, containing similar records innumerable, many of which I read. The skin of a great sturgeon, and other fishes, beasts, and reptiles; a collection of minerals, such as lie in heaps near the falls; some Indian moccasins, and other trifles, made of deer-skin and embroidered with beads; several newspapers, from Montreal, New York, and Boston,--all attracted me in turn. Out of a number of twisted sticks, the manufacture of a Tuscarora Indian, I selected one of curled maple, curiously convoluted, and adorned with the carved images of a snake and a fish. Using this as my pilgrim's staff, I crossed the bridge. Above and below me were the rapids, a river of impetuous snow, with here and there a dark rock amid its whiteness, resisting all the physical fury, as any cold spirit did the moral influences of the scene. On reaching Goat Island, which separates the two great segments of the falls, I chose the right-hand path, and followed it to the edge of the American cascade. There, while the falling sheet was yet invisible, I saw the vapor that never vanishes, and the Eternal Rainbow of Niagara.

It was an afternoon of glorious sunshine, without a cloud, save those of the cataracts. I gained an insulated rock, and beheld a broad sheet of brilliant and unbroken foam, not shooting in a curbed line from the top of the precipice, but falling, headlong down from height to depth. A narrow stream diverged from the main branch, and hurried over the crag by a channel of its own, leaving a little pine-clad island and a streak of precipice between itself and the larger sheet. Below arose the mist, on which was painted a dazzling sunbow with two concentric shadows,--one, almost as perfect as the original brightness; and the other, drawn faintly round the broken edge of the cloud.

Still I had not half seen Niagara. Following the verge of the island, the path led me to the Horseshoe, where the real, broad St. Lawrence, rushing along on a level with its banks, pours its whole breadth over a concave line of precipice, and thence pursues its course between lofty crags towards Ontario. A sort of bridge, two or three feet wide, stretches out along the edge of the descending sheet, and hangs upon the rising mist, as if that were the foundation of the frail structure. Here I stationed myself in the blast of wind, which the rushing river bore along with it. The bridge was tremulous beneath me, and marked the tremor of the solid earth. I looked along the whitening rapids, and endeavored to distinguish a mass of water far above the falls, to follow it to their verge, and go down with it, in fancy, to the abyss of clouds and storm. Casting my eyes across the river, and every side, I took in the whole scene at a glance, and tried to comprehend it in one vast idea. After an hour thus spent, I left the bridge, and by a staircase, winding almost interminably round a post, descended to the base of the precipice. From that point, my path lay over slippery stones, and among great fragments of the cliff, to the edge of the cataract, where the wind at once enveloped me in spray, and perhaps dashed the rainbow round me. Were my long desires fulfilled? And had I seen Niagara?

Oh that I had never heard of Niagara till I beheld it! Blessed were the wanderers of old, who heard its deep roar, sounding through the woods, as the summons to an unknown wonder, and approached its awful brink, in all the freshness of native feeling. Had its own mysterious voice been the first to warn me of its existence, then, indeed, I might have knelt down and worshipped. But I had come thither, haunted with a vision of foam and fury, and dizzy cliffs, and an ocean tumbling down out of the sky,--a scene, in short, which nature had too much good taste and calm simplicity to realize. My mind had struggled to adapt these false conceptions to the reality, and finding the effort vain, a wretched sense of disappointment weighed me down. I climbed the precipice, and threw myself on the earth, feeling that I was unworthy to look at the Great Falls, and careless about beholding them again.

All that night, as there has been and will be for ages past and to come, a rushing sound was heard, as if a great tempest were sweeping through the air. It mingled with my dreams, and made them full of storm and whirlwind. Whenever I awoke, and heard this dread sound in the air, and the windows rattling as with a mighty blast, I could not rest again, till looking forth, I saw how bright the stars were, and that every leaf in the garden was motionless. Never was a summer night more calm to the eye, nor a gale of autumn louder to the ear. The rushing sound proceeds from the rapids, and the rattling of the casements is but an effect of the vibration of the whole house, shaken by the jar of the cataract. The noise of the rapids draws the attention from the true voice of Niagara, which is a dull, muffled thunder, resounding between the cliffs. I spent a wakeful hour at midnight, in distinguishing its reverberations, and rejoiced to find that my former awe and enthusiasm were reviving.

Gradually, and after much contemplation, I came to know, by my own feelings, that Niagara is indeed a wonder of the world, and not the less wonderful, because time and thought must be employed in comprehending it. Casting aside all preconceived notions, and preparation to be dire-struck or delighted, the beholder must stand beside it in the simplicity of his heart, suffering the mighty scene to work its own impression. Night after night, I dreamed of it, and was gladdened every morning by the consciousness of a growing capacity to enjoy it. Yet I will not pretend to the all-absorbing enthusiasm of some more fortunate spectators, nor deny that very trifling causes would draw my eyes and thoughts from the cataract.

The last day that I was to spend at Niagara, before my departure for the Far West, I sat upon the Table Rock. This celebrated station did not now, as of old, project fifty feet beyond the line of the precipice, but was shattered by the fall of an immense fragment, which lay distant on the shore below. Still, on the utmost verge of the rock, with my feet hanging over it, I felt as if suspended in the open air. Never before had my mind been in such perfect unison with the scene. There were intervals, when I was conscious of nothing but the great river, lolling calmly into the abyss, rather descending than precipitating itself, and acquiring tenfold majesty from its unhurried motion. It came like the march of Destiny. It was not taken by surprise, but seemed to have anticipated, in all its course through the broad lakes, that it must pour their collected waters down this height. The perfect foam of the river, after its descent, and the ever-varying shapes of mist, rising up, to become clouds in the sky, would be the very picture of confusion, were it merely transient, like the rage of a tempest. But when the beholder has stood awhile, and perceives no lull in the storm, and considers that the vapor and the foam are as everlasting as the rocks which produce them, all this turmoil assumes a sort of calmness. It soothes, while it awes the mind.

Leaning over the cliff, I saw the guide conducting two adventurers behind the falls. It was pleasant, from that high seat in the sunshine, to observe them struggling against the eternal storm of the lower regions, with heads bent down, now faltering, now pressing forward, and finally swallowed up in their victory. After their disappearance, a blast rushed out with an old hat, which it had swept from one of their heads. The rock, to which they were directing their unseen course, is marked, at a fearful distance on the exterior of the sheet, by a jet of foam. The attempt to reach it appears both poetical and perilous to a looker-on, but may be accomplished without much more difficulty or hazard than in stemming a violent northeaster. In a few moments, forth came the children of the mist. Dripping and breathless, they crept along the base of the cliff, ascended to the guide's cottage, and received, I presume, a certificate of their achievement, with three verses of sublime poetry on the back.

My contemplations were often interrupted by strangers who came down from Forsyth's to take their first view of the falls. A short, ruddy, middle-aged gentleman, fresh from Old England, peeped over the rock, and evinced his approbation by a broad grin. His spouse, a very robust lady, afforded a sweet example of maternal solicitude, being so intent on the safety of her little boy that she did not even glance at Niagara. As for the child,--he gave himself wholly to the enjoyment of a stick of candy. Another traveller, a native American, and no rare character among us, produced a volume of Captain Hall's tour, and labored earnestly to adjust Niagara to the captain's description, departing, at last, without one new idea or sensation of his own. The next comer was provided, not with a printed book, but with a blank sheet of foolscap, from top to bottom of which, by means of an ever-pointed pencil, the cataract was made to thunder. In a little talk which we had together, he awarded his approbation to the general view, but censured the position of Goat Island, observing that it should have been thrown farther to the right, so as to widen the American falls, and contract those of the Horseshoe. Next appeared two traders of Michigan, who declared, that, upon the whole, the sight was worth looking at; there certainly was an immense water-power here; but that, after all, they would go twice as far to see the noble stone-works of Lockport, where the Grand Canal is locked down a descent of sixty feet. They were succeeded by a young fellow, in a homespun cotton dress, with a staff in his hand, and a pack over his shoulders. He advanced close to the edge of the rock, where his attention, at first wavering among the different components of the scene, finally became fixed in the angle of the Horseshoe falls, which is, indeed the central point of interest. His whole soul seemed to go forth and be transported thither, till the staff slipped from his relaxed grasp, and falling down--down--down--struck upon the fragment of the Table Rock.

In this manner I spent some hours, watching the varied impression, made by the cataract, on those who disturbed me, and returning to unwearied contemplation, when left alone. At length my time came to depart. There is a grassy footpath through the woods, along the summit of the bank, to a point whence a causeway, hewn in the side of the precipice, goes winding down to the Ferry, about half a mile below the Table Rock. The sun was near setting, when I emerged from the shadow of the trees, and began the descent. The indirectness of my downward road continually changed the point of view, and showed me, in rich and repeated succession, now, the whitening rapids and majestic leap of the main river, which appeared more deeply massive as the light departed; now, the lovelier picture, yet still sublime, of Goat Island, with its rocks and grove, and the lesser falls, tumbling over the right bank of the St. Lawrence, like a tributary stream; now, the long vista of the river, as it eddied and whirled between the cliffs, to pass through Ontario toward the sea, and everywhere to be wondered at, for this one unrivalled scene. The golden sunshine tinged the sheet of the American cascade, and painted on its heaving spray the broken semi-circle of a rainbow, heaven's own beauty crowning earth's sublimity. My steps were slow, and I paused long at every turn of the descent, as one lingers and pauses who discerns a brighter and brightening excellence in what he must soon behold no more. The solitude of the old wilderness now reigned over the whole vicinity of the falls. My enjoyment became the more rapturous, because no poet shared it, nor wretch devoid of poetry profaned it; but the spot so famous through the world was all my own!


Notes and Questions.

Why was Hawthorne's first impression of Niagara a disappointment?

How did Hawthorne come to know that Niagara is a wonder of the world?

What feelings did Niagara produce in Hawthorne?

What effect on the reader did Hawthorne seek in this story?

What does Hawthorne say is necessary in order to appreciate nature?

What relation has Niagara to the geography of the country, its animal and vegetable life, its trade and industry?

What is the effect on one's feelings when he "considers that the vapor and the foam are as everlasting as the rocks which produce them"?

Niagara grew on Hawthorne. Justify this.

Note the comments of other observers based upon their interpretation of Niagara.

Do you think one who sees nothing in Niagara except a mass of rock and water, vapor and sunshine, could appreciate its beauty, grandeur, and sublimity?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "abyss of clouds"
    "eddied and whirled"
    "voice of ages"
    "mysterious voice"
    "unrivaled scene"
    "Eternal Rainbow"
    "majestic leap"


So irregular was the life of Edgar Allan Poe and so strong were the prejudices of his critics that not only his character and habits of life, but even the simplest facts of his biography, are surrounded with mystery and are subjects of doubt and dispute.

By everything, but the accident of birth, Poe belongs to the South. His father was from Baltimore and his mother was of English birth. They were both members of a theatrical company playing in Boston at the time of Poe's birth, January 19, 1809. At the age of three he was left an orphan by the death of his mother. A wealthy Scotchman of Virginia, Mr. John Allan, adopted him and brought him up in luxury--a much spoiled child, everywhere petted for his beauty and precocity.

He was sent to school in a suburb of London and upon his return to America entered the University of Virginia, a proud, reserved, and self-willed youth. Here he led an irregular life, so that Mr. Allan was forced to withdraw him from school and gave him work in his office. The routine of office work was very distasteful to Poe and he ran away to Boston, where he published his first volume of poems. Here he enlisted in the army, but when Mr. Allan heard of his whereabouts he secured his discharge and obtained an appointment for him, as a cadet, at West Point. The severe discipline of that school proved irksome to his restless nature and after a few months he brought upon himself his dismissal. At the age of twenty-two he found himself adrift with nothing further to expect from Mr. Allan.

Literature presented itself as his most natural vocation. He had written poetry from the pure love of it, but now actual poverty drove him to the more remunerative prose writing. He engaged in journalistic work in Baltimore, living with his aunt, Mrs. Clemm, and her daughter, Virginia. Two years later he married Virginia Clemm, a mere child; but Poe, whose reverence for women was his noblest trait, loved her and cared for her through poverty and ill-health, until her death eleven years later, a short time before his own. His life was a melancholy one, a fierce struggle and final defeat. In 1849, on his way to New York from Richmond, chance brought him and election day together in the city of Baltimore. He was found in an election booth, delirious, and died a few days later.

Poe was a keen critic of the literary men of his day, but he applied the same standards to himself. He was constantly re-writing and polishing what he had written. Poe's greatness lay in his imaginative, work--his tales and his poems. The tales may be said to constitute a distinct addition to the world's literature. From time immemorial, there have been tales in prose and in verse, tales legendary, romantic, and humorous, but never any quite like Poe's.

The appeal of his poetry is to the sentiment of beauty--the one appeal, which according to his theory is the final justification of any poem. Language is made to yield its utmost of melody. "The Raven" was first published in January, 1845, and immediately became and remains one of the most widely known of English poems. It can be mentioned anywhere, without apology or explanation and there is scarcely a lover of melodious verse who cannot repeat many of its lines and stanzas.

Every reader of Poe's prose will be impressed with the charm of the language itself, the fascination of the vivid scenes and the magic touch like the Necromancer's wand, which removes these scenes into the uncharted realm of the supernatural and invests them with a kind of sacred awe.



We had now reached the summit of the loftiest crag. For some minutes the old man seemed too much exhausted to speak.

"Not long ago," said he at length, "and I could have guided you on this route as well as the youngest of my sons; but, about three years past, there happened to me an event such as never happened before to mortal man--or at least such as no man ever survived to tell of--and the six hours of deadly terror which I then endured have broken me up body and soul. You suppose me a very old man--but I am not. It took less than a single day to change these hairs from a jetty black to white, to weaken my limbs, and to unstring my nerves, so that I tremble at the least exertion, and am frightened at a shadow. Do you know I can scarcely look over this little cliff without getting giddy?"

The "little cliff," upon whose edge he had so carelessly thrown himself down to rest that the weightier portion of his body hung over it, while he was only kept from falling by the tenure of his elbow on its extreme and slippery edge--this "little cliff" arose, a sheer unobstructed precipice of black shining rock, some fifteen or sixteen hundred feet from the world of crags beneath us. Nothing would have tempted me to within half a dozen yards of its brink. In truth so deeply was I excited by the perilous position of my companion, that I fell at full length upon the ground, clung to the shrubs around me, and dared not even glance upward at the sky--while I struggled in vain to divest myself of the idea that the very foundations of the mountain were in danger from the fury of the winds. It was long before I could reason myself into sufficient courage to sit up and look out into the distance.

"You must get over these fancies," said the guide, "for I have brought you here that you might have the best possible view of the scene of that event I mentioned--and to tell you the whole story with the spot just under your eye.

"We are now," he continued, in that particularizing manner which distinguished him--"we are now close upon the Norwegian coast--in the sixty-eighth degree of latitude--in the great province of Nordland--and in the dreary district of Lofoden. The mountain upon whose top we sit is Helseggen, the Cloudy. Now raise yourself up a little higher--hold on to the grass if you feel giddy--so--and look out, beyond the belt of vapor beneath us, into the sea."

I looked dizzily, and beheld a wide expanse of ocean, whose waters wore so inky a hue as to bring at once to my mind the Nubian geographer's account of the Mare Tenebrarum. A panorama more deplorably desolate no human imagination can conceive. To the right and left, as far as the eye could reach, there lay outstretched, like ramparts of the world, lines of horridly black and beetling cliff, whose character of gloom was but the more forcibly illustrated by the surf which reared high up against it its white and ghastly crest, howling and shrieking forever. Just opposite the promontory upon whose apex we were placed, and at a distance of some five or six miles out at sea, there was visible a small, bleak-looking island; or, more properly, its position was discernible through the wilderness of surge in which it was enveloped. About two miles nearer the land arose another of smaller size, hideously craggy and barren, and encompassed at various intervals by a cluster of dark rocks.

The appearance of the ocean, in the space between the more distant island and the shore, had something very unusual about it. Although, at the time, so strong a gale was blowing landward that a brig in the remote offing lay to under a double-reefed trysail, and constantly plunged her whole hull out of sight, still there was here nothing like a regular swell, but only a short, quick, angry cross-dashing of water in every direction--as well in the teeth of the wind as otherwise. Of foam there was little except in the immediate vicinity of the rocks.

"The island in the distance," resumed the old man, "is called by the Norwegians Vurrgh. The one midway is Moskoe. That a mile to the northward is Ambaaren. Yonder are Iflesen, Hoeyholm, Kieldholm, Suarven, and Buckholm. Farther off--between Moskoe and Vurrgh--are Otterholm, Flimen, Sandflesen, and Skarholm. These are the true names of the places--but why it has been thought necessary to name them at all is more than either you or I can understand. Do you hear anything? Do you see any change in the water?"

We had now been about ten minutes upon the top of Helseggen, to which we had ascended from the interior of Lofoden, so that we had caught no glimpse of the sea until it had burst upon us from the summit. As the old man spoke, I became aware of a loud and gradually increasing sound, like the moaning of a vast herd of buffaloes upon an American prairie; and at the same moment I perceived that what seamen term the chopping character of the ocean beneath us, was rapidly changing into a current which set to the eastward. Even while I gazed, this current acquired a monstrous velocity. Each moment added to its speed--to its headlong impetuosity. In five minutes the whole sea, as far as Vurrgh, was lashed into ungovernable fury; but it was between Moskoe and the coast that the main uproar held its sway. Here the vast bed of the waters, seamed and scarred into a thousand conflicting channels, burst suddenly into frenzied convulsion--heaving, boiling, hissing--gyrating in gigantic and innumerable vortices, and all whirling and plunging on to the eastward with a rapidity which water never elsewhere assumes, except in precipitous descents.

In a few minutes more there came over the scene another radical alteration. The general surface grew somewhat more smooth, and the whirlpools, one by one, disappeared, while prodigious streaks of foam became apparent where none had been seen before. These streaks, at length, spreading out to a great distance, and entering into combination, took unto themselves the gyratory motion of the subsided vortices, and seemed to form the germ of another more vast. Suddenly--very suddenly--this assumed a distinct and definite existence, in a circle of more than a mile in diameter. The edge of the whirl was represented by a broad belt of gleaming spray; but no particle of this slipped into the mouth of the terrific funnel, whose interior, as far as the eye could fathom it, was a smooth, shining and jet-black wall of water, inclined to the horizon at an angle of some forty-five degrees, speeding dizzily round and round with a swaying and sweltering motion, and sending forth to the winds an appalling voice, half shriek, half roar, such as not even the mighty cataract of Niagara ever lifts up in its agony to Heaven.

The mountain trembled to its very base, and the rock rocked. I threw myself upon my face, and clung to the scant herbage in an excess of nervous agitation.

"This," said I at length, to the old man--"this can be nothing else than the great whirlpool of the Maelström."

"So it is sometimes termed," said he. "We Norwegians call it the Moskoe-ström, from the island of Moskoe in the midway."

The ordinary accounts of this vortex had by no means prepared me for what I saw. That of Jonas Ramus, which, is perhaps the most circumstantial of any, cannot impart the faintest conception either of the magnificence or of the horror of the scene--or of the wild bewildering sense of the novel which confounds the beholder. I am not sure from what point of view the writer in question surveyed it, nor at what time; but it could neither have been from the summit of Helseggen, nor during a storm. There are some passages of his description, nevertheless, which may be quoted for their details, although their effect is exceedingly feeble in conveying an impression of the spectacle.

"Between Lofoden and Moskoe," he says, "the depth of the water is between thirty-six and forty fathoms; but on the other side, toward Ver (Vurrgh) this depth decreases so as not to afford a convenient passage for a vessel, without the risk of splitting on the rocks, which happens even in the calmest weather. When it is flood, the stream runs up the country between Lofoden and Moskoe with a boisterous rapidity; but the roar of its impetuous ebb to the sea is scarce equaled by the loudest and most dreadful cataracts, the noise being heard several leagues off; and the vortices or pits are of such an extent and depth that if a ship comes within its attraction it is inevitably absorbed and carried down to the bottom, and there beat to pieces against the rocks; and when the water relaxes, the fragments thereof are thrown up again. But these intervals of tranquillity are only at the turn of the ebb and flood, and in calm weather, and last but a quarter of an hour, its violence gradually returning. When the stream is most boisterous, and its fury heightened by a storm, it is dangerous to come within a Norway mile of it. Boats, yachts, and ships have been carried away by not guarding against it before they were within its reach. It likewise happens frequently that whales come too near the stream, and are overpowered by its violence; and then it is impossible to describe their howling and bellowings in their fruitless struggles to disengage themselves. A bear once, attempting to swim from Lofoden to Moskoe, was caught by the stream and borne down, while he roared terribly, so as to be heard on shore. Large stocks of firs and pine trees, after being absorbed by the current, rise again broken and torn to such a degree as if bristles grew upon them. This plainly shows the bottom to consist of craggy rocks, among which they are whirled to and fro. This stream is regulated by the flux and reflux of the sea--it being constantly high and low water every six hours. In the year 1645, early in the morning of Sexagesima Sunday, it raged with such noise and impetuosity that the very stones of the houses on the coast fell to the ground."

In regard to the depth of the water, I could not see how this could have been ascertained at all in the immediate vicinity of the vortex. The "forty fathoms" must have reference only to portions of the channel close upon the shore either of Moskoe or Lofoden. The depth in the center of the Moskoe-ström must be immeasurably greater; and no better proof of this fact is necessary than can be obtained from even the sidelong glance into the abyss of the whirl which may be had from the highest crag of Helseggen. Looking down from this pinnacle upon the howling Phlegethon below, I could not help smiling at the simplicity with which the honest Jonas Ramus records, as a matter difficult of belief, the anecdotes of the whales and the bears; for it appeared to me, in fact, a self-evident thing that the largest ships of the line in existence, coming within the influence of that deadly attraction, could resist it as little as a feather the hurricane, and must disappear bodily and at once.

The attempts to account for the phenomenon--some of which, I remember, seemed to me sufficiently plausible in perusal--now wore a very different and unsatisfactory aspect. The idea generally received is that this, as well as three smaller vortices among the Feroe Islands, "have no other cause than the collision of waves rising and falling, at flux and reflux, against a ridge of rocks and shelves, which confines the water so that it precipitates itself like a cataract; and thus the higher the flood rises, the deeper must the fall be, and the natural result of all is a whirlpool or vortex, the prodigious suction of which is sufficiently known by lesser experiments."--These are the words of the "Encyclopaedia Brittanica." Kircher and others imagine that in the center of the channel of the Maelström is an abyss penetrating the globe, and issuing in some very remote part--the Gulf of Bothnia being somewhat decidedly named in one instance. This opinion, idle in itself, was the one to which, as I gazed, my imagination most readily assented; and, mentioning it to the guide, I was rather surprised to hear him say that, although it was the view almost universally entertained of the subject by the Norwegians, it nevertheless was not his own. As to the former notion he confessed his inability to comprehend it; and here I agreed with him--for, however conclusive on paper, it becomes altogether unintelligible, and even absurd, amid the thunder of the abyss.

"You have had a good look at the whirl now," said the old man, "and if you will creep round this crag, so as to get in its lee, and deaden the roar of the water, I will tell you a story that will convince you I ought to know something of the Moskoe-ström."

I placed myself as desired, and he proceeded.

"Myself and my two brothers once owned a schooner-rigged smack of about seventy tons burden, with which we were in the habit of fishing among the islands beyond Moskoe, nearly to Vurrgh. In all violent eddies at sea there is good fishing, at proper opportunities, if one has only the courage to attempt it; but among the whole of the Lofoden coastmen we three were the only ones who made a regular business of going out to the islands, as I tell you. The usual grounds are a great way lower down to the southward. There fish can be got at all hours, without much risk, and therefore these places are preferred. The choice spots over here among the rocks, however, not only yield the finest variety, but in far greater abundance; so that we often got in a single day what the more timid of the craft could not scrape together in a week. In fact, we made it a matter of desperate speculation--the risk of life standing instead of labor, and courage answering for capital.

"We kept the smack in a cove about five miles higher up the coast than this; and it was our practice, in fine weather, to take advantage of the fifteen minutes' slack to push across the main channel of the Moskoe-ström, far above the pool, and then drop down upon anchorage somewhere near Otterholm, or Sandflesen, where the eddies are not so violent as elsewhere. Here we used to remain until nearly time for slack-water again, when we weighed and made for home. We never set out upon this expedition without a steady side wind for going and coming--one that we felt sure would not fail us before our return--and we seldom made a miscalculation upon this point. Twice, during six years, we were forced to stay all night at anchor on account of a dead calm, which is a rare thing indeed just about here; and once we had to remain on the grounds nearly a week, starving to death, owing to a gale which blew up shortly after our arrival, and made the channel too boisterous to be thought of. Upon this occasion we should have been driven out to sea in spite of everything (for the whirlpools threw us round and round so violently that, at length, we fouled our anchor and dragged it) if it had not been that we drifted into one of the innumerable cross currents--here to-day and gone to-morrow--which drove us under the lee of Flimen, where, by good luck, we brought up.

"I could not tell you the twentieth part of the difficulties we encountered 'on the ground'--it is a bad spot to be in, even in good weather--but we made shift always to run the gauntlet of the Moskoe-ström itself without accident; although at times my heart has been in my mouth when we happened to be a minute or so behind or before the slack. The wind sometimes was not as strong as we thought it at starting, and then we made rather less way than we could wish, while the current rendered the smack unmanageable. My eldest brother had a son eighteen years old, and I had two stout boys of my own. These would have been of great assistance at such times, in using the sweeps, as well as afterward in fishing--but, somehow, although we ran the risk ourselves, we had not the heart to let the young ones get into the danger--for, after all said and done, it was a horrible danger, and that is the truth.

"It is now within a few days of three years since what I am going to tell you occurred. It was on the tenth of July, 18--, a day which the people of this part of the world will never forget--for it was one in which blew the most terrible hurricane that ever came out of the heavens. And yet all the morning, and indeed until late in the afternoon, there was a gentle and steady breeze from the southwest, while the sun shone brightly, so that the oldest seaman among us could not have foreseen what was to follow.

"The three of us--my two brothers and myself--had crossed over to the islands about two o'clock P.M., and soon nearly loaded the smack with fine fish, which, we all remarked, were more plenty that day than we had ever known them. It was just seven, by my watch, when we weighed and started for home, so as to make the worst of the Ström at slack water, which we knew would be at eight.

"We set out with a fresh wind on our starboard quarter, and for some time spanked along at a great rate, never dreaming of danger, for indeed we saw not the slightest reason to apprehend it. All at once we were taken aback by a breeze from over Helseggen. This was most unusual--something that had never happened to us before--and I began to feel a little uneasy, without exactly knowing why. We put the boat on the wind, but could make no headway at all for the eddies, and I was upon the point of proposing to return to the anchorage, when, looking astern, we saw the whole horizon covered with a singular copper-colored cloud that rose with the most amazing velocity.

"In the meantime the breeze that had headed us off fell away, and we were dead becalmed, drifting about in every direction. This state of things, however, did not last long enough to give us time to think about it. In less than a minute the storm was upon us--in less than two the sky was entirely overcast--and what with this and the driving spray, it became suddenly so dark that we could not see each other in the smack.

"Such a hurricane as then blew it is folly to attempt describing. The oldest seaman in Norway never experienced anything like it. We had let our sails go by the run before it cleverly took us; but, at the first puff, both our masts went by the board as if they had been sawed off--the mainmast taking with it my youngest brother, who had lashed himself to it for safety.

"Our boat was the lightest feather of a thing that ever sat upon water. It had a complete flush deck, with only a small hatch near the bow, and this hatch it had always been our custom to batten down when about to cross the Ström, by way of precaution against the chopping seas. But for this circumstance we should have foundered at once--for we lay entirely buried for some moments. How my elder brother escaped destruction I cannot say, for I never had an opportunity of ascertaining. For my part, as soon as I had let the foresail run, I threw myself flat on deck, with my feet against the narrow gunwale of the bow, and with my hands grasping a ringbolt near the foot of the foremast. It was mere instinct that prompted me to do this--which was undoubtedly the very best thing I could have done--for I was too much flurried to think.

"For some moments we were completely deluged, as I say, and all this time I held my breath, and clung to the bolt. When I could stand it no longer I raised myself upon my knees, still keeping hold with my hands, and thus got my head clear. Presently our little boat gave herself a shake, just as a dog does in coming out of the water, and thus rid herself, in some measure, of the seas. I was now trying to get the better of the stupor that had come over me, and to collect my senses so as to see what was to be done, when I felt somebody grasp my arm. It was my elder brother, and my heart leaped for joy, for I had made sure that he was overboard--but the next moment all this joy was turned into horror--for he put his mouth close to my ear, and screamed out the word 'Moskoe-ström!'

"No one will ever know what my feelings were at that moment. I shook from head to foot as if I had had the most violent fit of the ague. I knew what he meant by that one word well enough--I knew what he wished to make me understand. With the wind that now drove us on, we were bound for the whirl of the Ström, and nothing could save us!

"You perceive that in crossing the Ström channel, we always went a long way up above the whirl, even in the calmest weather, and then had to wait and watch carefully for the slack--but now we were driving right upon the pool itself, and in such a hurricane as this! 'To be sure,' I thought, 'we shall get there just about the slack--there is some little hope in that'--but in the next moment I cursed myself for being so great a fool as to dream of hope at all. I knew very well that we were doomed, had we been ten times a ninety-gun ship.

"By this time the first fury of the tempest had spent itself, or perhaps we did not feel it so much as we scudded before it; but at all events the seas, which at first had been kept down by the wind, and lay flat and frothing, now got up into absolute mountains. A singular change, too, had come over the heavens. Around in every direction it was still as black as pitch, but nearly overhead there burst out, all at once, a circular rift of clear sky--as clear as I ever saw--and of a deep bright blue--and through it there blazed forth the full moon with a luster that I never before knew her to wear. She lit up everything about us with the greatest distinctness--but, oh God, what a scene it was to light up!

"I now made one or two attempts to speak to my brother--but, in some manner which I could not understand, the din had so increased that I could not make him hear a single word, although I screamed at the top of my voice in his ear. Presently he shook his head, looking as pale as death, and held up one of his fingers, as if to say listen!

"At first I could not make out what he meant--but soon a hideous thought flashed upon me. I dragged my watch from its fob. It was not going. I glanced at its face by the moonlight, and then burst into tears as I flung it far away into the ocean. It had run down at seven o'clock! We were behind the time of the slack, and the whirl of the Ström was in full fury!

"When a boat is well built, properly trimmed, and not deep laden, the waves in a strong gale, when she is going large, seem always to slip from beneath her--which appears very strange to a landsman--and this is what is called riding, in sea phrase.

"Well, so far we had ridden the swells very cleverly; but presently a gigantic sea happened to take us right under the counter, and bore us with it as it rose--up--up--as if into the sky. I would not have believed that any wave could rise so high. And then down we came with a sweep, a slide, and a plunge, that made me feel sick and dizzy, as if I was falling from some lofty mountain-top in a dream. But while we were up I had thrown a quick glance around--and that one glance was all-sufficient. I saw our exact position in an instant. The Moskoe-ström whirlpool was about a quarter of a mile dead ahead--but no more like the everyday Moskoe-ström, than the whirl as you now see it is like a mill-race. If I had not known where we were, and what we had to expect, I should not have recognized the place at all. As it was, I involuntarily closed my eyes in horror. The lids clenched themselves together as if in a spasm.

"It could not have been more than two minutes afterwards until we suddenly felt the waves subside, and were enveloped in foam. The boat made a sharp half turn to larboard, and then shot off in its new direction like a thunderbolt. At the same moment the roaring noise of the water was completely drowned in a kind of shrill shriek--such a sound as you might imagine given out by the waterpipes of many thousand steam vessels, letting off their steam all together. We were now in the belt of surf that always surrounds the whirl; and I thought, of course, that another moment would plunge us into the abyss--down which we could only see indistinctly on account of the amazing velocity with which we were borne along. The boat did not seem to sink into the water at all, but to skim like an air-bubble upon the surface of the surge. Her starboard side was next the whirl, and on the larboard arose the world of ocean we had left. It stood like a huge writhing wall between us and the horizon.

"It may appear strange, but now, when we were in the very jaws of the gulf, I felt more composed than when we were only approaching it. Having made up my mind to hope no more, I got rid of a great deal of that terror which unmanned me at first. I suppose it was despair that strung my nerves.

"It may look like boasting--but what I tell you is truth--I began to reflect how magnificent a thing it was to die in such a manner, and how foolish it was in me to think of so paltry a consideration as my own individual life, in view of so wonderful a manifestation of God's power. I do believe that I blushed with shame when this idea crossed my mind. After a little while I became possessed with the keenest curiosity about the whirl itself. I positively felt a wish to explore its depths, even at the sacrifice I was going to make; and my principal grief was that I should never be able to tell my old companions on shore about the mysteries I should see. These, no doubt, were singular fancies to occupy a man's mind in such extremity--and I have often thought since, that the revolutions of the boat around the pool might have rendered me a little light-headed.

"There was another circumstance which tended to restore my self-possession; and this was the cessation of the wind, which could not reach us in our present situation--for, as you saw yourself, the belt of surf is considerably lower than the general bed of the ocean, and this latter now towered above us, a high, black, mountainous ridge. If you have never been at sea in a heavy gale, you can form no idea of the confusion of mind occasioned by the wind and spray together. They blind, deafen, and strangle you, and take away all power of action or reflection. But we were now, in a great measure, rid of these annoyances--just as death-condemned felons in prisons are allowed petty indulgences, forbidden them while their doom is yet uncertain.

"How often we made the circuit of the belt it is impossible to say. We careered round and round for perhaps an hour, flying rather than floating, getting gradually more and more into the middle of the surge, and then nearer and nearer to its horrible inner edge. All this time I had never let go of the ringbolt. My brother was at the stern, holding on to a small empty water-cask which had been securely lashed under the coop of the counter, and was the only thing on deck that had not been swept overboard when the gale first took us. As we approached the brink of the pit he let go his hold upon this, and made for the ring, from which, in the agony of his terror, he endeavored to force my hands, as it was not large enough to afford us both a secure grasp. I never felt deeper grief than when I saw him attempt this act--although I knew he was a madman when he did it--a raving maniac through sheer fright. I did not care, however, to contest the point with him. I knew it could make no difference whether either of us held on at all; so I let him have the bolt, and went astern to the cask. This there was no great difficulty in doing; for the smack flew round steadily enough, and upon an even keel--only swaying to and fro, with the immense sweeps and swelters of the whirl. Scarcely had I secured myself in my new position, when we gave a wild lurch to starboard, and rushed headlong into the abyss. I muttered a hurried prayer to God, and thought all was over.

"As I felt the sickening sweep of the descent, I had instinctively tightened my hold upon the barrel, and closed my eyes. For some seconds I dared not open them--while I expected instant destruction, and wondered that I was not already in my death-struggles with the water. But moment after moment elapsed. I still lived. The sense of falling had ceased; and the motion of the vessel seemed much as it had been before, while in the belt of foam, with the exception that she now lay more along. I took courage and looked once again upon the scene.

"Never shall I forget the sensations of awe, horror, and admiration with which I gazed about me. The boat appeared to be hanging, as if by magic, midway down, upon the interior surface of a funnel vast in circumference, prodigious in depth, and whose perfectly smooth sides might have been mistaken for ebony, but for the bewildering rapidity with which they spun around, and for the gleaming and ghastly radiance they shot forth, as the rays of the full moon, from that circular rift amid the clouds which I have already described, streamed in a flood of golden glory along the black walls, and far away down into the inmost recesses of the abyss.

"At first I was too much confused to observe anything accurately. The general burst of terrific grandeur was all that I beheld. When I recovered myself a little, however, my gaze fell instinctively downward. In this direction I was able to obtain an unobstructed view, from the manner in which the smack hung on the inclined surface of the pool. She was quite upon an even keel--that is to say, her deck lay in a plane parallel with that of the water--but this latter sloped at an angle of more than forty-five degrees, so that we seemed to be lying upon our beam-ends. I could not help observing, nevertheless, that I had scarcely more difficulty in maintaining my hold and footing in this situation, than if we had been upon a dead level; and this, I suppose, was owing to the speed at which we revolved.

"The rays of the moon seemed to search the very bottom of the profound gulf; but still I could make out nothing distinctly, on account of a thick mist in which everything there was enveloped, and over which there hung a magnificent rainbow, like that narrow and tottering bridge which Mussulmans say is the only pathway between Time and Eternity. This mist, or spray, was no doubt occasioned by the clashing of the great walls of the funnel, as they all met together at the bottom--but the yell that went up to the heavens from out of that mist, I dare not attempt to describe.

"Our first slide into the abyss itself, from the belt of foam above, had carried us to a great distance down the slope; but our farther descent was by no means proportionate. Round and round we swept--not with any uniform movement, but in dizzying swings and jerks, that sent us sometimes only a few hundred yards--sometimes nearly the complete circuit of the whirl. Our progress downward, at each revolution, was slow, but very perceptible.

"Looking about me upon the wide waste of liquid ebony on which we were thus borne, I perceived that our boat was not the only object in the embrace of the whirl. Both above and below us were visible fragments of vessels, large masses of building timber and trunks of trees, with many smaller articles, such as pieces of house furniture, broken boxes, barrels, and staves. I have already described the unnatural curiosity which had taken the place of my original terrors. It appeared to grow upon me as I drew nearer and nearer to my dreadful doom. I now began to watch, with a strange interest, the numerous things that floated in our company. I must have been delirious--for I even sought amusement in speculating upon the relative velocities of their several descents toward the foam below. 'This fir tree,' I found myself at one time saying, 'will certainly be the next thing that takes the awful plunge and disappears,'--and then I was disappointed to find that the wreck of a Dutch merchant ship overtook it and went down before. At length, after making several guesses of this nature, and being deceived in all--this fact--the fact of my invariable miscalculation, set me upon a train of reflection that made my limbs again tremble, and my heart beat heavily once more.

"It was not a new terror that thus affected me, but the dawn of a more exciting hope. This hope arose partly from memory, and partly from present observation. I called to mind the great variety of buoyant matter that strewed the coast of Lofoden, having been absorbed and then thrown forth by the Moskoe-ström. By far the greater number of the articles were shattered in the most extraordinary way--so chafed and roughened as to have the appearance of being stuck full of splinters--but then I distinctly recollected that there were some of them which were not disfigured at all. Now I could not account for this difference except by supposing that the roughened fragments were the only ones which had been completely absorbed--that the others had entered the whirl at so late a period of the tide, or, from some reason, had descended so slowly after entering, that they did not reach the bottom before the turn of the flood came, or of the ebb, as the case might be. I conceived it possible, in either instance, that they might thus be whirled up again to the level of the ocean, without undergoing the fate of those which had been drawn in more early or absorbed more rapidly. I made, also, three important observations. The first was, that as a general rule, the larger the bodies were, the more rapid their descent; the second, that, between two masses of equal extent, the one spherical, and the other of any other shape, the superiority in speed of descent was with the sphere; the third, that, between two masses of equal size, the one cylindrical, and the other of any other shape, the cylinder was absorbed the more slowly. Since my escape, I have had several conversations on this subject with an old schoolmaster of the district; and it was from him that I learned the use of the words 'cylinder' and 'sphere.' He explained to me--although I have forgotten the explanation--how what I observed was, in fact, the natural consequence of the forms of the floating fragments, and showed me how it happened that a cylinder, swimming in a vortex, offered more resistance to its suction, and was drawn in with greater difficulty, than an equally bulky body, of any form whatever.

"There was one startling circumstance which went a great way in enforcing these observations, and rendering me anxious to turn them to account, and this was that, at every revolution, we passed something like a barrel, or else the yard or the mast of a vessel, while many of these things, which had been on our level when I first opened my eyes upon the wonders of the whirlpool, were now high up above us, and seemed to have moved but little from their original station.

"I no longer hesitated what to do. I resolved to lash myself securely to the water-cask upon which I now held, to cut it loose from the counter, and to throw myself with it into the water. I attracted my brother's attention by signs, pointed to the floating barrels that came near us, and did everything in my power to make him understand what I was about to do. I thought at length that he comprehended my design--but, whether this was the case or not, he shook his head despairingly, and refused to move from his station by the ringbolt. It was impossible to reach him; the emergency admitted of no delay; and so, with a bitter struggle, I resigned him to his fate, fastened myself to the cask by means of the lashings which secured it to the counter, and precipitated myself with it into the sea, without another moment's hesitation.

"The result was precisely what I had hoped it might be. As it is myself who now tell you this tale--as you see that I did escape--and as you are already in possession of the mode in which this escape was effected, and must therefore anticipate all that I have farther to say-I will bring my story quickly to conclusion. It might have been an hour, or thereabout, after my quitting the smack, when, having descended to a vast distance beneath me, it made three or four wild gyrations in rapid succession, and, bearing my loved brother with it, plunged headlong, at once and forever, into the chaos of foam below. The barrel to which I was attached sunk very little farther than half the distance between the bottom of the gulf and the spot at which I leaped overboard, before a great change took place in the character of the whirlpool. The slope of the sides of the vast funnel became momently less and less steep. The gyrations of the whirl grew, gradually, less and less violent. By degrees, the froth and the rainbow disappeared, and the bottom of the gulf seemed slowly to uprise. The sky was clear, the winds had gone down, and the full moon was setting radiantly in the west, when I found myself on the surface of the ocean, in full view of the shores of Lofoden, and above the spot where the pool of the Moskoe-ström had been. It was the hour of the slack, but the sea still heaved in mountainous waves from the effects of the hurricane. I was borne violently into the channel of the Ström, and in a few minutes was hurried down the coast into the 'grounds' of the fishermen. A boat picked me up--exhausted from fatigue--and (now that the danger was removed) speechless from the memory of its horror. Those who drew me on board were my old mates and daily companions, but they knew me no more than they would have known a traveler from the spirit-land. My hair, which had been raven-black the day before, was as white as you see it now. They say, too, that the whole expression of my countenance had changed. I told them my story--they did not believe it. I now tell it to you--and I can scarcely expect you to put more faith in it than did the merry fishermen of Lofoden."


Notes and Questions.

Locate the scene of this story on your map.

How does the hero account for his apparent age?

What do you learn from Jonas Ramus's description of the whirlpool?

How does the "Encyclopedia Britannica" account for the vortex?

What was the theory of Kircher?

Briefly relate in your own words the hero's story of his experience in the Maelström.

What tempted him into the whirlpool?

Account for his miscalculation as to the time of the slack.

What three observations did the hero make?

How did he make his escape?

From this story what do you think of Poe's powers of imagination and description?

What other authors have you read that have similar powers?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "deplorably desolate"
    "gleaming spray"
    "boisterous rapidity"
    "fruitless struggles"
    "desperate speculation"
    "terrific grandeur"
    "frenzied convulsions"
    "precipitous descents"
    "sufficiently plausible"
    "belt of foam"
    "collision of waves"
    "flood of golden glory"
    "wild waste of liquid ebony"
    "chaos of foam"
    "the gyrations of the whirl"



    Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
    Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,--
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
    As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
    "'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door:
            Only this and nothing more."

    Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
    And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
    Eagerly I wished the morrow;--vainly I had sought to borrow
    From my books surcease of sorrow--sorrow for the lost Lenore,
    For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore:
            Nameless here for evermore.

    And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
    Thrilled me--filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
    So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
    "'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door,
    Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door:
            This it is and nothing more."

    Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
    "Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
    But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
    And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
    That I scarce was sure I heard you"--here I opened wide the door:--
            Darkness there and nothing more.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
    Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
    But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
    And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?"
    This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore":
            Merely this and nothing more.

    Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
    Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
    "Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice;
    Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore;
    Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore:
            'Tis the wind and nothing more."

    Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
    In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore.
    Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
    But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door,
    Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door:
            Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

    Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling
    By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,--
    "Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
    Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore:
    Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"
            Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

    Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
    Though its answer little meaning--little relevancy bore;
    For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
    Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door,
    Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
            With such name as "Nevermore."

    But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
    That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour,
    Nothing further then he uttered, not a feather then he fluttered,
    Till I scarcely more than muttered,--"Other friends have flown before;
    On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before."
            Then the bird said, "Nevermore."

    Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
    "Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
    Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
    Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore:
    Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
            Of 'Never--nevermore.'"

    But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
    Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
    Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
    Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of 'yore,
    What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
            Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

    This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
    To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
    This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
    On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
    But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er
            She shall press,' ah, nevermore!

    Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
    Swung by seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
    "Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee by these angels he hath sent thee
    Respite--respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
    Quaff, oh, quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!"
            Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

    "Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! prophet still, if bird or devil!
    Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
    Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted
    On this home by Horror haunted--tell me truly, I implore:
    Is there, is there balm in Gilead?--tell me--tell me, I implore!"
            Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

    "Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! prophet still, if bird or devil!
    By that Heaven that bends above us, by that God we both adore,
    Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
    It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore:
    Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore!"
            Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

    "Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting:
    "Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
    Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
    Leave my loneliness unbroken! quit the bust above my door!
    Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
            Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

    And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
    On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
    And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
    And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor:
    And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
            Shall be lifted--nevermore!


Notes and Questions.

What is the theme of this poem?

What gives it its musical quality?

Mention parts that you think are especially beautiful.

Find examples of alliteration.

What does the refrain add to this poem?

What is the meaning of "Night's Plutonian shore"?

Of what is the raven a symbol?

Why does the poet call the bust of Pallas "pallid"?

What is the significance of the last stanza?

From this poem, in what would you say Poe's poetry excels?

Which stanza do you like best?


Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "dying ember"
    "fantastic terrors"
    "saintly days"
    "tufted floor"
    "pallid bust"
    "radiant maiden"
    "dirges of his Hope"
    "bird of yore"
    "balm in Gilead"


In "The Courtship of Miles Standish" Longfellow has made us acquainted with his ancestors, John Alden and Priscilla Mullens, passengers of the Mayflower. Of such ancestry Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine, February 27, 1807. His birthplace was at that time a beautiful and busy town, a forest city with miles of sea beach and a port where merchant vessels from the West Indies exchanged sugar and rum for the products of the forest and the fisheries of Maine.

We are told that he was a boy "true, high-minded and noble"; "active, eager, often impatient"; "handsome in appearance" and the "sunlight of the home." His conduct at school was "very correct and amiable"--he read much and was always studious and thoughtful. The first book which fascinated his imagination was Irving's "Sketch-Book." Indeed there is a resemblance between the gentle Irving and the gentle Longfellow which is expressed in the prose of one and the poetry of the other.

Longfellow's education was obtained in Portland and at Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, where he had for classmates several youths who afterward became famous, Nathaniel Hawthorne, J. S. C. Abbott, and Franklin Pierce. Upon Longfellow's graduation, the trustees of the college, having decided to establish a chair of modern languages, proposed that this young graduate, of scholarly and literary tastes, should fit himself for this position. Three years, therefore, he spent in delightful study and travel in France, Spain, Italy, and Germany. Here was laid the foundation for his scholarship, and, as in Irving on his first European trip, there was kindled that passion for romantic lore which followed him through life and which gave color and direction to much of his work. He mastered the language of each country visited in a remarkably short time, and many of the choicer poems found in these languages he has given to us in the English.

After five years at Bowdoin, Longfellow was invited in 1834 to the chair of modern languages in Harvard College. Again he was given an opportunity to prepare himself by a year of study abroad. In 1836 he began his active work at Harvard and took up his residence in the historic Craigie House, overlooking the Charles River--a house in which Washington had been quartered for some months when he came to Cambridge in 1775 to take command of the Continental forces. Longfellow was thenceforth one of the most prominent members of that group of men including Sumner, Hawthorne, Agassiz, Lowell, and Holmes, who gave distinction to the Boston and Cambridge of earlier days.

For twenty years Longfellow filled the professorship of modern languages at Harvard and was one of the best beloved instructors at the university. He resigned that he might devote himself to writing and was succeeded at Harvard by James Russell Lowell.

Though Longfellow wrote in prose and is the author of many shorter poems, his reputation is mainly based upon his longer poems. Longfellow was a great admirer of the German poet, Goethe, to whose "Hermann and Dorothea" we are indebted for much of the form and no doubt some of the story of Evangeline. The story of Acadie was told first to Hawthorne by a friend of both authors; but the tale was hardly dark enough to suit the fancy of Hawthorne, whereas to Longfellow it seemed to have in it precisely those elements of faith and devotion that make the widest appeal. In a collection of poems published in 1850 appeared the poem of Longfellow's highest patriotic reach, the allegory of "The Building of the Ship." A friend of Lincoln recited this poem to him, and when the lines of its closing apostrophe to the ship of state were reached, with tears in his eyes the president said, "It is a great gift to be able to stir men like that." In his poem, "Hiawatha," Longfellow chose the metre of the Finnish epic "Kalevala," which is peculiarly suited to the tales of primitive people. The worthiest and most picturesque traditions of the American Indian are woven into a connected story whose charm is greatly heightened by the novel melody of the verse.

In 1861 the happiness of Longfellow's home life was broken by the death of his wife, who was fatally burned. He turned from this sorrow and the anxieties of the Civil War to the more mechanical work of writing tales and making translations. The "Tales of a Wayside Inn" appeared in 1863, and seven years later he published his translation of Dante's "Divine Comedy."

On Longfellow's seventy-second birthday the children of Cambridge presented him with a chair made from the wood of the "Village Blacksmith's" chestnut tree. He died March 24, 1882, aged seventy-five. In 1884 a bust of him was placed in the Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey--England's gracious tribute to the renown of America's best loved poet.




    This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
    Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
    Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic,
    Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.
    Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean
    Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.

    This is the forest primeval; but where are the hearts that beneath it
    Leaped like the roe, when he hears in the woodland the voice of the huntsman?
    Where is the thatch-roofed village, the home of Acadian farmers,--
    Men whose lives glided on like rivers that water the woodlands,
    Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an image of heaven?
    Waste are those pleasant farms, and the farmers forever departed!
    Scattered like dust and leaves, when the mighty blasts of October
    Seize them, and whirl them aloft, and sprinkle them far o'er the ocean.
    Naught but tradition remains of the beautiful village of Grand-Pré.

    Ye who believe in affection that hopes, and endures, and is patient,
    Ye who believe in the beauty and strength of woman's devotion,
    List to the mournful tradition still sung by the pines of the forest;
    List to a Tale of Love in Acadie, home of the happy.



    In the Acadian land, on the shores of the Basin of Minas,
    Distant, secluded, still, the little village of Grand-Pré
    Lay in the fruitful valley. Vast meadows stretched to the eastward,
    Giving the village its name, and pasture to flocks without number.
    Dikes, that the hands of the farmers had raised with labor incessant,
    Shut out the turbulent tides; but at stated seasons the floodgates
    Opened and welcomed the sea to wander at will o'er the meadows.
    West and south there were fields of flax, and orchards and cornfields
    Spreading afar and unfenced o'er the plain; and away to the northward
    Blomidon rose, and the forests old, and aloft on the mountains
    Sea-fogs pitched their tents, and mists from the mighty Atlantic
    Looked on the happy valley, but ne'er from their station descended.
    There, in the midst of its farms, reposed the Acadian village.
    Strongly built were the houses, with frames of oak and of chestnut,
    Such as the peasants of Normandy built in the reign of the Henries.
    Thatched were the roofs, with dormer-windows; and gables projecting
    Over the basement below protected and shaded the doorway.
    There in the tranquil evenings of summer, when brightly the sunset
    Lighted the village street, and gilded the vanes on the chimneys,
    Matrons and maidens sat in snow-white caps and in kirtles
    Scarlet and blue and green, with distaffs spinning the golden
    Flax for the gossiping looms, whose noisy shuttles within doors
    Mingled their sound with the whir of the wheels and the songs of the maidens.
    Solemnly down the street came the parish priest, and the children
    Paused in their play to kiss the hand he extended to bless them.
    Reverend walked he among them; and up rose matrons and maidens,
    Hailing his slow approach with words of affectionate welcome.
    Then came the laborers home from the field, and serenely the sun sank
    Down to his rest, and twilight prevailed. Anon from the belfry
    Softly the Angelus sounded, and over the roofs of the village
    Columns of pale blue smoke, like clouds of incense ascending,
    Rose from a hundred hearths, the homes of peace and contentment.
    Thus dwelt together in love these simple Acadian farmers,--
    Dwelt in the love of God and of man. Alike were they free from
    Fear, that reigns with the tyrant, and envy, the vice of republics.
    Neither locks had they to their doors, nor, bars to their windows;
    But their dwellings were open as day and the hearts of the owners;
    There the richest was poor, and the poorest lived in abundance.

    Somewhat apart from the village, and nearer the Basin of Minas,
    Benedict Bellefontaine, the wealthiest farmer of Grand-Pré,
    Dwelt on his goodly acres; and with him, directing his household,
    Gentle Evangeline lived, his child, and the pride of the village.
    Stalworth and stately in form was the man of seventy winters;
    Hearty and hale was he, an oak that is covered with snow-flakes;
    White as the snow were his locks, and his cheeks as brown as the oak-leaves.
    Fair was she to behold, that maiden of seventeen summers;
    Black were her eyes as the berry that grows on the thorn by the wayside,
    Black, yet how softly they gleamed beneath the brown shade of her tresses!
    Sweet was her breath as the breath of kine that feed in the meadows.
    When in the harvest heat she bore to the reapers at noontide
    Flagons of home-brewed ale, ah! fair in sooth was the maiden.
    Fairer was she when, on Sunday morn, while the bell from its turret
    Sprinkled with holy sounds the air, as the priest with his hyssop
    Sprinkles the congregation, and scatters blessings upon them,
    Down the long street she passed, with her chaplet of beads and her missal,
    Wearing her Norman cap and her kirtle of blue, and the ear-rings
    Brought in the olden time from France, and since, as an heir-loom,
    Handed down from mother to child, through long generations.
    But a celestial brightness--a more ethereal beauty--
    Shone on her face and encircled her form, when, after confession,
    Homeward serenely she walked with God's benediction upon her.
    When she had passed, it seemed like the ceasing of exquisite music.

    Firmly builded with rafters of oak, the house of the farmer
    Stood on the side of a hill commanding the sea; and a shady
    Sycamore grew by the door, with a woodbine wreathing around it.
    Rudely carved was the porch, with seats beneath; and a footpath
    Led through an orchard wide, and disappeared in the meadow.
    Under the sycamore-tree were hives overhung by a penthouse,
    Such as the traveler sees in regions remote by the roadside,
    Built o'er a box for the poor, or the blessed image of Mary.
    Farther down, on the slope of the hill, was the well with its moss-grown
    Bucket, fastened with iron, and near it a trough for the horses.
    Shielding the house from storms, on the north, were the barns and the farm-yard;
    There stood the broad-wheeled wains and the antique ploughs and the harrows;
    There were the folds for the sheep; and there, in his feathered seraglio,
    Strutted the lordly turkey, and crowed the cock, with the self-same
    Voice that in ages of old had startled the penitent Peter.
    Bursting with hay were the barns, themselves a village. In each one
    Far o'er the gable projected a roof of thatch; and a staircase,
    Under the sheltering eaves, led up to the odorous cornloft.
    There too the dove-cot stood, with its meek and innocent inmates
    Murmuring ever of love; while above in the variant breezes
    Numberless noisy weathercocks rattled and sang of mutation.

    Thus, at peace with God and the world, the farmer of Grand-Pré
    Lived on his sunny farm, and Evangeline governed his house-hold.
    Many a youth, as he knelt in the church and opened his missal,
    Fixed his eyes upon her as the saint of his deepest devotion;
    Happy was he who might touch her hand or the hem of her garment!
    Many a suitor came to her door, by the darkness befriended,
    And, as he knocked and waited to hear the sound of her foot-steps,
    Knew not which beat the louder, his heart or the knocker of iron;
    Or, at the joyous feast of the Patron Saint of the village,
    Bolder grew, and pressed her hand in the dance as he whispered
    Hurried words of love, that seemed a part of the music.
    But among all who came young Gabriel only was welcome;
    Gabriel Lajeunesse, the son of Basil the blacksmith,
    Who was a mighty man in the village, and honored of all men;
    For since the birth of time, throughout all ages and nations,
    Has the craft of the smith been held in repute by the people.
    Basil was Benedict's friend--Their children from earliest child-hood
    Grew up together as brother and sister; and Father Felician,
    Priest and pedagogue both in the village, had taught them their letters
    Out of the selfsame book, with the hymns of the church and the plain-song.
    But when the hymn was sung, and the daily lesson completed,
    Swiftly they hurried away to the forge of Basil the blacksmith.
    There at the door they stood, with wondering eyes to behold him
    Take in his leathern lap the hoof of the horse as a plaything,
    Nailing the shoe in its place; while near him the tire of the cartwheel
    Lay like a fiery snake, coiled round in a circle of cinders.
    Oft on autumnal eyes, when without in the gathering darkness
    Bursting with light seemed the smithy, through every cranny and crevice,
    Warm by the forge within they watched the laboring bellows,
    And as its panting ceased, and the sparks expired in the ashes,
    Merrily laughed, and said they were nuns going into the chapel.
    Oft on sledges in winter, as swift as the swoop of the eagle,
    Down the hillside bounding, they glided away o'er the meadow.
    Oft in the barns they climbed to the populous nests on the rafters,
    Seeking with eager eyes that wondrous stone, which the swallow
    Brings from the shore of the sea to restore the sight of its fledglings;
    Lucky was he who found that stone in the nest of the swallow!
    Thus passed a few swift years, and they no longer were children.
    He was a valiant youth, and his face, like the face of the morning,
    Gladdened the earth with its light, and ripened thought into action.
    She was a woman now, with the heart and hopes of a woman.
    "Sunshine of Saint Eulalie" was she called; for that was the sunshine
    Which, as the farmers believed, would load their orchards with apples;
    She too would bring to her husband's house delight and abundance,
    Filling it full of love and the ruddy faces of children.


    Now had the season returned, when the nights grow colder and longer,
    And the retreating sun the sign of the Scorpion enters.
    Birds of passage sailed through the leaden air, from the icebound,
    Desolate northern bays to the shores of tropical islands.
    Harvests were gathered in; and wild with the winds of September
    Wrestled the trees of the forest, as Jacob of old with the angel.
    All the signs foretold a winter long and inclement.
    Bees, with prophetic instinct of want, had hoarded their honey
    Till the hives overflowed; and the Indian hunters asserted
    Cold would the winter be, for thick was the fur of the foxes.
    Such was the advent of autumn. Then followed that beautiful season,
    Called by the pious Acadian peasants the Summer of All-Saints!
    Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
    Lay as if new-created in all the freshness of childhood.
    Peace seemed to reign upon earth, and the restless heart of the ocean
    Was for a moment consoled. All sounds were in harmony blended.
    Voices of children at play, the crowing of cocks in the farmyards,
    Whir of wings in the drowsy air, and the cooing of pigeons,
    All were subdued and low as the murmurs of love, and the great sun
    Looked with the eye of love through the golden vapors around him;
    While arrayed in its robes of russet and scarlet and yellow,
    Bright with the sheen of the dew, each glittering tree of the forest
    Flashed like the plane-tree the Persian adorned with mantles and jewels.

    Now recommenced the reign of rest and affection and stillness.
    Day with its burden and heat had departed, and twilight descending
    Brought back the evening star to the sky, and the herds to the homestead.
    Pawing the ground they came, and resting their necks on each other,
    And with their nostrils distended inhaling the freshness of evening.
    Foremost, bearing the bell, Evangeline's beautiful heifer,
    Proud of her snow-white hide, and the ribbon that waved from her collar,
    Quietly paced and slow, as if conscious of human affection.
    Then came the shepherd back with his bleating flocks from the seaside,
    Where was their favorite pasture. Behind them followed the watch-dog,
    Patient, full of importance, and grand in the pride of his instinct,
    Walking from side to side with a lordly air, and superbly
    Waving his bushy tail, and urging forward the stragglers;
    Regent of flocks was he when the shepherd slept; their protector,
    When from the forest at night, through the starry silence, the wolves howled.
    Late, with the rising moon, returned the wains from the marshes,
    Laden with briny hay, that filled the air with its odor.
    Cheerily neighed the steeds, with dew on their manes and their fetlocks,
    While aloft on their shoulders the wooden and ponderous saddles,
    Painted with brilliant dyes, and adorned with tassels of crimson
    Nodded in bright array, like hollyhocks heavy with blossoms.
    Patiently stood the cows meanwhile, and yielded their udders
    Unto the milkmaid's hand; whilst loud and in regular cadence
    Into the sounding pails the foaming streamlets descended.
    Lowing of cattle and peals of laughter were heard in the farmyard,
    Echoed back by the barns. Anon they sank into stillness;
    Heavily closed, with a jarring sound, the valves of the barn doors,
    Battled the wooden bars, and all for a season was silent.

    In-doors, warm by the wide-mouthed fireplace, idly the farmer
    Sat in his elbow-chair, and watched how the flames and the smoke-wreaths
    Struggled together like foes in a burning city. Behind him,
    Nodding and mocking along the wall with gestures fantastic,
    Darted his own huge shadow, and vanished away into darkness.
    Faces, clumsily carved in oak, on the back of his arm-chair
    Laughed in the nickering light, and the pewter plates on the dresser
    Caught and reflected the flame, as shields of armies the sunshine.
    Fragments of song the old man sang, and carols of Christmas,
    Such as at home, in the olden time, his fathers before him
    Sang in their Norman orchards and bright Burgundian vineyards.
    Close at her father's side was the gentle Evangeline seated,
    Spinning flax for the loom that stood in the corner behind her.
    Silent awhile were its treadles, at rest was its diligent shuttle,
    While the monotonous drone of the wheel, like the drone of a bagpipe,
    Followed the old man's song, and united the fragments together.
    As in a church, when the chant of the choir at intervals ceases,
    Footfalls are heard in the aisles, or words of the priest at the altar,
    So, in each pause of the song, with measured motion the clock clicked.

    Thus as they sat, there were footsteps heard, and, suddenly lifted,
    Sounded the wooden latch, and the door swung back on its hinges.
    Benedict knew by the hob-nailed shoes it was Basil the blacksmith,
    And by her beating heart Evangeline knew who was with him.
    "Welcome!" the farmer exclaimed, as their footsteps paused on the threshold,
    "Welcome, Basil, my friend! Come, take thy place on the settle
    Close by the chimney-side, which is always empty without thee;
    Take from the shelf overhead thy pipe and the box of tobacco;
    Never so much thyself art thou as when, through the curling
    Smoke of the pipe or the forge, thy friendly and jovial face gleams
    Round and red as the harvest moon through the mist of the marshes."
    Then, with a smile of content, thus answered Basil the blacksmith,
    Taking with easy air the accustomed seat by the fireside:--
    "Benedict Bellefontaine, thou hast ever thy jest and thy ballad!
    Ever in cheerfullest mood art thou, when others are filled with
    Gloomy forebodings of ill, and see only ruin before them.
    Happy art thou, as if every day thou hadst packed up a horseshoe."
    Pausing a moment, to take the pipe that Evangeline brought him,
    And with a coal from the embers had lighted, he slowly continued:--
    "Four days now are passed since the English ships at their anchors
    Ride in the Gaspereau's mouth, with their cannon pointed against us.
    What their design may be is unknown; but all are commanded
    On the morrow to meet in the church, where his Majesty's mandate
    Will be proclaimed as law in the land. Alas! in the meantime
    Many surmises of evil alarm the hearts of the people."
    Then made answer the farmer:--"Perhaps some friendlier purpose
      Brings these ships to our shores. Perhaps the harvests in England
    By the untimely rains or untimelier heat have been blighted,
    And from our bursting barns they would feed their cattle and children."
    "Not so thinketh the folk in the village," said warmly the blacksmith,
    Shaking his head as in doubt; then, heaving a sigh, he continued:--
    "Louisburg is not forgotten, nor Beau Séjour, nor Port Royal.
    Many already have fled to the forest, and lurk on its outskirts,
    Waiting with anxious hearts the dubious fate of tomorrow.
    Arms have been taken from us, and warlike weapons of all kinds;
    Nothing is left but the blacksmith's sledge and the scythe of the mower."
    Then with a pleasant smile made answer the jovial farmer:--
    "Safer are we unarmed, in the midst of our flocks and our cornfields,
    Safer within these peaceful dikes besieged by the ocean,
    Than were our fathers in forts, besieged by the enemy's cannon.
    Fear no evil, my friend, and tonight may no shadow of sorrow
    Fall on this house and hearth; for this is the night of the contract.
    Built are the house and the barn. The merry lads of the village
    Strongly have built them and well; and, breaking the glebe round about them,
    Filled the barn with hay, and the house with food for a twelvemonth.
    Bené Leblanc will be here anon, with his papers and inkhorn.
    Shall we not then be glad, and rejoice in the joy of our children?"
    As apart by the window she stood, with her hand in her lover's,
    Blushing Evangeline heard the words that her father had spoken,
    And, as they died on his lips, the worthy notary entered.


    Bent like a laboring oar, that toils in the surf of the ocean,
    Bent, but not broken, by age was the form of the notary public;
    Shocks of yellow hair, like the silken floss of the maize, hung
    Over his shoulders; his forehead was high; and glasses with horn bows
    Sat astride on his nose, with a look of wisdom supernal.
    Father of twenty children was he, and more than a hundred
    Children's children rode on his knee, and heard his great watch tick.
    Four long years in the times of the war had he languished a captive,
    Suffering much in an old French fort as the friend of the English.
    Now, though warier grown, without all guile or suspicion,
    Ripe in wisdom was he, but patient, and simple, and childlike.
    He was beloved by all, and most of all by the children;
    For he told them tales of the Loup-garou in the forest,
    And of the goblin that came in the night to water the horses,
    And of the white Létiche, the ghost of a child who unchristened
    Died, and was doomed to haunt unseen the chambers of children;
    And how on Christmas eve the oxen talked in the stable,
    And how the fever was cured by a spider shut up in a nutshell,
    And of the marvelous powers of four-leaved clover and horseshoes,
    With whatsoever else was writ in the lore of the village.
    Then up rose from his seat by the fireside Basil the blacksmith,
    Knocked from his pipe the ashes, and slowly extending his right hand,
    "Father Leblanc," he exclaimed, "thou hast heard the talk in the village,
    And, perchance, canst tell us some news of these ships and their errand."
    Then with modest demeanor made answer the notary public,--
    "Gossip enough have I heard, in sooth, yet am never the wiser;
    And what their errand may be I know not better than others.
    Yet am I not of those who imagine some evil intention
    Brings them here, for we are at peace; and why then molest us?"
    "God's name!" shouted the hasty and somewhat irascible blacksmith;
    "Must we in all things look for the how, and the why, and the wherefore?
    Daily injustice is done, and might is the right of the strongest!"
    But, without heeding his warmth, continued the notary public,--
    "Man is unjust, but God is just; and finally justice
    Triumphs; and well I remember a story, that often consoled me,
    When as a captive I lay in the old French fort at Port Royal."
    This was the old man's favorite tale, and he loved to repeat it
    When his neighbors complained that any injustice was done them.
    "Once in an ancient city, whose name I no longer remember,
    Raised aloft on a column, a brazen statue of Justice
    Stood in the public square, upholding the scales in its left hand,
    And in its right a sword, as an emblem that justice presided
    Over the laws of the land, and the hearts and homes of the people.
    Even the birds had built their nests in the scales of the balance,
    Having no fear of the sword that flashed in the sunshine above them.
    But in the course of time the laws of the land were corrupted;
    Might took the place of right, and the weak were oppressed, and the mighty
    Ruled with an iron rod. Then it chanced in a nobleman's palace
    That a necklace of pearls was lost, and ere long a suspicion
    Fell on an orphan girl who lived as maid in the household.
    She, after form of trial condemned to die on the scaffold,
    Patiently met her doom at the foot of the statue of Justice.
    As to her Father in heaven her innocent spirit ascended,
    Lo! o'er the city a tempest rose; and the bolts of the thunder
    Smote the statue of bronze, and hurled in wrath from its left hand
    Down on the pavement below the clattering scales of the balance,
    And in the hollow thereof was found the nest of a magpie,
    Into whose clay-built walls the necklace of pearls was inwoven."
    Silenced, but not convinced, when the story was ended, the blacksmith
    Stood like a man who fain would speak, but findeth no language;
    All his thoughts were congealed into lines on his face, as the vapors
    Freeze in fantastic shapes on the window-panes in the winter.

    Then Evangeline lighted the Brazen lamp on the table,
    Filled, till it overflowed, the pewter tankard with home-brewed
    Nut-brown ale, that was famed for its strength in the village of Grand-Pré;
    While from his pocket the notary drew his papers and inkhorn,
    Wrote with a steady hand the date and the age of the parties,
    Naming the dower of the bride in flocks of sheep and in cattle.
    Orderly all things proceeded, and duly and well were completed,
    And the great seal of the law was set like a sun on the margin.
    Then from his leathern pouch the farmer threw on the table
    Three times the old man's fee in solid pieces of silver;
    And the notary rising, and blessing the bride and the bridegroom,
    Lifted aloft the tankard of ale and drank to their welfare.
    Wiping the foam from, his lip, he solemnly bowed and departed,
    While in silence the others sat and mused by the fireside,
    Till Evangeline brought the draught-board out of its corner.
    Soon was the game begun. In friendly contention the old men
    Laughed at each lucky hit, or unsuccessful manoeuvre,
    Laughed when a man was crowned, or a breach was made in the king-row.
    Meanwhile apart, in the twilight gloom of a window's embrasure,
    Sat the lovers and whispered together, beholding the moon rise
    Over the pallid sea and the silvery mist of the meadows.
    Silently one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven,
    Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.

    Thus was the evening passed. Anon the bell from the belfry
    Rang out the hour of nine, the village curfew, and straightway
    Rose the guests and departed; and silence reigned in the household.
    Many a farewell word and sweet good-night on the door-step
    Lingered long in Evangeline's heart, and filled it with gladness.
    Carefully then were covered the embers that glowed on the hearth-stone,
    And on the oaken stairs resounded the tread of the farmer.
    Soon with a soundless step the foot of Evangeline followed.
    Up the staircase moved a luminous space in the darkness,
    Lighted less by the lamp than the shining face of the maiden.
    Silent she passed through the hall, and entered the door of her chamber.
    Simple that chamber was, with its curtains of white, and its clothes-press
    Ample and high, on whose spacious shelves were carefully folded
    Linen and woollen stuffs, by the hand of Evangeline woven.
    This was the precious dower she would bring to her husband in marriage,
    Better than flocks and herds, being proofs of her skill as a house-wife.
    Soon she extinguished her lamp, for the mellow and radiant moonlight
    Streamed through the windows, and lighted the room, till the heart of the maiden
    Swelled and obeyed its power, like the tremulous tides of the ocean.
    Ah! she was fair, exceeding fair to behold, as she stood with
    Naked snow-white feet on the gleaming floor of her chamber!
    Little she dreamed that below, among the trees of the orchard,
    Waited her lover and watched for the gleam of her lamp and her shadow.
    Yet were her thoughts of him, and at times a feeling of sadness
    Passed o'er her soul, as the sailing shade of clouds in the moonlight
    Flitted across the floor and darkened the room for a moment.
    And, as she gazed from the window, she saw serenely the moon pass
    Forth from the folds of a cloud, and one star follow her footsteps,
    As out of Abraham's tent young Ishmael wandered with Hagar.


    Pleasantly rose next morn the sun on the village of Grand-Pré.
    Pleasantly gleamed in the soft, sweet air the Basin of Minas,
    Where the ships, with their wavering shadows, were riding at anchor.
    Life had long been astir in the village, and clamorous labor
    Knocked with its hundred hands at the golden gates of the morning.
    Now from the country around, from the farms and neighboring hamlets,
    Came in their holiday dresses the blithe Acadian peasants.
    Many a glad good-morrow and jocund laugh from the young folk
    Made the bright air brighter, as up from the numerous meadows,
    Where no path could be seen but the track of wheels in the greensward,
    Group after group appeared, and joined, or passed on the highway.
    Long ere noon, in the village all sounds of labor were silenced.
    Thronged were the streets with people; and noisy groups at the house-doors
    Sat in the cheerful sun, and rejoiced and gossiped together.
    Every house was an inn, where all were welcomed and feasted;
    For with this simple people, who lived like brothers together,
    All things were held in common, and what one had was another's
    Yet under Benedict's roof hospitality seemed more abundant:
    For Evangeline stood among the guests of her father;
    Bright was her face with smiles, and words of welcome and gladness
    Fell from her beautiful lips, and blessed the cup as she gave it.

    Under the open sky, in the odorous air of the orchard,
    Bending with golden fruit, was spread the feast of betrothal.
    There in the shade of the porch were the priest and the notary seated;
    There good Benedict sat, and sturdy Basil the blacksmith.
    Not far withdrawn from these, by the cider-press and the beehives,
    Michael the fiddler was placed, with the gayest of hearts and of waistcoats.
    Shadow and light from the leaves alternately played on his snow-white
    Hair, as it waved in the wind; and the jolly face of the fiddler
    Glowed like a living coal when the ashes are blown from the embers.
    Gayly the old man sang to the vibrant sound of his fiddle,
    Tous les Bourgeois de Chartres, and Le Carillon de Dunkerque,
    And anon with his wooden, shoes beat time to the music.
    Merrily, merrily whirled the wheels of the dizzying dances
    Under the orchard-trees and down the path to the meadows;
    Old folk and young together, and children mingled among them.
    Fairest of all the maids was Evangeline, Benedict's daughter!
    Noblest of all the youths was Gabriel, son of the blacksmith.

    So passed the morning away. And lo! with a summons sonorous
    Sounded the bell from its tower, and over the meadows a drum beat.
    Thronged ere long was the church with men. Without, in the churchyard,
    Waited the women. They stood by the graves, and hung on the headstones
    Garlands of autumn-leaves and evergreens fresh from the forest.
    Then came the guard from the ships, and marching proudly among them
    Entered the sacred portal. With loud and dissonant clangor
    Echoed the sound of their brazen drums from ceiling and casement,--
    Echoed a moment only, and slowly the ponderous portal
    Closed, and in silence the crowd awaited the will of the soldiers.
    Then uprose their commander, and spake from the steps of the altar,
    Holding aloft in his hands, with its seals, the royal commission.
    "You are convened this day," he said, "by his Majesty's orders.
    Clement and kind has he been; but how you have answered his kindness
    Let your own hearts reply! To my natural make and my temper
    Painful the task is I do, which to you I know must be grievous.
    Yet must I bow and obey, and deliver the will of our monarch:
    Namely, that all your lands, and dwellings, and cattle of all kinds
    Forfeited be to the crown; and that you yourselves from this province
    Be transported to other lands. God grant you may dwell there
    Ever as faithful subjects, a happy and peaceable people!
    Prisoners now I declare you, for such is his Majesty's pleasure!"
    As, when the air is serene in the sultry solstice of summer,
    Suddenly gathers a storm, and the deadly sling of the hailstones
    Beats down the farmer's corn in the field, and shatters his windows,
    Hiding the sun, and strewing the ground with thatch from the house-roofs,
    Bellowing fly the herds, and seek to break their enclosures;
    So on the hearts of the people descended the words of the speaker.
    Silent a moment they stood in speechless wonder, and then rose
    Louder and ever louder a wail of sorrow and anger,
    And, by one impulse moved, they madly rushed to the door-way.
    Vain was the hope of escape; and cries and fierce imprecations
    Bang through the house of prayer; and high o'er the heads of the others
    Rose, with his arms uplifted, the figure of Basil the blacksmith,
    As, on a stormy sea, a spar is tossed by the billows.
    Flushed was his face and distorted with passion; and wildly he shouted,--
    "Down with the tyrants of England! we never have sworn them allegiance!
    Death to these foreign soldiers, who seize on our homes and our harvests!"
    More he fain would have said, but the merciless hand of a soldier
    Smote him upon the mouth, and dragged him down to the pavement.

    In the midst of the strife and tumult of angry contention,
    Lo! the door of the chancel opened, and Father Felician
    Entered, with serious mien, and ascended the steps of the altar.
    Raising his reverend hand, with a gesture he awed into silence
    All that clamorous throng; and thus he spake to his people;
    Deep were his tones and solemn; in accents measured and mournful
    Spake he, as, after the tocsin's alarum, distinctly the clock strikes.
    "What is this that ye do, my children? what madness has seized you?
    Forty years of my life have I labored among you, and taught you,
    Not in word alone, but in deed, to love one another!
    Is this the fruit of my toils, of my vigils and prayers and privations?
    Have you so soon forgotten all lessons of love and forgiveness?
    This is the house of the Prince of Peace, and would you profane it
    Thus with violent deeds and hearts overflowing with hatred?
    Lo! where the crucified Christ from His cross is gazing upon you!
    See! in those sorrowful eyes what meekness and holy compassion!
    Hark! how those lips still repeat the prayer, 'O Father, forgive them!'
    Let us repeat that prayer in the hour when the wicked assail us,
    Let us repeat it now, and say, 'O Father, forgive them!'"
    Few were his words of rebuke, but deep in the hearts of his people
    Sank they, and sobs of contrition succeeded the passionate outbreak,
    And they repeated his prayer, and said, "O Father, forgive them!"
    Then came the evening service. The tapers gleamed from the altar;
    Fervent and deep was the voice of the priest, and the people responded,
    Not with their lips alone, but their hearts; and the Ave Maria
    Sang they, and fell on their knees, and their souls, with devotion translated,
    Rose on the ardor of prayer, like Elijah ascending to heaven.

    Meanwhile had spread in the village the tidings of ill, and on all sides
    Wandered, wailing, from house to house the women and children.
    Long at her father's door Evangeline stood, with her right hand
    Shielding her eyes from the level rays of the sun, that, descending,
    Lighted the village street with mysterious splendor and roofed each
    Peasant's cottage with golden thatch, and emblazoned its windows.
    Long within had been spread the snow-white cloth on the table;
    There stood the wheaten loaf, and the honey fragrant with wild flowers;
    There stood the tankard of ale, and the cheese fresh brought from the dairy;
    And at the head of the board the great arm-chair of the farmer:
    Thus did Evangeline wait at her father's door, as the sunset
    Threw the long shadows of trees o'er the broad ambrosial meadows.
    Ah! on her spirit within a deeper shadow had fallen,
    And from the fields of her soul a fragrance celestial ascended,--
    Charity, meekness, love, and hope, and forgiveness, and patience!
    Then, all forgetful of self, she wandered into the village,
    Cheering with looks and words the disconsolate hearts of the women,
    As o'er the darkening fields with lingering steps they departed,
    Urged by their household cares, and the weary feet of their children.
    Down sank the great red sun, and in golden, glimmering vapors
    Veiled the light of his face, like the Prophet descending from Sinai.
    Sweetly over the village the bell of the Angelus sounded.

    Meanwhile, amid the gloom, by the church Evangeline lingered.
    All was silent within; and in vain at the door and the windows
    Stood she, and listened and looked, until, overcome by emotion,
    "Gabriel!" cried she aloud with tremulous voice; but no answer
    Came from the graves of the dead, nor the gloomier grave of the living.
    Slowly at length she returned to the tenantless house of her father.
    Smouldered the fire on the hearth, on the board stood the supper untasted.
    Empty and drear was each room, and haunted with phantoms of terror.
    Sadly echoed her step on the stair and the floor of her chamber.
    In the dead of the night she heard the whispering rain fall
    Loud on the withered leaves of the sycamore-tree by the window.
    Keenly the lightning flashed; and the voice of the echoing thunder
    Told her that God was in heaven, and governed the world He created!
    Then she remembered the tale she had heard of the justice of Heaven;
    Soothed was her troubled soul, and she peacefully slumbered till morning.


    Four times the sun had risen and set; and now on the fifth day
    Cheerily called the cock to the sleeping maids of the farm-house.
    Soon o'er the yellow fields, in silent and mournful procession,
    Came from the neighboring hamlets and farms the Acadian women,
    Driving in ponderous wains their household goods to the sea-shore,
    Pausing and looking back to gaze once more on their dwellings,
    Ere they were shut from sight by the winding road and the wood-land.
    Close at their sides their children ran, and urged on the oxen,
    While in their little hands they clasped some fragments of playthings.

    Thus to the Gaspereau's mouth they hurried; and there on the sea-beach
    Piled in confusion lay the household goods of the peasants.
    All day long between the shore and the ships did the boats ply;
    All day long the wains came laboring down from the village.
    Late in the afternoon, when the sun was near to his setting,
    Echoing far o'er the fields came the roll of drums from the churchyard.
    Thither the women and children thronged. On a sudden the church-doors
    Opened, and forth came the guard, and marching in gloomy procession
    Followed the long-imprisoned, but patient, Acadian farmers,
    Even as pilgrims, who journey afar from their homes and their country,
    Sing as they go, and in singing forget they are weary and wayworn,
    So with songs on their lips the Acadian peasants descended
    Down from the church to the shore, amid their wives and their daughters.
    Foremost the young men came; and, raising together their voices,
    Sang they with tremulous lips a chant of the Catholic Missions:--
    "Sacred heart of the Saviour! O inexhaustible fountain!
    Fill our hearts this day with strength and submission and patience!"
    Then the old men, as they marched, and the women that stood by the wayside
    Joined in the sacred psalm, and the birds in the sunshine above them
    Mingled their notes therewith, like voices of spirits departed.

    Half-way down to the shore Evangeline waited in silence,
    Not overcome with grief, but strong in the hour of affliction,--
    Calmly and sadly waited, until the procession approached her,
    And she beheld the face of Gabriel pale with emotion.
    Tears then rilled her eyes, and, eagerly running to meet him,
    Clasped she his hands, and laid her head on his shoulder, and whispered,--
    "Gabriel! be of good cheer! for if we love one another
    Nothing, in truth, can harm us, whatever mischances may happen!"
    Smiling she spake these words; then suddenly paused, for her father
    Saw she, slowly advancing. Alas! how changed was his aspect!
    Gone was the glow from his cheek, and the fire from his eye, and his footstep
    Heavier seemed with the weight of the weary heart in his bosom.
    But with a smile and a sigh, she clasped his neck and embraced him,
    Speaking words of endearment where words of comfort availed not.
    Thus to the Gaspereau's mouth moved on that mournful procession.

    There disorder prevailed, and the tumult and stir of embarking.
    Busily plied the freighted boats; and in the confusion
    Wives were torn from their husbands, and mothers, too late, saw their children
    Left on the land, extending their arms, with wildest entreaties.
    So unto separate ships were Basil and Gabriel carried,
    While in despair on the shore Evangeline stood with her father.
    Half the task was not done when the sun went down, and the twilight
    Deepened and darkened around; and in haste the refluent ocean'
    Fled away from the shore, and left the line of the sand-beach
    Covered with waifs of the tide, with kelp and the slippery seaweed.

    Farther back in the midst of the household goods and the wagons,
    Like to a gypsy camp, or a leaguer after a battle,
    All escape cut off by the sea, and the sentinels near them,
    Lay encamped for the night the houseless Acadian farmers.
    Back to its nethermost caves retreated the bellowing ocean,
    Dragging adown the beach the rattling pebbles, and leaving
    Inland and far up the shore the stranded boats of the sailors.
    Then, as the night descended, the herds returned from their pastures;
    Sweet was the moist still air with the odor of milk from their udders;
    Lowing they waited, and long, at the well-known bars of the farm-yard,--
    Waited and looked in vain for the voice and the hand of the milkmaid.
    Silence reigned in the streets; from the church no Angelus sounded,
    Rose no smoke from the roofs, and gleamed no lights from the windows.

    But on the shores meanwhile the evening fires had been kindled,
    Built of the drift-wood thrown on the sands from wrecks in the tempest.
    Found them shapes of gloom and sorrowful faces were gathered,
    Voices of women were heard, and of men, and the crying of children.
    Onward from fire to fire, as from hearth to hearth in his parish,
    Wandered the faithful priest, consoling and blessing and cheering,
    Like unto shipwrecked Paul on Melita's desolate seashore.
    Thus he approached the place where Evangeline sat with her father,
    And in the flickering light beheld the face of the old man,
    Haggard and hollow and wan, and without either thought or emotion,
    E'en as the face of a clock from which the hands have been taken.
    Vainly Evangeline strove with words and caresses to cheer him,
    Vainly offered him food; yet he moved not, he looked not, he spake not,

    But, with a vacant stare, ever gazed at the flickering fire-light.
    "Benedicite!" murmured the priest, in tones of compassion.
    More he fain would have said, but his heart was full, and his accents
    Faltered and paused on his lips, as the feet of a child on a threshold,
    Hushed by the scene he beholds, and the awful presence of sorrow.
    Silently, therefore, he laid his hand on the head of the maiden,
    Raising his eyes full of tears to the silent stars that above them
    Moved on their way, unperturbed by the wrongs and sorrows of mortals.
    Then sat he down at her side, and they wept together in silence.

    Suddenly rose from the south a light, as in autumn the blood-red
    Moon climbs the crystal walls of heaven, and o'er the horizon
    Titan-like stretches its hundred hands upon mountain, and meadow,
    Seizing the rocks and the rivers, and piling huge shadows together.
    Broader and ever broader it gleamed on the roofs of the village,
    Gleamed on the sky and the sea, and the ships that lay in the roadstead.
    Columns of shining smoke uprose, and flashes of flame were
    Thrust through their folds and withdrawn, like the quivering hands of a martyr.
    Then as the wind seized the gleeds and the burning thatch, and, uplifting,
    Whirled them aloft through the air, at once from, a hundred house-tops
    Started the sheeted smoke with flashes of flame intermingled.

    These things beheld in dismay the crowd on the shore and on shipboard.
    Speechless at first they stood, then cried aloud in their anguish,
    "We shall behold no more our homes in the village of Grand-Pré!"
    Loud on a sudden the cocks began to crow in the farmyards,
    Thinking the day had dawned; and anon the lowing of cattle
    Came on the evening breeze, by the barking of dogs interrupted.
    Then rose a sound of dread, such as startles the sleeping encampments
    Far in the western prairies of forests that skirt the Nebraska,
    When the wild horses affrighted sweep by with the speed of the whirlwind,
    Or the loud bellowing herds of buffaloes rush to the river.
    Such was the sound that arose on the night, as the herds and the horses
    Broke through their folds and fences, and madly rushed o'er the meadows.

    Overwhelmed with the sight, yet speechless, the priest and the maiden
    Gazed on the scene of terror that reddened and widened before them;
    And as they turned at length to speak to their silent companion,
    Lo! from his seat he had fallen, and stretched abroad on the seashore
    Motionless lay his form, from which the soul had departed.
    Slowly the priest uplifted the lifeless head, and the maiden
    Knelt at her father's side, and wailed aloud in her terror.
    Then in a swoon she sank, and lay with her head on his bosom.
    Through the long night she lay in deep, oblivious slumber;
    And when she woke from the trance, she beheld a multitude near her.
    Faces of friends she beheld, that were mournfully gazing upon her,
    Pallid, with tearful eyes, and looks of saddest compassion.
    Still the blaze of the burning village illumined the landscape,
    Reddened the sky overhead, and gleamed on the faces around her,
    And like the day of doom it seemed to her wavering senses.
    Then a familiar voice she heard, as it said to the people,--
    "Let us bury him here by the sea. When a happier season
    Brings us again to our homes from the unknown land of our exile,
    Then shall his sacred dust be piously laid in the churchyard."
    Such were the words of the priest. And there in haste by the sea-side,
    Having the glare of the burning village for funeral torches,
    But without bell or book, they buried the farmer of Grand-Pré.
    And as the voice of the priest repeated the service of sorrow,
    Lo! with, a mournful sound like the voice of a vast congregation,
    Solemnly answered the sea, and mingled its roar with the dirges.
    'Twas the returning tide, that afar from the waste of the ocean,
    With the first dawn of the day, came heaving and hurrying landward.
    Then recommenced once more the stir and noise of embarking;
    And with the ebb of that tide the ships sailed out of the harbor,
    Leaving behind them the dead on the shore, and the village in ruins.



    Many a weary year had passed since the burning of Grand-Pré,
    When on the falling tide the freighted vessels departed,
    Bearing a nation, with all its household goods, into exile,
    Exile without an end, and without an example in story.
    Far asunder, on separate coasts, the Acadians landed;
    Scattered were they, like flakes of snow, when the wind from the northeast
    Strikes aslant through the fogs that darken the Banks of Newfoundland.
    Friendless, homeless, hopeless, they wandered from city to city,
    From the cold lakes of the North to sultry Southern savannas,--
    From the bleak shores of the sea to the lands where the Father of Waters
    Seizes the hills in his hands, and drags them down to the ocean,
    Deep in their sands to bury the scattered bones of the mammoth.
    Friends they sought and homes; and many, despairing, heart-broken,
    Asked of the earth but a grave, and no longer a friend nor a fireside.
    Written their history stands on tablets of stone in the churchyards.
    Long among them was seen a maiden who waited and wandered,
    Lowly and meek in spirit, and patiently suffering all things.
    Fair was she and young; but, alas! before her extended,
    Dreary and vast and silent, the desert of life, with its pathway
    Marked by the graves of those who had sorrowed and suffered before her,
    Passions long extinguished, and hopes long dead and abandoned,
    As the emigrant's way o'er the Western desert is marked by
    Camp-fires long consumed, and bones that bleach in the sunshine.
    Something there was in her life incomplete, imperfect, unfinished;
    As if a morning of June, with all its music and sunshine,
    Suddenly paused in the sky, and, fading, slowly descended
    Into the east again, from whence it late had arisen.
    Sometimes she lingered in towns, till, urged by the fever within her,
    Urged by a restless longing, the hunger and thirst of the spirit,
    She would commence again her endless search and endeavor;
    Sometimes in churchyards strayed, and gazed on the crosses and tombstones,
    Sat by some nameless grave, and thought that perhaps in its bosom
    He was already at rest, and she longed to slumber beside him.
    Sometimes a rumor, a hearsay, an inarticulate whisper,
    Came with its airy hand to, point and beckon her forward.
    Sometimes she spake with those who had seen her beloved and known him,
    But it was long ago, in some far-off place or forgotten.
    "Gabriel Lajeunesse!" said they; "Oh, yes! we have seen him.
    He was with Basil the blacksmith, and both have gone to the prairies;
    Coureurs-des-bois are they, and famous hunters and trappers."
    "Gabriel Lajeunesse!" said others; "Oh; yes! we have seen him.
    He is a voyageur in the lowlands of Louisiana."
    Then would they say, "Dear child! why dream and wait for him longer?
    Are there not other youths as fair as Gabriel? others
    Who have hearts as tender and true, and spirits as loyal?
    Here is Baptiste Leblanc, the notary's son, who has loved thee
    Many a tedious year; come, give him thy hand and be happy!
    Thou art too fair to be left to braid St. Catherine's tresses."
    Then would Evangeline answer, serenely but sadly, "I cannot!
    Whither my heart has gone, there follows my hand, and not elsewhere.
    For when the heart goes before, like a lamp, and illumines the pathway,
    Many things are made clear, that else lie hidden in darkness."
    And thereupon the priest, her friend and father confessor,
    Said, with a smile, "O daughter! thy God thus speaketh within thee!
    Talk not of wasted affection, affection never was wasted;
    If it enrich not the heart of another, its waters, returning
    Back to their springs, like the rain, shall fill them full of refreshment;
    That which the fountain sends forth returns again to the fountain.
    Patience; accomplish thy labor; accomplish thy work of affection!
    Sorrow and silence are strong, and patient endurance is godlike.
    Therefore accomplish thy labor of love, till the heart is made godlike,
    Purified, strengthened, perfected, and rendered more worthy of heaven!"
    Cheered by the good man's words, Evangeline labored and waited.
    Still in her heart she heard the funeral dirge of the ocean,
    But with its sound there was mingled a voice that whispered, "Despair not!"
    Thus did that poor soul wander in want and cheerless discomfort,
    Bleeding, barefooted, over the shards and thorns of existence.
    Let me essay, O Muse! to follow the wanderer's footsteps;--
    Not through each devious path, each changeful year of existence;
    But as a traveler follows a streamlet's course through the valley:
    Far from its margin at times, and seeing the gleam of its water
    Here and there, in some open space, and at intervals only;
    Then drawing nearer its bank, through sylvan glooms that conceal it,
    Though he behold it not, he can hear its continuous murmur;
    Happy, at length, if he find a spot where it reaches an outlet.


    It was the month of May. Far down the Beautiful River,
    Past the Ohio shore and past the mouth of the Wabash,
    Into the golden stream of the broad and swift Mississippi,
    Floated a cumbrous boat, that was rowed by Acadian boatmen.
    It was a band of exiles: a raft, as it were, from the shipwrecked
    Nation, scattered along the coast, now floating together,
    Bound by the bonds of a common belief and a common misfortune;
    Men and women and children, who, guided by hope or by hearsay,
    Sought for their kith and their kin among the few-acred farmers
    On the Acadian coast, and the prairies of fair Opelousas.
    With them Evangeline went, and her guide, the Father Felician
    Onward o'er sunken sands, through a wilderness sombre with forests,
    Day after day they glided adown the turbulent river;
    Night after night, by their blazing fires, encamped on its borders.
    Now through rushing chutes, among green islands, where plumelike
    Cotton-trees nodded their shadowy crests, they swept with the current,
    Then emerged into broad lagoons, where silvery sandbars
    Lay in the stream, and along the wimpling waves of their margin,
    Shining with snow-white plumes, large flocks of pelicans waded.
    Level the landscape grew, and along the shores of the river,
    Shaded by china-trees, in the midst of luxuriant gardens,
    Stood the houses of planters, with negro cabins and dove-cots.
    They were approaching the region where reigns perpetual summer,
    Where through the Golden Coast, and groves of orange and citron,
    Sweeps with majestic curve the river away to the eastward.
    They, too, swerved from their course; and, entering the Bayou of Plaquemine,
    Soon were lost in a maze of sluggish and devious waters,
    Which, like a network of steel, extended in every direction.
    Over their heads the towering and tenebrous boughs of the cypress
    Met in a dusky arch, and trailing mosses in midair
    Waved like banners that hang on the walls of ancient cathedrals.
    Deathlike the silence seemed, and unbroken, save by the herons
    Home to their roosts in the cedar-trees returning at sunset,
    Or by the owl, as he greeted the moon with demoniac laughter.
    Lovely the moonlight was as it glanced and gleamed on the water,
    Gleamed on the columns of cypress and cedar sustaining the arches,
    Down through whose broken vaults it fell as through chinks in a ruin.
    Dreamlike, and indistinct, and strange were all things around them;
    And o'er their spirits there came a feeling of wonder and sadness,--
    Strange forebodings of ill, unseen, and that cannot be compassed.
    As, at the tramp of a horse's hoof on the turf of the prairies,
    Far in advance are closed the leaves of the shrinking mimosa,
    So, at the hoof-beats of fate, with sad forebodings of evil,
    Shrinks and closes the heart, ere the stroke of doom has attained it.
    But Evangeline's heart was sustained by a vision, that faintly
    Floated before her eyes, and beckoned her on through the moonlight.
    It was the thought of her brain that assumed the shape of a phantom.
    Through those shadowy aisles had Gabriel wandered before her,
    And every stroke of the oar now brought him nearer and nearer.

    Then in his place, at the prow of the boat, rose one of the oarsmen,
    And, as a signal sound, if others like them peradventure
    Sailed on those gloomy and midnight streams, blew a blast on his bugle.
    Wild through the dark colonnades and corridors leafy the blast rang,
    Breaking the seal of silence and giving tongues to the forest.
    Soundless above them the banners of moss just stirred to the music.
    Multitudinous echoes awoke and died in the distance,
    Over the watery floor, and beneath the reverberant branches;
    But not a voice replied; no answer came from the darkness;
    And when the echoes had ceased, like a sense of pain was the silence.
    Then Evangeline slept; but the boatmen rowed through the midnight,
    Silent at times, then singing familiar Canadian boat-songs,
    Such as they sang of old on their own Acadian rivers,
    And through the night were heard the mysterious sounds of the desert,
    Far off,--indistinct,--as of wave or wind in the forest,
    Mixed with the whoop of the crane and the roar of the grim alligator.

    Thus ere another noon they emerged from those shades; and before them
    Lay, in the golden sun, the lakes of the Atchafalaya.
    Water-lilies in myriads rocked on the slight undulations
    Made by the passing oars, and, resplendent in beauty, the lotus
    Lifted her golden crown above the heads of the boatmen.
    Faint was the air with the odorous breath of magnolia blossoms,
    And with the heat of noon; and numberless sylvan islands,
    Fragrant and thickly embowered with blossoming hedges of roses,
    Near to whose shores they glided along, invited to slumber.
    Soon by the fairest of these their weary oars were suspended.
    Under the boughs of Wachita willows, that grew by the margin,
    Safely their boat was moored; and scattered about on the greensward,
    Tired with their midnight toil, the weary travelers slumbered.
    Over them vast and high extended the cope of a cedar.
    Swinging from its great arms, the trumpet-flower and the grapevine
    Hung their ladder of ropes aloft like the ladder of Jacob,
    On whose pendulous stairs the angels ascending, descending,
    Were the swift humming-birds, that flitted from blossom to blossom.
    Such was the vision Evangeline saw as she slumbered beneath it.
    Filled was her heart with love, and the dawn of an opening heaven
    Lighted her soul in sleep with the glory of regions celestial.

    Nearer and ever nearer, among the numberless islands,
    Darted a light, swift boat, that sped away o'er the water,
    Urged on its course by the sinewy arms of hunters and trappers.
    Northward its prow was turned, to the land of the bison and beaver.
    At the helm sat a youth, with countenance thoughtful and careworn.
    Dark and neglected locks overshadowed his brow, and a sadness
    Somewhat beyond his years on his face was legibly written.
    Gabriel was it, who, weary with waiting, unhappy and restless,
    Sought in the Western wilds oblivion of self and of sorrow.
    Swiftly they glided along, close under the lee of the island,
    But by the opposite bank, and behind a screen of palmettos;
    So that they saw not the boat, where it lay concealed in the willows;
    And undisturbed by the dash of their oars, and unseen, were the sleepers;
    Angel of God was there none to awaken the slumbering maiden.
    Swiftly they glided away, like the shade of a cloud on the prairie.
    After the sound of their oars on the tholes had died in the distance,
    As from a magic trance the sleepers awoke, and the maiden
    Said with a sigh to the friendly priest, "O Father Felician!
    Something says in my heart that near me Gabriel wanders.
    Is it a foolish dream, an idle and vague superstition?
    Or has an angel passed, and revealed the truth to my spirit?"
    Then, with a blush, she added, "Alas for my credulous fancy!
    Unto ears like thine such words as these have no meaning."
    But made answer the reverend man, and he smiled as he answered,--
    "Daughter, thy words are not idle; nor are they to me without meaning,
    Feeling is deep and still; and the word that floats on the surface
    Is as the tossing buoy, that betrays where the anchor is hidden.
    Therefore trust to thy heart, and to what the world calls illusions.
    Gabriel truly is near thee; for not far away to the southward,
    On the banks of the Têche, are the towns of St. Maur and St. Martin.
    There the long-wandering bride shall be given again to her bridegroom,
    There the long-absent pastor regain his flock and his sheepfold.
    Beautiful is the land, with its prairies and forests of fruit-trees;
    Under the feet a garden of flowers, and the bluest of heavens
    Bending above, and resting its dome on the walls of the forest.
    They who dwell there have named it the Eden of Louisiana."

    And with these words of cheer they arose and continued their journey.
    Softly the evening came. The sun from the western horizon
    Like a magician extended his golden wand o'er the landscape;
    Twinkling vapors arose; and sky and water and forest
    Seemed all on fire at the touch, and melted and mingled together.
    Hanging between two skies, a cloud with edges of silver,
    Floated the boat, with its dripping oars, on the motionless water.
    Filled was Evangeline's heart with inexpressible sweetness.
    Touched by the magic spell, the sacred fountain of feeling
    Glowed with the light of love, as the skies and waters around her.
    Then from a neighboring thicket the mocking-bird, wildest of singers,
    Swinging aloft on a willow spray that hung o'er the water,
    Shook from his little throat such floods of delirious music,
    That the whole air and the woods and the waves seemed silent to listen.
    Plaintive at first were the tones and sad; then soaring to madness
    Seemed they to follow or guide the revel of frenzied Bacchantes.
    Single notes were then heard, in sorrowful, low lamentation;
    Till, having gathered them all, he flung them abroad in derision,
    As when, after a storm, a gust of wind through the tree-tops
    Shakes down the rattling rain in a crystal shower on the branches.
    With such a prelude as this, and hearts that throbbed with emotion,
    Slowly they entered the Têche, where it flows through the green Opelousas,
    And, through the amber air, above the crest of the woodland,
    Saw the column of smoke that arose from a neighboring dwelling;--
    Sounds of a horn they heard, and the distant lowing of cattle.


    Near to the bank of the river, o'ershadowed by oaks from whose branches
    Garlands of Spanish moss and of mystic mistletoe flaunted,
    Such as the Druids cut down with golden hatchets at Yule-tide,
    Stood, secluded and still, the house of the herdsman. A garden
    Girded it round about with a belt of luxuriant blossoms,
    Filling the air with fragrance. The house itself was of timbers
    Hewn from the cypress-tree, and carefully fitted together.
    Large and low was the roof; and on slender columns supported,
    Rose-wreathed, vine-encircled, a broad and spacious veranda,
    Haunt of the humming-bird and the bee, extended around it.
    At each end of the house, amid the flowers of the garden,
    Stationed the dove-cots were, as love's perpetual symbol,
    Scenes of endless wooing, and endless contentions of rivals.
    Silence reigned o'er the place. The line of shadow and sunshine
    Ran near the tops of the trees; but the house itself was in shadow,
    And from its chimney-top, ascending and slowly expanding
    Into the evening air, a thin blue column of smoke rose.
    In the rear of the house, from the garden gate, ran a pathway
    Through the great groves of oak to the skirts of the limitless prairie,
    Into whose sea of flowers the sun was slowly descending.
    Full in his track of light, like ships with shadowy canvas
    Hanging loose from their spars in a motionless calm in the tropics,
    Stood a cluster of trees, with tangled cordage of grapevines.

    Just where the woodlands met the flowery surf of the prairie,
    Mounted upon his horse, with Spanish saddle and stirrups,
    Sat a herdsman, arrayed in gaiters and doublet of deerskin.
    Broad and brown was the face that from under the Spanish sombrero
    Gazed on the peaceful scene, with the lordly look of its master.
    Round about him were numberless herds of kine that were grazing
    Quietly in the meadows, and breathing the vapory freshness
    That uprose from the river, and spread itself over the landscape.
    Slowly lifting the horn that hung at his side, and expanding
    Fully his broad, deep chest, he blew a blast, that resounded
    Wildly and sweet and far, through the still damp air of the evening.
    Suddenly out of the grass the long white horns of the cattle
    Rose like flakes of foam on the adverse currents of ocean.
    Silent a moment they gazed, then bellowing rushed o'er the prairie,
    And the whole mass became a cloud, a shade in the distance.
    Then, as the herdsman turned to the house, through the gate of the garden
    Saw he the forms of the priest and the maiden advancing to meet him.
    Suddenly down from his horse he sprang in amazement, and forward
    Rushed with extended arms and exclamations of wonder;
    When they beheld his face, they recognized Basil the blacksmith.
    Hearty his welcome was, as he led his guests to the garden.
    There in an arbor of roses with endless question and answer
    Gave they vent to their hearts, and renewed their friendly embraces,
    Laughing and weeping by turns, or sitting silent and thoughtful.
    Thoughtful, for Gabriel came not; and now dark doubts' and misgivings
    Stole o'er the maiden's heart; and Basil, somewhat embarrassed,
    Broke the silence and said, "If you came by the Atchafalaya,
    How have you nowhere encountered my Gabriel's boat on the bayous?"
    Over Evangeline's face at the words of Basil a shade passed.
    Tears came into her eyes, and she said, with a tremulous accent,
    "Gone? is Gabriel gone?" and, concealing her face on his shoulder,
    All her o'erburdened heart gave way, and she wept and lamented.
    Then the good Basil said,--and his voice grew blithe as he said it,--
    "Be of good cheer, my child; it is only to-day he departed.
    Foolish boy! he has left me alone with my herds and my horses,
    Moody and restless grown, and tired and troubled, his spirit
    Could no longer endure the calm of this quiet existence.
    Thinking ever of thee, uncertain and sorrowful ever,
    Ever silent, or speaking only of thee and his troubles,
    He at length had become so tedious to men and to maidens,
    Tedious even to me, that at length I bethought me, and sent him
    Unto the town of Adayes to trade for mules with the Spaniards.
    Thence he will follow the Indian trails to the Ozark Mountains,
    Hunting for furs in the forests, on rivers trapping the beaver.
    Therefore be of good cheer; we will follow the fugitive lover;
    He is not far on his way, and the Fates and the streams are against him.
    Up and away to-morrow, and through the red dew of the morning,
    We will follow him fast, and bring him back to his prison."

    Then glad voices were heard, and up from the banks of the river,
    Borne aloft on his comrades' arms, came Michael the fiddler.
    Long under Basil's roof had he lived, like a god on Olympus,
    Having no other care than dispensing music to mortals.
    Far renowned was he for his silver locks and his fiddle.
    "Long live Michael," they cried, "our brave Acadian minstrel!"
    As they bore him aloft in triumphal procession; and straightway
    Father Felician advanced with Evangeline, greeting the old man
    Kindly and oft, and recalling the past, while Basil, enraptured,
    Hailed with hilarious joy his old companions and gossips,
    Laughing loud and long, and embracing mothers and daughters.
    Much they marveled to see the wealth of the ci-devant blacksmith,
    All his domains and his herds, and his patriarchal demeanor;
    Much they marveled to hear his tales of the soil and the climate,
    And of the prairies, whose numberless herds were his who would take them;
    Each one thought in his heart, that he, too, would go and do likewise.
    Thus they ascended the steps, and, crossing the breezy veranda,
    Entered the hall of the house, where already the supper of Basil
    Waited his late return; and they rested and feasted together.

    Over the joyous feast the sudden darkness descended.
    All was silent without, and, illuming the landscape with silver,
    Fair rose the dewy moon and the myriad stars; but within doors,
    Brighter than these, shone the faces of friends in the glimmering lamplight.
    Then from his station aloft, at the head of the table, the herdsman
    Poured forth his heart and his wine together in endless profusion.
    Lighting his pipe, that was filled with sweet Natchitoches tobacco,
    Thus he spake to his guests, who listened, and smiled as they listened:--
    "Welcome once more, my friends, who so long have been friendless and homeless,
    Welcome once more to a home, that is better perchance than the old one!
    Here no hungry winter congeals our blood like the rivers;
    Here no stony ground provokes the wrath of the farmer;
    Smoothly the ploughshare runs through the soil, as a keel through the water.
    All the year round the orange-groves are in blossom; and grass grows
    More in a single night than a whole Canadian summer.
    Here, too, numberless herds run wild and unclaimed in the prairies;
    Here, too, lands may he had for the asking, and forests of timber
    With a few blows of the axe are hewn and framed into houses.
    After your houses are built, and your fields are yellow with harvests,
    No King George of England shall drive you away from your homesteads,
    Burning your dwellings and barns, and stealing your farms and your cattle."
    Speaking these words, he blew a wrathful cloud from his nostrils,
    And his huge, brawny hand came thundering down on the table,
    So that the guests all started; and Father Felician, astounded,
    Suddenly paused, with a pinch of snuff half-way to his nostrils.
    But the brave Basil resumed, and his words were milder and gayer:--
    "Only beware of the fever, my friends, beware of the fever!
    For it is not like that of our cold Acadian climate,
    Cured by wearing a spider hung round one's neck in a nutshell!"
    Then there were voices heard at the door, and footsteps approaching
    Sounded upon the stairs and the floor of the breezy Veranda.
    It was the neighboring Creoles and small Acadian planters,
    Who had been summoned all to the house of Basil the herdsman.
    Merry the meeting was of ancient comrades and neighbors:
    Friend clasped friend in his arms; and they who before were as strangers,
    Meeting in exile, became straightway as friends to each other,
    Drawn by the gentle bond of a common country together.
    But in the neighboring hall a strain of music, proceeding
    From the accordant strings of Michael's melodious fiddle,
    Broke up all further speech. Away, like children delighted,
    All things forgotten beside, they gave themselves to the maddening
    Whirl of the dizzy dance, as it swept and swayed to the music,
    Dreamlike, with beaming eyes and the rush of fluttering garments.

    Meanwhile, apart, at the head of the hall, the priest and the herdsman
    Sat, conversing together of past and present and future;
    While Evangeline stood like one entranced, for within her
    Olden memories rose, and loud in the midst of the music
    Heard she the sound of the sea, and an irrepressible sadness
    Came o'er her heart, and unseen she stole forth into the garden.
    Beautiful was the night. Behind the black wall of the forest,
    Tipping its summit with silver, arose the moon. On the river
    Fell here and there through the branches a tremulous gleam of the moonlight,
    Like the sweet thoughts of love on a darkened and devious spirit.
    Nearer and round about her, the manifold flowers of the garden
    Poured out their souls in odors, that were their prayers and confessions
    Unto the night, as it went its way, like a silent Carthusian.
    Fuller of fragrance than they, and as heavy with shadows and night-dews,
    Hung the heart of the maiden. The calm and the magical moonlight
    Seemed to inundate her soul with indefinable longings,
    As, through the garden gate, beneath the brown shade of the oak-trees,
    Passed she along the path to the edge of the measureless prairie.
    Silent it lay, with a silvery haze upon it, and fire-flies
    Gleaming and floating away in mingled and infinite numbers.
    Over her head the stars, the thoughts of God in the heavens,
    Shone on the eyes of man, who had ceased to marvel and worship,
    Save when a blazing comet was seen on the walls of that temple,
    As if a hand had appeared and written upon them, "Upharsin."
    And the soul of the maiden, between the stars and the fire-flies,
    Wandered alone, and she cried, "O Gabriel! O my beloved!
    Art thou so near unto me, and yet I cannot behold thee?
    Art thou so near unto me, and yet thy voice does not reach me?
    Ah! how often thy feet have trod this path to the prairie!
    Ah! how often thine eyes have looked on the woodlands around me!
    Ah! how often beneath this oak, returning from labor,
    Thou hast lain, down to rest, and to dream of me in thy slumbers!
    When shall these eyes behold, these arms be folded about thee?"
    Loud and sudden and near the note of a whippoorwill sounded
    Like a flute in the woods; and anon, through the neighboring thickets,
    Farther and farther away it floated and dropped into silence.
    "Patience!" whispered the oaks from oracular caverns of darkness;
    And, from the moonlit meadow, a sigh responded, "To-morrow!"

    Bright rose the sun next day; and all the flowers of the garden
    Bathed his shining feet with their tears, and anointed his tresses
    With the delicious balm that they bore in their vases of crystal.
    "Farewell!" said the priest, as he stood at the shadowy threshold;
    "See that you bring us the Prodigal Son from his fasting and famine,
    And, too, the Foolish Virgin, who slept when the bridegroom was coming."
    "Farewell!" answered the maiden, and, smiling, with Basil descended
    Down to the rivers brink, where the boatmen already were waiting.
    Thus beginning their journey with morning, and sunshine, and gladness,
    Swiftly they followed the flight of him who was speeding before them,
    Blown by the blast of fate like a dead leaf over the desert.
    Not that day, nor the next, nor yet the day that succeeded,
    Found they trace of his course, in lake or forest or river,
    Nor, after many days, had they found him; but vague and uncertain
    Rumors alone were their guides through a wild and desolate country;
    Till, at the little inn of the Spanish town of Adayes,
    Weary and worn, they alighted, and learned from the garrulous landlord
    That on the day before, with horses and guides and companions,
    Gabriel left the village, and took the road of the prairies.


    Far in the West there lies a desert land, where the mountains
    Lift, through perpetual snows, their lofty and luminous summits.
    Down from their jagged, deep ravines, where the gorge, like a gateway,
    Opens a passage rude to the wheels of the emigrant's wagon,
    Westward the Oregon flows and the Walleway and Owyhee.
    Eastward, with devious course, among the Wind-river Mountains,
    Through the Sweet-water Valley precipitate leaps the Nebraska;
    And to the south, from Fontaine-qui-bout and the Spanish sierras,
    Fretted with sands and rocks, and swept by the wind of the desert,
    Numberless torrents, with ceaseless sound, descend to the ocean,
    Like the great chords of a harp, in loud and solemn vibrations.
    Spreading between these streams are the wondrous, beautiful prairies,
    Billowy bays of grass ever rolling in shadow and sunshine,
    Bright with luxuriant clusters of roses and purple amorphas.
    Over them wander the buffalo herds, and the elk and the roebuck;
    Over them wander the wolves, and herds of riderless horses;
    Fires that blast and blight, and winds that are weary with travel;
    Over them wander the scattered tribes of Ishmael's children,
    Staining the desert with blood; and above their terrible wartrails
    Circles and sails aloft, on pinions majestic, the vulture,
    Like the implacable soul of a chieftain slaughtered in battle,
    By invisible stairs ascending and scaling the heavens.
    Here and there rise smokes from the camps of these savage marauders;
    Here and there rise groves from the margins of swift-running rivers;
    And the grim, taciturn bear, the anchorite monk of the desert,
    Climbs down their dark ravines to dig for roots by the brookside,
    And over all is the sky, the clear and crystalline heaven,
    Like the protecting hand of God inverted above them.

    Into this wonderful land, at the base of the Ozark Mountains,
    Gabriel far had entered, with hunters and trappers behind him.
    Day after day, with their Indian guides, the maiden and Basil
    Followed his flying steps, and thought each day to o'ertake him.
    Sometimes they saw, or thought they saw, the smoke of his camp-fire
    Rise in the morning air from the distant plain; but at nightfall,
    When they had reached the place, they found only embers and ashes.
    And, though their hearts were sad at times and their bodies were weary,
    Hope still guided them on, as the magic Fata Morgana
    Showed them her lakes of light, that retreated and vanished before them.

    Once, as they sat by their evening fire, there silently entered
    Into the little camp an Indian woman, whose features
    Wore deep traces of sorrow, and patience as great as her sorrow.
    She was a Shawnee woman returning home to her people,
    From the far-off hunting grounds of the cruel Comanches,
    Where her Canadian husband, a coureur-des-bois, had been murdered.
    Touched were their hearts at her story, and warmest and friendliest welcome
    Gave they, with words of cheer, and she sat and feasted among them
    On the buffalo-meat and the venison cooked on the embers.
    But when their meal was done, and Basil and all his companions,
    Worn with the long day's march and the chase of the deer and the bison,
    Stretched themselves on the ground, and slept where the quivering fire-light
    Flashed on their swarthy cheeks, and their forms wrapped up in their blankets,
    Then at the door of Evangeline's tent she sat and repeated
    Slowly, with soft, low voice, and the charm of her Indian accent,
    All the tale of her love, with its pleasures, and pains, and reverses.
    Much Evangeline wept at the tale, and to know that another
    Hapless heart like her own had loved and had been disappointed.
    Moved to the depths of her soul by pity and woman's compassion,
    Yet in her sorrow pleased that one who had suffered was near her,
    She in turn related her love and all its disasters.
    Mute with wonder the Shawnee sat, and when she had ended
    Still was mute; but at length, as if a mysterious horror
    Passed through her brain, she spake, and repeated the tale of the Mowis;
    Mowis, the bridegroom of snow, who won and wedded a maiden,
    But, when the morning came, arose and passed from the wigwam,
    Fading and melting away and dissolving into the sunshine,
    Till she beheld him no more, though she followed far into the forest.
    Then, in those sweet, low tones, that seemed like a weird incantation,
    Told she the tale of the fair Lilinau, who was wooed by a phantom,
    That, through the pines o'er her father's lodge, in the hush of the twilight,
    Breathed like the evening wind, and whispered love to the maiden,
    Till she followed his green and waving plume through the forest,
    And nevermore returned, nor was seen again by her people.
    Silent with wonder and strange surprise, Evangeline listened
    To the soft flow of her magical words, till the region around her
    Seemed like enchanted ground, and her swarthy guest the enchantress.
    Slowly over the tops of the Ozark Mountains the moon rose,
    Lighting the little tent, and with a mysterious splendor
    Touching the sombre leaves, and embracing and filling the woodland.
    With a delicious sound the brook rushed by, and the branches
    Swayed and sighed overhead in scarcely audible whispers.
    Filled with the thoughts of love was Evangeline's heart, but a secret,
    Subtile sense crept in of pain and indefinite terror,
    As the cold, poisonous snake creeps into the nest of the swallow.
    It was no earthly fear. A breath from the region, of spirits
    Seemed to float in the air of night; and she felt for a moment
    That, like the Indian maid, she, too, was pursuing a phantom.
    And with this thought she slept, and the fear and the phantom had vanished.

    Early upon the morrow the march was resumed, and the Shawnee
    Said, as they journeyed along,--"On the western slope of these mountains
    Dwells in his little village the Black Robe chief of the Mission.
    Much he teaches the people, and tells them of Mary and Jesus;
    Loud laugh their hearts with joy, and weep with pain, as they hear him."
    Then, with a sudden and secret emotion, Evangeline answered,
    "Let us go to the Mission, for there good tidings await us!"
    Thither they turned their steeds; and behind a spur of the mountains,
    Just as the sun went down, they heard a murmur of voices,
    And in a meadow green and broad, by the bank of a river,
    Saw the tents of the Christians, the tents of the Jesuit Mission.
    Under a towering oak, that stood in the midst of the village,
    Knelt the Black Robe chief with his children. A crucifix fastened
    High on the trunk of the tree, and overshadowed by grapevines,
    Looked with its agonized face on the multitude kneeling beneath it.
    This was their rural chapel. Aloft, through the intricate arches
    Of its aerial roof, arose the chant of their vespers,
    Mingling its notes with the soft susurrus and sighs of the branches.
    Silent, with heads uncovered, the travelers, nearer approaching,
    Knelt on the swarded floor, and joined in the evening devotions.
    But when the service was done, and the benediction had fallen
    Forth from the hands of the priest, like seed from the hands of the sower,
    Slowly the reverend man advanced to the strangers, and bade them
    Welcome; and when they replied, he smiled with benignant expression,
    Hearing the homelike sounds of his mother-tongue in the forest,
    And, with words of kindness, conducted them into his wigwam.
    There upon mats and skins they reposed, and on cakes of the maize-ear
    Feasted, and slaked their thirst from the water-gourd of the teacher.
    Soon was their story told; and the priest with solemnity answered:--
    "Not six suns have risen and set since Gabriel, seated
    On this mat by my side, where now the maiden reposes,
    Told me this same sad tale; then arose and continued his journey!"
    Soft was the voice of the priest, and he spake with an accent of kindness;
    But on Evangeline's heart fell his words as in winter the snowflakes
    Fall into some lone nest from which the birds have departed.
    "Far to the north he has gone," continued the priest; "but in autumn,
    When the chase is done, will return again to the Mission."
    Then Evangeline said, and her voice was meek and submissive,
    "Let me remain with thee, for my soul is sad and afflicted."
    So seemed it wise and well unto all; and betimes on the morrow,
    Mounting his Mexican steed, with his Indian guides and companions,
    Homeward Basil returned, and Evangeline stayed at the Mission.

    Slowly, slowly, slowly the days succeeded each other,--
    Days and weeks and months; and the fields of maize that were springing
    Green from the ground when a stranger she came, now waving about her,
    Lifted their slender shafts, with leaves interlacing, and forming
    Cloisters for mendicant crows and granaries pillaged by squirrels.
    Then in the golden weather the maize was husked, and the maidens
    Blushed at each blood-red ear, for that betokened a lover,
    But at the crooked laughed, and called it a thief in the cornfield.
    Even the blood-red ear to Evangeline brought not her lover.
    "Patience!" the priest would say; "have faith, and thy prayer will be answered!
    Look at this delicate plant that lifts its head from the meadow,
    See how its leaves all point to the north, as true as the magnet;
    It is the compass-flower, that the finger of God has suspended
    Here on its fragile stalk to direct the traveler's journey
    Over the sea-like, pathless, limitless waste of the desert.
    Such in the soul of man is faith. The blossoms of passion,
    Gay and luxuriant flowers, are brighter and fuller of fragrance,
    But they beguile us, and lead us astray, and their odor is deadly.
    Only this humble plant can guide us here, and hereafter
    Crown us with asphodel flowers, that are wet with the dews of nepenthe."

    So came the autumn, and passed, and the winter--yet Gabriel came not;
    Blossomed the opening spring, and the notes of the robin and bluebird
    Sounded sweet upon wold and in wood, yet Gabriel came not.
    But on the breath of the summer winds a rumor was wafted
    Sweeter than song of bird, or hue or odor of blossom.
    Far to the north and east, it said, in the Michigan forests,
    Gabriel had his lodge by the banks of the Saginaw River.
    And, with returning guides, that sought the lakes of St. Lawrence,
    Saying a sad farewell, Evangeline went from the Mission.
    When over weary ways, by long and perilous marches,
    She had attained at length the depths of the Michigan forests,
    Found she the hunter's lodge deserted and fallen to ruin!

    Thus did the long sad years glide on, and in seasons and places
    Divers and distant far was seen the wandering maiden;--
    Now in the Tents of Grace of the meek Moravian Missions,
    Now in the noisy camps and the battle-fields of the army,
    Now in secluded hamlets, in towns and populous cities.
    Like a phantom she came, and passed away unremembered.
    Fair was she and young, when in hope began the long journey;
    Faded was she and old, when in disappointment it ended.
    Each succeeding year stole something away from her beauty,
    Leaving behind it, broader and deeper, the gloom and the shadow.
    Then there appeared and spread faint streaks of gray o'er her forehead,
    Dawn of another life, that broke o'er her earthly horizon,
    As in the eastern sky the first faint streaks of the morning.


    In that delightful land which is washed by the Delaware's waters,
    Guarding in sylvan shades the name of Penn the apostle,
    Stands on the banks of its beautiful stream the city he founded.
    There all the air is balm, and the peach is the emblem of beauty,
    And the streets still re-echo the names of the trees of the forest,
    As if they fain would appease the Dryads whose haunts they molested.
    There from the troubled sea had Evangeline landed, an exile,
    Finding among the children of Penn a home and a country.
    There old René Leblanc had died; and when he departed,
    Saw at his side only one of all his hundred descendants.
    Something at least there was in the friendly streets of the city,
    Something that spake to her heart, and made her no longer a stranger;
    And her ear was pleased with the Thee and Thou of the Quakers,
    For it recalled the past, the old Acadian country,
    Where all men were equal, and all were brothers and sisters.
    So, when the fruitless search, the disappointed endeavor,
    Ended, to recommence no more upon earth, uncomplaining,
    Thither, as leaves to the light, were turned her thoughts and her footsteps.
    As from a mountain's top the rainy mists of the morning
    Roll away, and afar we behold the landscape below us,
    Sun-illumined, with shining rivers and cities and hamlets,
    So fell the mists from her mind, and she saw the world far below her,
    Dark no longer, but all illumined with love; and the pathway
    Which she had climbed so far, lying smooth and fair in the distance.
    Gabriel was not forgotten. Within her heart was his image,
    Clothed in the beauty of love and youth, as last she beheld him,
    Only more beautiful made by his deathlike silence and absence.
    Into her thoughts of him time entered not, for it was not.
    Over him years had no power; he was not changed, but transfigured;
    He had become to her heart as one who is dead, and not absent;
    Patience and abnegation of self, and devotion to others,
    This was the lesson a life of trial and sorrow had taught her.
    So was her love diffused, but, like to some odorous spices,
    Suffered no waste nor loss, though filling the air with aroma.
    Other hope had she none, nor wish in life, but to follow,
    Meekly with reverent steps, the sacred feet of her Saviour.
    Thus many years she lived as a Sister of Mercy; frequenting
    Lonely and wretched roofs in the crowded lanes of the city,
    Where distress and want concealed themselves from the sunlight.
    Where disease and sorrow in garrets languished neglected.
    Night after night when the world was asleep, as the watchman repeated
    Loud, through the gusty streets, that all was well in the city,
    High at some lonely window he saw the light of her taper.
    Day after day, in the gray of the dawn, as slow through the suburbs
    Plodded the German farmer, with flowers and fruits for the market,
    Met he that meek, pale face, returning home from its watchings.

    Then it came to pass that a pestilence fell on the city,
    Presaged by wondrous signs, and mostly by flocks of wild pigeons,
    Darkening the sun in their flight, with naught in their craws but an acorn.
    And, as the tides of the sea arise in the month of September,
    Flooding some silver stream, till it spreads to a lake in the meadow,
    So death flooded life, and, o'erflowing its natural margin,
    Spread to a brackish lake the silver stream of existence.
    Wealth had no power to bribe, nor beauty to charm, the oppressor;
    But all perished alike beneath the scourge of his anger;--
    Only, alas! the poor, who had neither friends nor attendants,
    Crept away to die in the almshouse, home of the homeless.
    Then in the suburbs it stood, in the midst of meadows and woodlands;--
    Now the city surrounds it; but still, with its gateway and wicket
    Meek, in the midst of splendor, its humble walls seem to echo
    Softly the words of the Lord:--"The poor ye always have with you."
    Thither, by night and by day, came the Sister of Mercy. The dying
    Looked up into her face, and thought, indeed, to behold there
    Gleams of celestial light encircle her forehead with splendor,
    Such as the artist paints o'er the brows of saints and apostles,
    Or such as hangs by night o'er a city seen at a distance.
    Unto their eyes it seemed the lamps of the city celestial,
    Into whose shining gates erelong their spirits would enter.

    Thus, on a Sabbath morn, through the streets, deserted and silent,
    Wending her quiet way, she entered the door of the almshouse.
    Sweet on the summer air was the odor of flowers in the garden,
    And she paused on her way to gather the fairest among them,
    That the dying once more might rejoice in their fragrance and beauty.
    Then, as she mounted the stairs to the corridors, cooled by the east-wind,
    Distant and soft on her ear fell the chimes from the belfry of Christ Church,
    While, intermingled with these, across the meadows were wafted
    Sounds of psalms, that were sung by the Swedes in their church at Wicaco.
    Soft as descending wings fell the calm of the hour on her spirit;
    Something within her said, "At length thy trials are ended;"
    And, with light in her looks, she entered the chambers of sickness.
    Noiselessly moved about the assiduous, careful attendants,
    Moistening the feverish lip, and the aching brow, and in silence
    Closing the sightless eyes of the dead, and concealing their faces,
    Where on their pallets they lay, like drifts of snow by the roadside.
    Many a languid head, upraised as Evangeline entered,
    Turned on its pillow of pain to gaze while she passed, for her presence
    Fell on their hearts like a ray of the sun on the walls of a prison.
    And, as she looked around, she saw how Death, the consoler,
    Laying his hand upon many a heart, had healed it forever.
    Many familiar forms had disappeared in the night time;
    Vacant their places were, or filled already by strangers.

    Suddenly, as if arrested by fear or a feeling of wonder,
    Still she stood, with her colorless lips apart, while a shudder
    Ran through her frame, and, forgotten, the flowerets dropped from her fingers,
    And from her eyes and cheeks the light and bloom of the morning.
    Then there escaped from her lips a cry of such terrible anguish,
    That the dying heard it, and started up from their pillows.
    On the pallet before her was stretched the form of an old man.
    Long, and thin, and gray were the locks that shaded his temples;
    But, as he lay in the morning light, his face for a moment
    Seemed to assume once more the forms of its earlier manhood;
    So are wont to be changed the faces of those who are dying.
    Hot and red on his lips still burned the flush of the fever,
    As if life, like the Hebrew, with blood had besprinkled its portals,
    That the Angel of Death might see the sign, and pass over.
    Motionless, senseless, dying, he lay, and his spirit exhausted
    Seemed to be sinking down through infinite depths in the darkness,
    Darkness of slumber and death, forever sinking and sinking.
    Then through those realms of shade, in multiplied reverberations,
    Heard he that cry of pain, and through the hush that succeeded
    Whispered a gentle voice, in accents tender and saintlike,
    "Gabriel! O my beloved!" and died away into silence.
    Then he beheld, in a dream, once more the home of his childhood;
    Green Acadian meadows, with sylvan rivers among them,
    Village, and mountain, and woodlands; and, walking under their shadow,
    As in the days of her youth, Evangeline rose in his vision.
    Tears came into his eyes; and as slowly he lifted his eyelids,
    Vanished the vision away, but Evangeline knelt by his bedside.
    Vainly he strove to whisper her name, for the accents unuttered
    Died on his lips, and their motion revealed what his tongue would have spoken.
    Vainly he strove to rise; and Evangeline, kneeling beside him,
    Kissed his dying lips, and laid his head on her bosom.
    Sweet was the light of his eyes; but it suddenly sank into darkness,
    As when a lamp is blown out by a gust of wind at a casement.

    All was ended now, the hope, and the fear, and the sorrow,
    All the aching of heart, the restless, unsatisfied longing,
    All the dull, deep pain, and constant anguish of patience!
    And, as she pressed once more the lifeless head to her bosom,
    Meekly she bowed her own, and murmured, "Father, I thank thee!"

    Still stands the forest primeval; but far away from its shadow,
    Side by side, in their nameless graves, the lovers are sleeping.
    Under the humble walls of the little Catholic churchyard,
    In the heart of the city, they lie, unknown and unnoticed.
    Daily the tides of life go ebbing and flowing beside them,
    Thousands of throbbing hearts, where theirs are at rest and forever,
    Thousands of aching brains, where theirs no longer are busy,
    Thousands of toiling hands, where theirs have ceased from their labors,
    Thousands of weary feet, where theirs have completed their journey!

    Still stands the forest primeval; but under the shade of its branches
    Dwells another race, with other customs and language.
    Only along the shore of the mournful and misty Atlantic
    Linger a few Acadian peasants, whose fathers from exile
    Wandered back to their native land to die in its bosom.
    In the fisherman's cot the wheel and the loom are still busy;
    Maidens still wear their Norman caps and their kirtles of homespun,
    And by the evening fire repeat Evangeline's story,
    While from its rocky caverns the deep-voiced, neighboring ocean
    Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.


Historical: The early history of Nova Scotia records the conflict for supremacy between the French and the English. By the French the country was called Acadie, The Acadians were essentially French in blood and in their sympathies, though the English were from time to time in authority over the country. At one time the English demanded an oath of allegiance from the Acadians. This they refused unless it should be so modified as to exempt them from bearing arms against France. It was finally decided to remove the Acadians from the country, scattering them throughout the colonies in such a way as to prevent their concerted action in attempting to return to their homes. Accordingly they were driven on board the English transports and three thousand of them sent out of the country. In the confusion incident to their removal, families and friends were separated, in many cases never to meet again. The story of Evangeline is a recital of such separation.

Notes and Questions.

Into what parts is the poem divided?

With what does Part First deal? Part Second?

What purpose do the introductory lines to Part First serve?

Which lines give you the best picture of Acadie?

Which lines best describe the Acadians?

Explain: "There the richest was poor, and the poorest lived in abundance."

What characteristics had Evangeline? Find lines that tell you.

What picture does the poem give you of the home of Evangeline?

Who was Gabriel?

Describe the visit of Basil and Gabriel.

What were the characteristics of Father Leblanc?

Which lines in Longfellow's description of the contract and the evening scene at the farmer's are the most beautiful?

Describe the betrothal feast in your own words.

What message did the voice of the thunder convey to Evangeline?

Describe in your own words the embarkation, and the death of Evangeline's father.

Note the devotion of Evangeline as shown in her wanderings in search of Gabriel in the United States: The visit of Evangeline to the Acadian settlement in Louisiana, the southern home of Basil; Evangeline and Basil follow Gabriel to the West; Evangeline as a Sister of Mercy in Philadelphia; Gabriel found dying; The concluding stanza of the poem.

Which of the above descriptions impressed you most? Which is most pathetic? Which do you like best?

Trace the journeyings of Evangeline on your map.

Find the lines that describe the burning of Grand-Pré. What can you say about this description?

In this poem there are many beautiful descriptions. What kinds of scenery are described? What kinds of people are described?

What had a life of sorrow taught Evangeline? Which lines tell you?

What led her to devote herself to the service of others?

What finally became her sole hope and wish?

Why does this poem endure? Do you like it? Why?

Which lines do you think are most beautiful?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

"This is the forest primeval"

"Naught but tradition remains of Grand Pre"

"List to a Tale of Love in Acadie, home of the happy"

"Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an image of heaven"

"Under the open sky, in the odorous air of the orchard"

"Fairest of all the maids was Evangeline, Benedict's daughter Noblest of all the youths was Gabriel, son of the blacksmith"



    "Build me straight, O worthy Master!
        Staunch and strong, a goodly vessel,
    That shall laugh at all disaster,
        And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!"

    The merchant's word
    Delighted the Master heard;
    For his heart was in his work, and the heart
    Giveth grace unto every Art.
    A quiet smile played round his lips,
    As the eddies and dimples of the tide
    Play round the bows of ships,
    That steadily at anchor ride.
    And with a voice that was full of glee,
    He answered, "Ere long we will launch
    A vessel as goodly, and strong, and staunch,
    As ever weathered a wintry sea!"
    And first with nicest skill and art,
    Perfect and finished in every part,
    A little model the Master wrought,
    Which should be to the larger plan
    What the child is to the man,
    Its counterpart in miniature;
    That with a hand more swift and sure
    The greater labor might be brought
    To answer to his inward thought.
    And as he labored his mind ran o'er
    The various ships that were built of yore,
    And above them all, and strangest of all,
    Towered the Great Harry, crank and tall,
    Whose picture was hanging on the wall,
    With bows and stern raised high in air,
    And balconies hanging here and there,
    And signal lanterns and flags afloat,
    And eight round towers, like those that frown
    From some old castle, looking down
    Upon the drawbridge and the moat,
    And he said, with a smile, "Our ship, I wis,
    Shall be of another form than this!"

    It was of another form, indeed;
    Built for freight, and yet for speed,
    A beautiful and gallant craft;
    Broad in the beam, that the stress of the blast,
    Pressing down upon sail and mast,
    Might not the sharp bows overwhelm;
    Broad in the beam, but sloping aft
    With graceful curve and slow degrees,
    That she might be docile to the helm,
    And that the currents of parted seas,
    Closing behind, with mighty force,
    Might aid and not impede her course.

    In the ship-yard stood the Master,
        With the model of the vessel,
    That should laugh at all disaster,
        And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!

    Covering many a rood of ground,
    Lay the timber piled around;
    Timber of chestnut, and elm, and oak,
    And scattered here and there, with these,
    The knarred and crooked cedar knees;
    Brought from regions far away,
    From Pascagoula's sunny bay,
    And the banks of the roaring Roanoke!
    Ah! what a wondrous thing it is
    To note how many wheels of toil
    One thought, one word, can set in motion!
    There's not a ship that sails the ocean,
    But every climate, every soil,
    Must bring its tribute, great or small,

    And help to build the wooden wall!
    The sun was rising o'er the sea,
    And long the level shadows lay,
    As if they, too, the beams would be
    Of some great, airy argosy,
    Framed and launched in a single day,
    That silent architect, the sun,
    Had hewn and laid them every one,
    Ere the work of man was yet begun.
    Beside the Master, when he spoke,
    A youth, against an anchor leaning,
    Listened, to catch his slightest meaning.
    Only the long waves, as they broke
    In ripples on the pebbly beach,
    Interrupted the old man's speech.

    Beautiful they were, in sooth,
    The old man and the fiery youth!
    The old man, in whose busy brain
    Many a ship that sailed the main
    Was modelled o'er and o'er again;--
    The fiery youth, who was to be
    The heir of his dexterity,
    The heir of his house, and his daughter's hand,
    When he had built and launched from land
    What the elder head had planned.

    "Thus," said he, "will we build this ship!
    Lay square the blocks upon the slip,
    And follow well this plan of mine.
    Choose the timbers with greatest care;
    Of all that is unsound beware;
    For only what is sound and strong
    To this vessel shall belong.
    Cedar of Maine and Georgia pine
    Here together shall combine.
    A goodly frame, and a goodly fame,
    And the UNION be her name!
    For the day that gives her to the sea
    Shall give my daughter unto thee!"

    The Master's word
    Enraptured the young man heard;
    And as he turned his face aside,
    With a look of joy and a thrill of pride,
    Standing before
    Her father's door,
    He saw the form of his promised bride.
    The sun shone on her golden hair,
    And her cheek was glowing fresh and fair,
    With the breath of morn and the soft sea air.
    Like a beauteous barge was she,
    Still at rest on the sandy beach,
    Just beyond the billow's reach;
    But he
    Was the restless, seething, stormy sea!
    Ah, how skilful grows the hand
    That obeyeth Love's command!
    It is the heart, and not the brain,
    That to the highest doth attain,
    And he who followeth Love's behest
    Far exceedeth all the rest!

    Thus with the rising of the sun
    Was the noble task begun,
    And soon throughout the ship-yard's bounds
    Were heard the intermingled sounds
    Of axes and of mallets, plied
    With vigorous arms on every side;
    Plied so deftly and so well,
    That, ere the shadows of evening fell,
    The keel of oak for a noble ship,
    Scarfed and bolted, straight and strong,
    Was lying ready, and stretched along
    The blocks, well placed upon the slip.
    Happy, thrice happy, every one
    Who sees his labor well begun,
    And not perplexed and multiplied,
    By idly waiting for time and tide!
    And when the hot, long day was o'er,
    The young man at the Master's door
    Sat with the maiden calm and still,
    And within the porch, a little more
    Removed beyond the evening chill,
    The father sat, and told them tales
    Of wrecks in the great September gales,
    Of pirates upon the Spanish Main,
    And ships that never came back again,
    The chance and change of a sailor's life,
    Want and plenty, rest and strife,
    His roving fancy, like the wind,
    That nothing can stay and nothing can bind,
    And the magic charm of foreign lands,
    With shadows of palms, and shining sands,
    Where the tumbling surf,
    O'er the coral reefs of Madagascar,
    Washes the feet of the swarthy Lascar,
    As he lies alone and asleep on the turf.
    And the trembling maiden held her breath
    At the tales of that awful, pitiless sea,
    With all its terror and mystery,
    The dim dark sea, so like unto Death,
    That divides and yet unites mankind!
    And whenever the old man paused, a gleam
    From the bowl of his pipe would awhile illume
    The silent group in the twilight gloom,
    And thoughtful faces, as in a dream;
    And for a moment one might mark
    What had been hidden by the dark,
    That the head of the maiden lay at rest
    Tenderly, on the young man's breast!

    Day by day the vessel grew,
    With timbers fashioned strong and true,
    Sternson and keelson and sternson-knee,
    Till, framed with perfect symmetry,
    A skeleton ship rose up to view!
    And around the bows and along the side
    The heavy hammers and mallets plied,
    Till after many a week, at length,
    Wonderful for form and strength,
    Sublime in its enormous bulk,
    Loomed aloft the shadowy hulk!
    And around it columns of smoke, upwreathing,
    Rose from the boiling, bubbling, seething,
    Cauldron, that glowed,
    And overflowed,
    With the black tar, heated for the sheathing.
    And amid the clamors
    Of clattering hammers,
    He who listened heard now and then
    The song of the Master and his men:--

    "Build me straight, O worthy Master,
        Staunch and strong, a goodly vessel,
    That shall laugh at all disaster,
        And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!"

    With oaken brace and copper band,
    Lay the rudder on the sand,
    That, like a thought, should have control
    Over the movement of the whole;
    And near it the anchor, whose giant hand
    Would reach down and grapple with the land,
    And immovable and fast
    Hold the great ship against the bellowing blast!
    And at the bows an image stood,
    By a cunning artist carved in wood,
    With robes of white, that far behind
    Seemed to be fluttering in the wind.
    It was not shaped in a classic mould,
    Not like a Nymph or Goddess of old,
    Or Naiad rising from the water,
    But modeled from the Master's daughter.
    On many a dreary and misty night,
    'T will be seen by the rays of the signal light,
    Speeding along through the rain and the dark,
    Like a ghost in its snow-white sark,
    The pilot of some phantom hark,
    Guiding the vessel, in its flight,
    By a path none other knows aright!

    Behold, at last,
    Each tall and tapering mast
    Is swung into its place;
    Shrouds and stays
    Holding it firm and fast!
    Long ago,
    In the deer-haunted forests of Maine,
    When upon mountain and plain
    Lay the snow,
    They fell,--those lordly pines!
    Those grand, majestic pines!
    'Mid shouts and cheers
    The jaded steers,
    Panting beneath the goad,
    Dragged down the weary, winding road
    Those captive kings so straight and tall,
    To be shorn of their streaming hair,
    And, naked and bare,
    To feel the stress and the strain
    Of the wind and the reeling main,
    Whose roar
    Would remind them for evermore
    Of their native forests they should not see again.

    And everywhere
    The slender, graceful spars
    Poise aloft in the air,
    And at the mast-head,
    White, blue, and red,
    A flag unrolls the Stripes and Stars.
    Ah! when the wanderer, lonely, friendless,
    In foreign harbors shall behold
    That flag unrolled,
    'T will be as a friendly hand
    Stretched out from his native land,
    Filling his heart with memories sweet and endless!

    All is finished! and at length
    Has come the bridal day
    Of beauty and of strength.
    To-day the vessel shall be launched!
    With fleecy clouds the sky is blanched,
    And o'er the bay,
    Slowly, in all his splendors dight,
    The great sun rises to behold the sight.
    The ocean old,
    Centuries old,
    Strong as youth, and as uncontrolled,
    Paces restless to and fro,
    Up and down the sands of gold.
    His beating heart is not at rest;
    And far and wide,
    With ceaseless flow,
    His beard of snow
    Heaves with the heaving of his breast.

    He waits impatient for his bride.
    There she stands,
    With her foot upon the sands,
    Decked with flags and streamers gay,
    In honor of her marriage day,
    Her snow-white signals fluttering, blending,
    Bound her like a veil descending,
    Ready to be
    The bride of the gray old sea.

    On the deck another bride
    Is standing by her lover's side.
    Shadows from the flags and shrouds,
    Like the shadows cast by clouds,
    Broken by many a sunny fleck,
    Fall around them on the deck.

    The prayer is said,
    The service read,
    The joyous bridegroom bows his head;
    And in tears the good old Master
    Shakes the brown hand of his son,
    Kisses his daughter's glowing cheek
    In silence, for he cannot speak,
    And ever faster
    Down his own the tears begin to run.
    The worthy pastor--
    The shepherd of that wandering flock,
    That has the ocean for its wold,
    That has the vessel for its fold,
    Leaping ever from rock to rock--
    Spake, with accents mild and clear,
    Words of warning, words of cheer,
    But tedious to the bridegroom's ear.
    He knew the chart
    Of the sailor's heart,
    All its pleasures and its griefs,
    All its shallows and rocky reefs,
    All those secret currents, that flow
    With such resistless undertow,
    And lift and drift, with terrible force,
    The will from its moorings and its course.

    Therefore he spake, and thus said he:--
    "Like unto ships far off at sea,
    Outward or homeward bound, are we,
    Before, behind, and all around,
    Floats and swings the horizon's bound,
    Seems at its distant rim to rise
    And climb the crystal wall of the skies,
    And then again to turn and sink,
    As if we could slide from its outer brink.
    Ah! it is not the sea,
    It is not the sea that sinks and shelves,
    But ourselves
    That rock and rise
    With endless and uneasy motion,
    Now touching the very skies,
    Now sinking into the depths of ocean.
    Ah! if our souls but poise and swing
    Like the compass in its brazen ring,
    Ever level and ever true
    To the toil and the task we have to do,
    We shall sail securely, and safely reach
    The Fortunate Isles, on whose shining beach
    The sights we see, and the sounds we hear,
    Will be those of joy and not of fear!"

    Then the Master,
    With a gesture of command,
    Waved his hand;
    And at the word,
    Loud and sudden there was heard,
    All around them and below,
    The sound of hammers, blow on blow,
    Knocking away the shores and spurs.
    And see! she stirs!
    She starts,--she moves,--she seems to feel
    The thrill of life along her keel,
    And, spurning with her foot the ground,
    With one exulting, joyous bound,
    She leaps into the ocean's arms!

    And lo! from the assembled crowd
    There rose a shout, prolonged and loud,
    That to the ocean seemed to say,
    "Take her, Oh bridegroom, old and gray,
    Take her to thy protecting arms,
    With all her youth and all her charms!"

    How beautiful she is! How fair
    She lies within those arms, that press
    Her form with many a soft caress
    Of tenderness and watchful care!
    Sail forth into the sea, O ship!
    Through wind and wave, right onward steer!
    The moistened eye, the trembling lip,
    Are not the signs of doubt or fear.

    Sail forth into the sea of life,
    O gentle, loving, trusting wife,
    And safe from all adversity
    Upon the bosom of that sea
    Thy comings and thy goings be!
    For gentleness and love and trust
    Prevail o'er angry wave and gust;
    And in the wreck of noble lives
    Something immortal still survives!

    Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State!
    Sail on, O UNION, strong and great!
    Humanity with all its fears,
    With all the hopes of future years,
    Is hanging breathless on thy fate!
    We know what Master laid thy keel,
    What Workmen wrought thy ribs of steel,
    Who made each mast, and sail, and rope,
    What anvils rang, what hammers beat,
    In what a forge and what a heat
    Were shaped the anchors of thy hope!
    Fear not each sudden sound and shock,
    'T is of the wave and not the rock;
    'T is but the flapping of the sail,
    And not a rent made by the gale!
    In spite of rock and tempest's roar,
    In spite of false lights on the shore,
    Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea!
    Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee,
    Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,
    Our faith triumphant o'er our fears,
    Are all with thee,--are all with thee!


Notes and Questions.

Quote the lines that tell the kind of ship the Master is to build.

What comparison does the Master use in speaking of the model?

What does Longfellow say that one thought can do?

Explain lines 84 to 93.

Account for the name given the ship by the Master.

Describe the daughter in your own words.

Explain: "It is the heart, and not the brain, That to the highest doth attain."

Quote the song of the Master and his men.

What uses are assigned to each of the following: "the rudder," "the anchor," "the image at the bows."

Read the description of "those lordly pines."

What does Longfellow say the flag of the ship will be to the wanderer?

Longfellow comments on the marriage of the ship with the sea. Explain the figure of speech.

Memorize the pastor's words.

Describe the launching in your own words.

Have you ever seen a ship launched?

What does the building of the ship symbolize?

Memorize the apostrophe to the ship of state and explain the symbol in detail.

Find examples of alliteration.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "airy argosy"
    "heir of his dexterity"
    "Like a beauteous barge was she"


The year 1807 was the birth year of both Whittier and Longfellow--two poets in whom the love of human nature is a marked trait. Little of the scholar, however, is to be found in the New England Quaker whose lot it was to pass from plow to politics, and from politics to literature. John Greenleaf Whittier was born in East Haverhill, a rugged, hilly section of Essex County, Massachusetts. In the southern part of this same county lies Salem, where three years earlier Hawthorne was born.

The home of Whittier was in a country district, and to this day no roof is in sight from the old homestead. The house, considerably more than a hundred years old at the time of the poet's birth, was built by his great-great-grandfather. The Whittiers were mostly stalwart men, six feet in height, who lived out their three-score years and ten; but the poet, though his years were more than any of his immediate ancestors, fell a little short of the family stature, and was of slender frame. "Snow-bound" gives us a faithful picture of the Whittier homestead and household, as they were eighty years ago.

The life they lived there was one utterly without luxury, and with few means of culture. There were perhaps thirty hooks in the house, largely Quaker tracts and journals. Of course there was the Bible, and through all his poetry Whittier reverts to the Bible for phrases and images as naturally as Longfellow turns to mediaeval legend. Memorable were the evenings when the school teacher came and read to the family from books he brought with him,--one most memorable, when the book was a copy of Burns. On Whittier's first visit to Boston, an occasion honored by his wearing "boughten buttons" on his homespun coat, and a broad-brim hat made by his aunt out of pasteboard covered with drab velvet, he purchased a copy of Shakespeare.

He attended the district school a few weeks each winter, and when he was nineteen he completed his scanty education with a year at an academy at Haverhill. From the time when the reading of Burns woke the poet in him, he was constantly writing rhymes, covering his slate with them, and sometimes copying them out painstakingly on paper.

Without Whittier's knowledge, his sister sent one of his poems to a paper in a neighboring town. The Editor became interested in his contributor and, as the story goes, drove out to the country home and Whittier was called in from the field to meet the smart young newspaper man. Thus began his literary career.

He became an Editor in Boston and later in Hartford, but the work proving too trying for his delicate health, he returned to the farm. Meanwhile, he was contributing verse to the newspapers.

During this time he was elected to the Legislature of Massachusetts and had some prospects of being nominated for Congress.

Later in life he returned again and again to the purely lyrical notes which he had taken up in his youth.

Two subjects always appealed strongly to Whitter's poetic imagination. One is the slender body of legendary lore that has come down to us from the colonial days of New England, including a few tales of the trials and persecutions of the early Quaker. "Skipper Ireson's Ride" belongs to this group of ballads. The other favorite field of Whittier's poetic fancy was the humble rural life of his own childhood--"In School-Days" and "Snow-Bound" belong to this class of New England idyls. The latter will always be a favorite with American readers, both for its simple rustic pictures, and for its deep religious faith.

Whittier never married. The little romances of his youth slipped quietly into memories, and imparted a finer tone to the poetry of his maturer years. He died at Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, in the eighty-fifth year of his age. Holmes was the only one of the New England singers left to mourn his departure:

        "Best loved and saintliest of our singing train,
        Earth's noblest tributes to thy name belong.
        A lifelong record closed without a stain,
        A blameless memory shrined in deathless song."




    The Sun that brief December day
    Rose cheerless over hills of gray,
    And, darkly circled, gave at noon
        A sadder light than waning moon.
        Slow tracing down the thickening sky
    Its mute and ominous prophecy,
    A portent seeming less than threat,
    It sank from sight before it set.
    A chill no coat, however stout,
    Of homespun stuff could quite shut out.
    A hard, dull bitterness of cold,
    That checked, mid-vein, the circling race
    Of life-blood in the sharpened face,
    The coming of the snow-storm told.
    The wind blew east; we heard the roar
    Of Ocean on his wintry shore,
    And felt the strong pulse throbbing there
    Beat with low rhythm our inland air.

    Meanwhile we did our nightly chores,--
    Brought in the wood from out of doors,
    Littered the stalls, and from the mows
    Raked down the herd's-grass for the cows:
    Heard the horse whinnying for his corn;
    And, sharply clashing horn on horn,
    Impatient down the stanchion rows
    The cattle shake their walnut bows;
    While, peering from his early perch
    Upon the scaffold's pole of birch,
    The cock his crested helmet bent
    And down his querulous challenge sent
    Unwarmed by any sunset light
    The gray day darkened into night,
    A night made hoary with the swarm
    And whirl-dance of the blinding storm,
    As zigzag wavering to and fro
    Crossed and recrossed the winged snow:
    And ere the early bedtime came
    The white drift piled the window-frame,
    And through the glass the clothes-line posts
    Looked in like tall and sheeted ghosts.
    So all night long the storm roared on:
    The morning broke without a sun;
    In tiny spherule traced with lines
    Of Nature's geometric signs,
    In starry flake and pellicle
    All day the hoary meteor fell;
    And, when the second morning shone,
    We looked upon a world unknown,
    On nothing we could call our own.
    Around the glistening wonder bent
    The blue walls of the firmament,
    No cloud above, no earth below,--
    A universe of sky and snow!
    The old familiar sights of ours
    Took marvelous shapes; strange domes and towers
    Rose up where sty or corn-crib stood,
    Or garden-wall or belt of wood;
    A smooth white mound the brush-pile showed,
    A fenceless drift what once was road;
    The bridle-post an old man sat
    With loose-flung coat and high cocked hat;
    The well-curb had a Chinese roof;
    And even the long sweep, high aloof,
    In its slant splendor, seemed to tell
    Of Pisa's leaning miracle.

    A prompt, decisive man, no breath
    Our father wasted: "Boys, a path!"
    Well pleased, (for when did farmer boy
    Count such a summons less than joy?)
    Our buskins on our feet we drew;
        With mittened hands, and caps drawn low,
        To guard our necks and ears from snow,
    We cut the solid whiteness through;
    And, where the drift was deepest, made
    A tunnel walled and overlaid
    With dazzling crystal: we had read
    Of rare Aladdin's wondrous cave,
    And to our own his name we gave,
    With many a wish the luck were ours
    To test his lamp's supernal powers.
    We reached the barn with merry din,
    And roused the prisoned brutes within.
    The old horse thrust his long head out,
    And grave with wonder gazed about;
    The cock his lusty greeting said,
    And forth his speckled harem led;
    The oxen lashed their tails, and hooked,
    And mild reproach of hunger looked;
    The hornèd patriarch of the sheep,
    Like Egypt's Amun roused from sleep,
    Shook his sage head with gesture mute,
    And emphasized with stamp of foot.

    All day the gusty north-wind bore
    The loosened drift its breath before;
    Low circling round its southern zone,
    The sun through dazzling snow-mist shone.
    No church-bell lent its Christian tone
    To the savage air, no social smoke
    Curled over woods of snow-hung oak.
    A solitude made more intense
    By dreary-voicèd elements,
    The shrieking of the mindless wind,
    The moaning tree-boughs swaying blind,
    And on the glass the unmeaning beat
    Of ghostly finger-tips of sleet.
    Beyond the circle of our hearth
    No welcome sound of toil or mirth
    Unbound the spell, and testified
    Of human life and thought outside.
    We minded that the sharpest ear
    The buried brooklet could not hear,
    The music of whose liquid lip
    Had been to us companionship,
    And, in our lonely life, had grown
    To have an almost human tone.

    As night drew on, and, from the crest
    Of wooded knolls that ridged the west,
    The sun, a snow-blown traveler, sank
    From sight beneath the smothering bank,
    We piled with care our nightly stack
    Of wood against the chimney-back,--
    The oaken log, green, huge, and thick,
    And on its top the stout back-stick;
    The knotty forestick laid apart,
    And filled between with curious art
    The ragged brush; then, hovering near,
    We watched the first red blaze appear,
    Heard the sharp crackle, caught the gleam
    On whitewashed wall and sagging beam,
    Until the old, rude-furnished room
    Burst, flower-like, into rosy bloom;
    While radiant with a mimic flame
    Outside the sparkling drift became
    And through the bare-boughed lilac-tree
    Our own warm hearth seemed blazing free.
    The crane and pendent trammels showed,
    The Turk's heads on the andirons glowed;
    While childish fancy, prompt to tell
    The meaning of the miracle,
    Whispered the old rhyme: "Under the tree,
    When fire outdoors burns merrily,
    There the witches are making tea."

    The moon above the eastern wood
    Shone at its full; the hill-range stood
    Transfigured in the silver flood,
    Its blown snows flashing cold and keen,
    Dead white, save where some sharp ravine
    Took shadow, or the sombre green
    Of hemlocks turned to pitchy black
    Against the whiteness of their back.
    For such a world and such a night
    Most fitting that unwarming light,
    Which only seemed where'er it fell
    To make the coldness visible.

    Shut in from all the world without,
    We sat the clean-winged hearth about,
    Content to let the north-wind roar
    In baffled rage at pane and door,
    While the red logs before us beat
    The frost-line back with tropic heat;
    And ever, when a louder blast
    Shook beam and rafter as it passed,
    The merrier up its roaring draught
    The great throat of the chimney laughed,
    The house-dog on his paws outspread
    Laid to the fire his drowsy head,
    The cat's dark silhouette on the wall
    A couchant tiger's seemed to fall;
    And, for the winter fireside meet,
    Between the andirons' straddling feet,
    The mug of cider simmered slow,
    The apples sputtered in a row,
    And, close at hand, the basket stood
    With nuts from brown October's wood.

    What matter how the night behaved?
    What matter how the north-wind raved?
    Blow high, blow low, not all its snow
    Could quench our hearth-fire's ruddy glow.
    O Time and Change!--with hair as gray
    As was my sire's that winter day,
    How strange it seems, with so much gone
    Of life and love, to still live on!
    Ah, brother! only I and thou
    Are left of all that circle now,--
    The dear home faces whereupon
    That fitful firelight paled and shone.
    Henceforward, listen as we will,
    The voices of that hearth are still;
    Look where we may, the wide earth o'er,
    Those lighted faces smile no more.
    We tread the paths their feet have worn,
        We sit beneath their orchard trees,
        We hear, like them, the hum of bees
    And rustle of the bladed corn;
    We turn the pages that they read,
        Their written words we linger o'er,
    But in the sun they cast no shade,
    No voice is heard, no sign is made,
        No step is on the conscious floor!
    Yet Love will dream and Faith will trust
    (Since He who knows our need is just)
    That somehow, somewhere, meet we must.
    Alas for him who never sees
    The stars shine through his cypress-trees!
    Who, hopeless, lays his dead away,
    Nor looks to see the breaking day
    Across the mournful marbles play!
    Who hath not learned, in hours of faith,
        The truth to flesh and sense unknown,
    That Life is ever lord of Death,
        And Love can never lose its own!

    We sped the time with stories old,
    Wrought puzzles out, and riddles told,
    Or stammered from our school-book lore
    "The chief of Gambia's golden shore."
    Our father rode again his ride
    On Memphremagog's wooded side;
    Sat down again to moose and samp
    In trapper's hut and Indian camp;
    Lived o'er the old idyllic ease
    Beneath St. François' hemlock trees;
    Again for him the moonlight shone
    On Norman cap and bodiced zone;
    Again he heard the violin play
    Which led the village dance away,
    And mingled in its merry whirl
    The grandam and the laughing girl.
    Or, nearer home, our steps he led
    Where Salisbury's level marshes spread
        Mile-wide as flies the laden bee;
    Where merry mowers, hale and strong,
    Swept, scythe on scythe, their swaths along
        The low green prairies of the sea.
    We shared the fishing off Boar's Head,
        And round the rocky Isles of Shoals
        The hake-broil on the driftwood coals;
    The chowder on the sand-beach made,
    Dipped by the hungry, steaming hot,
    With spoons of clam-shell from the pot.
    We heard the tales of witchcraft old,
    And dream and sign and marvel told
    To sleepy listeners as they lay
    Stretched idly on the salted hay,
    Adrift along the winding shores,
        When favoring breezes deigned to blow
        The square sail of the gundalow,
    And idle lay the useless oars.
    Our mother, while she turned her wheel
    Or run the new-knit stocking-heel,
    Told how the Indian hordes came down
    At midnight on Cochecho town,
    And how her own great-uncle bore
    His cruel scalp-mark to fourscore.
    Recalling, in her fitting phrase,
        So rich and picturesque and free
      (The common unrhymed poetry
    Of simple life and country ways),
    The story of her early days,--
    She made us welcome to her home;
    Old hearths grew wide to give us room;
    We stole with her a frightened look
    At the gray wizard's conjuring-book,
    The fame whereof went far and wide
    Through all the simple country-side;
    We heard the hawks at twilight play,
    The boat-horn on Piscataqua,
    The loon's weird laughter far away;

    We fished her little trout-brook, knew
    What flowers in wood and meadow grew,
    What sunny hillsides autumn-brown
    She climbed to shake the ripe nuts down,
    Saw where in sheltered cove and bay
    The ducks' black squadron anchored lay,
    And heard the wild geese calling loud
    Beneath the gray November cloud.
    Then, haply, with a look more grave,
    And soberer tone, some tale she gave
    From painful Sewel's ancient tome,
    Beloved in every Quaker home,
    Of faith fire-winged by martyrdom,
    Or Chalkley's Journal, old and quaint,--
    Gentlest of skippers, rare sea-saint!--
    Who, when the dreary calms prevailed,
    And water-butt and bread-cask failed,
    And cruel, hungry eyes pursued
    His portly presence, mad for food,
    With dark hints muttered under breath
    Of casting lots for life or death,
    Offered, if Heaven withheld supplies,
    To be himself the sacrifice.
    Then, suddenly, as if to save
    The good man from his living grave,
    A ripple on the water grew,
    A school of porpoise flashed in view.
    "Take, eat," he said, "and be content;
    These fishes in my stead are sent
    By Him who gave the tangled ram
    To spare the child of Abraham."

    Our uncle, innocent of books,
    Was rich in lore of fields and brooks,
    The ancient teachers never dumb
    Of Nature's unhoused lyceum.
    In moons and tides and weather wise,
    He read the clouds as prophecies,
    And foul or fair could well divine,
    By many an occult hint and sign,
    Holding the cunning-warded keys
    To all the woodcraft mysteries;
    Himself to Nature's heart so near
    That all her voices in his ear
    Of beast or bird had meanings clear,
    Like Apollonius of old,
    Who knew the tales the sparrows told,
    Or Hermes, who interpreted
    What the sage cranes of Nilus said;
    A simple, guileless, childlike man,
    Content to live where life began;
    Strong only on his native grounds,
    The little world of sights and sounds
    Whose girdle was the parish bounds,
    Whereof his fondly partial pride
    The common features magnified,
    As Surrey hills to mountains grew
    In White of Selborne's loving view,--
    He told how teal and loon he shot,
    And how the eagle's eggs he got,
    The feats on pond and river done,
    The prodigies of rod and gun;
    Till, warming with the tales he told,
    Forgotten was the outside cold,
    The bitter wind unheeded blew,
    From ripening corn the pigeons flew,
    The partridge drummed i' the wood, the mink
    Went fishing down the river-brink.
    In fields with bean or clover gay,
    The woodchuck, like a hermit gray,
        Peered from the doorway of his cell;
    The muskrat plied the mason's trade,
    And tier by tier his mud-walls laid;
    And from the shagbark overhead
        The grizzled squirrel dropped his shell.

    Next, the dear aunt, whose smile of cheer
    And voice in dreams I see and hear,--
    The sweetest woman ever Fate
    Perverse denied a household mate,
    Who, lonely, homeless, not the less
    Found peace in love's unselfishness,
    And welcome whereso'er she went,
    A calm and gracious element,
    Whose presence seemed the sweet income
    And womanly atmosphere of home,--
    Called up her girlhood memories,
    The huskings and the apple-bees,
    The sleigh-rides and the summer sails,
    Weaving through all the poor details
    And homespun warp of circumstance
    A golden woof-thread of romance.
    For well she kept her genial mood
    And simple faith of maidenhood;
    Before her still a cloud-land lay,
    The mirage loomed across her way;
    The morning dew, that dried so soon
    With others, glistened at her noon;
    Through years of toil and soil and care,
    From glossy tress to thin gray hair,
    All unprofaned she held apart
    The virgin fancies of the heart.
    Be shame to him of woman born
    Who had for such but thought of scorn.

    There, too, our elder sister plied
    Her evening task the stand beside;
    A full, rich nature, free to trust,
    Truthful and almost sternly just,
    Impulsive, earnest, prompt to act,
    And make her generous thought a fact,
    Keeping with many a light disguise
    The secret of self-sacrifice.
    O heart sore-tried! thou hast the best
    That Heaven itself could give thee,--rest,
    Rest from all bitter thoughts and things!
        How many a poor one's blessing went
        With thee beneath the low green tent
    Whose curtain never outward swings!

    As one who held herself a part
    Of all she saw, and let her heart
        Against the household bosom lean,
    Upon the motley-braided mat
    Our youngest and our dearest sat,
    Lifting her large, sweet, asking eyes,
    Now bathed within the fadeless green
    And holy peace of Paradise.
    Oh, looking from some heavenly hill,
        Or from the shade of saintly palms,
        Or silver reach of river calms,
    Do those large eyes behold me still?
    With me one little year ago:--
    The chill weight of the winter snow
        For months upon her grave has lain;
    And now, when summer south-winds blow
        And brier and harebell bloom again,
    I tread the pleasant paths we trod,
    I see the violet-sprinkled sod,
    Whereon she leaned, too frail and weak
    The hillside flowers she loved to seek,
    Yet following me where'er I went
    With dark eyes full of love's content.
    The birds are glad; the brier-rose fills
    The air with sweetness; all the hills
    Stretch green to June's unclouded sky;
    But still I wait with ear and eye
    For something gone which should be nigh,
    A loss in all familiar things,
    In flower that blooms, and bird that sings.
    And yet, dear heart! remembering thee,
        Am I not richer than of old?
    Safe in thy immortality,
        What change can reach the wealth I hold?
        What chance can mar the pearl and gold
    Thy love hath left in trust with me?
    And while in life's late afternoon,
        Where cool and long the shadows grow,
    I walk to meet the night that soon
        Shall shape and shadow overflow,
    I cannot feel that thou art far,
    Since near at need the angels are;
    And when the sunset gates unbar,
        Shall I not see thee waiting stand,
    And, white against the evening star,
    The welcome of thy beckoning hand?

    Brisk wielder of the birch and rule,
    The master of the district school
    Held at the fire his favored place;
    Its warm glow lit a laughing face
    Fresh-hued and fair, where scarce appeared
    The uncertain prophecy of beard.
    He teased the mitten-blinded cat,
    Played cross-pins on my uncle's hat,
    Sang songs, and told us what befalls
    In classic Dartmouth's college halls.
    Born the wild Northern hills among,
    From whence his yeoman father wrung
    By patient toil subsistence scant,
    Not competence and yet not want,
    He early gained the power to pay
    His cheerful, self-reliant way;
    Could doff at ease his scholar's gown
    To peddle wares from town to town;
    Or through the long vacation's reach
    In lonely lowland districts teach,
    Where all the droll experience found
    At stranger hearths in boarding round,
    The moonlit skater's keen delight,
    The sleigh-drive through the frosty night,
    The rustic party, with its rough
    Accompaniment of blind-man's-buff,
    And whirling plate, and forfeits paid,
    His winter task a pastime made.
    Happy the snow-locked homes wherein
    He tuned his merry violin,
    Or played the athlete in the barn,
    Or held the good dame's winding yarn,
    Of mirth-provoking versions told
    Of classic legends rare and old,
    Wherein the scenes of Greece and Rome
    Had all the commonplace of home,
    And little seemed at best the odds
    'Twixt Yankee peddlers and old gods;
    Where Pindus-born Arachthus took
    The guise of any grist-mill brook,
    And dread Olympus at his will
    Became a huckleberry hill.
    A careless boy that night he seemed;
        But at his desk he had the look
    And air of one who wisely schemed,
        And hostage from the future took
        In trainèd thought and lore of book.
    Another guest that winter night
    Flashed back from lustrous eyes the light.
    Unmarked by time, and yet not young,
    The honeyed music of her tongue
    And words of meekness scarcely told
    A nature passionate and bold,
    Strong, self-concentred, spurning guide,
    Its milder features dwarfed beside
    Her unbent will's majestic pride.
    She sat among us, at the best,
    A not unfeared, half-welcome guest,
    Rebuking with her cultured phrase
    Our homeliness of words and ways.
    A certain pard-like, treacherous grace
        Swayed the lithe limbs and dropped the lash,
        Lent the white teeth their dazzling flash;
        And under low brows, black with night,
        Rayed out at times a dangerous light;
    The sharp heat-lightnings of her face
    Presaging ill to him whom Fate
    Condemned to share her love or hate.
    A woman tropical, intense
    In thought and act, in soul and sense,
    She blended in a like degree
    The vixen and the devotee,
    Revealing with each freak or feint
    The temper of Petruchio's Kate,
    The raptures of Siena's saint.
    Her tapering hand and rounded wrist
    Had facile power to form a fist;
    The warm, dark languish of her eyes
    Was never safe from wrath's surprise.
    Brows saintly calm and lips devout
    Knew every change of scowl and pout;
    And the sweet voice had notes more high
    And shrill for social battle-cry.
    Since then what old cathedral town
    Has missed her pilgrim staff and gown,
    What convent-gate has held its lock
    Against the challenge of her knock!
    Through Smyrna's plague-hushed thoroughfares,
    Up sea-set Malta's rocky stairs,
    Gray olive slopes of hills that hem
    Thy tombs and shrines, Jerusalem,
    Or startling on her desert throne
    The crazy Queen of Lebanon
    With claims fantastic as her own,
    Her tireless feet have held their way;
    And still, unrestful, bowed and gray,
    She watches under Eastern skies,
        With hope each day renewed and fresh,
    The Lord's quick coming in the flesh,
    Whereof she dreams and prophesies!
    Where'er her troubled path may be,
        The Lord's sweet pity with her go!
    The outward wayward life we see,
        The hidden springs we may not know.
    Nor is it given us to discern
        What threads the fatal sisters spun,
        Through what ancestral years has run
    The sorrow with the woman born,
    What forged her cruel chain of moods,
    What set her feet in solitudes,
        And held the love within her mute,
    What mingled madness in the blood,
        A lifelong discord and annoy,
        Water of tears with oil of joy,
    And hid within the folded bud
        Perversities of flower and fruit.
    It is not ours to separate
    The tangled skein of will and fate,
    To show what metes and bounds should stand
    Upon the soul's debatable land,
    And between choice and Providence
    Divide the circle of events;
        But He who knows our frame is just,
    Merciful and compassionate,
    And full of sweet assurances
    And hope for all the language is,
        That He remembereth we are dust!

    At last the great logs, crumbling low,
    Sent out a dull and duller glow,
    The bull's-eye watch, that hung in view,
    Ticking its weary circuit through,
    Pointed with mutely-warning sign
    Its black hand to the hour of nine.
    That sign the pleasant circle broke:
    My uncle ceased his pipe to smoke,
    Knocked from its bowl the refuse gray,
    And laid it tenderly away,
    Then roused himself to safely cover
    The dull red brand with ashes over.
    And while, with care, our mother laid
    The work aside, her steps she stayed
    One moment, seeking to express
    Her grateful sense of happiness
    For food and shelter, warmth and health,
    And love's contentment more than wealth,
    With simple wishes (not the weak,
    Vain prayers which no fulfilment seek,
    But such as warm the generous heart,
    O'er-prompt to do with Heaven its part)
    That none might lack, that bitter night,
    For bread and clothing, warmth and light.

    Within our beds awhile we heard
    The wind that round the gables roared,
    With now and then a ruder shock,
    Which made our very bedsteads rock.
    We heard the loosened clapboards tost,
    The board-nails snapping in the frost;
    And on us, through the unplastered wall,
    Felt the lightsifted snow-flakes fall;
    But sleep stole on, as sleep will do
    When hearts are light and life is new;
    Faint and more faint the murmurs grew,
    Till in the summer-land of dreams
    They softened to the sound of streams,
    Low stir of leaves, and dip of oars,
    And lapsing waves on quiet shores.

    Next morn we wakened with the shout
    Of merry voices high and clear;
    And saw the teamsters drawing near
    To break the drifted highways out.
    Down the long hillside treading slow
    We saw the half-buried oxen go,
    Shaking the snow from heads uptost,
    Their straining nostrils white with frost.
    Before our door the straggling train
    Drew up, an added team to gain.
    The elders threshed their hands a-cold,
        Passed, with the cider-mug, their jokes
        From lip to lip; the younger folks
    Down the loose snow-banks, wrestling, rolled,
    Then toiled again the cavalcade
        O'er windy hill, through clogged ravine,
        And woodland paths that wound between
    Low drooping-pine-boughs winter-weighed.
    From every barn a team afoot,
    At every house a new recruit,
    Where, drawn by Nature's subtlest law,
    Haply the watchful young men saw
    Sweet doorway pictures of the curls
    And curious eyes of merry girls,
    Lifting their hands in mock defense
    Against the snow-balls' compliments,
    And reading in each missive tost
    The charm which Eden never lost.
    We heard once more the sleigh-bells' sound;
    And, following where the teamsters led,
    The wise old Doctor went his round,
    Just pausing at our door to say,
    In the brief autocratic way
    Of one who, prompt at Duty's call,
    Was free to urge her claim on all,
        That some poor neighbor sick abed
    At night our mother's aid would need.
    For, one in generous thought and deed,
        What mattered in the sufferer's sight
        The Quaker matron's inward light,
    The Doctor's mail of Calvin's creed?
    All hearts confess the saints elect
        Who, twain, in faith, in love agree,
    And melt not in an acid sect
        The Christian pearl of charity!
        So days went on: a week had passed
    Since the great world was heard from last.
    The Almanac we studied o'er,
    Read and reread our little store
    Of books and pamphlets, scarce a score;
    One harmless novel, mostly hid
    From younger eyes, a book forbid,
    And poetry, (or good or bad,
    A single book was all we had,)
    Where Ellwood's meek, drab-skirted Muse,
        A stranger to the heathen Nine,
        Sang, with a somewhat nasal whine,
    The wars of David and the Jews.
    At last the floundering carrier bore
    The village paper to our door.
    Lo! broadening outward as we read,
    To warmer zones the horizon spread;
    In panoramic length unrolled
    We saw the marvel that it told.
    Before us passed the painted Creeks,
        And daft McGregor on his raids
        In Costa Rica's everglades.
    And up Taygetus winding slow
    Rode Ypsilanti's Mainote Greeks,
    A Turk's head at each saddle bow!
    Welcome to us its week-old news,
    Its corner for the rustic Muse,
        Its monthly gauge of snow and rain,
    Its record, mingling in a breath
    The wedding bell and dirge of death;
    Jest, anecdote, and love-lorn tale,
    The latest culprit sent to jail;
    Its hue and cry of stolen and lost,
    Its vendue sales and goods at cost,
        And traffic calling loud for gain.
    We felt the stir of hall and street,
    The pulse of life that round us beat;
    The chill embargo of the snow
    Was melted in the genial glow;
    Wide swung again our ice-locked door,
    And all the world was ours once more!

    Clasp, Angel of the backward look
        And folded wings of ashen gray
        And voice of echoes far away,
    The brazen covers of thy book;
    The weird palimpsest old and vast,
    Wherein thou hid'st the spectral past;
    Where, closely mingling, pale and glow
    The characters of joy and woe;
    The monographs of outlived years,
    Or smile-illumined or dim with tears,
        Green hills of life that slope to death,
    And haunts of home, whose vistaed trees
    Shade off to mournful cypresses
        With the white amaranths underneath.
    Even while I look, I can but heed
        The restless sands' incessant fall,
    Importunate hours that hours succeed,
    Each clamorous with its own sharp need,
        And duty keeping pace with all.
    Shut down and clasp the heavy lids;
    I hear again the voice that bids
    The dreamer leave his dream midway
    For larger hopes and graver fears:
    Life greatens in these later years,
    The century's aloe flowers today!

    Yet, haply, in some lull of life,
    Some Truce of God which breaks its strife,
    The worldling's eyes shall gather dew,
        Dreaming in throngful city ways
    Of winter joys his boyhood knew;
    And dear and early friends--the few
    Who yet remain--shall pause to view
        These Flemish pictures of old days;
    Sit with me by the homestead hearth,
    And stretch the hands of memory forth
        To warm them at the wood-fire's blaze!
    And thanks untraced to lips unknown
    Shall greet me like the odors blown
    From unseen meadows newly mown,
    Or lilies floating in some pond,
    Wood-fringed, the wayside gaze beyond;
    The traveler owns the grateful sense
    Of sweetness near, he knows not whence,
    And, pausing, takes with forehead bare
    The benediction of the air.


Notes and Questions.

What does "snow-bound" mean?

Find a line in the poem which explains the title.

Where is the scene of the poem laid? Find lines in the poem that tell you this.

Of whom did the circle gathered around the fire consist?

What members of the family are not described in the poem? Why?

Which one of the group can you see most plainly? Why?

Select the lines which please you most in the description of each.

Read four lines which show that the evening's pleasure was not disturbed by the storm.

In what respects does the room described differ from one in your home?

How long was the family "snow-bound"?

Of what did their library consist?

What does Whittier tell us about the brook?

What other poem have you read which describes a brook in Winter? By whom was it written?

What messenger put the household again in touch with the outside world? What did he bring?

Explain, what Whittier means by saying the family looked on nothing they could call their own after the heavy snow?

What is the meaning of the reference to "Pisa's leaning miracle"?

Who was Aladdin?

What were his "lamp's supernal powers"?

What effect did the moonlight have upon the night?

Of what are cypress trees a symbol?

What do the stars shining through the cypress trees symbolize?

What is the voice which Whittier says bids the dreamer leave his dream!

What lines do you think best show the poet's appreciation of beauty in nature?

Choose the lines which you like best as showing his deep affections.

Read lines which show his faith.

Of what is the poet thinking when he speaks of the "restless sands' incessant fall"?

To what mythological characters does he refer when he speaks of the "threads the fatal sisters spun"?

What mythological characters are meant by "the heathen Nine"?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "Egypt's Amun"
    "Surrey hills"
    "White of Selborne"
    "clean-winged hearth."
    "Petruchio'a Kate"
    "Siena's saint"
    "cranes of Nilua"



    The sky is ruddy in the east,
        The earth is gray below,
    And, spectral in the river-mist,
        The ship's white timbers show.
        Then let the sounds of measured stroke
        And grating saw begin;
    The broad-axe to the gnarled oak,
        The mallet to the pin!

    Hark!--roars the bellows, blast on blast,
        The sooty smithy jars,
    And fire-sparks, rising far and fast,
        Are fading with the stars.
    All day for us the smith shall stand
        Beside that flashing forge;
    All day for us his heavy hand
        The groaning anvil scourge.

    From far-off hills, the panting team
        For us is toiling near;
    For us the raftsmen down the stream
        Their island barges steer.
    Rings out for us the axe-man's stroke
        In forests old and still,--
    For us the century-circled oak
        Falls crashing down his hill.

    Up!--up!--in nobler toil than ours
        No craftsmen bear a part:
    We make of Nature's giant powers
        The slaves of human Art.
    Lay rib to rib and beam to beam,
        And drive the treenails free;
    Nor faithless joint nor yawning seam
        Shall tempt the searching sea!

    Where'er the keel of our good ship
        The sea's rough field shall plough,--
    Where'er her tossing spars shall drip
        With salt-spray caught below--
    That ship must heed her master's beck,
        Her helm obey his hand,
    And seamen tread her reeling deck
        As if they trod the land.

    Her oaken ribs the vulture-beak
        Of Northern ice may peel;
    The sunken rock and coral peak
        May grate along her keel;
    And know we well the painted shell
        We give to wind and wave,
    Must float, the sailor's citadel,
        Or-sink, the sailor's grave!

    Ho!--strike away the bars and blocks,
        And set the good ship free!
    Why lingers on these dusty rocks
        The young bride of the sea?
    Look! how she moves adown the grooves,
        In graceful beauty now!
    How lowly on the breast she loves
        Sinks down her virgin prow!

    God bless her! wheresoe'er the breeze
        Her snowy wing shall fan,
    Aside the frozen Hebrides,
        Or sultry Hindostan!
    Where'er, in mart or on the main,
        With peaceful flag unfurled,
    She helps to wind the silken chain
        Of commerce round the world!

    Be hers the Prairie's golden grain,
        The Desert's golden sand,
    The clustered fruits of sunny Spain,
        The spice of Morning-land!
    Her pathway on the open main
        May blessings follow free,
    And glad hearts--welcome back again
        Her white sails from the sea!


Notes and Questions.

What time of day is indicated in the first and second stanzas?

What tells you this?

How does the smith "scourge" the anvil?

What effect does the poet fancy this has upon the anvil?

Which of these two thoughts do you suppose first occurred to the poet?

What are the "island barges"?

What is a "century-circled oak"? Did you ever see one?

What is Whittier's idea of a shipbuilder's work?

In what way would a "yawning seam" tempt the sea?

What is the "painted shell"?

How is a ship launched?

What other poem have you read which describes the launching of a ship? Who wrote it?

Which poem do you like better? Why?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "gnarled oak"
    "faithless joint"
    "coral peak"
    "the sailor's citadel"
    "snowy wing"
    "Desert's golden sand"
    "spice of Morningland"


Oliver Wendell Holmes's birth year, 1809, was made memorable on both sides of the Atlantic by the births of Lincoln, Tennyson, Poe, and Gladstone. His father, of colonial descent, was a Congregational minister at Cambridge. On his mother's side--the Wendells or Vondels--he was of Dutch descent.

Holmes was brought up very simply in the old gambrel-roofed house, half parsonage and half farm house. He read the "New England Primer," "Pilgrim's Progress" and such poems as were to be found in the early school books. Later he was a student at Harvard, a member of the class of 1829, which, while not to be compared for literary genius with the Bowdoin class of 1825, was one of Harvard's most famous classes. Not long after his graduation, the class of 1829 began to held annual dinners and Holmes was regularly called upon to furnish an ode for the occasion. It was on the thirtieth anniversary that he wrote and recited "The Boys." In 1889, at the sixtieth anniversary, he wrote the last class poem, "After the Curfew."

It was in the first year after his graduation that his verses went into type and then he says he had his first attack of "lead poisoning." After leaving Harvard he studied law for a while and then turned to medicine and surgery, spending two years in study in Paris. It is a singular coincidence and shows his double work in life, that in 1836 when he published his first volume of poems he also took his degree as doctor of medicine. As a physician he was always deeply interested in the problems of heredity and he wrote several novels in which inherited characteristics play an important part.

It was in September, 1830, that Holmes chanced to read in a newspaper of the proposal of the Navy Department to dismantle the frigate Constitution, which had done such good service in 1812 but which was then lying, old and unseaworthy, in the navy yard at Charleston. He wrote at once with a lead pencil on a scrap of paper the stirring verses "Old Ironsides" and sent them to the Boston Daily Advertiser, from which they were copied in all the papers of the country. The frigate was converted into a school-ship, and Oliver Wendell Holmes became known as a poet.

On every public occasion which could be enlivened or dignified by a special poem, Dr. Holmes was called upon. Such a position is a trying one and one to which only men with a sense of humor are often called. The doctor rarely refused to respond; so that nearly one-half of his verse is of this occasional character. Much of his verse is in lighter vein, but of the serious, surest in their hold upon his readers are "The Last Leaf" and "The Chambered Nautilus." But Holmes, while he had a genuine gift of song, was no persistent singer like Longfellow or Whittier, and so he reached almost the age of fifty without feeling that the reading public had any special interest in him. Then in 1857, when the Atlantic Monthly was established, and Lowell took the editorship only on condition that Holmes would be a contributor, he wrote the "Autocrat of the Breakfast Table." In this role of talker, comfortable, brilliant, and witty, Holmes made friends wherever the Autocrat was read.

Holmes's intellect remained bright and he continued an active worker into extreme old age. In 1890 he published his last volume, "Over the Teacups." As one by one this brilliant company of New England writers left the world, Holmes sang to each a farewell song. When his own time came he was really "The Last Leaf upon the Tree." The end came peacefully as he was talking to his son, October 7, 1894.



    This is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign,
            Sails the unshadowed main--
            The venturous bark that flings
    On the sweet summer wind its purpled wings,
    In gulfs enchanted, where the Siren sings,
            And coral reefs lie bare,
    Where the cold sea-maids rise to sun their streaming hair.

    Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl;
            Wrecked is the ship of pearl!
            And every chambered cell,
    Where its dim dreaming life was wont to dwell,
    As the frail tenant shaped his growing shell,
            Before thee lies revealed--
    Its irised ceiling rent, its sunless crypt unsealed!

    Year after year beheld the silent toil
            That spread his lustrous coil;
            Still, as the spiral grew,
    He left the past year's dwelling for the new,
    Stole with soft step its shining archway through,
            Built up its idle door,
    Stretched in his last-found home, and knew the old no more.

    Thanks for the heavenly message brought by thee,
            Child of the wandering sea,
            Cast from her lap, forlorn!
    Prom thy dead lips a clearer note is born
    Than ever Triton blew from wreathed horn!
            While on mine ear it rings,
    Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings:

    Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
            As the swift seasons roll!
            Leave thy low-vaulted past!
    Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
    Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
            Till thou at length art free,
    Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea!


Notes and Questions.

What does the word nautilus mean?

What thought must have been in the mind of those who gave the chambered nautilus this name?

Who does Holmes tell us have given expression to this fancy?

Can you think of any bodies of water which might be called "enchanted gulfs"?

Give reasons for your answer.

What are coral reefs? Where are they found?

What kind of beings--were "sea-maids" supposed to be?

What are they more commonly called?

To whom is the poet speaking?

What name do we give to such a speech?

How does the soul build mansions?

In what directions must a dome be extended to make it "more vast"?

What does the poet mean by the "outgrown shell" of the soul?

What is the lesson of the poem?

Which stanza do you like best? Why?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl"
    "dim dreaming life"
    "sunless crypt"
    "caves of thought"
    "lustrous coil"
    "cast from her lap forlorn"
    "low-vaulted past"
    "irised ceiling"
    "life's unresting sea"




    Have you heard of the wonderful one-hoss shay,
    That was built in such a logical way
    It ran a hundred years to a day,
    And then, of a sudden, it----ah, but stay,
    I'll tell you what happened without delay,
    Scaring the parson into fits,
    Frightening people out of their wits,--
    Have you ever heard of that, I say?

    Seventeen hundred and fifty-five.
    Georgius Secundus was then alive,--
    Snuffy old drone from the German hive.
    That was the year when Lisbon-town
    Saw the earth open and gulp her down,
    And Braddock's army was done so brown,
    Left without a scalp to its crown.
    It was on the terrible Earthquake-day
    That the Deacon finished the one-hoss shay.

    Now in building of chaises, I tell you what,
    There is always somewhere a weakest spot,--
    In hub, tire, felloe, in spring or thill,
    In panel, or crossbar, or floor, or sill,
    In screw, bolt, thoroughbrace,--lurking, still,
    Find it somewhere you must and will,--
    Above or below, or within or without,--
    And that's the reason, beyond a doubt,
    A chaise breaks down, but doesn't wear out.

    But the Deacon swore, (as Deacons do,
    With an "I dew vum," or an "I tell yeou,")
    He would build one shay to beat the taown
    'N' the keounty 'n' all the kentry raoun';
    It should be so built that it couldn' break daown.
    --"Fur," said the Deacon, "'t's mighty plain
    Thut the weakes' place mus' stan' the strain;
    'N' the way t' fix it, uz I maintain, is only jest
    T' make that place uz strong uz the rest."

    So the Deacon inquired of the village folk
    Where he could find the strongest oak,
    That couldn't be split nor bent nor broke,--
    That was for spokes and floor and sills;
    He sent for lancewood to make the thills;
    The crossbars were ash, from the straightest trees,
    The panels of white-wood, that cuts like cheese,
    But lasts like iron for things like these;
    The hubs of logs from the "Settler's ellum,"--
    Last of its timber,--they couldn't sell 'em,
    Never an axe had seen their chips,
    And the wedges flew from between their lips,
    Their blunt ends frizzled like celery-tips;
    Step and prop-iron, bolt and screw,
    Spring, tire, axle, and linchpin too,
    Steel of the finest, bright and blue;
    Thoroughbrace, bison-skin, thick and wide;
    Boot, top, dasher, from tough old hide
    Found in the pit when the tanner died.
    That was the way he "put her through."--
    "There!" said the Deacon, "naow she'll dew."

    Do! I tell you, I rather guess
    She was a wonder, and nothing less!
    Colts grew horses, beards turned gray,
    Deacon and deaconess dropped away,
    Children and grandchildren--where were they?
    But there stood the stout old one-hoss shay
    As fresh as on Lisbon-earthquake-day!

    EIGHTEEN HUNDRED;--it came and found
    The Deacon's masterpiece strong and sound.
    Eighteen hundred increased by ten;--
    "Hahnsum kerridge" they called it then.
    Eighteen hundred and twenty came;--
    Running as usual; much the same.
    Thirty and forty at last arrive,
    And then came fifty, and FIFTY-FIVE.

    Little of all we value here
    Wakes on the morn of its hundredth year
    Without both feeling and looking queer.
    In fact, there's nothing that keeps its youth,
    So far as I know, but a tree and truth.
    (This is a moral that runs at large;
    Take it.--You're welcome.--No extra charge.)

    First of November,--the Earthquake-day.--
    There are traces of age in the one-hoss shay,
    A general flavor of mild decay,
    But nothing local, as one may say.
    There couldn't be--for the Deacon's art
    Had made it so like in every part
    That there wasn't a chance for one to start.
    For the wheels were just as strong as the thills,
    And the floor was just as strong as the sills,
    And the panels just as strong as the floor,
    And the whippletree neither less nor more,
    And the back-crossbar as strong as the fore,
    And spring and axle and hub encore.
    And yet, as a whole, it is past a doubt
    In another hour it will be worn out!

    First of November, fifty-five!
    This morning the parson takes a drive.
    Now, small boys, get out of the way!
    Here comes the wonderful one-hoss shay,
    Drawn by a rat-tailed, ewe-necked bay.
    "Huddup!" said the parson.--Off went they.
    The parson was working his Sunday's text,--
    Had got to fifthly, and stopped perplexed
    At what the--Moses--was coming next.
    All at once the horse stood still,
    Close by the meet'n'-house on the hill.

    First a shiver, and then a thrill,
    Then something decidedly like a spill,--
    And the parson was sitting upon a rock,
    At half-past nine by the meet'n'-house clock--
    Just the hour of the Earthquake shock!
    What do you think the parson found,
    When he got up and stared around?
    The poor old chaise in a heap or mound,
    As if it had been to the mill and ground.
    You see, of course, if you're not a dunce,
    How it went to pieces all at once,--
    All at once, and nothing first,--
    Just as bubbles do when they burst.

    End of the wonderful one-hoss shay,
    Logic is logic. That's all I say.


Notes and Questions.

How does Holmes account for the fact "that a chaise breaks down, but doesn't wear out"?

What kind of chaise did the Deacon decide to build?

On what principle did he expect to do this?

Read the lines in which the Deacon states the result of his experience with chaises.

What do you think of his reasoning?

To what besides the building of a chaise might this principle be applied?

To what does the poet compare the breaking down of the chaise?

Read lines which show the serious side of the poet's nature.

Read the lines by means of which he passes from seriousness to jest.

Do you think Holmes expects his readers to believe this story? Give reason for your answer.

What was his purpose in writing it?

What has the reading of this poem done for you?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "Georgius Secundus"
    "Lisbon earthquake day"
    "from the German hive"
    "Braddock's army"



    Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
        Long has it waved on high,
    And many an eye has danced to see
        That banner in the sky:
    Beneath it rung the battle shout,
        And burst the cannon's roar:--
    The meteor of the ocean air
        Shall sweep the clouds no more!

    Her deck, once red with heroes' blood,
        Where knelt the vanquished foe,
    When winds were hurrying o'er the flood,
        And waves were white below,
    No more shall feel the victor's tread,
        Or know the conquered knee;--
    The harpies of the shore shall pluck
        The eagle of the sea!

    O better that her shattered hulk
        Should sink beneath the wave;
    Her thunders shook the mighty deep,
        And there should be her grave:
    Nail to the mast her holy flag,
        Set every threadbare sail,
    And give her to the god of storms,
        The lightning and the gale!


Historical: Old Ironsides was the name given the frigate Constitution. It was proposed by the Secretary of the Navy to dispose of the ship as it had become unfit for service. Popular sentiment did not approve of this. It was said a ship which was the pride of the nation should continue to be the property of the Navy and be rebuilt for service when needed. Holmes wrote this poem at the time of this discussion.

Notes and Questions.

Of what does the first stanza treat?

The second?

What does the third stanza tell you?

To what does "tattered ensign" refer?

What is "The meteor of the ocean air"?

What is meant by lines 15 and 16?

Where does Holmes say should be the grave of Old Ironsides? Why?

Explain lines 23 and 24.

Which lines do you like best? Why?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "sweep the clouds"
    "conquered knee"
    "mighty deep"
    "vanquished foe"
    "The god of storms"
    "threadbare sail"
    "victor's tread"
    "shattered hulk"



    Has there any old fellow got mixed with the boys?
    If there has, take him out, without making a noise.
    Hang the Almanac's cheat and the Catalogue's spite!
    Old Time is a liar! We're twenty tonight!

    We're twenty! We're twenty! Who says we are more?
    He's tipsy,--young jackanapes!--show him the door!
    "Gray temples at twenty?"--Yes! white if we please;
    Where the snow-flakes fall thickest there's nothing can freeze!

    Was it snowing I spoke of? Excuse the mistake!
    Look close,--you will see not a sign of a flake!
    We want some new garlands for those we have shed,--
    And these are white roses in place of the red.

    We've a trick, we young fellows, you may have been told,
    Of talking (in public) as if we were old:--
    That boy we call "Doctor," and this we call "Judge";
    It's a neat little fiction,--of course it's all fudge.

    That fellow's the "Speaker,"--the one on the right;
    "Mr. Mayor," my young one, how are you tonight?
    That's our "Member of Congress," we say when we chaff;
    There's the "Reverend" What's his name?--don't make me laugh.

    That boy with the grave mathematical look
    Made believe he had written a wonderful book,
    And the ROYAL SOCIETY thought it was true!
    So they chose him right in; a good joke it was, too!

    There's a boy, we pretend, with a three-decker brain,
    That could harness a team with a logical chain;
    When he spoke for our manhood in syllabled fire,
    We called him "The Justice," but now he's "The Squire."

    And there's a nice youngster of excellent pith,--
    Fate tried to conceal him by naming him Smith;
    But he shouted a song for the brave and the free,--
    Just read on his medal, "My country, ... of thee!"

    You hear that boy laughing?--You think he's all fun;
    But the angels laugh, too, at the good he has done;
    The children laugh loud as they troop to his call,
    And the poor man that knows him laughs loudest of all!

    Yes, we're boys,--always playing with tongue or with pen,--
    And I sometimes have asked,--Shall we ever be men?
    Shall we always be youthful, and laughing, and gay,
    Till the last dear companion drops smiling away?

    Then here's to our boyhood, its gold and its gray!
    The stars of its winter, the dews of its May!
    And when we have done with our life-lasting toys,
    Dear Father, take care of thy children, THE BOYS.


Historical: This poem was read by Oliver Wendell Holmes at a reunion of his college class thirty years after their graduation.

Notes and Questions.

Who were "the boys"?

What was the "Almanac's cheat"?

What catalogue do you think Holmes meant?

How could it be interpreted as showing spite against "the boys"?

How did the poet defend "gray temples at twenty"?

What was the significance in early times of the garland or wreath upon the head?

What do you think the garlands which the poet imagines his classmates "have shed" represent?

Of what does Holmes say their new garlands were made?

What might the "new garlands" represent?

What fancy does the poet carry out in the next stanza?

What song did the "nice youngster" write?

What is his full name?

What word is omitted from the line of the song quoted by Holmes?

How do you think Holmes felt toward the laughing "boy"? Why do you think so?

Can you name anything besides, "tongue and pen" with which men may be said to play?

What time of life is meant by the "gold"? By the "gray"?

How much of this poem is fun?

Which stanza do you like best? Why?

What do you know about Oliver Wendell Holmes from this poem?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "Royal Society"
    "three-decker brain"
    "excellent pith"
    "life-lasting toys"



    I saw him once before,
    As he passed by the door,
        And again
    The pavement stones resound,
    As he totters o'er the ground
        With his cane.

    They say that in his prime,
    Ere the pruning-knife of Time
        Cut him down,
    Not a better man was found
    By the Crier on his round
        Through the town.

    But now he walks the streets,
    And he looks at all he meets
        Sad and wan,
    And he shakes his feeble head,
    That it seems as if he said,
        "They are gone."

    The mossy marbles rest
    On the lips that he has prest
        In their bloom,
    And the names he loved to hear
    Have been carved for many a year
        On the tomb.

    My grandmamma has said,--
    Poor old lady, she is dead
        Long ago,--
    That he had a Roman nose
    And his cheek was like a rose
        In the snow.

    But now his nose is thin,
    And it rests upon his chin
        Like a staff,
    And a crook is in his back,
    And a melancholy crack
        In his laugh.

    I know it is a sin
    For me to sit and grin
        At him here;
    But the old three-cornered hat,
    And the breeches, and all that,
        Are so queer!

    And if I should live to be
    The last leaf upon the tree
        In the spring,
    Let them smile, as I do now,
    At the old forsaken bough
        Where I cling.


Notes and Questions.

What was the office of the Crier?

What has done away with the necessity for such service?

At what time was the costume described in the seventh stanza worn?

What great men can you mention who are pictured in this dress?

What makes the description of the old man so vivid?

How does he resemble "the last leaf on the tree"?

Of whom is Holmes thinking when he says "Let them smile"?

What is added to the picture of the last leaf by the words "Is the spring"?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "pruning knife of Time"
    "mossy marbles"


JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL was born at Cambridge in the beautiful house known as Elmwood. He was more fortunate than most Americans, for in this same house he lived and died. The dwelling at Elmwood was like Craigie House, an historic place of Revolutionary memories. The secluded, ample grounds made a fine rural refuge for a youth of poetic fancies. Nor was there only wealth for the nature-lover of outdoors; there were also treasures for the lover of books within. The Lowell library was the accumulation of several generations of scholarly men, and Lowell from early youth was familiar with books which Whittier even in the studious leisure of old age never looked into.

Lowell was twelve years younger than Longfellow and was a sophomore when Longfellow went to Harvard as professor of Romance languages. At Harvard Lowell distinguished himself especially in literary matters. In the last year of his residence he was one of the editors of the college magazine and was also elected class poet. Although he studied law, he was never attracted to the practice of it.

Lowell, like Whittier, could turn from the heat and strife of public affairs to the solace of pure poetry. Inspired by the legend of the Holy Grail, he wrote within forty-eight hours, so we are told, the poem of knightly aspiration and brotherly love, "The Vision of Sir Launfal."

In 1856, upon Longfellow's resignation, Lowell was appointed professor of Romance Languages at Harvard, and, like Longfellow, he remained for twenty years. In 1857 a new magazine to which Holmes had given the name "Atlantic Monthly" was established and Lowell was its first editor.

In 1877 Lowell was appointed minister to Spain, where Irving had been sent more than thirty years before; and in 1880 he was transferred to the court of St. James. Here he distinguished himself by tact, courtesy, and wisdom and won the admiration of the English people.

Returning to America in 1885 Lowell continued to write, and delivered addresses when his strength would permit. He spent his time among his books and lived peacefully at Elmwood, where he died in 1891 at the age of seventy-two.




    Over his keys the musing organist.
        Beginning doubtfully and far away,
    First lets his fingers wander as they list,
        And builds a bridge from Dreamland for his lay:

    Then, as the touch of his loved instrument
        Gives hope and fervor, nearer draws his theme,
    First guessed by faint auroral flushes sent
        Along the wavering vista of his dream.

            Not only around our infancy
            Doth heaven with all its splendors lie;
            Daily, with souls that cringe and plot,
            We Sinais climb and know it not.
    Over our manhood bend the skies;
        Against our fallen and traitor lives
    The great winds utter prophecies;
        With our faint hearts the mountain strives;
    Its arms outstretched, the Druid wood
        Waits with its benedicite;
    And to our age's drowsy blood
        Still shouts the inspiring sea.
    Earth gets its price for what Earth gives us;
        The beggar is taxed for a corner to die in,
    The priest hath his fee who comes and shrives us.
        We bargain for the graves we lie in;
    At the Devil's booth are all things sold,
    Each ounce of dross costs its ounce of gold;
        For a cap and bells our lives we pay,
    Bubbles we buy with a whole soul's tasking:
        'Tis heaven alone that is given away,
    'Tis only God may be had for the asking;
    No price is set on the lavish summer;
    June may be had by the poorest comer.

    And what is so rare as a day in June?
        Then, if ever, come perfect days;
    Then Heaven tries earth if it be in tune,
        And over it softly her warm ear lays;
    Whether we look, or whether we listen,
    We hear life murmur, or see it glisten;
    Every clod feels a stir of might,
        An instinct within it that reaches and towers,
    And, groping blindly above it for light,
        Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers;
    The flush of life may well be seen
        Thrilling back over hills and valleys;
    The cowslip startles in meadows green,
        The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice,
    And there's never a leaf or a blade too mean
        To be some happy creature's palace;
    The little bird sits at his door in the sun,
        Atilt like a blossom among the leaves,
    And lets his illumined being o'errun
        With the deluge of summer it receives;
    His mate feels the eggs beneath her wings,
    And the heart in her dumb breast flutters and sings;
    He sings to the wide world, and she to her nest,--
    In the nice ear of Nature which song is the best?

    Now is the high-tide of the year,
        And whatever of life hath ebbed away
    Comes flooding back with a ripply cheer,
        Into every bare inlet and creek and bay;
    Now the heart is so full that a drop overfills it,
    We are happy now because God wills it;
    No matter how barren the past may have been,
    'Tis enough for us now that the leaves are green;
    We sit in the warm shade and feel right well
    How the sap creeps up and the blossoms swell;
    We may shut our eyes, but we cannot help knowing
    That skies are clear and grass is growing;
    The breeze comes whispering in our ear,
    That dandelions are blossoming near,
        That maize has sprouted, that streams are flowing,
    That the river is bluer than the sky,
    That the robin is plastering his house hard by;
    And if the breeze kept the good news back,
    For other couriers we should not lack;
        We could guess it all by yon heifer's lowing,--
    And hark! how clear bold chanticleer,
    Warmed with the new wine of the year,
        Tells all in his lusty crowing!

    Joy comes, grief goes, we know not how:
    Everything is happy now,
        Everything is upward striving;
    'Tis as easy now for the heart to be true
    As for grass to be green or skies to be blue,--
        'Tis the natural way of living:
    Who knows whither the clouds have fled?
        In the unscarred heaven they leave no wake;
    And the eyes forget the tears they have shed,
        The heart forgets its sorrow and ache;
    The soul partakes the season's youth,
        And the sulphurous rifts of passion and woe
    Lie deep 'neath a silence pure and smooth,
        Like burnt-out craters healed with snow.
    What wonder if Sir Launfal now
    Remembered the keeping of his vow?



    "My golden spurs now bring to me,
        And bring to me my richest mail,
    For tomorrow I go over land and sea
        In search of the Holy Grail;
    Shall never a bed for me be spread,
    Nor shall a pillow be under my head,
    Till I begin my vow to keep;
    Here on the rushes will I sleep,
    And perchance there may come a vision true
    Ere day create the world anew."
        Slowly Sir Launfal's eyes grew dim,
        Slumber fell like a cloud on him,
    And into his soul the vision flew.


    The crows flapped over by twos and threes,
    In the pool drowsed the cattle up to their knees,
        The little birds sang as if it were
        The one day of summer in all the year,
    And the very leaves seemed to sing on the trees;
    The castle alone in the landscape lay
    Like an outpost of winter, dull and gray:
    'Twas the proudest hall in the North Countree,
    And never its gates might opened be,
    Save to lord or lady of high degree;
    Summer besieged it on every side,
    But the churlish stone her assaults defied;
    She could not scale the chilly wall,
    Though around it for leagues her pavilions tall
    Stretched left and right,
    Over the hills and out of sight;
        Green and broad was every tent,
        And out of each a murmur went
    Till the breeze fell off at night.


    The drawbridge dropped with a surly clang,
    And through the dark arch a charger sprang,
    Bearing Sir Launfal, the maiden knight,
    In his gilded mail, that flamed so bright
    It seemed the dark castle had gathered all
    Those shafts the fierce sun had shot over its wall
        In his siege of three hundred summers long,
    And, binding them all in one blazing sheaf,
        Had cast them forth: so, young and strong,
    And lightsome as a locust-leaf,
    Sir Launfal flashed forth in his unscarred mail,
        To seek in all climes for the Holy Grail.


    It was morning on hill and stream and tree,
        And morning in the young knight's heart;
    Only the castle moodily
    Rebuffed the gifts of the sunshine free,
        And gloomed by itself apart;
    The season brimmed all other things up
    Full as the rain fills the pitcher-plant's cup.


    As Sir Launfal made morn through the darksome gate,
        He was 'ware of a leper, crouched by the same,
    Who begged with his hand and moaned as he sate;
        And a loathing over Sir Launfal came;
    The sunshine went out of his soul with a thrill,
        The flesh 'neath his armor did shrink and crawl,
    And midway its leap his heart stood still
        Like a frozen waterfall;
    For this man, so foul and bent of stature,
    Rasped harshly against his dainty nature,
    And seemed the one blot on the summer morn,--
    So he tossed him a piece of gold in scorn.


    The leper raised not the gold from the dust:
    "Better to me the poor man's crust,
    Better the blessing of the poor,
    Though I turn me empty from his door;
    That is no true alms which the hand can hold;
    He gives nothing but worthless gold
        Who gives from a sense of duty;
    But he who gives but a slender mite,
    And gives to that which is out of sight,
        That thread of the all-sustaining Beauty
    Which runs through all and doth all unite,--
    The hand cannot clasp the whole of his alms,
    The heart outstretches its eager palms,
    For a god goes with it and makes it store
    To the soul that was starving in darkness before."


    Down swept the chill wind from the mountain peak,
        From the snow five thousand summers old;
    On open wold and hilltop bleak
        It had gathered all the cold,
    And whirled it like sleet on the wanderer's cheek;
    It carried a shiver everywhere
    From the unleafed boughs and pastures bare;
    The little brook heard it and built a roof
    'Neath which he could house him, winter-proof;
    All night by the white stars' frosty gleams
    He groined his arches and matched his beams;
    Slender and clear were his crystal spars
    As the lashes of light that trim the stars;
    He sculptured every summer delight
    In his halls and chambers out of sight;
    Sometimes his tinkling waters slipt
    Down through a frost-leaved forest-crypt,
    Long, sparkling aisles of steel-stemmed trees
    Bending to counterfeit a breeze;
    Sometimes the roof no fretwork knew
    But silvery mosses that downward grew;
    Sometimes it was carved in sharp relief
    With quaint arabesques of ice-fern leaf;
    Sometimes it was simply smooth and clear
    For the gladness of heaven to shine through, and here
    He had caught the nodding bulrush-tops
    And hung them thickly with diamond-drops,
    That crystalled the beams of moon and sun,
    And made a star of every one:
    No mortal builder's most rare device
    Could match this winter-palace of ice;
    'Twas as if every image that mirrored lay
        In his depths serene through the summer day,
    Each fleeting shadow of earth and sky,
        Lest the happy model should be lost,
    Had been mimicked in fairy masonry
        By the elfin builders of the frost.

    Within the hall are song and laughter,
        The cheeks of Christmas grow red and jolly,
    And sprouting is every corbel and rafter
        With lightsome green of ivy and holly;
    Through the deep gulf of the chimney wide
    Wallows the Yule-log's roaring tide;
    The broad flame-pennons droop and flap
        And belly and tug as a flag in the wind;
    Like a locust shrills the imprisoned sap,
        Hunted to death in its galleries blind;
    And swift little troops of silent sparks,
        Now pausing, now scattering away as in fear,
    Go threading the soot-forest's tangled darks
        Like herds of startled deer.

    But the wind without was eager and sharp,
    Of Sir Launfal's gray hair it makes a harp,
            And rattles and wrings
            The icy strings,
        Singing, in dreary monotone,
        A Christmas carol of its own,
        Whose burden still, as he might guess,
        Was "Shelterless, shelterless, shelterless!"
    The voice of the seneschal flared like a torch
    As he shouted the wanderer away from the porch,
    And he sat in the gateway and saw all night
        The great hall-fire, so cheery and bold,
        Through the window-slits of the castle old,
    Build out its piers of ruddy light
        Against the drift of the cold.



    There was never a leaf on bush or tree,
    The bare boughs rattled shudderingly;
    The river was dumb and could not speak,
        For the weaver Winter its shroud had spun;
    A single crow on the tree-top bleak
        From his shining feathers shed off the cold sun;
    Again it was morning, but shrunk and cold.
    As if her veins were sapless and old,
    And she rose up decrepitly
    For a last dim look at earth and sea.


    Sir Launfal turned from his own hard gate,
    For another heir in his earldom sate;
    An old, bent man, worn out and frail,
    He came back from seeking the Holy Grail;
    Little he recked of his earldom's loss,
    No more on his surcoat was blazoned the cross,
    But deep in his soul the sign he wore,
    The badge of the suffering and the poor.


    Sir Launfal's raiment thin and spare
    Was idle mail 'gainst the barbed air,
    For it was just at the Christmas time;
    So he mused, as he sat, of a sunnier clime,
    And sought for a shelter from cold and snow
    In the light and warmth of long ago;
    He sees the snake-like caravan crawl
    O'er the edge of the desert, black and small,
    Then nearer and nearer, till, one by one,
    He can count the camels in the sun,
    As over the red-hot sands they pass
    To where, in its slender necklace of grass,
    The little spring laughed and leapt in the shade,
    And with its own self like an infant played,
    And waved its signal of palms.


    "For Christ's sweet sake, I beg an alms;"--
    The happy camels may reach the spring,
    But Sir Launfal sees naught save the grewsome thing,
    The leper, lank as the rain-blanched bone,
    That cowers beside him, a thing as lone
    And white as the ice-isles of Northern seas
    In the desolate horror of his disease.


    And Sir Launfal said, "I behold in thee
    An image of Him who died on the tree;
    Thou also hast had thy crown of thorns,
    Thou also hast had the world's buffets and scorns,
    And to thy life were not denied
    The wounds in the hands and feet and side:
    Mild Mary's Son, acknowledge me;
    Behold, through him, I give to Thee!"


    Then the soul of the leper stood up in his eyes
        And looked at Sir Launfal, and straightway he
    Remembered in what a haughtier guise
        He had flung an alms to leprosie,
    When he caged his young life up in gilded mail
    And set forth in search of the Holy Grail.
    The heart within him was ashes and dust;
    He parted in twain his single crust,
    He broke the ice on the streamlet's brink,
    And gave the leper to eat and drink:
    'Twas a mouldy crust of coarse brown bread,
        'Twas water out of a wooden bowl,--
    Yet with fine wheaten bread was the leper fed,
        And 'twas red wine he drank with his thirsty soul.


    As Sir Launfal mused with a downcast face,
    A light shone round about the place;
    The leper no longer crouched at his side,
    But stood before him glorified,
    Shining and tall and fair and straight
    As the pillar that stood by the Beautiful Gate,--
    Himself the Gate whereby men can
    Enter the temple of God in Man.


    His words were shed softer than leaves from the pine,
    And they fell on Sir Launfal as snows on the brine,
    That mingle their softness and quiet in one
    With the shaggy unrest they float down upon;
    And the voice that was calmer than silence said,
    "Lo, it is I, be not afraid!
    In many climes, without avail,
    Thou hast spent thy life for the Holy Grail;
    Behold, it is here,--this cup which thou
    Didst fill at the streamlet for Me but now;
    This crust is My body broken for thee;
    This water His blood that died on the tree;
    The Holy Supper is kept, indeed,
    In whatso we share with another's need:
    Not what we give, but what we share,--
    For the gift without the giver is bare;
    Who gives himself with his alms feeds three,--
    Himself, his hungering neighbor, and Me."


    Sir Launfal awoke as from a swound:--
    "The Grail in my castle here is found!
    Hang my idle armor up on the wall,
    Let it be the spider's banquet-hall;
    He must be fenced with stronger mail
    Who would seek and find the Holy Grail."


    The castle gate stands open now,
        And the wanderer is welcome to the hall
    As the hangbird is to the elm-tree bough;
        No longer scowl the turrets tall,
    The Summer's long siege at last is o'er;
    When the first poor outcast went in at the door,
    She entered with him in disguise,
    And mastered the fortress by surprise;
    There is no spot she loves so well on ground,
    She lingers and smiles there the whole year round;
    The meanest serf on Sir Launfal's land
    Has hall and bower at his command;
    And there's no poor man in the North Countree
    But is lord of the earldom as much as he.


Notes and Questions.

Into what two parts does the poem divide?

What purpose does the prelude to each part serve?

What were the conditions under which Sir Launfal set out in search of the Holy Grail?

How did the sight of the leper affect the young knight when he "flashed forth" from his castle?

How did the leper explain his refusal of the alms tossed him?

What picture does the prelude to Part Second give you? Contrast it with that of the prelude to Part First.

Describe Sir Launfal's appearance on his return from his quest.

What had he lost while on his search?

What had he gained?

Describe the second meeting with the leper.

How much of this story was a dream? Explain why you think so.

With what line does Lowell begin the account of Sir Launfal's vision?

What effect did the dream or vision have upon Sir Launfal?

What do you think is the great lesson of this poem?

Of whom is Sir Launfal a type?

What does the cold grim castle represent?

Find lines in the prelude to Part First which show the first stirring of Sir Launfal's spiritual nature. What influences prompted this?

Why did Lowell choose a leper to confront Sir Launfal?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "We Sinais climb and know it not"
    "Behold it is here--the Grail in my castle here is found"
    "With our faint hearts the mountain strives"
    "Then Heaven tries earth if it be in tune"
    "For a god goes with it"
    "Himself the Gate whereby men can Enter the temple of God in Man"
    "She entered with him in disguise"
    "He must be fenced with stronger mail"



    A stranger came one night to Yussouf's tent,
    Saying, "Behold one outcast and in dread,
    Against whose life the bow of power is bent,
    Who flies, and hath not where to lay his head;
    I come to thee for shelter and for food,
    To Yussouf, called through all our tribes 'The Good.'"

    "This tent is mine," said Yussouf, "but no more
    Than it is God's; come in, and be at peace;
    Freely shalt thou partake of all my store
    As I of His who buildeth over these
    Our tents His glorious roof of night and day,
    And at whose door none ever yet heard 'Nay.'"

    So Yussouf entertained his guest that night,
    And, waking him ere day, said: "Here is gold;
    My swiftest horse is saddled for thy flight;
    Depart before the prying day grow bold."
    As one lamp lights another, nor grows less,
    So nobleness enkindleth nobleness.

    That inward light the stranger's face made grand,
    Which shines from all self-conquest; kneeling low,
    He bowed his forehead upon Yussouf's hand,

    Sobbing: "O, Sheik, I cannot leave thee so;
    I will repay thee; all this thou hast done
    Unto that Ibrahim who slew thy son!"

    "Take thrice the gold," said Yussouf, "for with thee
    Into the desert, never to return,
    My one black thought shall ride away from me;
    First-born, for whom by day and night I yearn,
    Balanced and just are all of God's decrees;
    Thou art avenged, my first-born, sleep in peace!"


Notes and Questions.

Where do you think the scene of this poem was laid? Give the reason for your answer.

What do you know of the habits of people who live in tents?

What virtues would men living in this way most admire? Why?

How do you think Yussouf had won his title of "The Good"?

To what does the stranger compare himself?

What does the bending of the bow signify?

To what tribes does the stranger refer?

What do you learn of Yussouf's character from the second and third stanzas?

What emotions made the stranger's face "grand"?

What do you suppose Yussouf's "one black thought" had been?

How did he avenge his son?

When does Yussouf show himself most noble?

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "prying day"
    "nobleness enkindleth nobleness"
    "for whom by day and night I yearn"


Sidney Lanier is a poet of the South who year by year appeals to a larger number of lovers of good literature. He was born in Georgia of Huguenot and Scotch ancestry and when only a small lad showed great talent and love for music. His mother encouraged him in this, and from beginning with clapping bones it was not long before he learned to play on the guitar, banjo, violin, and flute. On the Christmas when he was seven years old he was given a small one-keyed flute, and from that time on the flute became his favorite instrument. When he grew to manhood he became first flutist in the Baltimore orchestra. So passionately fond was he of music that he could scarcely decide between that and poetry as his choice for a profession.

He was graduated from a Georgia college at the age of eighteen, and in the following year, 1861, he enlisted in the Southern army. His younger brother, Clifford, of whom he was very fond, also enlisted, and when opportunities for promotion came to both they declined rather than be separated. They engaged in many battles, but Sidney Lanier found time, even during the war, to continue his study. In 1864 he was taken prisoner, while doing duty as a signal officer, and spent five months in Point Lookout prison. He came home from the hardships of war broken in health, so that from that time on his life was one fierce struggle against disease.

From the time when as a boy he spent hours in his father's library reading the tales of King Arthur, the stories of romantic chivalry were of absorbing interest to him. He understood and loved boys, for he had four of his own, and for these he has written "The Boy's Froissart," "The Boy's King Arthur" and the "Knightly Legends of Wales."

In 1879 he was appointed lecturer on English literature at the Johns Hopkins University, and his prospects were at last brightening when two years later he died. During the last seven years of his life, struggling ever with poverty and pain, he wrote his one volume of poetry. His poems show his great faith--indeed, his poem, "The Marshes of Glynn," is religion set to music.



    O braided dusks of the oak and woven shades of the vine,
    While the riotous noonday sun of the June day long did shine
    Ye held me fast in your heart and I held you fast in mine;
    But now when the noon is no more, and riot is rest,
    And the sun is a-wait at the ponderous gate of the West,
    And the slant yellow beam down the wood aisle doth seem
    Like a lane into heaven that leads from a dream,--
    Aye, now, when my soul all day hath drunken the soul of the oak,
    And my heart is at ease from men, and the wearisome sound of the stroke
        Of the scythe of time and the trowel of trade is low,
        And belief overmasters doubt, and I know that I know,
        And my spirit is grown to a lordly great compass within,
    That the length and the breadth and the sweep of the marshes of Glynn
    Will work me no fear like the fear they have wrought me of yore
    When length was fatigue, and when breadth was but bitterness sore,
    And when terror and shrinking and dreary unnamable pain
    Drew over me out of the merciless miles of the plain,--
    Oh, now, unafraid, I am fain to face
        The vast, sweet visage of space.
    To the edge of the wood I am drawn, I am drawn,
    Where the gray beach glimmering runs, as a belt of the dawn,
        For a mete and a mark
            To the forest dark:--
    Affable live oak, leaning low,--
    Thus--with your favor--soft, with a reverent hand,
    (Not lightly touching your person, lord of the land!)
    Bending your beauty aside, with a step I stand
    On the firm-packed sand,
    By a world of marsh, that borders a world of sea.
    Sinuous southward and sinuous northward the shimmering band
    Of the sand beach fastens the fringe of the marsh to the folds of the land.
    Vanishing, swerving, evermore curving again into sight,
    Softly the sand beach wavers away to a dim gray looping of light.
    And what if behind me to westward the wall of the woods stands high?
    The world lies east: how ample the marsh and the sea and the sky!
    A league and a league of marsh grass, waist-high, broad in the blade,
    Green, and all of a height, and unflecked with a light or a shade,
    Stretch leisurely off, in a pleasant plain,
    To the terminal blue of the main.
    Oh, what is abroad in the marsh and the terminal sea?
        Somehow my soul seems suddenly free
    From the weighing of fate and the sad discussion of sin,
    By the length and the breadth and the sweep of the marshes of Glynn.
    Ye marshes, how candid and simple and nothing-withholding and free
    Ye publish yourselves to the sky and offer yourselves to the sea!
    Tolerant plains, that suffer the sea and the rains and the sun,
    Ye spread and span like the catholic man who hath mightily won
    God out of knowledge and good out of infinite pain
    And sight out of blindness and purity out of a stain.
    As the marsh hen secretly builds on the watery sod,
    Behold I will build me a nest on the greatness of God!
    I will fly in the greatness of God as the marsh hen flies
    In the freedom that fills all the space 'twixt the marsh and the skies:
    By so many roots as the marsh grass sends in the sod
    I will heartily lay me a-hold on the greatness of God:
    Oh, like to the greatness of God is the greatness within
    The range of the marshes, the liberal marshes of Glynn.
    And the sea lends large, as the marsh: lo, out of his plenty the sea
    Pours fast: full soon the time of the flood tide must be:
    Look how the grace of the sea doth go
    About and about through the intricate channels that flow
                Here and there,
    Till his waters have flooded the uttermost creeks and the low-lying lanes,
    And the marsh is meshed with a million veins,
    That like as with rosy and silvery essences flow
        In the rose-and-silver evening glow.
                    Farewell, my lord Sun!
    The creeks overflow: a thousand rivulets run
    'Twixt the roots of the sod; the blades of the marsh grass stir;
    Passeth a hurrying sound of wings that westward whir;
    Passeth, and all is still; and the currents cease to run;
    And the sea and the marsh are one.
    How still the plains of the waters be!
    The tide is in his ecstasy;
    The tide is at its highest height:
                    And it is night.
    And now from the Vast of the Lord will the waters of sleep
    Roll in on the souls of men,
    But who will reveal to our waking ken
    The forms that swim and the shapes that creep
                    Under the waters of sleep?
    And I would I could know what swimmeth below when the tide comes in
    On the length and the breadth of the marvelous marshes of Glynn.


Notes and Questions.

What can you tell of the coastal plain in Georgia?

What effect on the poet had the "dusks of the oak" at noon?

At sunset what appealed more strongly to him?

How does the poet account for his lack of fear of the marshes now?

In the marsh region what is "lord of the land"?

What characteristics of the marshes does the poet point out?

What comparisons are found in lines fifty to fifty-five?

To what does the poet compare the extent of the marshes of Glynn?

In this region when does the flood tide come? What tells you?

Which picture in the poem do you like best?

Explain: "Passeth a hurrying sound of wings that westward whir."

What is the meaning of the last nine lines?

Do you like this poem? Why? What can you tell of the author?

Point out parts that you like best.

Find examples of alliteration.

Why does the poet repeat "I am drawn"?

Select lines that are especially beautiful.

Words and Phrases for Discussion.

    "Like a lane into heaven that leads from a dream"
    "Bending your beauty aside"
    "intricate channels"
    "uttermost creeks"

"Glynn"--a county in Georgia which borders on the Atlantic.

"live oak"--a species of oak found along the coasts of the southern states.

"catholic man"--a broad-minded man.

"braided dusks"--shadows of branches crossing one another.

"woven shades"--shadows interlacing.

"riotous noonday sun"--beating down hard.

"ye held me fast in your heart"--attracted and delighted me.

"I held you fast in mine"--loved, enjoyed.

"riot is rest"--the heat of the day is past, all is quiet.


"ponderous gate"--vast western horizon at sunset.

"wood aisle"--path of sun's rays in the woods at sunset.

"drunken the soul of the oak"--absorbed its strength.

"scythe of time"--symbol of death.

"trowel of trade"--symbol of industry.

"belief overmasters doubt"--inner confidence, faith takes the place of uncertainty.

"I know that I know"--become self-confident thro' a Power greater than self.

"My spirit grows to a lordly great compass within"--My soul becomes its own confident guide, relying on a Power greater than self.

"When length was fatigue"--tiresome to look at--he was unable to understand it.

"breadth was but bitterness sore"--so vast as to be disappointing and beyond his ability to know and control.

"drew over me out of the merciless miles of the plain"--The vastness of the marshes filled him with fear and awe.

"sweet visage of space"--He came to love the view of the marshes.

"belt of the dawn"--the line where the gray beach and the woods come together is like the horizon at daybreak.

"For a mete and a mark"--a line to measure and distinguish the limits of the marsh.

"affable live oak"--friendly, kindly.

"lord of the land"--the oak tree.

"sinuous southward"--irregular line connecting wood and marsh.

"fastens the fringe of the marsh to the folds of the land"--the line which marks the coming together of the marsh and the land--"the shimmering band."

"gray looping of light"--the light reflected or thrown back from the woods in the dim distance.

"terminal blue of the main"--the sea coast, the coast line.

"weighing of fate"--serious thoughts of the future.

"publish yourselves"--to show or to expose.

"offer yourselves"--the sea overruns the marsh.

"Tolerant plains"--generous, broad, liberal.

"mightily won God out of Knowledge"--won thro' kindness and love, and broad-mindedness.

"good out of infinite pain"--was helped by suffering to become noble and true.

"build me a nest on the greatness of God"--to establish himself on the principles of the great Power.

"lay me a-hold on the greatness of God"--to lay hold of this Heavenly beauty and goodness and greatness.

"liberal marshes"--great, broad. Thro' these he learned the beauty of greatness and of broad-mindedness in man, and from that to the greatness of God was but a natural step.

"sea lends large"--sends its waters out in tides over the marsh country twice a day.

"grace of the sea"--the generous waters of the sea.

"rosy and silvery essences"--relates to the color of the water in the channel, as determined by the setting sun's rays.

"passeth a hurrying sound of wings"--a sound of wings hurrying past.

"is in his ecstasy"--the tide has reached its highest point--it is the moment of accomplishment; the task is finished.

"Vast of the Lord"--The influence of God upon men is compared to that of the tides of the sea upon the marshes.

"waking ken"--Who can tell us the meaning of our dreams?



"Stirred up with high hopes of living to be brave men and worthy patriots, dear to God and famous to all ages."




It ill becomes me, Senators of Rome, me, Regulus, after having so often stood in this venerable assembly, clothed with the supreme dignity of the republic, to stand before you to-day, a captive,--the captive of Carthage. Though outwardly free, yet the heaviest of chains, the pledge of a Roman Consul, makes me the bondsman of the Carthaginians. They have my promise to return to them in the event of the failure of this their embassy.

But, Conscript Fathers, Senators, there is but one course to be pursued. Abandon all thought of peace! Reject the overtures of Carthage! Reject them wholly and unconditionally! What? What? Give back to her a thousand able-bodied men, and receive in return this one, attenuated, war-worn, fever-wasted frame,--this weed, whitened in a dungeon's darkness, pale and sapless, which no kindness of the sun, no softness of the summer breeze, can ever restore to life and vigor? It must not, shall not be! Oh, were Regulus what he was once, before captivity had unstrung his sinews and enervated his limbs, he might pause; he might think he were worth a thousand of the foe; he might say, "Make the exchange, Rome shall not lose by it!" But now, alas, 'tis gone,--that impetuosity of strength which could once make him a leader indeed, to penetrate a phalanx, or guide a pursuit. His very armor would be a burden now! His battlecry would be drowned in the din of onset! His sword would fall harmless upon his opponents shield!

But if he cannot live, he can at least die, for his country. Do not deny him this supreme consolation. Consider! Every indignity, every torture which Carthage shall heap on his dying hours, will be better than a trumpet's call to your armies. They will remember only Regulus, their fellow-soldier and their leader. They will forget his defeats. They will regard only his services to the Republic. Tunis, Sicily, Sardinia, every well-fought field, won by his blood and theirs, will flash on their remembrance and kindle their avenging wrath!

And so shall Regulus, though dead, fight as he never fought before against the foe.

Conscript Fathers, there is another theme,--my family. Forgive the thought. To you and to Rome, I commit them. I leave no legacy but my name, no testament but my example.

And you, ambassadors of Carthage, now in this august presence, I have spoken, not as you expected. I am your captive. Lead me back to whatever fate may await me. Doubt not that you shall find that to Roman hearts country is dearer than life, and integrity more precious than freedom.

Epes Sargent, 1812-1880, was an American author and journalist. For a number of years he was editor of the "Boston Evening Transcript."

Historical: Regulus was a celebrated Roman general. As consul he led the Roman forces against the Carthaginians and defeated them in a number of engagements, but finally was himself defeated and taken prisoner by the Carthaginians. After five years of captivity he was sent to Rome to negotiate for peace and an exchange of prisoners. Though he had been promised his liberty, if the Romans should accept the treaty, yet when he appeared before the Roman senate, he denounced the terms most emphatically. Accordingly he returned to Carthage, where he suffered a cruel death.



The beams of the rising sun had gilded the lofty domes of Carthage, and given, with its rich and mellow light, a tinge of beauty even to the frowning ramparts of the outer harbor. Sheltered by the verdant shores, a hundred triremes were riding proudly at their anchors, their brazen beaks glittering in the sun, their streamers dancing in the morning breeze, while many a shattered plank and timber gave evidence of desperate conflict with the fleets of Rome.

No murmur of business or of revelry arose from the city. The artisan had forsaken his shop, the judge his tribunal, the priest the sanctuary, and even the stern stoic had come forth from his retirement to mingle with the crowd that, anxious and agitated, were rushing toward the senate-house, startled by the report that Regulus had returned to Carthage.

Onward, still onward, trampling each other under foot, they rushed, furious with anger, and eager for revenge. Fathers were there, whose sons were groaning in fetters; maidens, whose lovers, weak and wounded, were dying in the dungeons of Rome, and gray-haired men and matrons, whom the Roman sword had left childless.

But when the stern features of Regulus were seen, and his colossal form towering above the ambassadors who had returned with him from Rome; when the news passed from lip to lip that the dreaded warrior, so far from advising the Roman senate to consent to an exchange of prisoners, had urged them to pursue, with exterminating vengeance, Carthage and Carthaginians,--the multitude swayed to and fro like a forest beneath a tempest, and the rage and hate of that tumultuous throng vented itself in groans, and curses, and yells of vengeance.

But calm, cold, and immovable as the marble walls around him, stood the Roman; and he stretched out his hand over that frenzied crowd, with gesture as proudly commanding as though he still stood at the head of the gleaming cohorts of Rome. The tumult ceased; the curse, half muttered, died upon the lip; and so intense was the silence, that the clanking of the brazen manacles upon the wrists of the captive fell sharp and full upon every ear in that vast assembly, as he thus addressed them:--

"Ye doubtless thought--for ye judge of Roman virtue by your own--that I would break my plighted oath, rather than, returning, brook your vengeance. I might give reasons for this, in Punic comprehension, most foolish act of mine. I might speak of those eternal principles which make death for one's country a pleasure, not a pain. But, by great Jupiter! methinks I should debase myself to talk of such high things to you; to you, expert in womanly inventions; to you, well-skilled to drive a treacherous trade with simple Africans for ivory and gold!

"If the bright blood that fills my veins, transmitted free from godlike ancestry, were like that slimy ooze which stagnates in your arteries, I had remained at home, and broke my plighted oath to save my life. I am a Roman citizen; therefore have I returned, that ye might work your will upon this mass of flesh and bones, that I esteem no higher than the rags that cover them.

"Here, in your capital, do I defy you. Have I not conquered your armies, fired your towns, and dragged your generals at my chariot wheels, since first my youthful arms could wield a spear? And do you think to see me crouch and cower before a tamed and shattered senate? The tearing of flesh and rending of sinews is but pastime compared with the mental agony that heaves my frame.

"The moon has scarce yet waned since the proudest of Rome's proud matrons, the mother upon whose breast I slept, and whose fair brow so oft had bent over me before the noise of battle had stirred my blood, or the fierce toil of war nerved my sinews, did, with fondest memory of bygone hours, entreat me to remain. I have seen her, who, when my country called me to the field, did buckle on my harness with trembling hands, while the tears fell thick and fast down the hard corselet scales--I have seen her tear her gray locks and beat her aged breast, as on her knees she begged me not to return to Carthage! and all the assembled senate of Rome, grave and reverend men, proffered the same request. The puny torments which ye have in store to welcome me withal, shall be, to what I have endured, even as the murmur of a summer's brook to the fierce roar of angry surges on a rocky beach.

"Last night, as I lay fettered in my dungeon, I heard a strange, ominous sound; it seemed like the distant march of some vast army, their harness clanging as they marched, when suddenly there stood by me Xanthippus, the Spartan general, by whose aid you conquered me, and, with a voice as low as when the solemn wind moans through the leaflless forest, he thus addressed me:--

"'Roman, I come to bid thee curse, with thy dying breath, this fated city: know that in an evil moment, the Carthaginian generals, furious with rage that I had conquered thee, their conqueror, did basely murder me. And then they thought to stain my brightest honor. But, for this foul deed, the wrath of Jove shall rest upon them here and hereafter.' And then he vanished.

"And now, go bring your sharpest torments. The woes I see impending over this guilty realm shall be enough to sweeten death, though every nerve and artery were a shooting pang. I die! but my death shall prove a proud triumph; and, for every drop of blood ye from my veins do draw, your own shall flow in rivers.

"Woe to thee, Carthage! Woe to the proud city of the waters! I see thy nobles wailing at the feet of Roman senators! thy citizens in terror! thy ships in flames! I hear the victorious shouts of Rome! I see her eagles glittering on thy ramparts. Proud city, thou art doomed! The curse of God is on thee--a clinging, wasting curse. It shall not leave thy gates till hungry flames shall lick the fretted gold from off thy proud palaces, and every brook runs crimson to the sea."



It had been a day of triumph in Capua. Lentulus, returning with victorious eagles, had amused the populace with the sports of the amphitheatre to an extent hitherto unknown even in that luxurious city. The shouts of revelry had died away; the roar of the lion had ceased; the last loiterer had retired from the banquet, and the lights in the palace of the victor were extinguished. The moon, piercing the tissue of fleecy clouds, silvered the dewdrop on the corselet of the Roman sentinel, and tipped the dark waters of Volturnus with wavy, tremulous light. It was a night of holy calm, when the zephyr sways the young spring leaves, and whispers among the hollow reeds its dreamy music. No sound was heard but the last sob of some weary wave, telling its story to the smooth pebbles of the beach, and then all was still as the breast when the spirit has departed.

In the deep recesses of the amphitheatre a band of gladiators were crowded together,--their muscles still knotted with the agony of conflict, the foam upon their lips, and the scowl of battle yet lingering upon their brows,--when Spartacus, rising in the midst of that grim assemblage, thus addressed them:--

"Ye call me chief, and ye do well to call him chief who, for twelve long years, has met upon the arena every shape of man or beast that the broad Empire of Rome could furnish, and yet never has lowered his arm. And if there be one among you who can say that, ever, in public fight or private brawl, my actions did belie my tongue, let him step forth and say it. If there be three in all your throng dare face me on the bloody sand, let them come on!

"Yet, I was not always thus, a hired butcher, a savage chief of savage men. My father was a reverent man, who feared great Jupiter, and brought to the rural deities his offerings of fruits and flowers. He dwelt among the vineclad rocks and olive groves at the foot of Helicon. My early life ran quiet as the brook by which I sported. I was taught to prune the vine, to tend the flock; and then, at noon, I gathered my sheep beneath the shade, and played upon the shepherd's flute. I had a friend, the son of our neighbor; we led our flocks to the same pasture, and shared together our rustic meal.

"One evening, after the sheep were folded, and we were all seated beneath the myrtle that shaded our cottage, my grandsire, an old man, was telling of Marathon and Leuctra, and how, in ancient times, a little band of Spartans, in a defile of the mountains, withstood a whole army. I did not then know what war meant; but my cheeks burned. I knew not why; and I clasped the knees of that venerable man, till my mother, parting the hair from off my brow, kissed my throbbing temples, and bade me go to rest, and think no more of those old tales and savage wars.

"That very night the Romans landed on our shore, and the clash of steel was heard within our quiet vale. I saw the breast that had nourished me trampled by the iron hoof of the warhorse; the bleeding body of my father flung amid the blazing rafters of our dwelling. To-day I killed a man in the arena, and when I broke his helmet clasps, behold! he was my friend! He knew me,--smiled faintly,--gasped,--and died; the same sweet smile that I had marked upon his face when, in adventurous boyhood, we scaled some lofty cliff to pluck the first ripe grapes, and bear them home in childish triumph. I told the praetor he was my friend, noble and brave, and I begged his body, that I might burn it upon the funeral-pile, and mourn over him. Ay, on my knees, amid the dust and blood of the arena, I begged that boon, while all the Roman maids and matrons, and those holy virgins they call vestal, and the rabble, shouted in mockery, deeming it rare sport, forsooth, to see Rome's fiercest gladiator turn pale, and tremble like a very child, before that piece of bleeding clay; but the praetor drew back as if I were pollution, and sternly said, 'Let the carrion rot! There are no noble men but Romans!' And he, deprived of funeral rites, must wander, a hapless ghost, beside the waters of that sluggish river, and look--and look--and look in vain to the bright Elysian Fields where dwell his ancestors and noble kindred. And so must you, and so must I, die like dogs!

"O Rome! Rome! thou hast been a tender nurse to me! Ay, thou hast given to that poor, gentle, timid shepherd-lad, who never knew a harsher sound than a flute-note, muscles of iron and a heart of flint; taught him to drive the sword through rugged brass and plaited mail, and warm it in the marrow of his foe! to gaze into the glaring eyeballs of the fierce Numidian lion, even as a smooth-cheeked boy upon a laughing girl. And he shall pay thee back till thy yellow Tiber is red as frothing wine, and in its deepest ooze thy life-blood lies curdled!

"Ye stand here now like giants, as ye are! the strength of brass is in your toughened sinews; but to-morrow some Roman Adonis, breathing sweet odors from his curly locks, shall come, and with his lily fingers pat your brawny shoulders, and bet his sesterces upon your blood! Hark! Hear ye yon lion roaring in his den? 'Tis three days since he tasted meat; but to-morrow he shall break his fast upon your flesh; and ye shall be a dainty meal for him.

"If ye are brutes, then stand here like fat oxen waiting for the butcher's knife; if ye are men, follow me! strike down yon sentinel, and gain the mountain passes, and there do bloody work as did your sires at old Thermopylæ! Is Sparta dead? Is the old Grecian spirit frozen in your veins, that you do crouch and cower like base-born slaves beneath your master's lash? O comrades! warriors! Thracians! if we must fight, let us fight for ourselves; if we must slaughter, let us slaughter our oppressors; if we must die, let us die under the open sky, by the bright waters, in noble, honorable battle."

Biographical and Historical: This is a supposed speech of Spartacus written by Elijah Kellogg, a New England clergyman. Spartacus was a Thracian by birth, who served in the Roman army. Having deserted, he was taken prisoner, sold as a slave, and trained as a gladiator at Capua. He escaped and gathered about him a large army of slaves and gladiators, with whom he intended to push northward and allow them all to return to their homes. They, however, after attacking many towns, were finally overcome. Spartacus himself died in battle, and six thousand slaves were crucified on the road from Capua to Rome.

Capua was a city of great luxury, containing an amphitheater nearly as large as the Coliseum at Rome. The ancients attached great importance to the rites of burial, and believed that the soul could not reach the Elysian Fields unless the body had been buried.



You have committed to my conduct, O Romans, the war against Jugurtha. The patricians take offence. They say, "Why, he has no family statues. He can point to no illustrious ancestors." What of that? Will dead ancestors or motionless statues fight battles? Can your general appeal to them in the hour of extremest danger? How wise it would be, surely, to intrust your army to some untried person without a single scar, but with any number of ancestral statues,--who knows not the simplest rudiments of military service, but is very perfect in pedigree! I have known such holiday heroes, raised, because of family, to positions for which they had no fitness. But, then, in the moment of action they were obliged, in their ignorance and trepidation, to intrust every movement, even the most simple, to some subaltern, some despised plebeian.

What they have seen in books, I have seen written on battlefields, with steel and blood. They sneer at my mean origin. Where,--and may the gods bear witness,--where, but in the spirit of man, is nobility lodged? Tell these despicable railers that their haughty lineage cannot make them noble, nor will my humble birth make me base. I profess no indifference to noble descent; but when a descendant is dwarfed in the comparison, it should be a shame, and not a matter to boast of! I can show the standards, the armor, and the spoils which I have in person wrested from the vanquished. I can show the scars of many wounds received in combating the enemies of Rome. These are my statues! These are my honors, to boast of; not inherited by accident, but earned by toil, by abstinence, by valor, amid clouds of dust and seas of blood. Their titles date from similar acts of their ancestors; but these detractors did not even dare to appear on the field as spectators. These are my credentials! These, O Romans, are my titles of nobility! Tell me, are they not as deserving of your confidence and reward as those of which any patrician of them all can boast?

Biographical and Historical: Sallust, the author of this selection, was a famous Roman historian of the first century B. C. Caius Marius was the son of a small farmer and worked his way up from this humble origin to the highest position, that of consul, in spite of the determined opposition of the senate, and the aristocracy. By the vote of the Roman people, he was given command of the army in the campaign against Jugurtha, a prince who had usurped the Numidian throne.



    I come not here to talk. You know too well
    The story of our thralldom. We are slaves!
    The bright sun rises to his course, and lights
    A race of slaves! he sets, and his last beam
    Falls on a slave!--not such as, swept along
    By the full tide of power, the conqueror leads
    To crimson glory and undying fame,
    But base, ignoble slaves--slaves to a horde
    Of petty tyrants; feudal despots; lords,
    Rich in some dozen paltry villages,
    Strong in some hundred spearmen; only great
    In that strange spell--a name.

                                  Each hour dark fraud,
    Or open rapine, or protected murder,
    Cry out against them. But this very day,
    An honest man, my neighbor--there he stands--
    Was struck--struck like a dog, by one who wore
    The badge of Ursini, because, forsooth,
    He tossed not high his ready cap in air,
    Nor lifted up his voice in servile shouts
    At sight of that great ruffian! Be we men,
    And suffer such dishonor?--Men, and wash not
    The stain away in blood?

                                Such shames are common.
    I have known deeper wrongs. I that speak to you,
    I had a brother once, a gracious boy,
    Full of gentleness, of calmest hope,
    Of sweet and quiet joy: there was the look
    Of heaven upon his face, which limners give
    To the beloved disciple. How I loved
    That gracious boy! Younger by fifteen years,
    Brother at once and son! He left my side,
    A summer bloom on his fair cheek, a smile
    Parting his innocent lips: in one short hour,
    The pretty, harmless boy was slain! I saw
    The corse, the mangled corse, and then I cried
    For vengeance!

                         Rouse ye, Romans! rouse ye, slaves!
    Have ye brave sons? Look in the next fierce brawl
    To see them die. Have ye fair daughters? Look
    To see them live, torn from your arms, distained,
    Dishonored; and, if ye dare call for justice,
    Be answered by the lash!

                                              Yet this is Rome,
    That sat on her seven hills, and from her throne
    Of beauty ruled the world! Yet we are Romans!
    Why, in that elder day, to be a Roman
    Was greater than a king! And, once again,--
    Hear me, ye walls, that echoed to the tread
    Of either Brutus!--once again, I swear,
    The Eternal City shall be free!

Biographical and Historical: Mary Russell Mitford, born in 1787, was an English writer of miscellaneous works. Among her most noted productions is the tragedy "Rienzi," which was presented in London in 1828. It is the story of the Roman patriot, Rienzi, who led a revolution at Rome in 1347. He overthrew the power of the aristocracy and introduced many reforms in the government. After establishing himself in power, however, he is said to have become in turn haughty and arbitrary.


MY LORDS: What have I to say why sentence of death should not be pronounced on me, according to law? I have nothing to say that can alter your predetermination, nor that it will become me to say with any view to the mitigation of that sentence which you are here to pronounce, and I must abide by. But I have that to say which interests me more than life, and which you have labored to destroy. I have much to say why my reputation should be rescued from the load of false accusation and calumny which has been heaped upon it.

Were I only to suffer death, after being adjudged guilty by your tribunal, I should bow in silence, and meet the fate that awaits me without a murmur; but the sentence of law which delivers my body to the executioner will, through the ministry of that law, labor, in its own vindication, to consign my character to obloquy; for there must be guilt somewhere--whether in the sentence of the court, or in the catastrophe, posterity must determine. The man dies, but his memory lives. That mine may not perish--that it may live in the respect of my countrymen--I seize upon this opportunity to vindicate myself from some of the charges alleged against me.

When my spirit shall be wafted to a more friendly port; when my shade shall have joined the bands of those martyred heroes who have shed their blood, on the scaffold and in the field, in defense of their country and virtue; this is my hope--I wish that my memory and name may animate those who survive me, while I look down with complacency on the destruction of that perfidious government which upholds its domination by blasphemy of the Most High, which displays its powers over man as over the beasts of the forest, which sets man upon his brother, and lifts his hand, in the name of God, against the throat of his fellow who believes or doubts a little more or less than the government standard--a government which is steeled to barbarity by the cries of the orphans and the tears of the widows which its cruelty has made.

I swear by the throne of Heaven, before which I must shortly appear--by the blood of the murdered patriots who have gone before me--that my conduct has been, through all this peril and all my purposes, governed only by the convictions which I have uttered, and no other view than that of the emancipation of my country from the superinhuman oppression under which she has so long and too patiently travailed; and that I confidently and assuredly hope, wild and chimerical as it may appear, that there is still union and strength in Ireland to accomplish this noble enterprise.

My country was my idol. To it I sacrificed every selfish, every endearing sentiment; and for it I now offer up my life! I acted as an Irishman, determined on delivering my country from the yoke of a foreign and unrelenting tyranny, and from the more galling yoke of a domestic faction, its joint partner and perpetrator in the patricide, whose reward is the ignominy of existing with an exterior of splendor and a consciousness of depravity. It was the wish of my heart to extricate my country from this doubly riveted despotism. I wished to place her independence beyond the reach of any power on earth. I wished to exalt her to that proud station in the world which Providence had fitted her to fill.

Let no man dare, when I am dead, to charge me with dishonor; let no man attaint my memory by believing that I could have engaged in any cause but that of my country's liberty and independence, or that I could have become the pliant minion of power in the oppression or the miseries of my countrymen. I would not have submitted to a foreign oppressor, for the same reason that I would resist the domestic tyrant; in the dignity of freedom I would have fought upon the threshold of my country, and her enemies should enter only by passing over my lifeless corpse. Am I, who lived but for my country, and who have subjected myself to the vengeance of the jealous and wrathful oppressor, and to the bondage of the grave, only to give my countrymen their rights and my country her independence--am I to be loaded with calumny, and not to be suffered to resent or repel it? No! God forbid!

If the spirits of the illustrious dead participate in the concerns and cares of those who are dear to them in this transitory life, O ever dear and venerated shade of my departed father, look down with scrutiny on the conduct of your suffering son, and see if I have even for a moment deviated from those principles of morality and patriotism which it was your care to instill into my youthful mind, and for an adherence to which I am now to offer up my life!

My Lords, you are all impatient for the sacrifice. The blood which you seek is not congealed by the artificial terrors which surround your victim; it circulates warmly and unruffled through the channels which God created for noble purposes, but which you are bent to destroy, for purposes so grievous that they cry to Heaven!

Be ye patient; I have but a few words more to say. I am going to my silent grave; my lamp of life is nearly extinguished; my race is run; the grave opens to receive me, and I sink into its bosom. I have but one request to ask at my departure from this world--it is the charity of its silence. Let no man write my epitaph; for, as no one who knows my motives dare now vindicate them, let not prejudice or ignorance asperse them. Let them and me repose in obscurity and peace, and my tomb remain uninscribed, until other times and other men can do justice to my character. When my country shall take her place among the nations of the earth, then, and not till then, let my epitaph be written! I have done.

Biographical and Historical: During the latter part of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth, the spirit of independence was abroad. The American Revolution was followed by the French Revolution, and in 1803 Robert Emmet, an Irish patriot, headed a band to gain independence for Ireland. After an unsuccessful attempt to take the arsenal and castle at Dublin, he fled to the Wicklow mountains, whence he planned to escape to the continent. Contrary to the advice of his friends, he determined to have a last interview with his sweetheart, but the delay proved fatal to him. He was seized and condemned to death. This extract is from the remarkably eloquent speech with which he vainly defended himself.



Think of the country for which the Indians fought. Who can blame them? As Philip looked down from his seat on Mount Hope, that glorious eminence, that

        "----throne of royal state, which far
    Outshone the wealth of Ormus and of Ind,
    Or where the gorgeous East, with richest hand,
    Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold,"--

as he looked down, and beheld the lovely scene which spread beneath, at a summer sunset, the distant hill-tops glittering as with fire, the slanting beams streaming across the waters, the broad plains, the island groups, the majestic forest,--could he be blamed, if his heart burned within him, as he beheld it all passing, by no tardy process, from beneath his control, into the hands of the stranger?

As the river chieftains--the lords of the waterfalls and the mountains--ranged this lovely valley, can it be wondered at, if they beheld with bitterness the forest disappearing beneath the settler's ax--the fishing-place disturbed by his saw-mills? Can we not fancy the feelings with which some strong-minded savage, the chief of the Pocomtuck Indians, who should have ascended the summit of the Sugar-loaf Mountain (rising as it does before us, at this moment, in all its loveliness and grandeur),--in company with a friendly settler,--contemplating the progress already made by the white man, and marking the gigantic strides with which he was advancing into the wilderness, should fold his arms and say, "White man, there is eternal war between me and thee! I quit not the land of my fathers, but with my life. In those woods, where I bent my youthful bow, I will still hunt the deer; over yonder waters I will still glide, unrestrained, in my bark canoe. By those dashing waterfalls I will still lay up my winter's store of food; on these fertile meadows I will still plant my corn.

"Stranger, the land is mine! I understand not these paper rights. I gave not my consent, when, as thou sayest, these broad regions were purchased, for a few baubles, of my fathers. They could sell what was theirs; they could sell no more. How could my fathers sell that which the Great Spirit sent me into the world to live upon? They knew not what they did.

"The stranger came, a timid suppliant,--few and feeble, and asked to lie down on the red man's bear-skin, and warm himself at the red man's fire, and have a little piece of land to raise corn for his women and children; and now he is become strong, and mighty, and bold, and spreads out his parchments over the whole, and says, 'It is mine.'

"Stranger! there is not room for us both. The Great Spirit has not made us to live together. There is poison in the white man's cup; the white man's dog barks at the red man's heels. If I should leave the land of my fathers, whither shall I fly? Shall I go to the south, and dwell among the graves of the Pequots? Shall I wander to the west, the fierce Mohawk,--the man-eater,--is my foe. Shall I fly to the east, the great water is before me. No, stranger; here I have lived, and here will I die; and if here thou abidest, there is eternal war between, me and thee.

"Thou hast taught me thy arts of destruction; for that alone I thank thee. And now take heed to thy steps; the red man is thy foe. When thou goest forth by day, my bullet shall whistle past thee; when thou liest down by night, my knife is at thy throat. The noonday sun shall not discover thy enemy, and the darkness of midnight shall not protect thy rest. Thou shalt plant in terror, and I will reap in blood; thou shalt sow the earth with corn, and I will strew it with ashes; thou shalt go forth with the sickle, and I will follow after with the scalping-knife; thou shalt build, and I will burn,--till the white man or the Indian perish from the land. Go thy way for this time in safety,--but remember, stranger, there is eternal war between me and thee!"

Biographical and Historical: Edward Everett was a celebrated American orator and statesman. His career was varied, but he will be remembered chiefly through his essays and orations. He was in turn clergyman, professor of Greek at Harvard, representative in Congress, governor of Massachusetts, minister to England, president of Harvard, and secretary of state. He died at the close of the Civil War.

This extract is from an address delivered at Bloody Brook, South Deerfield, Mass., September 30, 1835, in commemoration of the death of many colonists in that spot during King Philip's War, September 18, 1675. King Philip, son of Massasoit, was an Indian chief who resented the coming of the white man and, gathering many Indian tribes about him, waged bitter war against the colonists. He himself was killed at Mount Hope, Rhode Island.

(From "Montcalm and Wolfe.")


The sun rose, and, from the ramparts of Quebec, the astonished people saw the Plains of Abraham glittering with arms, and the dark-red lines of the English forming in array of battle. Breathless messengers had borne the evil tidings to Montcalm, and far and near his wide-extended camp resounded with the rolling of alarm drums and the din of startled preparation.

He, too, had had his struggles and his sorrows. The civil power had thwarted him; famine, discontent, and disaffection were rife among his soldiers; and no small portion of the Canadian militia had dispersed from sheer starvation. In spite of all, he had trusted to hold out till the winter frosts should drive the invaders from before the town; when, on that disastrous morning, the news of their successful temerity fell like a cannon-shot upon his ear.

Still he assumed a tone of confidence. "They have got to the weak side of us at last," he is reported to have said, "and we must crush them with our numbers." With headlong haste, his troops were pouring over the bridge of the St. Charles, and gathering in heavy masses under the western ramparts of the town. Could numbers give assurance of success, their triumph would have been secure; for five French battalions and the armed colonial peasantry amounted in all to more than seven thousand five hundred men.

Full in sight before them stretched the long, thin lines of the British forces, the half-wild Highlanders, the steady soldiery of England, and the hardy levies of the provinces,--less than five thousand in number, but all inured to battle, and strong in the full assurance of success.

Yet, could the chiefs of that gallant army have pierced the secrets of the future, could they have foreseen that the victory which they burned to achieve would have robbed England of her proudest boast, that the conquest of Canada would pave the way for the independence of America, their swords would have dropped from their hands, and the heroic fire have gone out within their hearts.

It was nine o'clock, and the adverse armies stood motionless, each gazing on the other. The clouds hung low, and, at intervals, warm light showers descended, besprinkling both alike. The coppice and cornfields in front of the British troops were filled with French sharp-shooters, who kept up a distant, spattering fire. Here and there a soldier fell in the ranks, and the gap was filled in silence.

At a little before ten, the British could see that Montcalm was preparing to advance, and, in a few moments, all his troops appeared in rapid motion. They came on in three divisions, shouting after the manner of their nation, and firing heavily as soon as they came within range.

In the British ranks, not a trigger was pulled, not a soldier stirred; and their ominous composure seemed to damp the spirits of the assailants. It was not till the French were within forty yards that the fatal word was given, and the British muskets blazed forth at once in one crashing explosion. Like a ship at full career, arrested with sudden ruin on a sunken rock, the ranks of Montcalm staggered, shivered, and broke before that wasting storm of lead.

The smoke, rolling along the field, for a moment shut out the view; but when the white wreaths were scattered on the wind, a wretched spectacle was disclosed; men and officers tumbled in heaps, battalions resolved into a mob, order and obedience gone; and when the British muskets were leveled for a second volley, the masses of the militia were seen to cower and shrink with uncontrollable panic.

For a few minutes, the French regulars stood their ground, returning a sharp and not ineffectual fire. But now, echoing cheer on cheer, redoubling volley on volley, trampling the dying and the dead, and driving the fugitives in crowds, the British troops advanced and swept the field before them. The ardor of the men burst all restraint. They broke into a run, and with unsparing slaughter chased the flying multitude to the gates of Quebec. Foremost of all, the light-footed Highlanders dashed along in furious pursuit, hewing down the Frenchmen with their broadswords, and slaying many in the very ditch of the fortifications. Never was victory more quick or more decisive.

Biographical and Historical: Francis Parkman is one of America's greatest historians. He took for his theme the great conflict between the English, the French, and the Indians on the frontiers of the northern new world. He was not only a historian of genius, but was gifted with a delightful style. His books are full of the fragrance of woods and streams and the fresh, free air of the plains and the mountains.



England's hold of the colonies is in the close affection which grows from common names, from kindred blood, from similar privileges, and equal protection. These are ties which, though light as air, are as strong as links of iron. Let the colonies always keep the idea of their civil rights associated with your government; they will cling and grapple to you, and no force under heaven will be of power to tear them from their allegiance. But let it once be understood that your government may be one thing, and their privileges another; that these two things may exist without any mutual relation--the cement is gone; the cohesion is loosened; and everything hastens to decay and dissolution. As long as you have the wisdom to keep the sovereign authority of this country as the sanctuary of liberty, the sacred temple consecrated to our common faith; wherever the chosen race and sons of England worship freedom, they will turn their faces toward you. The more they multiply, the more friends you will have; the more ardently they love liberty, the more perfect will be their obedience. Slavery they can have anywhere. It is a weed that grows in every soil. They may have it from Spain; they may have it from Prussia; but, until you become lost to all feelings of your true interest and your natural dignity, freedom they can have from none but you. This is the commodity of price of which you have the monopoly. This is the true Act of Navigation, which binds to you the commerce of the colonies, and through them secures to you the wealth of the world. Deny them this participation of freedom, and you break that sole bond which originally made, and must still preserve, the unity of the empire. Do not entertain so weak an imagination as that your registers and your bonds, your affidavits and your sufferances, are what form the great securities of your commerce. Do not dream that your letters of office, and your instructions, and your suspending clauses, are the things that hold together the great contexture of this mysterious whole. These things do not make your government. Dead instruments, passive tools as they are, it is the spirit of the English communion that gives all their life and efficacy to them. It is the spirit of the English constitution, which, infused through the mighty mass, pervades, feeds, unites, invigorates, vivifies every part of the empire, even down to the minutest member. Is it not the same virtue which does everything for us here in England?

Do you imagine, then, that it is the land tax which raises your revenue? That it is the annual vote in the committee of supply which gives you your army? Or that it is the mutiny bill which inspires it with bravery and discipline? No! surely no! It is the love of the people; it is their attachment to their government, from the sense of the deep stake they have in such a glorious institution, which gives you your army and your navy, and infuses into both that liberal obedience without which your army would be a base rabble and your navy nothing but rotten timber.

Biographical and Historical: Edmund Burke was a British statesman of Irish birth, who lived at the time of the American Revolution. While William Pitt opposed, in the House of Lords, the policy of the British government, Edmund Burke delivered, in the House of Commons, his famous speech on the Conciliation of the Colonies, March 22, 1775. This extract is taken from the closing paragraphs of this celebrated speech.



COURTEOUS READER: I have heard that nothing gives an author so great pleasure as to find his works respectfully quoted by others. Judge, then, how much I must have been gratified by an incident I am going to relate to you.

I stopped my horse, lately, where a great number of people were collected at an auction of merchants' goods. The hour of the sale not being come, they were conversing on the badness of the times; and one of the company called to a plain, clean old man, with white locks: "Pray, Father Abraham, what think you of the times? Will not these heavy taxes quite ruin the country? How shall we ever be able to pay them? What would you advise us to do?"

Father Abraham stood up and replied: "If you would have my advice, I will give it to you in short; for 'a word to the wise is enough,' as Poor Richard says." They joined in desiring him to speak his mind, and, gathering around him, he proceeded as follows: "Friends," said he, "the taxes are indeed very heavy; and, if those laid on by the Government were the only ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us.

"We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly; and of these taxes the commissioners can not ease or deliver us by allowing an abatement. However, let us hearken to good advice, and something may be done for us. 'Heaven helps them that help themselves,' as Poor Richard says.

"It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one tenth part of their time to be employed in its service; but idleness taxes many of us much more; sloth, by bringing on diseases, absolutely shortens life. 'Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears; while the used key is always bright,' as Poor Richard says. How much more than is necessary do we spend in sleep! forgetting that 'the sleeping fox catches no poultry,' and that there will be sleeping enough in the grave.

"'Lost time is never found again; and what we call time enough, always proves little enough.' Let us, then, be up and doing, and doing to the purpose; so by diligence shall we do more with less perplexity. 'Drive thy business, and let not that drive thee'; and 'early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise,' as Poor Richard says.

"So, what signifies wishing and hoping for better times? We may make these times better if we bestir ourselves. 'Industry need not wish, and he that lives upon hopes will die fasting.' 'There are no gains without pains; then help hands, for I have no lands.' 'He that hath a trade, hath an estate; and he that hath a calling, hath an office of profit and honor'; but then the trade must be worked at, and the calling well followed, or neither the estate nor the office will enable us to pay our taxes. Work while it is called to-day, for you know not how much you may be hindered to-morrow. 'One to-day is worth two to-morrows,' as Poor Richard says; and further, 'Never leave that till to-morrow which you can do to-day.'

"If you were a servant, would you not be ashamed that a good master should catch you idle? Are you, then, your own master? Be ashamed to catch yourself idle, when there is so much to be done for yourself, your family, and your country. It is true, there is much to be done, and perhaps you are weak-handed; but stick to it steadily, and you will see great effects; for 'constant dropping wears away stones,' and 'little strokes fell great oaks.'

"But with our industry we must likewise be steady, settled, and careful, and oversee our own affairs with our own eyes, and not trust too much to others; for, as Poor Richard says, 'Three removes are as bad as a fire'; and again, 'Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee'; and again, 'If you would have your business done, go; if not, send'; and again, 'The eye of the master will do more work than both his hands'; and again, 'Want of care does us more damage than want of knowledge.'

"So much for industry, my friends, and attention to one's own business; but to these we must add frugality, if we would make our industry more certainly successful. A man may, if he knows not how to save as he gets, keep his nose to the grindstone all his life, and die not worth a groat at last. 'If you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as of getting.'

"Away with your expensive follies, and you will not then have so much cause to complain of hard times, heavy taxes, and chargeable families; for 'what maintains one vice would bring up two children.' Beware of little expenses. 'Many a little makes a mickle'; 'A small leak will sink a great ship.' Here you are all got together at this sale of fineries and knickknacks. You call them goods, but, if you do not take care, they will prove evils to some of you.

"You expect they will be sold cheap, and perhaps they may be, for less than cost; but, if you have no occasion for them, they must be dear to you. Remember what Poor Richard says: 'Buy what thou hast no need of, and ere long thou shalt sell thy necessaries.' 'Silks, satins, scarlet, and velvets put out the kitchen fire.' These are not the necessaries of life; they can scarcely be called the conveniences; and yet, only because they look pretty, how many want to have them!

"By these and other extravagances, the greatest are reduced to poverty, and forced to borrow of those whom they formerly despised, but who, through industry and frugality, have maintained their standing. 'If you would know the value of money, go and try to borrow some; for he that goes a-borrowing goes a-sorrowing'; and, indeed, so does he that lends to such people, when he goes to get it again.

"It is as truly folly for the poor to ape the rich, as for the frog to swell in order to equal the ox. After all, this pride of appearance can not promote health, nor ease pain; it makes no increase of merit in the person; it creates envy; it hastens misfortunes.

"But what madness it must be to run in debt for superfluities! Think what you do when you run in debt: you give to another power over your liberty. If you can not pay at the time, you will be ashamed to see your creditor; you will be in fear when you speak to him; you will make poor, pitiful, sneaking excuses, and by degrees come to lose your veracity, and sink into base, downright lying; for 'the second vice is lying, the first is running in debt,' as Poor Richard says; and again, 'Lying rides upon debt's back.'

"This doctrine, my friends, is reason and wisdom; but industry, and frugality, and prudence may all be blasted without the blessing of Heaven. Therefore ask that blessing humbly, and be not uncharitable to those that at present seem to want it, but comfort and help them."

The old gentleman ended his harangue. The people heard it, and approved the doctrine, and immediately practiced the contrary, just as if it had been a common sermon; for the auction opened, and they began to buy extravagantly. I found the good man had thoroughly studied my almanac, and digested all I had dropped on these topics during the course of twenty-five years. The frequent mention he made of me must have tired any one else; but my vanity was wonderfully delighted with it, though I was conscious that not a tenth part of the wisdom was my own which he ascribed to me, but rather the gleanings that I had made of the sense of all ages and nations.

However, I resolved to be the better for the echo of it; and, although I had at first determined to buy stuff for a new coat, I went away resolved to wear my old one a little longer. Reader, if thou wilt do the same, thy profit will be as great as mine.--I am, as ever, thine to serve thee.

Biographical and Historical: These are paragraphs selected from Benjamin Franklin's "Way to Wealth," about which he has the following to say in his Autobiography: "In 1732, I first published my Almanac, under the name of 'Richard Saunders'; it was continued by me about twenty-five years, and commonly called 'Poor Richard's Almanac.' I filled all the little spaces that occurred between the remarkable days in the calendar with proverbial sentences, chiefly such as inculcated industry and frugality as the means of procuring wealth, and thereby securing virtue. These proverbs, which contained the wisdom of many ages and nations, I assembled and formed into a connected discourse, prefixed to the Almanac of 1757 as the harangue of a wise old man to the people attending an auction. The bringing all these scattered counsels thus into a focus enabled them to make greater impression."



MR. PRESIDENT,--No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen, if, entertaining, as I do, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfil the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offence, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty towards the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British Ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House? Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation--the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us; they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British Ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find, which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves longer. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the Ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free--if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending--if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon, until the glorious abject of our contest shall be obtained--we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come!

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, peace!--but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Biographical and Historical: Patrick Henry was an American patriot and orator whose eloquent speech was a powerful force in moulding public opinion at the time of the Revolution. This famous speech was made in the Virginia Convention, March 28, 1775, and is an appeal to place the colonies in a state of defence.



I first came to understand anything about "the man without a country" one day when we over-hauled a dirty little schooner which had slaves on board. An officer was sent to take charge of her, and, after a few minutes, he sent back his boat to ask that someone might be sent him who could talk Portuguese. But none of the officers did; and just as the captain was sending forward to ask if any of the people could, Nolan stepped out and said he should be glad to interpret, if the captain wished, as he understood the language. The captain thanked him, fitted out another boat with him, and in this boat it was my luck to go.

There were not a great many of the negroes; most of them were out of the hold and swarming all round the dirty deck, with a central throng surrounding Vaughan. "Tell them they are free, Nolan," said Vaughan; "and tell them that I will take them all to Cape Palmas."

Cape Palmas was practically as far from the homes of most of them as New Orleans or Rio Janeiro was; that is, they would be eternally separated from home there. And their interpreters, as we could understand, instantly said, "Ah, non Palmas." The drops stood on poor Nolan's white forehead, as he hushed the men down, and said:

"He says, 'Not Palmas.' He says, 'Take us home, take us to our own country, take us to our own house, take us to our own pickaninnies and our own women.' He says he has an old father and mother who will die if they do not see him. And this one says," choked out Nolan, "that he has not heard a word from, his home in six months."

Even the negroes stopped howling, as they saw Nolan's agony, and Vaughan's almost equal agony of sympathy. As quick as he could get words, Vaughan said:

"Tell them, yes, yes, yes; tell them they shall go to the Mountains of the Moon, if they will."

And after some fashion Nolan said so. And then they all fell to kissing him again.

But he could not stand it long; and getting Vaughan to say he might go back, he beckoned me down into our boat. As we lay back in the stern-sheets and the men gave way, he said to me: "Youngster, let that show you what it is to be without a family, without a home, and without a country. And if you are ever tempted to say a word or to do a thing that shall put a bar between you and your family, your home, and your country, pray God in his mercy to take you that instant home to his own heaven. Think of your home, boy; write and read, and talk about it. Let it be nearer and nearer to your thought, the farther you have to travel from it; and rush back to it when you are free, as that poor black slave is doing now. And for your country, boy," and the words rattled in his throat, "and for that flag," and he pointed to the ship, "never dream a dream but of serving her as she bids you, though the service carry you through a thousand terrors. No matter what happens to you, no matter who flatters you or who abuses you, never look at another flag. Remember, that behind all these men you have to do with,--behind officers, and government, and people even--there is the Country Herself, your Country, and that you belong to Her as you belong to your own mother."

Biographical and Historical: This is an extract from "The Man Without a Country," a book written by Edward Everett Hale, a clergyman and author (1822-1909). He was a grand-nephew of Nathan Hale, of Revolutionary fame.

"The Man without a Country" is the story of Philip Nolan, a young officer of the United States army. On account of his intimacy with Aaron Burr, he was court-martialed and, having expressed the wish never to hear the name of his country again, was banished and sentenced to live upon a government boat, where no one was allowed to mention his country.

(From "The Lay of the Last Minstrel," Canto VI.)


    Breathes there the man with soul so dead,
    Who never to himself hath said:--
    "This is my own, my native land!"
    Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned,
    As home his footsteps he hath turned
    From wandering on a foreign strand?
    If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
    For him no minstrel raptures swell;
    High though his titles, proud his name,
    Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
    Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
    The wretch concentered all in self,
    Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
    And, doubly dying, shall go down
    To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
    Unwept, unhonored, and unsung.



He is fallen! We may now pause before that splendid prodigy, which towered among us like some ancient ruin, whose frown terrified the glance its magnificence attracted. Grand, gloomy, and peculiar, he sat upon the throne, a sceptered hermit, wrapt in the solitude of his own originality. A mind, bold, independent, and decisive,--a will despotic in its dictates--an energy that distanced expedition, and a conscience pliable to every touch of interest, marked the outline of this extraordinary character--the most extraordinary, perhaps, that, in the annals of this world, ever rose, or reigned, or fell.

Flung into life in the midst of a revolution that quickened every energy of a people who acknowledge no superior, he commenced his course, a stranger by birth, and a scholar by charity! With no friend but his sword, and no fortune but his talents, he rushed into the lists where rank and wealth and genius had arrayed themselves, and competition fled from him as from the glance of destiny. He knew no motive but interest--he acknowledged no criterion but success--he worshiped no God but ambition, and, with an Eastern devotion, he knelt at the shrine of his idolatry.

Subsidiary to this, there was no creed that he did not profess, there was no opinion that he did not promulgate; in the hope of a dynasty, he upheld the Crescent; for the sake of a divorce, he bowed before the Cross; the orphan of St. Louis, he became the adopted child of the Republic; and, with a parricidal ingratitude, on the ruins both of the throne and tribune, he reared the throne of his despotism.

A professed Catholic, he imprisoned the Pope; a pretended patriot, he impoverished the country; and, in the name of Brutus, he grasped--without remorse and wore without shame the diadem of the Caesars. Through this pantomime of policy, fortune played the clown to his caprices. At his touch, crowns crumbled, beggars reigned, systems vanished, the wildest theories took the color of his whim, and all that was venerable, and all that was novel, changed places with the rapidity of a drama.

Even apparent defeat assumed the appearance of victory,--his flight from Egypt confirmed his destiny,--ruin itself only elevated him to empire. But, if his fortune was great, his genius was transcendent; decision flashed upon his counsels; and it was the same to decide and to perform. To inferior intellects his combinations appeared perfectly impossible, his plans perfectly impracticable; but, in his hands, simplicity marked their development, and success vindicated their adoption. His person partook the character of his mind,--if the one never yielded in the cabinet, the other never bent in the field. Nature had no obstacle that he did not surmount--space no opposition that he did not spurn: and whether amid Alpine rocks, Arabian sands, or Polar snows, he seemed proof against peril, and empowered with ubiquity.

The whole continent trembled at beholding the audacity of his designs, and the miracle of their execution. Skepticism bowed to the prodigies of his performance; romance assumed the air of history; nor was there aught too incredible for belief, or too fanciful for expectation, when the world saw a subaltern of Corsica waving his imperial flag over her most ancient capitals. All the visions of antiquity became commonplace in his contemplation; kings were his people--nations were his outposts; and he disposed of courts, and crowns, and camps, and churches, and cabinets, as if they were titular dignitaries of the chess-board. Amid all these changes, he stood immutable as adamant.

It mattered little whether in the field or in the drawing-room, with the mob or the levee--wearing the Jacobin bonnet or the iron crown--banishing a Braganza, or espousing a Hapsburg--dictating peace on a raft to the Czar of Russia, or contemplating defeat at the gallows of Leipsic--he was still the same military despot.

In this wonderful combination, his affectations of literature must not be omitted. The jailer of the press, he affected the patronage of letters; the proscriber of books, he encouraged philosophy; the persecutor of authors and the murderer of printers, he yet pretended to the protection of learning. Such a medley of contradictions, and at the same time, such an individual consistency, were never united in the same character. A royalist--a republican and an emperor--a Mohammedan--a Catholic and a patron of the synagogue--a subaltern and a sovereign--a traitor and a tyrant--a Christian and an infidel--he was, through all his vicissitudes, the same stern, impatient, inflexible original--the same mysterious, incomprehensible self--a man without a model and without a shadow.



The flowers of gentleness, of kindliness, of fidelity, of humanity, which flourish in unregarded luxuriance in the rich meadows of peace, receive unwonted admiration when we discern them in war, like violets shedding their perfume on the perilous edges of the precipice, beyond the smiling borders of civilization. God be praised for all the examples of magnanimous virtue which he has vouchsafed to mankind! God be praised that the Roman emperor, about to start on a distant expedition of war, encompassed by squadrons of cavalry and by golden eagles which moved in the winds, stooped from his saddle to listen to the prayer of the humble widow, demanding justice for the death of her son! God be praised that Sidney, on the field of battle, gave with dying hand the cup of cold water to the dying soldier! That single act of self-forgetful sacrifice has consecrated the fenny field of Zutphen far, oh, far beyond its battle; it has consecrated thy name, gallant Sidney, beyond any feat of thy sword, beyond any triumph of thy pen. But there are hands out-stretched elsewhere than on fields of blood for so little as a cup of cold water; the world is full of opportunities for deeds of kindness. Let me not be told, then, of the virtues of war. Let not the acts of generosity and sacrifice which have triumphed on its fields be invoked in its defense. In the words of Oriental imagery, the poisonous tree, though watered by nectar, can produce only the fruit of death.

As we cast our eyes over the history of nations, we discern with horror the succession of murderous slaughters by which their progress has been marked. As the hunter traces the wild beast, when pursued to his lair, by the drops of blood on the earth, so we follow man, faint, weary, staggering with wounds, through the black forest of the past, which he has reddened with his gore. Oh, let it not be in the future ages as in those which we now contemplate. Let the grandeur of man be discerned in the blessings which he has secured; in the good he has accomplished; in the triumphs of benevolence and justice; in the establishment of perpetual peace.

And peace has its own peculiar victories, in comparison with which Marathon and Bannockburn and Bunker Hill, fields held sacred in the history of human freedom, shall lose their lustre. Our own Washington rises to a truly heavenly stature--not when we follow him over the ice of the Delaware to the capture of Trenton--not when we behold him victorious over Cornwallis at Yorktown--but when we regard him, in noble deference to justice, refusing the kingly crown which a faithless soldiery proffered, and at a later day upholding the peaceful neutrality of the country, while he received unmoved the clamor of the people wickedly crying for war....

To this great work let me summon you. That future which filled the lofty visions of the sages and bards of Greece and Rome, which was foretold by the prophets and heralded by the evangelists, when man in happy isles or in a new paradise shall confess the loveliness of peace, may be secured by your care, if not for yourselves, at least for your children. Believe that you can do it, and you can do it. The true golden age is before you, not behind you.

Let it not be said that the age does not demand this work. The mighty conquerors of the past from their fiery sepulchres demand it; the blood of millions unjustly shed in war crying from the ground demands it; the voices of all good men demand it; the conscience even of the soldier whispers "peace." There are considerations springing from our situation and condition which fervently invite us to take the lead in this great work. To this should bend the patriotic ardor of the land; the ambition of the statesman; the efforts of the scholar; the pervasive influence of the press; the mild persuasion of the sanctuary; the early teachings of the school. Here, in ampler ether and diviner air, are untried fields for exalted triumphs, more truly worthy the American name than any snatched from rivers of blood. War is known as the last reason of kings. Let it be no reason of our republic. Let us renounce and throw off forever the yoke of a tyranny more oppressive than any in the annals of the world. As those standing on the mountain tops first discern the coming beams of morning, let us, from the vantage-ground of liberal institutions, first recognize the ascending sun of a new era. Lift high, the gates and let the King of glory in--the King of true glory, of peace. I catch the last words of music from the lips of innocence and beauty--

"And let the whole earth be filled with his glory!"

It is a beautiful picture in Grecian story that there was at least one spot, the small island of Delos, dedicated to the gods, and kept at all times sacred from war, where the citizens of hostile countries met and united in a common worship. So let us dedicate our broad country. The temple of honor shall be surrounded by the temple of concord, so that the former can be entered only through the portals of the latter; the horn of abundance shall overflow at its gates; the angel of religion shall be the guide over its steps of flashing adamant; while within, Justice, returned to the earth from her long exile in the skies, shall rear her serene and majestic front. And the future chiefs of the republic, destined to uphold the glories of a new era, unspotted by human blood, shall be "the first in peace, and the first in the hearts of their countrymen."

But while we seek these blissful glories for ourselves, let us strive to extend them to other lands. Let the bugles sound the truce of God to the whole world forever. Let the selfish boast of the Spartan women become the grand chorus of mankind, that they have never seen the smoke of an enemy's camp. Let the iron belt of martial music which now encompasses the earth be exchanged for the golden cestus of peace, clothing all with celestial beauty. And now, on this Sabbath of our country, let us lay a new stone in the grand temple of universal peace, whose dome shall be as lofty as the firmament of heaven, as broad and comprehensive as the earth itself.

Biographical: Charles Samuer was an American statesman noted for his oratory. His speeches were marked by soundness of reason, and the fifteen published volumes of them make an imposing addition to our literature. This selection is taken from his address "The True Grandeur of Nations," which was delivered in Tremont Temple, Boston, July 4, 1845.



    "The drying up a single tear has more
    Of honest fame, than shedding seas of gore."--Byron.

War, pestilence, and famine, by the common consent of mankind, are the three greatest calamities which can befall our species; and war, as the most direful, justly, stands foremost and in front. Pestilence and famine, no doubt for wise although inscrutable purposes, are inflictions of Providence, to which it is our duty, therefore, to bow with obedience, humble submission, and resignation. Their duration is not long, and their ravages are limited. They bring, indeed, great affliction, while they last, but society soon recovers from their effects.

War is the voluntary work of our own hands, and whatever reproaches it may deserve, should be directed to ourselves. When it breaks out, its duration is indefinite and unknown,--its vicissitudes are hidden from our view. In the sacrifice of human life, and in the waste of human treasure,--in its losses and in its burdens,--it affects both belligerent nations, and its sad effects of mangled bodies, of death, and of desolation, endure long after its thunders are hushed in peace.

War unhinges society, disturbs its peaceful and regular industry, and scatters poisonous seeds of disease and immorality, which continue to germinate and diffuse their baneful influence long after it has ceased. Dazzling by its glitter, pomp, and pageantry, it begets a spirit of wild adventure and romantic enterprise, and often disqualifies those who embark in it, after their return from the bloody fields of battle, for engaging in the industrious and peaceful vocations of life.

History tells the mournful tale of conquering nations and conquerors. The three most celebrated conquerors, in the civilized world, were Alexander, Caesar, and Napoleon. The first, after ruining a large portion of Asia, and sighing and lamenting that there were no more worlds to subdue, met a premature and ignoble death. His lieutenants quarreled and warred with each other as to the spoils of his victories, and finally lost them all.

Cæsar, after conquering Gaul, returned with his triumphant legions to Rome, passed the Rubicon, won the battle of Pharsalia, trampled upon the liberties of his country, and expired by the patriot hand of Brutus. But Rome ceased to be free. War and conquest had enervated and corrupted the masses. The spirit of true liberty was extinguished, and a long line of emperors succeeded, some of whom were the most execrable monsters that ever existed in human form.

And Napoleon, that most extraordinary man, perhaps, in all history, after subjugating all continental Europe, occupying almost all its capitals,--seriously threatening proud Albion itself,--and decking the brows of various members of his family with crowns torn from the heads of other monarchs, lived to behold his own dear France itself in possession of his enemies, was made himself a wretched captive, and far removed from country, family, and friends, breathed his last on the distant and inhospitable rock of St. Helena.

The Alps and the Rhine had been claimed, as the natural boundaries of France, but even these could not be secured in the treaties, to which she was reduced to submit. Do you believe that the people of Macedon or Greece, of Rome, or of France, were benefited, individually or collectively, by the triumphs of their captains? Their sad lot was immense sacrifice of life, heavy and intolerable burdens, and the ultimate loss of liberty itself.

Biographical: Henry Clay was one of the most prominent statesmen of his time, serving as speaker of the House for ten years, as secretary of state for four years, and as senator from Kentucky for twenty years. He was the author of the compromise measures in 1850, and was known as the "Great Pacificator," and the "Great Compromiser."



I am opposed to war, as a friend to human improvement, to human civilization, to human progress and advancement. Never, in the history of the world, has there occurred a period so remarkable. The chemical and mechanical powers have been investigated and applied to advance the comforts of human life, in a degree far beyond all that was ever known before. Civilization has been spreading its influence far and wide, and the general progress of human society has outstripped all that had been previously witnessed.

The invention of man has seized upon, and subjugated two great agencies of the natural world, which never before were made the servants of man. I refer to steam and to electricity, under which I include magnetism in all its phenomena. We have been distinguished by Providence for a great and noble purpose, and I trust we shall fulfill our high destiny.

Again, I am opposed to war, because I hold that it is now to be determined whether two such nations as these shall exist for the future, as friends or enemies. A declaration of war by one of them against the other, must be pregnant with miseries, not only to themselves, but to the world.

Another reason is, that mighty means are now put into the hands of both, to cement and secure a perpetual peace, by breaking down the barriers of commerce, and uniting them more closely in an intercourse mutually beneficial. If this shall be accomplished, other nations will, one after another, follow the fair example, and a state of general prosperity, heretofore unknown, will gradually unite and bless the nations of the world.

And far more than all. An intercourse like this points to that inspiring day which philosophers have hoped for, which poets have seen in their bright dreams of fancy, and which prophecy has seen in holy vision,--when men shall learn war no more. Who can contemplate a state of the world like this, and not feel his heart exult at the prospect? And who can doubt that, in the hand of an Omnipotent Providence, a free and unrestricted commerce shall prove one of the greatest agents in bringing it about?

Finally, I am against war, because peace--peace is preëminently our policy. Our great mission, as a people, is to occupy this vast domain,--there to level forests, and let in upon their solitude the light of day; to clear the swamps and morasses, and redeem them to the plow and the sickle; to spread over hill and dale the echoes of human labor, and human happiness, and contentment; to fill the land with cities and towns; to unite its opposite extremities by turnpikes and railroads; to scoop out canals for the transmission of its products, and open rivers for its internal trade. War can only impede the fulfillment of this high mission of Heaven; it absorbs the wealth and diverts the energy which might be so much better devoted to the improvement of our country. All we want is peace,--established peace; and then time, under the guidance of a wise and cautious policy, will soon effect for us all the rest. Where we find that natural causes will of themselves work out good, our wisdom is to let them work; and all our task is to remove impediments. In the present case, one of the greatest of these impediments is found in our impatience.

Yes; time--ever-laboring time--will effect everything for us. Our population is now increasing at the annual average of six hundred thousand. Let the next twenty-five years elapse, and our increase will have reached a million a year, and, at the end of that period, we shall count a population of forty-five millions. Before that day it will have spread from ocean to ocean. The coast of the Pacific will then be as densely populated and as thickly settled with villages and towns as is now the coast of the Atlantic. If we can preserve peace, who shall set bounds to our prosperity, or to our success? With one foot planted on the Atlantic and the other on the Pacific, we shall occupy a position between the two old continents of the world,--a position eminently calculated to secure to us the commerce and the influence of both. If we abide by the counsels of common sense,--if we succeed in preserving our constitutional liberty, we shall then exhibit a spectacle such, as the world never saw.

I know that this one great mission is encompassed with difficulties; but such is the inherent energy of our political system, and such its expansive capability, that it may be made to govern the widest space. If by war we become great, we can not be free; if we will be both great and free, our policy is peace.

Biographical: John C. Calhoun was a distinguished American statesman. He is noted for his advocacy of the annexation of Texas and his maintenance of the cause of peace, when war with Great Britain was threatened by the claims of the United States to Oregon. This selection is from one of his speeches in the Senate on that subject.



The hours of this day are rapidly flying, and this occasion will soon be passed. Neither we nor our children can expect to behold its return. They are in the distant regions of futurity, they exist only in the all-creating power of God, who shall stand here, a hundred years hence, to trace, through us, their descent from the Pilgrims, and to survey, as we have now surveyed, the progress of the country during the lapse of a century. We would anticipate their concurrence with us in our sentiments of deep regard for our common ancestors. We would anticipate and partake of the pleasure with which they will then recount the steps of New England's advancement. On the morning of that day, although it will not disturb us in our repose, the voice of acclamation and gratitude, commencing on the rock of Plymouth, shall be transmitted through millions of the sons of the Pilgrims, till it lose itself in the murmurs of the Pacific seas.

We would leave for the consideration of those who shall occupy our places, some proof that we hold the blessings transmitted from our fathers in just estimation; some proof of our attachment to the cause of good government, and ardent desire to promote everything which may enlarge the understandings and improve the hearts of men. And when, from the long distance of a hundred years, they shall look back upon us, they shall know, at least, that we possessed affections which, running backward and warming with gratitude for what our ancestors have done for our happiness, run forward also to our posterity, and meet them with cordial salutation, ere yet they have arrived on the shore of being.

Advance, then, ye future generations! We would hail you, as you rise in your long succession, to fill the places which we now fill, and to taste the blessings of existence, where we are passing, and soon shall have passed, our human duration. We bid you welcome to the healthful skies and the verdant fields of New England. We greet your accession to the great inheritance which we have enjoyed. We welcome you to the blessings of good government and religious liberty. We welcome you to the treasures of science and the delights of learning. We welcome you to the transcendent sweets of domestic life, to the happiness of kindred, and parents, and children. We welcome you to the immeasurable blessings of rational existence, the immortal hope of Christianity, and the light of everlasting truth!

Biographical and Historical: Daniel Webster stands out as America's foremost orator. His eloquence, enhanced by the force of his personality, was equally great whether answering an opponent in the Senate, pleading a case as a lawyer, or in the more dispassionate orations of anniversary occasions. He was the champion of the national idea and of complete union, and therefore bitterly opposed Hayne and Calhoun. He supported Clay in the compromise measures of 1850. His supremacy in American statesmanship, as senator, and as secretary of state, makes him "the notablest of our notabilities." These are the closing paragraphs from his oration delivered at Plymouth, December 22, 1820, on the two hundredth anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims.



Sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish, I give my hand and my heart to this vote. It is true, indeed, that in the beginning we aimed not at independence. But there is a divinity which shapes our ends. The injustice of England has driven us to arms; and, blinded to her own interest, she has obstinately persisted, till independence is now within our grasp. We have but to reach forth to it, and it is ours. Why, then, should we defer the declaration? If we postpone independence, do we mean to carry on or to give up the war? Do we mean to submit, and consent that we shall be ground to powder, and our country and its rights trodden down in the dust? I know we do not mean to submit. We never shall submit!

The war, then, must go on; we must fight it through. And if the war must go on, why put off the declaration of independence? That measure will strengthen us. It will give us character abroad. Nations will then treat with us, which they never can do while we acknowledge ourselves subjects in arms against our sovereign.

If we fail, it can be no worse for us. But we shall not fail. The cause will raise up armies; the cause will create navies. The people--the people, if we are true to them, will carry us, and will carry themselves, gloriously through this struggle. I care not how fickle other people have been found. I know the people of these colonies; and I know that resistance to British aggression is deep and settled in their hearts, and cannot be eradicated. Sir, the declaration of independence will inspire the people with increased courage. Instead of a long and bloody war for the restoration of privileges, for redress of grievances, set before them the glorious object of entire independence, and it will breathe into them anew the spirit of life.

Read this declaration at the head of the army; every sword will be drawn, and the solemn vow uttered to maintain it or perish on the bed of honor. Publish it from the pulpit; religion will approve it, and the love of religious liberty will cling around it, resolved to stand with it, or fall with it. Send it to the public halls; proclaim it there; let them see it, who saw their brothers and their sons fall on the field of Bunker Hill, and in the streets of Lexington and Concord, and the very walls will cry out in its support.

O Sir, I know the uncertainty of human affairs, but I see, I see clearly through this day's business. You and I, indeed, may rue it. We may not live to see the time this declaration shall be made good. We may die; die colonists; die slaves; die, it may be ignominiously, and on the scaffold. Be it so: be it so. If it be the pleasure of Heaven that my country shall require the poor offering of my life, the victim shall be ready at the appointed hour of sacrifice, come when that hour may. But while I do live, let me have a country, or at least the hope of a country, and that a free country.

But whatever may be our fate, be assured--be assured that this declaration will stand. It may cost treasure, and it may cost blood; but it will stand, and it will richly compensate for both. Through the thick gloom of the present I see the brightness of the future, as the sun in heaven. We shall make this a glorious, an immortal day. When we are in our graves, our children will honor it. They will celebrate it with thanksgiving, with festivity, with bonfires, and illuminations. On its annual return they will shed tears, copious, gushing tears; not of subjection and slavery, not of agony and distress, but of exultation, of gratitude, and of joy.

Sir, before God, I believe the hour is come. My judgment approves the measure, and my whole heart is in it. All that I have, and all that I am, and all that I hope in this life, I am now ready here to stake upon it; and I leave off as I began, that, live or die, survive or perish, I am for the declaration. It is my living sentiment, and, by the blessing of God, it shall be my dying sentiment; independence now, and independence forever.

Historical: Boston was deeply moved, on July 4, 1826, by the news of the death of John Adams, just fifty years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He was not only conscious of the significance of the day, but had spoken of his colleague, Thomas Jefferson, and the fact that Jefferson would survive him. A few days later, news came from Virginia that Jefferson had died on the same day, a few hours earlier than Adams. The whole country was deeply affected by this remarkable coincidence. On the second of August a public memorial meeting was held in Faneuil Hall, Boston, at which Daniel Webster delivered an oration on "Adams and Jefferson." In this speech, merely a part of the oration, Webster represents what Adams might have said at the time of the Declaration of Independence.



I shall make no profession of zeal for the interests and honor of South Carolina. If there be one state in the Union that may challenge comparison with any other, for a uniform, zealous, ardent, and uncalculating devotion to the Union, that state is South Carolina. From the very commencement of the Revolution up to this hour, there is no sacrifice, however great, she has not cheerfully made, no service she has ever hesitated to perform. She has adhered to you in your prosperity; but in your adversity she has clung to you with more than filial affection. No matter what was the condition of her domestic affairs, though deprived of her resources, divided by parties, or surrounded with difficulties, the call of the country has been to her as the voice of God. Domestic discord ceased at the sound; every man became at once reconciled to his brethren, and the sons of Carolina were all seen crowding together to the temple, bringing gifts to the altar of their common country.

What was the conduct of the South during the Revolution? I honor New England for her conduct in that glorious struggle. But great as is the praise which belongs to her, I think at least equal honor is due the South. They espoused the quarrel of their brethren with a generous zeal which did not suffer them to stop to calculate their interest in the dispute. Favorites of the mother country, possessed of neither ships nor seamen to create a commercial rivalship, they might have found in their situation a guaranty that their trade would be forever fostered and protected by Great Britain. But, trampling on all considerations either of interest or of safety, they rushed into the conflict, and, fighting for principle, periled all in the sacred cause of freedom. Never were there exhibited in the history of the world higher examples of noble daring, dreadful suffering, and heroic endurance than by the Whigs of Carolina during the Revolution. The whole state, from the mountains to the sea, was overrun by an overwhelming force of the enemy. The fruits of industry perished on the spot where they were produced, or were consumed by the foe.

The "plains of Carolina" drank up the most precious blood of her citizens. Black and smoking ruins marked the places which had been the habitations of her children. Driven from their homes into the gloomy and almost impenetrable swamps, even there the spirit of liberty survived, and South Carolina, sustained by the example of her Sumters and her Marions, proved, by her conduct, that, though her soil might be overrun, the spirit of her people was invincible.

Historical: In January of 1830, Senator Foote of Connecticut introduced into the Senate a resolution regarding the sale of public lands. The subject of state rights being uppermost in their minds, the debaters wandered off into a discussion of the Constitution. Senator Robert Y. Hayne of South Carolina, in a brilliant speech set forth the doctrine of nullification, and Daniel Webster answered him in one of the greatest speeches ever delivered. This extract and the following are taken from this memorable debate, when for the first time the two opposing theories of the Constitution, the "state" and he "national," were clearly set forth.



I shall not acknowledge that the honorable member goes before me in regard for whatever of distinguished talent or distinguished character South Carolina has produced. I claim part of the honor, I partake in the pride, of her great name. I claim them for countrymen, one and all. The Laurenses, the Rutledges, the Pinckneys, the Sumters, the Marions--Americans all--whose fame is no more to be hemmed in by state lines than their talents and patriotism were capable of being circumscribed within the same narrow limits. In their day and generation, they served and honored the country, and the whole country; and their renown is of the treasures of the whole country.

Mr. President, I shall enter upon no encomium upon Massachusetts; she needs none. There she is. Behold her, and judge for yourselves. There is her history; the world knows it by heart. The past, at least, is secure. There is Boston, and Concord, and Lexington, and Bunker Hill; and there they will remain forever. The bones of her sons, fallen in the great struggle for independence, now lie mingled with the soil of every state from New England to Georgia; and there they will lie forever. And, sir, where American liberty raised its first voice, and where its youth was nurtured and sustained, there it still lives, in the strength of its manhood, and full of its original spirit. If discord and disunion shall wound it; if party strife and blind ambition shall hawk and tear it; if folly and madness, if uneasiness under salutary and necessary restraint, shall succeed in separating it from that Union by which alone its existence is made sure,--it will stand, in the end, by the side of that cradle in which its infancy was rocked; it will stretch forth its arm, with whatever vigor it may still retain, over the friends who gather round it; and it will fall at last, if fall it must, amidst the proudest monuments of its own glory and on the very spot of its origin.

I cannot persuade myself to relinquish this subject without expressing my deep conviction, that, since it respects nothing less than THE UNION OF THE STATES, it is of most vital and essential importance to the public happiness. I profess, sir, in my career hitherto, to have kept steadily in view the prosperity and honor of the whole country and the preservation of our federal Union. It is to that Union we owe our safety at home and our consideration and dignity abroad. It is to that Union that we are chiefly indebted for whatever makes us most proud of our country.

That Union we reached only by the discipline of our virtues in the severe school of adversity. It had its origin in the necessities of disordered finance, prostrate commerce, and ruined credit, Under its benign influences, these great interests immediately awoke, as from the dead, and sprang forth with newness of life.

Every year of its duration has teemed with fresh proofs of its utility and its blessings; and, although our territory has stretched out wider and wider, and our population spread farther and farther, they have not outrun its protection or its benefits. It has been to us a copious fountain of national, social, and personal happiness.

I have not allowed myself to look beyond the Union, to see what might lie hidden in the dark recess behind. I have not coolly weighed the chances of preserving liberty, when the bonds that unite us together shall be broken asunder. I have not accustomed myself to hang over the precipice of disunion, to see whether, with my short sight, I can fathom the depth of the abyss below; nor could I regard him as a safe counselor in the affairs of this government, whose thoughts should be mainly bent on considering, not how the Union should be best preserved, but how tolerable might be the condition of the people when it shall be broken up and destroyed.

While the Union lasts, we have high, exciting, gratifying prospects spread out before us, for us and our children. Beyond that, I seek not to penetrate the veil. God grant that, in my day, at least, that curtain may not rise,--that on my vision never may be opened what lies behind.

When my eyes shall be turned to behold, for the last time, the sun in heaven, may I not see him shining on the broken and dishonored fragments of a once glorious Union--on States dissevered discordant, belligerent,--on a land rent with civil feuds, or drenched, it may be, in fraternal blood! Let their last feeble and lingering glance rather behold the gorgeous ensign of the republic, now known and honored throughout the earth, still full high advanced, its arms and trophies streaming in their original luster, not a stripe erased or polluted, nor a single star obscured, bearing for its motto, no such miserable interrogatory as, "What is all this worth?" nor those other words of delusion and folly, "Liberty first and Union afterward"; but everywhere, spread all over in characters of living light, blazing on all its ample folds, as they float over the sea and over the land, and in every wind under the whole heavens, that other sentiment, dear to every true American heart,--LIBERTY AND UNION, NOW AND FOREVER, ONE AND INSEPARABLE!



Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war; testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate--we can not consecrate--we can not hallow--this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain--that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom--and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Historical: At the dedication of the national cemetery at Gettysburg, November 19, 1863, President Lincoln was asked to be present and say a few words. This address has become a classic. Edward Everett, the orator who had delivered the long address of the day wrote to Mr. Lincoln, "I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near the central idea of the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes."

Several versions of the speech have appeared, but the one here printed was given out by President Lincoln himself as the authorized version. See "Lincoln's Gettysburg Address," Century Magazine, Feb., 1894.



    When the Norn-Mother saw the Whirlwind Hour,
    Greatening and darkening as it hurried on,
    She bent the strenuous Heavens and came down
    To make a man to meet the mortal need.
    She took the tried clay of the common road--
    Clay warm yet with the genial heat of Earth,
    Dashed through it all a strain of prophecy;
    Then mixed a laughter with the serious stuff.
    It was a stuff to wear for centuries,
    A man that matched the mountains, and compelled
    The stars to look our way and honor us.

    The color of the ground was in him, the red earth;
    The tang and odor of the primal things--
    The rectitude and patience of the rocks;
    The gladness of the wind that shakes the corn;
    The courage of the bird that dares the sea;
    The justice of the rain that loves all leaves;
    The pity of the snow that hides all scars;
    The loving kindness of the wayside well;
    The tolerance and equity of light
    That gives as freely to the shrinking weed
    As to the great oak flaring to the wind--
    To the grave's low hill as to the Matterhorn
    That shoulders out the sky.
        And so he came.
    From prairie cabin up to capitol
    One fair ideal led our chieftain on.
    Forevermore he burned to do his deed
    With the fine stroke and gesture of a king.
    He built the rail-pile as he built the State,
    Pouring his splendid strength through every blow,
    The conscience of him testing every stroke,
    To make his deed the measure of a man.

    So came the Captain with the mighty heart:
    And when the step of Earthquake shook the house
    Wrenching the rafters from their ancient hold,
    He held the ridge-pole up, and spiked again
    The rafters of the Home. He held his place--
    Held the long purpose like a growing tree--
    Held on through blame and faltered not at praise.
    And when he fell in whirlwind, he went down
    As when a kingly cedar green with boughs
    Goes down with a great shout upon the hills,
    And leaves a lonesome place against the sky.

Biographical: Edwin Markham was born in Oregon, taught school in California, and more recently has been a resident of Brooklyn. His poem "The Man with the Hoe" brought him immediate fame.



    O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
    The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won,
    The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
    While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
        But O heart! heart! heart!
            O the bleeding drops of red,
                Where on the deck my Captain lies,
                    Fallen cold and dead.

    O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
    Rise up--for you the flag is flung--for you the bugle trills,
    For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths--for you the shores a-crowding,
    For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
        Here, Captain! dear father!
            This arm beneath your head!
                It is some dream that on the deck
                    You've fallen cold and dead.

    My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
    My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
    The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
    From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
        Exult, O shores! and ring, O bells!
            But I with mournful tread,
                Walk the deck my Captain lies,
                    Fallen cold and dead.

Biographical and Historical: Walt Whitman will always be remembered as the author of this poem. It differs from his other poems in that it shows a great deal of attention to form, to metre, and rhyme. He wrote not so much with the aim to please as to arouse and uplift. He was very democratic in his taste, and loved to mingle with the crowds on the ferries and omnibuses. At different times he was school teacher, carpenter, and journalist. This poem was written in appreciation of Lincoln, at the time of his death.


Friends and Fellow-Citizens,

The period for a new election of a Citizen, to administer the Executive Government of the United States, being not far distant, and the time actually arrived, when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person, who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those, out of whom a choice is to be made....

The unity of government, which constitutes you one people, is also now dear to you. It is justly so; for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence,--the support of your tranquillity at home and your peace abroad, of your safety, of your prosperity, of that very liberty which you so highly prize.

But as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively, though often covertly and insidiously, directed,--it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourself to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can, in any event, be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.

To the efficacy and permanency of your union a government for the whole is indispensable. No alliances, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate substitute; they must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions which all alliances in all times have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have improved your essay, by the adoption of the constitution of a government better calculated than your former for an intimate union, and for the efficacious management of your common concerns.

This government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitution of government; but the constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.

All obstructions to the executions of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation, the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.

However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people, and to usurp for themselves the reins of government; destroying afterward the very engines which had lifted them to unjust dominion.

Toward the preservation of your government and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown.

In all the changes to which you may be invited, remember that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments as of other human institutions; that experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country; that facility in changes, upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion, exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of hypothesis and opinion; and remember especially that for the efficient management of your common interest in a country so extensive as ours, a government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is indispensable. Liberty itself will find in such a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian. It is, indeed, little else than a name where the government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction, to confine each member of the society within the limits prescribed by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property.

It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution, in those intrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositories, and constituting each the guardian of the public weal against invasion by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern; some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them.

If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for, though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit, which the use can at any time yield.

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity.

Let it simply be asked, where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who, that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?

Promote then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.

In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish; that they will control the usual current of the passions, or prevent our nation from running the course, which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations. But, if I may even flatter myself, that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good; that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism; this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare, by which they have been dictated.

How far in the discharge of my official duties, I have been guided by the principles which have been delineated, the public records and other evidences of my conduct must witness to you and to the world. To myself, the assurance of my own conscience is, that I have at least believed myself to be guided by them.

Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope, that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after forty-five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.

Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love towards it, which is so natural to a man, who views in it the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations; I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat, in which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a free government, the ever favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers.



We are called upon to cherish with high veneration and grateful recollections the memory of our fathers. Both the ties of nature and the dictates of policy demand this. And surely no nation had ever less occasion to be ashamed of its ancestry, or more occasion for gratification in that respect; for, while most nations trace their origin to barbarians, the foundations of our nation were laid by civilized men, by Christians. Many of them were men of distinguished families, of powerful talents, of great learning and of preeminent wisdom, of decision of character, and of most inflexible integrity. And yet not unfrequently they have been treated as if they had no virtues; while their sins and follies have been sedulously immortalized in satirical anecdote.

The influence of such treatment of our fathers is too manifest. It creates and lets loose upon their institutions the vandal spirit of innovation and overthrow; for, after the memory of our fathers shall have been rendered contemptible, who will uphold and sustain their institutions? The memory of our fathers should be the watch-word of liberty throughout the land; for, imperfect as they were, the world before had not seen their like, nor will it soon, we fear, behold their like again. Such models of moral excellence, such apostles of civil and religious liberty, such shades of the illustrious dead looking down upon their descendants with approbation or reproof, according as they follow or depart from the good way, constitute a censorship inferior only to the eye of God; and to ridicule them is a national suicide.

The doctrines of our fathers have been represented as gloomy, superstitious, severe, irrational, and of a licentious tendency. But when other systems shall have produced a piety as devoted, a morality as pure, a patriotism as disinterested, and a state of society as happy, as have prevailed where their doctrines have been most prevalent, it may be in season to seek an answer to this objection.

The persecutions instituted by our fathers have been the occasion of ceaseless obloquy upon their fame. And, truly, it was a fault of no ordinary magnitude, that sometimes they did persecute. But let him whose ancestors were not ten times more guilty cast the first stone, and the ashes of our fathers will no more be disturbed. Theirs was the fault of the age, and it will be easy to show that no class of men had, at that time, approximated so nearly to just apprehensions of religious liberty; and that it is to them that the world is now indebted for the more just and definite views which now prevail.

The superstition and bigotry of our fathers are themes on which some of their descendants, themselves far enough from superstition, if not from bigotry, have delighted to dwell. But when we look abroad and behold the condition of the world, compared with the condition of New England, we may justly exclaim, "Would to God that the ancestors of all the nations had been not only almost, but altogether such bigots as our fathers were."

Biographical: Henry Ward Beecher was a noted preacher, orator, and writer. For forty years he was pastor of Plymouth Church, Brooklyn. He lectured extensively throughout the country, taking up the great issues of his time. He died in 1887 at the age of seventy-four.



    When Freedom, from her mountain height,
        Unfurled her standard to the air,
    She tore the azure robe of night,
        And set the stars of glory there;
    She mingled with its gorgeous dyes
    The milky baldric of the skies,
    And striped its pure celestial white
    With streakings of the morning light;
    Then, from his mansion in the sun,
    She called her eagle-bearer down,
    And gave into his mighty hand
    The symbol of her chosen land!

    Majestic monarch of the cloud,
        Who rear'st aloft thy regal form,
    To hear the tempest-trumpings loud,
    And see the lightning lances driven,
        When strive the warriors of the storm,
    And rolls the thunder-drum of heaven--
    Child of the sun! to thee 'tis given
        To guard the banner of the free,
    To hover in the sulphur smoke,
    To ward away the battle-stroke,
    And bid its blendings shine afar,
    Like rainbows on the cloud of war,
        The harbingers of victory!

    Flag of the brave! thy folds shall fly,
    The sign of hope and triumph high,
    When speaks the signal trumpet tone,
    And the long line comes gleaming on,
    Ere yet the life-blood, warm and wet,
    Has dimmed the glistening bayonet,
    Each soldier's eye shall brightly turn
    To where thy sky-born glories burn;
    And as his springing steps advance,
    Catch war and vengeance from the glance.
    And when the cannon's mouthings loud,
    Heave in wild wreaths the battle shroud,
    And gory sabres rise and fall,
    Like shoots of flame on midnight's pall;
    Then shall thy meteor glances glow,
    And cowering foes shall sink below
    Each gallant arm that strikes beneath
    That awful messenger of death.

    Flag of the seas! on ocean's wave
    Thy stars shall glitter o'er the brave;
    When death, careering on the gale,
    Sweeps darkly round the bellied sail,
    And frighted waves rush wildly back
    Before the broadside's reeling rack,
    Each dying wanderer of the sea,
    Shall look at once to heaven and thee,
    And smile to see thy splendors fly
    In triumph o'er his closing eye.

    Flag of the free heart's hope and home!
        By angel hands to valor given;
    Thy stars have lit the welkin dome,
        And all thy hues were born in heaven.
    Forever float that standard sheet!
        Where breathes the foe but falls before us,
    With Freedom's soil beneath our feet,
        And Freedom's banner streaming o'er us?

Biographical and Historical: The name of Joseph Rodman Drake is inseparably associated with that of his friend, Fitz-Greene Halleck. Together they contributed a series of forty poems to the New York Evening Post. Among these was "The American Flag," the last four lines of which were written by Halleck, to replace those written by Drake:

    "As fixed as yonder orb divine,
    That saw thy bannered blaze unfurled,
    Shall thy proud stars resplendent shine,
    The guard and glory of the world."

Drake was a youth of many graces of both mind and body, who wrote verses as a bird sings--for the pure joy of it. His career was cut short by death when he was only twenty-five years old. Of him Halleck wrote:

    "None knew thee but to love thee,
    Nor named thee but to praise."



    Stand! the ground's your own, my braves!
    Will ye give it up to slaves?
    Will ye look for greener graves?
        Hope ye mercy still?
    What's the mercy despots feel?
    Hear it in that battle peal!
    Read it on yon bristling steel!
        Ask it--ye who will.

    Fear ye foes who kill for hire?
    Will ye to your homes retire?
    Look behind you! they're afire!
        And, before you, see
    Who have done it!--From the vale
    On they come!--and will ye quail?--
    Leaden rain and iron hail
        Let their welcome be!

    In the God of battles trust!
    Die we may--and die we must:
    But, O where can dust to dust
        Be consigned so well,
    As where heaven its dews shall shed,
    On the martyred patriot's bed,
    And the rocks shall raise their head,
        Of his deeds to tell?

Biographical and Historical: John Pierpont was a Unitarian clergyman of Connecticut, who published several volumes of poetry. General Joseph Warren was one of the generals in command of the patriot army at the battle of Bunker Hill, and was killed in the battle. He was counted one of the bravest and most unselfish patriots of the Revolutionary War. In this poem we have the poet's idea of how General Warren inspired his men.



    Behind him lay the gray Azores,
        Behind the Gates of Hercules;
    Before him not the ghosts of shores,
        Before him only shoreless seas.
    The good mate said: "Now must we pray,
        For lo! the very stars are gone.
    Brave Admiral, speak, what shall I say?"
        "Why, say 'sail on! sail on! and on!'"

    "My men grow mutinous day by day;
        My men grow ghastly wan and weak."
    The stout mate thought of home; a spray
        Of salt wave washed his swarthy cheek.
    "What shall I say, brave Admiral, say,
        If we sight naught but seas at dawn?"
    "Why, you shall say at break of day,
        'Sail on! sail on! and on!'"

    They sailed and sailed, as winds might blow.
        Until at last the blanched mate said:
    "Why, now not even God would know
        Should I and all my men fall dead.
    These very winds forget their way,
        For God from these dread seas is gone,
    Now speak, brave Admiral, speak and say"--
        He said: "Sail on! sail on! and on!"

    They sailed. They sailed. Then spake the mate;
        "This mad sea shows his teeth to-night.
    He curls his lip, he lies in wait,
        With lifted teeth, as if to bite!
    Brave Admiral, say but one good word:
        What shall we do when hope is gone?"
    The words leapt like a leaping sword;
        "Sail on! sail on! and on!"

    Then, pale and worn, he kept his deck,
        And peered through darkness. Ah, that night
    Of all dark nights! And then a speck--
        A light! A light! A light! A light!
    It grew, a starlit flag unfurled!
        It grew to be Time's burst of dawn.
    He gained a world; he gave that world
        Its grandest lesson: "On! sail on!"

Biographical and Historical: Cincinnatus Heine Miller (Joaquin [hoa'kin] Miller) was born in Indiana in 1841. Joining the general movement to the West after the discovery of gold, his parents moved to the Pacific coast in 1850. He died in 1914.

"In point of power, workmanship, and feeling, among all the poems written by Americans, we are inclined to give first place to 'The Port of Ships,' or 'Columbus,' by Joaquin Miller."--London Athenaeum.



    God of our fathers, known of old--
        Lord of our far-flung battle line--
    Beneath whose awful hand we hold
        Dominion over palm and pine--
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
    Lest we forget--lest we forget!

    The tumult and the shouting dies--
        The Captains and the Kings depart--
    Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
        An humble and a contrite heart.
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
    Lest we forget--lest we forget!

    Far-called, our navies melt away--
        On dune and headland sinks the fire--
    Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
        Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
    Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
    Lest we forget--lest we forget!

    If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
        Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe--
    Such boasting as the Gentiles use,
        Or lesser breeds without the Law--
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
    Lest we forget--lest we forget!

    For heathen heart that puts her trust
        In reeking tube and iron shard--
    All valiant dust that builds on dust,
        And guarding calls not Thee to guard.
    For frantic boast and foolish word,
    Thy Mercy on Thy People, Lord!


Biographical and Historical: Rudyard Kipling was born Christmas Week, 1865, in Bombay. After school life in England, he returned to India at the age of seventeen, to do journalistic work. His tales of Indian. life and his ballads describing the life of the British soldier won immediate favor. Perhaps he is best known to the boys and girls as the author of the Jungle Books. From 1892 to 1896 he lived in the United States. This poem, which appeared in 1897, at the time of the Queen's Jubilee, struck a warning note against the arrogance of power.



It is almost a definition of a gentleman to say he is one who never inflicts pain. This description is both refined and, as far as it goes, accurate. He is mainly occupied in merely removing the obstacles which hinder the free and unembarrassed action of those about him; and he concurs with their movements rather than takes the initiative himself. His benefits may be considered as parallel to what are called comforts or conveniences in arrangements of a personal nature: like an easy-chair or a good fire, which do their part in dispelling cold and fatigue, though nature provides both means of rest and animal heat without them. The true gentleman in like manner carefully avoids whatever may cause a jar or a jolt in the minds of those with whom he is cast;--all clashing of opinion, or collision of feeling, all restraint, or suspicion, or gloom, or resentment; his great concern being to make every one at their ease and at home. He has his eyes on all his company; he is tender toward the bashful, gentle toward the distant, and merciful toward the absurd; he can recollect to whom he is speaking; he guards against unseasonable allusions, or topics which may irritate; he is seldom prominent in conversation, and never wearisome. He makes light of favors while he does them, and seems to be receiving when he is conferring. He never speaks of himself except when compelled, never defends himself by a mere retort; he has no ears for slander or gossip, is scrupulous in imputing motives to those who interfere with him, and interprets everything for the best. He is never mean or little in his disputes, never takes unfair advantage, never mistakes personalities or sharp sayings for arguments, or insinuates evil which he dare not say out. From a long-sighted prudence, he observes the maxim of the ancient sage, that we should ever conduct ourselves toward our enemy as if he were one day to be our friend. He has too much good sense to be affronted at insults; he is too well employed to remember injuries, and too indolent to bear malice. He is patient, forbearing, and resigned, on philosophical principles; he submits to pain because it is inevitable, to bereavement because it is irreparable, and to death because it is his destiny. If he engages in controversy of any kind, his disciplined intellect preserves him from the blundering discourtesy of better, perhaps, but less educated minds; who, like blunt weapons, tear and hack instead of cutting clean, who mistake the point in argument, waste their strength on trifles, misconceive their adversary, and leave the question more involved than they find it. He may be right or wrong in his opinion, but he is too clear-headed to be unjust; he is as simple as he is forcible, and as brief as he is decisive. Nowhere shall we find greater candor, consideration, indulgence: he throws himself into the minds of his opponents, he accounts for their mistakes. He knows the weakness of human reason as well as its strength, its province, and its limits.

Biographical: John Henry Newman, 1801-1890, a distinguished Prelate was born in London. He graduated from Trinity College, Oxford, and became noted both as a scholar and a writer. "Lead, Kindly Light," a poem of rare beauty, was written by him while on a voyage in the Mediterranean Sea. This selection is from his book, "The Idea of a University". He was made a cardinal in 1879.


abandon (a-ban'dun), give up.

abatement (a-bat'ment), putting an end to.

abbey (ab'i), monastery; convent.

abnegation (ab'ne-ga'shun), denial.

aboon (a-boon'), Scotch for above.

Absalom (ab'sa-lom),

absolute (ab'so-lut), without any limits or conditions.

abstinence (ab'sti-nens), refraining from certain kinds of pleasures.

abstract (ab-strakt'), separate.

abyss (a-bis'), a bottomless gulf.

Acadie (a'ka'de'),

accession (ak-sesh'un), coming into possession of.

acord (a-kord'), blend.

acost (a'kost'), approach; speak to.

acumulate (a-ku'mu-lat), collect; store up.

acuracy (ak'u-ra-si), exactness.

acurately (ak'u-rat-li), precisely.

acquiescence (ak'wi-es'ens), a yielding or agreeing.

Act of Navigation (act of nav'i-ga'shun), an ordinance passed by the British Parliament for the American colonies by which goods were to be imported to the colonies free of duty for a period of years, provided all goods were sent out of the colonies in British ships.

adamant (ad'a-mant), a stone of extreme hardness.

adapt (a-dapt), fit; change to suit.

Adayes (a-da'yes), an early settlement in southwestern United States.

addled (ad'ld), rotten; confused,

adequate (ad'e-kwat), fully sufficient.

adherence (ad-her'ens), steady attachment.

adherent (ad-her'ent), clinging; a follower.

adieu (a-du'), good-by, farewell.

adjust (a-just'), fit; to put in order.

administer (ad-min'is-ter), manage or conduct (public affairs); tender an oath.

admiral (ad'mi-ral), a naval officer of the highest rank.

ado (a-doo'), trouble, fuss.

Adonis (a-do'nis), in Greek mythology, a youth of marvelous beauty.

adoption (a-dop'shun), acceptance

adrift (a-drift'), floating at the mercy of the wind and waves.

advent (ad'vent), coming, approach

adversary (ad'ver-sa-ri), one opposed, a foe.

adverse (ad'vers), contrary.

aerial (a-e'ri-al), pertaining to the air; lofty.

Aershot (ar'skot), the town Aerschot in Belgium, 23 miles northeast of Brussels.

affable (af'a-bl), friendly, gracious.

affectation, (af'ek-ta'shun), an attempt to assume what is not natural or real.

affidavit (af'i-da'vit), a sworn statement in writing.

aft (aft), near or towards the stern of a vessel.

Agassiz (ag'a-se), a celebrated Swiss-American naturalist who came to the United States in 1846. He was professor of geology at Harvard.

aggression (a-gresh'un), attack.

aghast (a-gasf), terrified.

agitate (aj'i-tat), stir up; discuss.

agog (a-gog'), eager.

agony (ag'o-ni), great pain.

aid de camp (ad'de-kamp'; ad'de-kan'), an officer who assists a general in correspondence and in directing movements.

Aidenn (a'den), paradise (from the Arabic word for Eden, used by Poe for the sake of the rhyme).

Aix (aks), a city in Prussia, founded by the Romans and a favorite residence of Charlemagne.

Aix-la-Chapelle (aks'la-sha'pel), is the French name and Aachen the German.

akimbo (a-kim'bo), with hand on the hip and elbow turned outward.

alacrity (a-lak'ri-ti), cheerful readiness.

Aladdin (a-lad'in), in the "Arabian Nights' Entertainments," the possessor of a wonderful lamp with magic charms.

alarum (a-lar'um), an old form for alarm.

Albion (al'bi-un), an ancient name of England,

Albyn (al'bin),

Alexander (al'eg-zan'der), surnamed "the Great," was a famous conqueror who lived in the fourth century B. C.; founder of Alexandria in Egypt.

alienate (al'yen-at), make strange; take away.

all-absorbing (ol-ab-sorb'ing), taking up completely.

Allah (al'la), in the Mohammedan faith, the name for God.

Allahu (al-la'hoo), probably a Persian ejaculation.

all-besetting (ol-be-set'ing), surrounding on all sides.

allege (a-lej'), declare; affirm.

allegiance (a-le-jans), loyalty.

allegory (al'e-go-ri), description of one thing under the image of another; parable.

alliance (a-li'ans), union of interests; league.

alloy (a-loi'), a baser metal mixed with a finer.

aloe (al'e), a fragrant plant growing in warm climates; the American aloe is the century plant.

alteration (ol'ter-a'shun), making different; change.

alternately (al-ter'nat-li) by turns.

alternative (al-tur'na-tiv), a choice between two or more things.

amain (a-man'), with full force.

amaranth (am'a-ranth), an imaginary flower supposed never to fade.

Ambaaren (am'ba-ar'en),

ambassador (am-bas'a-der), a minister representing his ruler or country at a foreign court.

ambition (am-bish'un), desire for honor or power.

ambrosial (am-bro'zhi-al), pertaining to the fabled food of the gods, which immortalized them.

amendment (a-mend'ment), a change for the better; a change in a bill or motion by adding or omitting.

amiable (a'mi-a-b'l), lovable, goodnatured.

amidships (a-mid'ships), in the middle of a ship.

amorpha (a-mor'fa), a plant belonging to the pea family and having blue-violet flowers.

amphitheatre (am'fi-the'a-ter), an oval or circular building with rising tiers of seats about an open space.

ample (am'p'l), abundant; full.

Amun (a'mon), an Egyptian deity generally represented as a ram.

anchorite (an'ko-rit), one who renounces the world and secludes himself, a hermit.

andirons (and'i'urnz), metallic stands to support wood in a fireplace.

anecdote (an'ek-dot), a short narrative of some particular incident.

Angel of Death. See Exodus, chapter 12

Angel of the backward look; memory

Angelus (an'je-lus), the bell tolled in the morning, at noon, and in the evening to tell the faithful the time for prayer.

Angus (an'gus),

annals (an'alz), historical records.

anon (a-non'), in a little while.

anticipate (an-tis'i-pat), count upon in advance; foresee.

antique (an-tek'), old.

antiquity (an-tik'wi-ti), great age

apathetic (ap'a-thet'ik), without feeling.

apathy (ap'a-thi), lack of feeling.

apex (a'peks), summit; point.

apology (a-pol'e-ji), an acknowledgment for some injurious act; an excuse.

Apolonius (ap-po-lo'ni-us), a philosopher and wonder-worker who lived at about the same time as Christ.

apostrophe (a-pos'tro-fe), a speech or address to some person or thing absent or present. Apostrophe to the Ocean,

appalling (a-pol'ing), terrifying.

apparel (a-par'el), clothing.

apparent (a-par'ent), clear, plainly to be seen.

appealing (a-pel'ing), calling for aid or sympathy.

apprehension (ap're-hen'shun), a taking hold of; anxiety.

apprise (a-priz'), inform.

approbation (ap'ro-ba'shun), liking; consent.

approximate (a-prok'si-mat), approach; nearly exact.

arabesque (ar'a-besk'), a kind of ornament, brought to high perfection by Arabian artists and consisting of lines, figures, fruits, flowers, and men variously grouped.

Arachthus (a-rak'thus), the ancient name of a river in Greece; modern Arta.

arbiter (ar'bi-ter), one appointed to determine a controversy; umpire.

architect (ar'ki-tekt), one who is skilled in planning, designing, and constructing buildings.

Ardennes (ar-den'),

ardent (ar'dent), burning; passionate.

ardor (ar'der), heat; zeal.

arduous (ar'du-us), hard, difficult.

arena (a-re'na), the sanded area in the central part of a Roman amphitheater.

argosy (ar'go-si), a large merchant vessel.

argument (ar'gu-ment), proof or reasons in a controversy.

Armada (ar-ma'da),

armament (ar'ma-ment), arms, ships and other equipment for war.

aroma (a-ro'ma), fragrance; a spicy perfume.

array (a-ra'), clothe; an orderly collection.

arrogance (ar'e-gans), pride with contempt of others.

artifice (ar'ti-fis), workmanship; artful trick.

artisan (ar'ti-zan), one skilled in some art or trade.

ascertain (as'er-tan'), learn for certain.

Ashur (a'shoor),

askance (a-skans'), sideways.

aspect (as'pekt), look.

asperse (as-purs'), sprinkle; defame.

asphodel (as'fo-del), a lily, in Greek mythology the special flower of the dead. The English daffodil is derived from this Greek word.

aspiration (as'pi-ra'shun), strong wish, high desire.

assail (a-sal'), attack violently.

assailant (a-sal'ant), one who attacks.

assault (a-solt'), a violent attack.

assemblage (a-sem'blaj), a company of people gathered together.

assiduity (as'i-du'i-ti), constant attention; industry.

assiduous (a-sid'u-us), busy; persevering.

assign (a-sin'), give over.

Assyria (a-sir'i-a), an ancient state in Asia, east of the Tigris river.

astern (a-sturn'), in the rear part of the ship.

astounding (as-tound'mg), astonishing.

asunder (a-sun'der), apart.

Atchafalaya (ach'a-fa-li'a), an outlet of the Red and Mississippi rivers in southern Louisiana.

atilt (a-tilf), balanced lightly.

Atlantic Monthly, a magazine first published in 1857, with Lowell as editor.

attain (a-tan'), reach; accomplish.

attaint (a-tant'), corrupt; disgrace.

attenuated (a-ten'u-at'ed), thinned, slender.

attitude (at'i-tud), position; feeling.

attribute (a-trib'ut), give; refer.

attribute (at'ri-but), characteristic; quality.

audacity (o-das'i-ti), boldness.

audible (o'di-b'l), capable of being heard.

auditor (o'di-ter), a hearer.

august (o-gust'), majestic; solemn.

auroral (o-ro'ral), pertaining to the dawn, rosy.

austere (es-ter'), severe.

austerity (os-ter'i-ti), severity; severe simplicity.

authentic (o-then'tik), true; genuine.

autocrat (e'to-krat), an absolute ruler.

avail (a-val'), help; be of use.

Ave Maria (a'va ma-re'a), Hail Mary, first words of a Roman Catholic prayer to the Virgin Mary. The words are those of the Angel Gabriel, hence the prayer is called the Angelus.

avenge (a-venj'), punish in order to execute justice.

aversion (a-vur'shun), dislike.

avert (a-vurt'), turn aside.

awry (a-ri'), turned or twisted: crooked.

aye and anon (a and a-non'), continually.

Azores (a-zorz'), a group of islands in the Atlantic belonging to Portugal, and 800 miles west of it.

azure (azh'ur), the clear blue color of the sky.

Baal (ba'al), the supreme god o! the Assyrians,

Babylonish jargon (bab'ilo'nish), unintelligible language. See story of the "tower of Babel." Gen. XI.

bacchanal (bak'a-nal), a carouser; a follower of Bacchus, the god of wine.

Bacchantes (ba-kan'tez), priestesses of Bacchus, the god of wine.

bairn (barn), Scottish name for a child.

Balaklava (ba'la-kla'va), a city in the Crimea on the Black Sea.

baldric (bol'drik), a broad belt worn over the shoulder and under the opposite arm.

ballad (bal'ad), a short poem telling a story.

balm (bam), anything that soothes pain.

balm in Gilead (bam in gil'e-ad), a biblical expression meaning comfort or healing,

balmy (bam'i), mild; soothing; fragrant.

bandit (ban'dit), an outlaw.

baneful (ban'fool), injurious.

Bannockburn (ban'uk-burn), a battlefield in Scotland upon which Robert Bruce defeated the English.

Baptiste Le-blanc (ba'tesf le blan'),

bar (bar), the legal profession.

bard (bard), a poet.

barge (barj), a boat.

barometer (ba-rom'e-ter), an instrument for determining the weight or pressure of the atmosphere.

barouche (ba-robsh'), four-wheeled carriage, with a falling top, and two double seats on the inside.

barrack (bar'ak), a building for soldiers, especially when in garrison,

barrier (bar'i-er), an obstruction or limit.

bask (bask), warm; lie comfortably,

baste (bast), drip fat on meat in roasting.

battery (bat'er-i), two or more pieces of artillery in the field.

bayonet (ba'e-net), a dagger fitted on the muzzle of a musket.

bayou (bi'oo), an inlet from a gulf, lake, or large river.

Beau Se-jour (bo-sa-zhoer'), a French fort upon the neck of land connecting Acadia and the mainland. It had just been taken by the British,

"beard the lion," defy.

Beautiful Gate, an entrance to the temple in Jerusalem. See Acts III-2 and John X-7.

Beautiful River, the Ohio.

beck (bek), call.

beetling (be'tling), projecting, jutting out.

Beg (bag),

begotten (be-got'n), caused to exist; born.

beguile (be-gil'), relieve the tedium or weariness of, entertain.

belfry (bel'fri), a bell tower.

Bell, name of an inn.

Belle Aurore (bel e-ror'), the dawn.

"bell or book," religious ceremony.

Belle-fontaine (bel-fon-tan'),

belligerent (be-lij'er-ent), waging war.

bellows (bel'oz), an instrument for driving air through a tube.

"belted knight," girt with a belt as an honorary distinction.

benedicite (ben'e-d'is'i-te), a chant or hymn, the Latin version of which begins with this word; an exclamation corresponding to "Bless you!"

benediction (ben'e-dik'shun), a blessing.

beneficence (be-nef'i-sens), goodness or charity.

benign (be-nin'), of a kind disposition.

benignant (be-nig'nant), kind.

beseech (be-sech'), entreat.

bestead (be-sted'), put in peril.

bestial (bes'chal), beastly; vile.

bestow (be-sto'), give; grant.

betrothal (be-troth'al), contract to anyone for a marriage.

beverage (bev'er-aj), drink.

bicker (bik'er), move quickly with a pattering noise,

bier (her), a frame on which a corpse is borne to the grave.

bigot (big'ut), one blindly devoted to his own opinion; narrow-minded.

bigotry (big'ut-ri), narrow-mindedness.

biography (bi-eg'ra-fi), the written history of a person's life.

birkie (bur'ki),

blanch (blanch), take the color out of; whiten.

blasphemy (blas'fe-mi), impious speech against God or sacred things.

blast (blast), a violent gust of wind.

blazoned (bla'z'nd), adorned, depicted in color.

blithe (blith), gay, joyous.

blithesome (blitn'sum), happy, gay,

Blomidon (blo'mi-dun), a mountain in Nova Scotia.

bodkin (bod'km), a pointed implement for making holes in cloth.

bondsman (bondz'man), one who gives security for another.

"bonnet and plume," a soft cap worn by men in Scotland.

Boom (bom), a town in Belgium.

boon (boon), a gift; bountiful; gay.

bootless (bpot'les), useless.

Border (bor'der), the frontier between England and Scotland,

"bore the bell," carried off the prize. A bell was formerly used as a prize in races.

bosky (bos'ki), woody or bushy.

bosom (booz'um), the breast.

Bothnia (both'nr-a), Gulf of the northern arm of the Baltic Sea between Finland and Sweden.

bountiful (boun'ti-fobl), liberal.

bourn (born), a boundary; limit.

bow (bou), the forward part of a ship, (bo) to rhyme with tow.

Bowdoin (bo'd'n), in Brunswick, Maine, college from which Longfellow graduated in 1825.

Bozzaris, Marco (bo-zar'is. Mar'ko),

brackish (brak'ish), saltish; distasteful.

Braddock (brad'uk), a British general who met defeat and was killed in 1755.

Braganza (bra-gan'za), a reigning family of Portugal.

brake (brak), a fern; a thicket.

brawl (brol), noise: quarrel.

breach (brech), an opening in; a break.

breakers (brak'erz), waves breaking into foam against the shore.

breeches (brich'ez), trousers.

Breton, (bret'un), a province of France.

brig (brig), a two-masted vessel.

brigade (bri-gad'), a body of troops larger than a regiment.

brink (brink), verge or edge.

British Ministry, the British Government.

Briton (brit'un), a native of England.

broadside (brod'sid'), the side of a ship above the water line, from bow to quarter.

broadsword (brod'sord'), a sword with a broad blade and cutting edge.

Brook Farm, a farm near Boston, where an experiment in agriculture and education was tried by a group of literary people.

Brunswick (brunz-wik), Duke of Brunswick (Frederick William) was killed in the engagement described,

Brutus (broq'tus), a Roman politician who joined in the assassination of Caesar.

Buckholm (buk'hom),

buffcoat (buf'kot), a military coat made of buff leather.

buffet (buf'et), a blow.

bulkhead (bulk'hed'), a wall to resist pressure of earth or water.

Bunker Hill, a hill near Boston where a famous battle was fought.

bouyancy (bou'an-si), lightness.

burger (bur'get), an inhabitant of a borough.

burgesses (bur'jes-es), citizens of a borough.

Burgundian (bur-gun'di-an), pertaining to Burgundy, a province of France on the Rhone river.

buskin (bus'kin), a covering for the foot and leg, worn by tragic actors.

cad (ca'd), Scotch for called.

cadence (ka'dens), a fall of the voice; rhythm.

Cadmus (kad'mus), in Greek legend the founder of Thebes and introducer of the letters of the Greek alphabet.

Caesar. Julius (se'zar), (l00 B. C.-44 B. C.), a famous Roman general, statesman and writer.

Caius Marius (ka'yus ma're-us),

calamity (ka-lam'i-ti), misfortune; disaster.

calender (kal'en-der), one whose business it is to press cloth or paper between cylindrical rollers.

calumny (kal'um-ni), slander.

"Calvin's creed." Calvin was a celebrated reformer whose doctrines are noted for their severity.

Cameron (kam'er-eri),

candid (kan'did), frank; open.

Cannobie Lee (kan'e-be le), a lea or large open space in Scotland.

cannonade (kan'un-ad'), a discharging of cannon.

capacity (ka-pas'i-ti), power.

"cap and bells," the tokens or signs of a jester or clown, therefore, foolish pleasures.

Cape Palmas (pal'mas), a promontory on the coast of Liberia, western Africa.

caper (ka'per), "cutting a caper," to leap about in a frolicsome manner.

capon (ka'pon), choice chicken.

caprice (ka-pres'), whim, fancy.

Capua (cap'u-a), an ancient city in Italy near Naples, famous for its wealth and luxury.

career (ka-rer'), move rapidly.

carrion (kar'i-un), dead and decaying flesh of an animal.

Carthage (kar'thaj), an ancient city in northern Africa. Its wars with Rome are known as the Punic Wars.

casement (kas'ment), a hinged window sash.

casual (kazh'u-al), happening without regularity.

catholic (kath'e-lik), liberal

cauldron (kol'drun), a large kettle

causeway (koz wa), raised road over wet ground.

cavalcade (kav'al-kad'), a procession of persons on horseback.

celestial (se-les'chal), heavenly, divine.

cenotaph (sen'o-taf), a monument to one buried elsewhere.

censer (sen'ser), a vessel in which incense is burned.

censorship (sen'sor-ship), office or power to examine papers for the press and suppress what is thought harmful.

censure (sen'shfir), blame.

century-circled (sen'tu-ri-sur'k'ld), having a hundred circles, indicating its age.

cessation (se-sa'shun), pause, stop.

cestus (ses'tus), girdle.

chaise (shaz), a two-wheeled carriage.

chalice (chal'is), a cup.

Chalkley's Journal. Thomas Chalkley was a traveling Quaker preacher. His journal, published in 1747, told of his many wonderful experiences.

Chambered Nautilus (cham'berd no'ti-lus), a shellfish belonging to the highest class of mollusks.

chancel (chan'sel), that part of a church containing the altar.

chanticleer (chan'ti-kler), a cock, so called from his clear voice in crowing.

chaos (ka-os), disorder.

chaotic (ka-ot'ik), confused.

chaplet (chap'let), wreath.

characterize (char'ak-ter-iz), describe.

chasm (kaz'm), deep opening, gap.

Chattahoochee (chat'a-hoo'chi), a river in Georgia which forms part of its western boundary.

chaunt (chant), song, especially one that is solemn and slow.

Cheapside (chep'sid), the central east-and-west street of London, formerly a market. "Chepe" is the old English word for market.

Chersonese (kur'so-nez), Athenians who had colonized the peninsula between the Hellespont and the Gulf of Melos. Miltiades ruled over them.

chimerical (ki-mer'i-kal), unreal, fantastic.

chivalry (shiv'al-ri), manners of knighthood, courtesy.

chowder (chou'der), a dish made of fresh fish or clams, biscuit, etc., stewed together.

chronicle (kron'i-k'l), historical record.

churlish (chur'lish), rough, ill bred.

ci devant (se'de-van'), former.

circuit (sur'kit), a regular journey from place to place; the district journeyed over.

circumscribe (sur'kum-skrib') inclose, encircle.

citadel ( sit'a-del), fortress.

"civil feuds" (siv'il fuds), quarrels within one's own country.

clamor (klam'er), an outcry; uproar.

clan (klan),

clang (klang), strike together so as to produce a ringing metallic sound.

clangor (klanger), a sharp, harsh, ringing sound.

clapboard (klap'bord), a narrow board, thicker at one edge than at the other, for weatherboarding houses.

cleave (klev), cling; open or crack.

cleft (kleft), crack, crevice.

clement (klem'ent), mild.

clergy (klur'ji), a body of ministers of the gospel.

cloud-vesture (kloud-ves'tur), clothing of clouds.

Cochecho (ko-che'cho), Indian name for Dover, N. H.

cocked hat (kokt), a hat with the brim turned up.

cohesion (ko-he'zhun), close union.

cohort (ko'hort), in the ancient Roman army, a body of about 500 soldiers.

coil (koil), trouble; the body.

coincidence (ko-in'si-dens), a happening at the same time.

colossal (ko-los'al), of enormous size.

Comanches (ko-man'chez), a tribe of Indians noted for their warlike character.

comely (kum'li), pleasing.

comment (kom'ent), meditate upon; a remark or criticism.

commissioner (ko-mish'un-er) an officer having charge of some department of public service.

commodity (ko-mod'i-ti), goods, wares.

communal (kom'u-nal), having property in common.

commune (ko-mun'), take counsel.

communicate (ko-mu'm-kat), make known.

communion (ko-mun'yun), intercourse.

compass (kum'pas), size, capacity.

compensate (kom'pen-sat), recompense or reward.

compete (kom-pet'), seek or strive for the same thing.

competence (kom'pe-tens), property sufficient for comfort.

complacency (kom-pla'sen-si), self-satisfaction.

compliance (kom-pli'ans), yielding.

comply (kom-pli'), yield, assent.

component (kom-po'nent), composing; an ingredient.

comport (kom-port'), agree or suit conduct.

compose (kom-poz'), put together: quiet.

composition (kom'po-zish'un), combination, make-up.

composure (kom-po'zhur), calm.

comprehend (kom'pre-hend'), understand.

comprehension (kom'pre-hen'shun), perception, understanding.

comprehensive (Kom'pre-hen'siv), including much.

compressed (kom-prest') pressed together.

comprise (kom-priz'), include.

compromise (kom'pro-miz), an agreement in which all parties concerned give up something.

concave (kon'kav), hollow and curved in.

conceal (kon-sel'), hide from observation.

concede (kon-sed'), grant or allow.

conceive (kon-sev'), understand: think.

concenter (kon-sen'ter), bring to, or meet in a common center; condense,

concentrate (kon'sen-trat), bring to, or meet in a common center; condense.

concentric (kon-sen'trik), having a common center.

conception (kon-sep'shun), formation in the mind of an image or notion.

conciliate (kon-sil'i-at), reconcile, pacify.

conclusive (kon-kloo'siv), convincing; final.

concord (kon'kord), state of agreement; harmony.

concurrence (kon-kur'ens), agreement in opinion.

conduce (kon-dus') lead or tend.

confound (kon-found') confuse; blend.

congeal, (kon-jel'), freeze; thicken.

congregate (kon'gre-gat), assemble.

conjure (kon-joor'), call on solemnly.

conjure (kun'jer), call forth or expel by magic arts.

conjuring book (kun'jer-ing), a copy of Cornelius' Agrippa's "Magic," printed in 1657.

connubial (ko-nu'bi-al), pertaining to marriage.

Conscript Fathers (kon'skript), a translation of a certain form used in addressing the senate of ancient Rome.

consecrate (kon'se-krat), dedicate, hallow.

conservative (kon-sur'va-tiv), opposed to change; safe.

consign (kon-sin'), intrust; deliver.

consistent (koti-Sis'tent), not contradictory; having harmony among its parts.

construe (kon'stroo), interpret, explain.

consul (kon'sul), commercial agent of a government in a foreign country; a magistrate.

consume (kon-sum') destroy; swallow up.

consummation (kon's'u-ma'shun), achievement; end.

contagious (kon-ta'jus), catching.

contemplate (kon'tem-plat), view; study.

contemptible (kon-temp'ti-b'l), deserving disdain; despised.

contemptuous (kon-temp'tu-us), scornful.

contention (kon-ten'shun), strife.

contexture (kon-teks'tur), system, texture.

continuity (kon'ti-nu'i-ti), the being continuous.

contrite (kon'trit), humbly penitent.

contrition (kon-trish'un), self reproach.

contumely (kon'tu-me-li), disdain, scorn.

convene (kon-ven'), assemble.

convex (kon'veks), rising or swelling into a rounded form; opposite from concave.

convoluted (kon'vo-lut'ed), rolled together, one part upon another.

convulse (kon-vuls') contract violently and irregularly.

coof (koof),

coot (koot), a kind of duck.

copious (ko'pi-us), plentiful.

coppice (kop is), a grove of growth.

corbel (kor'bel), a bracket.

cordage (kor'daj), anything made of rope or cord.

corroborate (ko-rob'o-rat), make more certain, confirm.

corrupt (ko-rupt'), change from good to bad.

corse (kors), a corpse.

corselet (kors'let), breastplate.

Corsica (kor'si-ka), an island in the Mediterranean, belonging to France, the birthplace of Napoleon.

Cossacks (kos'aks), a military people inhabiting the steppes of Russia.

council (koun'sil), assembly or meeting, assembly for advice.

counsel (koun'sel), interchange of opinions; advise.

countenance (koun'ti-nans), appearance of the face, the features.

counterfeit (koun'ter-fit), that which resembles another thing; carry on a deception.

counterpart (koun'ter-part'), a copy, duplicate.

Coureur-de-bois    (koo'rur'de-bwa'), a class of men, French by birth, who, through long association with the Indians were only half civilized. Their chief occupation was conducting the canoes of the traders along the lakes and rivers of the interior.

courier (koo'rl-er), a messenger.

Court of St. James, the official name of the British court. St. James's Palace was formerly the royal residentce.

courteous (kur'te-us), polite.

courtesy (kur'te-si), good breeding.

cove (kov), a small inlet or bay.

covertly (kuv'ert-li), secretly.

covet (kuv'et), long for.

craft (kraft), art or skill; a vessel.

crag (krag), steep, rugged rock.

Craigie House (krag'i), the house in Cambridge in which Longfellow lived from 1836 until his death. During the Revolution, it had been Washington's headquarters.

crane (kran), an iron arm fastened to a fireplace and used for supporting kettles over the fire,

cranny (kran'i), a chink.

crank (krank), top-heavy.

craven (kra'v'n), coward; faint-hearted.

craw (kro), crop or stomach.

credentials (kre-den'shalz), testimonies of the bearer's right to recognition.

creditor (kred'i-ter), one to whom money is due.

credulous (kred'e-lus), apt to believe on slight evidence.

Creeks (krekz), a powerful confederation of Indians who occupied the greater part of Alabama and Georgia.

crescent (kres'ent), the increasing moon; anything shaped like a new moon; emblem of the Turkish Empire.

crest (krest), upper curve of a horse's neck.

crevice (krev'is), a narrow crack.

crier (kri'er), one who gives notice by proclamation.

criterion (kri-te'ri-un), standard of judging.

critic (krit'Ik), one skilled in judging.

critical (krit'i-kal), decisive; important.

Croisickese (kroiz'i-kez), an inhabitant of Croisic, a small fishing-village near the mouth of the Loire. Here Browning wrote Herve Riel.

Cromwell, Oliver (1599-1658), commander-in-chief of the parliamentary forces in the struggle with Charles I of England.

cronies (kro'niz), intimate companions.

cross (kros), emblem of the Roman Catholic church.

croupe (kroop), the place on the horse behind the saddle.

crucifix (kroo'si'fiks), a representation of the figure of Christ upon the cross.

cruise (krooz), a voyage in various directions.

crypt (kript), a vault; cell for burial purposes.

crystaline (kris'tal-in), pure; transparent; consisting of crystal.

culprit (kul'prit), a criminal.

cumberless (kum'ber-les), without care.

cumbrous (kum'brus), burdensome.

cunning (kun'ing), skill.

"cunning-warded keys," knowledge which comes only from close observation and which is hidden from the less observant.

curb (kurb), to keep in check.

curfew (kur'fu), an evening bell, originally to cover fires and retire to rest.

curlew (kur'lu), a wading bird, having a long, curved bill.

custom (kus'tum), duty or toll imposed by law on commodities imported or exported.

cylindrical (si-lin'dri-kal), having the form of a cylinder.

Dalhem (dal'em), town in Belgium.

dalliance (dal'i-ans), delay; interchange of caresses.

Damfreville (dam'fre-vil), commander of the fleet.

Dante's Divine Comedy (dan'te), celebrated Italian poem in three parts, "Hell," "Purgatory," "Paradise."

dapper (dap'er), little and active; trim.

darkling (dark'ling), gloomy.

Dartmouth (dart'muth), college at Hanover, N. H.

dastard (das'tard), coward.

daunted (dant'ed), dismayed.

dauntless (dant'les), fearless.


"dead of night," middle of the night.

dearth (durth), want, lack.

debatable (de-bat'a-b'l), open to question or dispute.

decease (de-ses'), death.

decisive (de-si'siv), positive, final.

decorum (de-ko'rum), proper conduct.

decree (de-kre'), law; decision given by a court or umpire.

decrepit (de-krep'it), worn out with age.

deeming (dem'mg), thinking.

defaced (de-fast'), disfigured, marred.

defer (de-fur'), postpone; yield to the wishes of another.

deference (def'er-ens), respect.

defiance (de-fi'ans), disposition to resist.

defile (de-fil'), pass between hills.

deflower (de-flou'er), deprive of flowers; take away the beauty of.

defy (de-fi'), dare.

degenerate (de-jen'er-at), grow worse or meaner.

deities (de'i-tiz), heathen gods.

delegate (del'e-gat), send as one's representative.

deliberate (de-lib'er-at), not hasty; (de-lib'er-at), weigh in one's mind.

delineate (de-lin'e-at), represent by sketch; describe.

delirious (de-lir'i-us), wild with feeling.

Delos (de'los), the smallest island of the Cyclades, according to legend originally a floating island and the birthplace of Apollo.

deluge (del'uj), flood.

delusion (de-lu'zhun), deception for want of knowledge.

delusive (de-lu'siv), deceptive.

demeanor (de-men'er), behavior.

demon (de'mon), evil spirit.

demoniac (de-mo'ni-ak), like a demon.

denotement (de-not'ment), sign or indication.

deplorably (de-plor'a-bli), grievously.

depositories (de-poz'i-to-riz), place where anything is stored for keeping.

depravity (de-prav'i-ti), corruption, wickedness.

derision (de-rizh'un), insult.

descent (de-sent'), a passing downward.

descried (de-skrid'), saw, beheld.

desert (dez'ert), solitary; empty.

designate (des'ig-nat), point out.

desist (de-zist'), stop.

desolateness (des'e-lat-nes), state of being desolate or lonely.

despair (de-spar'), give up hope.

desperate (des'per-at), hopeless, reckless.

despicable (des'pi-ka-b'l), fit to be despised; mean.

despondent (de-spon'dent), low spirited.

despotism (des'pot-iz'm), tyranny.

destined (des'tind), marked out.

destiny (des'ti-ni), doom, fate.

detained (de-tand'), kept back or from; delayed.

detract (de-trakt'), take away.

detractor (de-trak'ter), one who slanders.

deviate (de'vi-at), go put of the way.

device (de-vis'), design; invention.

devious (de'vi-us), wandering.

devoid (de-void'), destitute.

devotee (dev'o-te'), one wholly devoted.

devoutly (de-vout'li), earnestly.

dexterity (deks-ter'i-ti), skill.

dexterous (deks'ter-us), skillful, artful.

diffuse (di-fuz'), spread.

dight (dit), adorn.

dignities (dig-'ni-tiz), honors.

dike (dik), embankment to prevent flooding.

diligence (dil'i-jens), industry.

dinning (din'ing), incessant talking.

"dire-struck," struck with terror.

dirge (durj), funeral hymn.

discern (di-zurn'), see, detect.

discipline (dis'i-plin), training; punishment.

disconsolate (dis-kon'so-lat), sorrowful, comfortless.

discordant (dis-kor'dant), not harmonious.

discountenance (dis-koun'te-nans), not approve of; discourage.

discourse (dis-kors'), conversation.

discredit (dis-kred'it), disbelief.

disembogue (dis'em-bog'), discharge; flow out.

disguise (dis-giz'), change the appearance of.

dismember (dis-mem'ber), disjoint.

disperse (dis-purs'), scatter.

disputation (dis'pu-ta'shun), dispute, a reasoning on opposite sides.

disqualify (dis-kwol'i-fi), render unfit.

dissever (di-sev'er), part in two.

dissolution (dis'o-lu'shun), separating into parts.

dissonant (dis'o-nant), sounding harshly, discordant.

distaff (dis'taf), a staff holding a bunch of flax, tow, or wool, from which thread is spun by hand.

distended (dis-tend'ed), lengthened out.

distorted (dis-tort'ed), twisted, wrested.

ditto (dit'o), exact copy.

diverge (di-vurj'), extend from a common point in different directions.

divers (di'verz), several, different.

divert (di-vurt'), turn aside.

divest (di-vest'), deprive; strip.

divine (di-vin'), godlike; foretell.

divinity (di-vin'i-ty), deity, God.

docile (dos'il), easily managed.

doctrine (dok'trin), principle of faith.

doff (dof), put off (dress).

doling (dol'n'g), giving out scantily or grudgingly.

domestic (do-mes'tik), pertaining to one's home.

domination (dom'i-na'shun), exercise of power in ruling; authority.

dormer-window (dor'mer), a vertical window in a sloping roof.

"double-reefed trysail," a sail reduced in extent doubly to adapt it to the force of the wind.

doublet (dub'let), a close-fitting coat, formerly worn.

dower (dou'er), that with which one is gifted or endowed.

drama (dra'ma), a picture of human life, especially for representation on the stage.

draught (draft), act of drinking.

drawbridge, a bridge which may be raised or let down.

"drink the cup," a biblical expression meaning endure.

dross (dros), waste matter, dregs.

Druids (droo'idz), ancient Celtic priests.

dubious (du'bi-us), doubtful, questionable.

dune (dun), a low hill of drifting sand.

dynasty (di'nas-ti), sovereignty, dominion.

ebony (eb'un-i), a hard wood capable of a fine polish; black

ecstasy (ek'sta-si), a state of over-mastering feeling; height.

eddy (ed'i), move in a circle; whirling.

edifice (ed'i-fis), splendid building.

effected (e-fekt'ed), accomplished,

efficacious (ef'i-ka'shus), capable of producing a desired effect.

efficacy (ef'i-ka-si), force.

efficient (e-fish'ent), active, helpful.

effulgence (e-ful'jens), great luster or brightness.

eke (ek), also.

election (e-lek'shun), choice

elevation (el'e-va'shun), height.

elfin (el'fin), relating to little elves or fairies.

Elfland (elf'land), fairy land.

Elijah (e-li'ja), II Kings, 2, 11.

eloquence (el'o-kwens), effective speech.

Ellwond, Thomas, a Quaker, who was a friend of Milton, and wrote a long poem on King David.

Elysian Fields (e-lizh'an), the fabled dwelling place of happy souls after death.

emancipation (e-man'si-pa'shun), freedom.

embargo (em-bar'go), restraint

embassy (em'ba-si), a solemn message.

ember (em'ber), a lighted coal, smoldering amid ashes.

emblazon (em-bla'z'n), illuminate, make light and beautiful.

emblem (em'blem), visible sign of an idea.

embosomed (em-booz'und), sheltered.

embrasure (em-bra'zhur), a window having its sides slanted on the inside.

emerge (e-murj'), appear.

emergency (e-mur'jen-si), necessity.

eminence (em'i-nens), height.

eminently (em'i-nent-li), highly.

emulation (em'u-la'shun), great desire to excel,

enchantress (en-chan'tres), a wicked fairy, who weaves spells over her victims.

encomium (en-ko'mi-um), high praise.

encompass (en-kum'pas), surround,

encore (an-kor', an'kor), again; the same.

encounter (en-koun'ter), a meeting face to face.

encroach (en-kroch'), enter gradually into anothers rights.

Encyclopaedia Britannica (en-si'klo-pe'di-a bri-tan'i-ka), a dictionary of the arts, sciences, and literature.

endeavor (en-dev'er), effort.

endow (en-dou'), enrich.

enervate (en'er-vat), weaken.

enhance (en-hans'), increase.

enjoin (en-join'), urge.

enraptured (en-rap'turd), delighted beyond measure.

ensign (en'sin), banner; national flag.

entreaty (en-tret'i), an earnest request.

envelop (en-vel'up), wrap in.

epaulet (ep'o-let), a shoulder ornament worn by military and naval officers, and indicating differences of rank.

epic (ep'ik), an heroic poem.

epicurism (ep'i-kur-iz'm), pleasures of the table.

epitaph (ep'i-taf), inscription on a tomb.

equip (e-kwip'), furnish or fit out.

equity (ek'wi-ti), fairness, impartial justice.

era (e'ra), a period of time.

eradicate (e-rad'i-kat), destroy utterly.

Erzeroum (erz'room'), the principal city of Turkish Armenia.

Esk (esk), a river in Scotland flowing into the Solway Firth.

espouse (es-pouz'), make one's own; marry.

essay (e-sa'), try,

essence (es'ens), substance.

essential (e-sen'shal), indispensably necessary.

estate (es-tat'), possession; wealth.

estranged (es-tranjd'), indifferent.

eternal (e-tur'nal), endless; perpetual.

Eternal City, Rome.

ether (e'ther), an extremely fine fluid, lighter than air, supposed to pervade all space beyond the atmosphere of the earth.

ethereal (e-the're-al), spiritlike; heavenly.

Evan (e'van),

Evangeline (e-van'je-len), the gentle Acadian maiden, and subject of the poem.

evangelists (e-van'jel-istz), writers of the gospels.

evince (e-vins'), show clearly.

ewe-necked (u'nekt'), having a thin, hollow neck.

excess (ek-ses'), that which exceeds the ordinary limit, extravagance.

exclusive (eks-kloo'siv), shutting out others.

execration (ek'se-kra'shun), a cursing;

execution (ek'se-ku'shun), carrying to effect.

executive (eg-zek'u-tiv), a chief magistrate or officer who administers the government; the governing person.

exempt (eg-zempt'), free.

exertion (eg-zur'shun), effort.

exhausted (eg-zos'ted), tired out, wearied.

exit (ek'sit), departure of a player from the stage after performing his part.

expanse (eks-pans'), extent, a continuous area.

expedition (eks'pe-dish'un), excursion, voyage.

expert (eks-purt'), skillful.

expire (ek-spir'), die.

explicit (eks-plis'it), distinctly stated, clear.

expostulation (eks-pos'tu-la'shun), earnest reasoning or remonstrance.

express (eks-pres'), exact, clear,

exterior (eks-te'ri-er), outside.

exterminate (eks-tur'mi-nat), drive away, root out.

external (eks-tur'nal), outside, foreign.

extract (eks'trakt), a selection; short part of a book or writing.

extravagance (eks-trav'a-gans), want of moderation, lavishness.

extremity (eks-trem'i-ti), greatest peril.

extricate (eks'tri-kat), free.

exult (eg-zult'), be in high spirits; triumph.

facile (fas'il), ready.

faculty (fak'ul-ti), mental power.

fain (fan), willingly.

fallow (fal'o), land plowed but not seeded.

Faneuil Hall (fan'l), a building in Boston, Massachusetts, where Revolutionary orators frequently addressed public meetings.

fantastic (fan-tas'tik), grotesque; imaginary.

"fatal sisters," this refers to the three Fates of Greek mythology, "spinners of the thread of life." The first, Clotho, spins the thread of life, the second, Lachesis, determines its length, and the third, Atropos, cuts it. The Greek Fates have their counterpart in the Norse Norns.

Fata Morgana (fa'ta mor-ga'na), a mirage at sea. The spectator on shore sees images of men, houses, and ships, sometimes on the sea; so-called because formerly regarded as the work of a fairy of this name.

Father of Waters, a fanciful name given by the Indians to the Mississippi River.

fathom (fath'um), find the depth of; measure of length containing six feet.

Fatigue (fa-teg'), weariness from labor or exertion.

Federal (fed'er-al), a friend of the Constitution of the United States at its adoption.

feign (fan), pretend.

feint (fant), pretense.

Felician, Father (fe-lish'an),

felicity (fe-lis'i-ti), happiness.

fell (fel), a rocky hill.

felloe (fel'o), the outside rim of a wheel supported by the spokes.

felon (fel'un) one guilty of a crime.

Fenwick (fen wik), a Scotch family.

Feroe (fer'o), a group of islands in the North Sea between the Shetlands and Iceland.

fervently (fur'_vent-li), earnestly.

festoons (fes-toonz'), green vines or leaves hanging in a curve, garlands.

fettered (fet'erd), bound.

feudal (fu'dal), the feudal ystem, by which the holding of land depended upon rendering military service to the king or feudal lord during the Middle Ages.

filch (filch), steal.

filial (fil'yal), dutiful as a child to his parent.

film (film), a thin, slight covering.

finance (fi-nans'), public money.

"finny herd," a school of fish.

firmament (fur'ma-ment), heavens.

"fishing smack," a small sloop-rigged vessel used for fishing along the coast.

flag-bird, a poetic word for standard.

flagon (flag'un), a vessel with a narrow mouth for holding liquor.

flail (flal), a wooden instrument for threshing out grain by hand.

"flame pennons," (flam-pen'un), swallow-tailed flags.

flank (flank), the side of an animal, between the ribs and hip.

flaunt (riant), display with pride or in a showy manner.

Flemish (flem'ish), pertaining to Flanders, One of the provinces of Belgium. A favorite subject of Flemish painters was the family group around the fireside.

Flimen (flim''n),

floundering (floun'der-ing), tossing and tumbling.

flurry (flur'i), hurry.

flux (fluks), the setting in of the tide toward the shore.

fondling (fond'ling), caressing.

Fontaine quibout (fon-tan'ke-boo),

Foolish Virgins, this refers to the parable of the Ten Virgins, Matthew 25; 1-13.

foolscap (foolz'kap), long folio writing paper named from its watermark, the fool's cap and bells.

ford (ford), a place where water may be crossed on foot by wading.

forebode (for-bod'), foretell despondingly.

forfeit (for'fit), lose the right to a thing by some error or crime.

formidable (for'mi-da-b'l), alarming, dangerous.

Forsters (for'sterz), a Scotch family.

Fortunate Isles, imaginary isles where the souls of the good are made happy.

foster (fos'ter), encourage; support

fouled (fould), entangled.

fowler (foul'er), one who hunts wild fowl.

fragile (fraj'il), frail, weak.

Franks, a Germanic people on the Rhine river, who afterward founded the French monarchy.

fraternal (fra-tur'nal), brotherly

fraught (frot), mixed.

frenzied (fren'zid), furious, wild.

frequent (fre-kwent'), visit often.

fret work (fret'wurk'), ornamental raised work, as carving.

frigate (frig'ate), formerly a warship.

Froissart (froi'sart), a celebrated French chronicler who wrote a history of the fourteenth century.

frontier (fron'ter), the boundary or limits of a country.

frugal (froo'gal), thrifty.

fudge (fuj), nonsense.

"funeral pile," a pile of wood upon which the dead are burned.

funereal (fu-ne're-al), mournful.

furrows (fur'oz), wrinkles.

fustian (fus'chan), See note

futurity (fu-tu'ri-ti), time to come.

Gabriel La jeunesse (ga'bri-el la-zhu-nes'),

Galilee (gal'i-le), a lake in the northern province of Palestine.

gall (gol), chafe, annoy.

gallant (ga-lant'), a man attentive to ladies. In "Lochinvar" pronounced gal'lant on account of meter.

galliard (gal'yard),

galligas'kins (gal'i-gas'kinz), loose hose; leather leg guards.

gallows (gal'oz), guilty, ready to be executed.

Gambia (gam'bi-a), an English colony in western Africa along the river Gambia. "The chief of Gambia's golden shore" is a line in a school book, "The American Preceptor," which was used when Whittier was a boy.

gambol (gam'bol), a sportive prank; a frolic.

gambrel-roofed (gam'brel), a curved roof.

gaping (gap'ing), yawning.

garrulous (gar'oo-lus), wordy; chattering.

Gaspereau (gas-per-o'), a river in King's county, Nova Scotia, flowing into the Basin of Minas.

Gates of Hercules (hur'ku-lez), the Strait of Gibraltar.

gauge (gaj), estimate; a measure.

gauger (gaj'er), an officer, whose business it is to find the contents of casks.

gauntlet (gant'let), a long glove covering the wrist.

genial (je'ni-al; jen'yal), cheerful, kindly.

genie (je'ni), a good or evil spirit. Pl. genii.

genius (jen'yus), one who has high mental powers.

Gentile (jen'tll), one who is not a Jew.

geometric (je'e-met'trik), referring to the figures used in geometry, the branch of mathematics which treats of the measurement of lines, angles, surfaces, and solids.

Georgius Secundus (jor'jus sek-und'us), George the Second, king of Great Britain.

germinate (jur'mi nat), bud, sprout.

gesture (jes'tur), a movement of the face, body, or limbs to express ideas.

Ghent (gent), capital of province of east Flanders, Belgium.

ghoul (gool), an oriental demon, supposed to feed upon dead human bodies. In "The Bells" pronounced gol on account of rhyme.

gigantic (ji-gan-tik), large.

gill (gil), a deep narrow valley through which a river flows.

glade (glad), a cleared space in a forest.

gladiator (glad'i-a'ter), in ancient Rome a swordsman who fought in the arena with other men or animals.

glebe (gleb), turf, sod.

gleed (gled), a burning coal.

gloaming (glom'ing), twilight.

gloat (glot), stare or gaze earnestly often with a feeling of cruelty.

Glynn (glin), a county in southeastern Georgia.

goad (god), a pointed instrument to urge on a beast.

gorgeous (gor'jus), showy, magnificent.

gory (gor'i), bloody.

gowd (god: good), the Scotch name for gold.

Graemes (gramz), the name of a Scotch clan, sometimes spelled Graham.

grampus (gram'pus), a large toothed fish, valued for its oil.

granary (gran'a-ri), a storehouse for grain.

grandeur (gran'dur), majesty, loftiness.

Grand Pre' (gran-pra'), a village in King's county, Nova Scotia. The woll means "great meadow."

grapple (grap'l), seize.

grave (grav), cut letters or figures on a hard substance with a chisel.

grayling (gray'ling), a fish somewhat like a trout.

Great Harry, the name of a ship.

grenadier (gren'a-der'), in olden times a soldier armed with grenades, iron shells filled with powder and thrown among the enemy. The word is now applied to a member of the Grenadier Guards.

Greve (grav),

grewsome (groo'sum), frightful.

groat (grot), an old English silver coin worth four pence.

groin (groin), bring together in a curve.

guaranty (gar'an-ti), security.

guid (giid),

guinea stamp (gin'i), the mark or impress upon a guinea-an old English coin worth about five dollars.

guise (giz), shape; cloak.

gundalow (gun'da-le), another form for gondola (gon'do-la).

gyratory (ji'ra-te-ri), winding, whirling around a central point.

Habersham (hab'er-sham), a county in northeast Georgia. The Chattahoochee rises in this county.

habit (hab'it), a garment; behavior,

Hagar (ha'gar), See Genesis 21, 14-21.

hake-broil (hak-broil), a seafish like the cod, cooked over a beach fire.

Half-Moon, name of a boat on which Henry Hudson entered New York bay and explored the Hudson river.

Hall, a county in northern Georgia intersected by the Chattahoochee river.

halloo (ha-loo'), call.

hallow (hal'e), consecrate, make holy.

Hampton Falls (hamp'tun), a town in Rockingham county, New Hampshire, seven miles north of Newburyport, Massachusetts.

hapless (hap'les), unfortunate.

Hapsburg (haps'burg), a princely German family to which Maria Louise, wife of Napoleon, belonged.

harangue (ha-rang'), an address or speech to a crowd.

harbinger (har'bm-jer), a forerunner; usher in.

harem (ha'rem), a family of wives belonging to one man.

harpy (har'pi), one of the three daughters of Neptune and Terra, having a woman's face and body and sharp claws like a vulture; a buzzard.

Hasselt (has'elt), a town in Belgium. haunch (hanch), the hip, part of body between the ribs and thigh.

Haverhill (ha'ver-il), city in Essex county, Massachusetts.

hazard (haz'ard), chance; danger, risk.

heather (heth'er), a small, evergreen flowering shrub with rose-colored flowers native to Scotland and northern Europe.

heave (hev), force from the breast, as a sigh.

Hebrides (heb'ri-dez), islands off the western coast of Scotland.

Helicon (hel'i-kon), a famous mountain in Greece.

Helseggen (hel-seg 'n),

helter-skelter (hel'ter-skel'ter), in hurry and confusion.

henpecked (hen'pekt'), governed by one's wife.

herald (her'ald), usher in; announce.

herbage (ur'baj; hur'baj), grass, pasture.

hereditary (he-red'i-ta-ri), passing from an ancestor to a descendant.

Hermes (hur'mez), an ancient Egyptian wiseman, "the scribe of the gods," who interpreted the truth of the gods to the people. In Greek mythology, the messenger of the gods.

hermit (hur'mit), one who has retired from society and lives in solitude.

hern (hern), short form for heron, a water bird.

Herve Riel (hur-va're-el')

hilarious (hi-la'ri-us), noisy; merry.

hilt (hilt), the handle of a sword.

Hindostan (hin'doo-stan), the central peninsula of Asia.

hoary (hor'i), gray with age.

Hoeyholm (ho'a-hom)

Hogue (hog), See note.

hold (hold), a castle, stronghold.

hollas (ho-loz'), calls out.

holster (hol'ster), a horseman's case for a pistol.

Holy Grail (ho'li gral), the cup or bowl from which Christ drank at the Last Supper.

Holy Supper, Christ's last supper with His disciples.

horde (hord), a wandering tribe; a vast multitude.

hospitality (hos'pi-tal'i-ti), the practice of entertaining friends and strangers with kindness.

hostage (hos'taj), a person who remains in the hands of another for the fulfilment of certain conditions; pledge.

housings (houz'ingz), pl. trappings; a cover for a horse's saddle.

hover (huv'er), hang fluttering in the air.

Huddup (hu-dup'), a New England interjection addressed to a horse meaning "Get along."

hue (hu), color; "hue and cry," a loud outcry with which thieves were anciently pursued.

Huguenot (hu'ge-not), a French Protestant of the sixteenth century.

hurry-skurry (hur'ri-skur'ri), confused bustle.

husbandman (huz'band-man), a tiller of the soil, a farmer.

Hydra (hi'dra), in classical mytholology, the water serpent with nine heads slain by Hercules: each head, on being cut off, became two.

Hymeneal (hi'me-ne'al), referring to marriage; from Hymen, the Greek god of marriage.

hypothesis (hi-poth'e-sis), something not proved, but taken for granted for the purpose of argument.

hyssop (his'up), a fragrant plant whose leaves have a strong taste.

Ibrahim (e'bra-hem), the Arabic for Abraham.

ideal (i-de'al), an imaginary standard of perfection; faultless.

identity (i-den'ti-ti), sameness, the being the same.

"I dew vum," a mild New England oath, "I do vow."

idyl (i-dil), a short poem describing country life.

Iflesen (ef-la'sen)

ignoble (ig-no'b'l), not noble, low.

ignominy (ig'no-min-i), dishonor.

Illah (e'la), the Arabic for "the God." "La illah illa Allah" means "Allah is the God."

illconcerted (il-kon-sur'ted), poorly-planned and executed.

illimitable (i-lim'it-a-b'l), vast, immeasurable.

illuminate (i-lu'mi-nat), brighten with light.

illusion (i-lu'zhun), an unreality.

imbibe (im-bib'), receive, absorb.

imbue (im-bu'), tinge deeply.

immemorial (im'e-mo'ri-al), extending beyond reach of memory or record.

immortal (i-mor'tal), lasting forever.

immutable (i-mu'ta-b'l), unchangeable.

impede (im-ped'), hinder.

impediment (im-ped'i-ment), hindrance.

impel (im-pel'), urge on, drive.

impending (im-pend'ing), overhanging, threatening.

impenetrable (im-pen'e-tra-b'l), cannot be entered.

imperceptible (im'per-sep'ti-b'l), not easily seen or noticed.

imperious (im-pe'ri-us), haughty, kingly.

impetuous (im-pet'u-us), rushing violently; hasty.

implacable (im-pla'ka-b'l), not to be pacified; unforgiving.

importtune (im'por-tun'), urge constantly.

imposition (im'po'-zish'un), deceit; fraud.

imposture (im-pos'tur), cheat; trick.

imprecation (im'pre-ka'shun), a curse; an evil wish.

impulse (im'puls), a mental force directly urging to action.

impunity (im-pu'ni-ti), freedom from punishment or injury.

inanimate (in-an'i-mat), without life.

inarticulate (in'ar-tik'u-lat), without voice, indistinct.

incantation (in'kan-ta'shun), a magical charm said or sung.

incessant (in-ses'ant), continuing without interruption.

incident (in'si-dent), event.

incident to, in connection with.

inclement (in-klem'ent), severe; stormy.

incompetent (in-kom'pe-tent), unfit; incapable.

incomprehensible (in-kom'pre-hen'si-b'l), cannot be understood.

incongruous (in-kon'grob-us), unsuitable, unfit.

incredible (in-kred'i-b'l), hard to believe.

inculcate (in-kul'kat), teach; instill.

Ind (ind), short form for India.

indefinable (in'de-fin'a-b'l), cannot be described.

independent (in'de-pen'dent), free; self-reliant.

indiscreet (in'dis-kret'), foolish.

indispensable (in'dis-pen'sa-b'l), absolutely necessary.

induced (in-dust'), caused, lead into.

indulgence (in-dul'jens), a favor granted.

inevitable (in-ev'i-ta-b'l), certain, unavoidable.

inexhaustible (in'eg-zos'ti-b'l), cannot be emptied; unfailing.

infidel (in'fi-del), an unbeliever.

infinite (in'fi-nit), immeasurable, perfect.

infraction (in-frak'shun), a breaking, especially of the law.

infuse (in-fuz'), pour into, shed.

ingredient (in-gre'di-ent), a part of a mixture.

inhale (in-hal'), draw into the lungs.

inherent (in-her'ent), inborn, natural.

innovation (in'e-va'shun), something new or contrary to custom.

innumerable (i-nu'mer-a-b'l), cannot be numbered.

inscrutable (in-skroo'ta-b'l), not able to be understood.

insidious (in-sid'i-us), sly, deceitful.

insolence (in'so-lens), impudence.

inspire (in-spir'), to fill with hope.

instance (in'stans),

instill (in-stil'), bring to mind,

insulated (in'su-latf ed), separated.

insuperable (in-su'per-a-b'l), cannot be overcome.

insurmountable (in'sur-moun'ta-b'l), impassable.

intact (in-takt'), untouched; whole

integrity (in-teg'ri-ti), honesty.

intelligence (in-tel'i-jens), news,

intercourse (in'ter-kors), interchange of thought and feeling; trade.

interminably (in-tur'mi-na-bli), endlessly.

internal (in-tur'nal), inland; inside.

interpose (in-ter-poz'), place between.

interpret (in-tur'pret), tell the meaning of.

interrogatory (in'te-rog'a-to-ri), a question.

interval (in'ter-val), a space of time between any two events.

interview (in'ter-vu), a meeting face to face.

intolerable (in-tol'er-a-b'l), not capable of being endured.

intricate (in'tri-kat), entangled.

intrigue (in-treg'), a plot or conspiracy.

intruder (in-trood'er), one who enters without invitation.

inundate (in'un-dat), cover with a flood.

inured (in-urd'), accustomed.

invade (in-vad'), enter for conquest or plunder.

invariably (in-va'ri-a-bli), constantly.

inventory (in'ven-to-ri), catalogue or list of goods, furniture, etc., with cost attached.

invigorate (in-vig'or-at), refresh, give life to.

invincible (in-vin'si-b'l), not able to be overcome or conquered.

inviolate (in-vl'e-lat), uninjured.

involuntarily (in-vorun-ta-ri-li), not under control of the will; unwillingly.

irascible (i-ras'i-b'l; i-ras'), easily angered.

ire (ir), anger.

irised (i'rist), having beautiful colors, like the rainbow.

irksome (urk'sum), tedious, tiresome.

irrational (i-rash'un-al), without reason.

Ishmael (ish'ma-el), Genesis 21.14-21.

"Islands of the Blest," mythical islands supposed to be in the Western Ocean where the favorites of the gods were conveyed at death and dwelt in ever-lasting joy.

Islington (iz'ling-tun), a district in the north of London.

Israel (iz'ra-el), the descendants of Israel, or Jacob.

"I wis" (i-wis'), surely, certainly.

jackanapes', a short form of "Jack of Apes," an impertinent fellow.

Jacob's Ladder (ja'kub), Genesis 28, 12.

jaded (jad'eti), tired by overwork.

jargon (jar'gon), a confused, unintelligible language.

jerkin (jur'kin), a jacket or short coat.

Jerusalem (je-roo'sa-lem), the capital of the Jewish people.

Jesuit (jez'u-it), one of a Roman Catholic religious order called "The Society of Jesus," founded by Ignatius Loyola in 1543.

Joab (jo'ab), the "captain of the host" of the army during nearly the whole of David's reign.

jocund (jok'und), merry, gay.

Johns Hopkins University, a university in Baltimore, Maryland.

Joris (jor'is), the Flemish word for George.

journalistic (jur'nal-is'tik), referring to journalism, newspaper, or magazine articles.

Jove (jov), the short form for Jupiter.

jovial (jo'vi-al), merry, jolly.

Jugurtha (joo-gur'tha),

junto (jun'to), a secret council to talk over affairs of government.

Jupiter (joo'pi-ter), in Roman mythology, the supreme god of heaven. In Greek mythology, known as Zeus.

justification (jus'ti-fi-ka'shun), defense; support by proof.

Kaatskill (kats'kil), a group of mountains of the Appalachian system in New York state.

Kalevala (ka'la-va'la), "The land of heroes," the title of the national epic of Finland.

keel (kel), the lowest timber of a vessel, to which the ribs are attached.

keelson (kel'sun), a beam laid on the middle of the floor timbers over the keel to strengthen it.

kelp (kelp), a large, coarse seaweed.

ken (ken), knowledge,

khan (kan; kan), an Asiatic prince; an Eastern inn.

Kieldholm (keld'hom),

kine (kin), cattle.

King Arthur, a mythical British king, founder of the Knights of the Round Table, made famous in Tennyson's "Idylls of the King."

kinsman (kmz'man), a relative.

kirtle (kur't'l), a garment.

"kith and kin," friends and relatives.

knarred (nard), the poetic form of gnarled, knotted.

Knickerbocker Dietrich (nik'er-bok'er de'trik),

knoll (nol), a little, round hill.

Koordistan (koor'di-stan), a region of western Asia, mostly in Turkey, but partly in Persia.

Kurroglou (koor'e-glou),

Kyrat (ke'rat),

lacklustre (lak'lus'ter), wanting brightness.

lade (lad), draw water; put load on or in.

lading (lad'ing), that which makes a load or cargo.

laggard (lag'ard), a slow person.

lagoon (la-goon'), a shallow channel or lake.

lamentably (lam'en-ta-bli), sadly.

lance (lans), a long spear carried by a horseman.

languor (lan'ger), a state of mind or body caused by exhaustion, weariness.

Lanier, Sydney (la-ner'),

Lannes (Ian), one of Napoleon's generals.

lapse (laps), a passing away slowly.

larboard (lar'bord), the left-hand side of a ship to one on board facing the bow, port.

Lascar (las'kar), a native sailor or cooly of India.

lashing (lash'ing), cord; strike quickly or cut.

Latin (lat'in) Latium, a country of Italy in which Rome was situated, hence Roman, the language of the ancient Romans.

latticed window (lat'ist), crossed open work of wood or metal, forming a window.

laureate (le're-it), the English court poet.

laurel (le'rel), an evergreen shrub having sweet-smelling leaves,

Laurens (lo'rens), the name of an old southern family. John and Henry Laurens are famous statesmen of Revolutionary times.

laving (lav'ing), bathing.

lavish (lav'ish), extravagant.

lay (la), song.

lea (le), a grassy field.

league (leg), a measure of distance equal to about three miles.

leaguer (le'ger), a camp.

Lebanon (leb'a-non), a mountain range in Syria.

"Le Carillon de Dunkerque" (le kar'i-lon-de-dun'kurk), a popular song, the tune of which was played on the Dunkirk chimes.

ledger (lej'er), the principal account book of a business firm.

lee (le), the calm, sheltered side.

legacy (leg'a-si), a gift, by will, of money or property.

legend (lej'end), a wonderful story of the past having no historical proof.

legibly (lej'i-bli), plainly

Lentulus (len'tu-lus), a Roman politician who lived in the first century, B. C.

leper (lep'er), one afflicted with leprosy.

leprosy (lep'ro-si), a loathsome skin disease.

Letiche (la-tesh'),

Leuctra (luk'tra), a Spartan pass.

levee (lev'e), a morning reception held by a person of rank.

leviathan (le-vi'a-than), a large water animal described in the Book of Job, hence anything huge.

levy (lev'i), collect troops by authority.

liberal (lib'er-al), wide, spacious.

licentious (li-sen'shus), unrestrained, both morally and legally.

lieutenant (lu-ten'ant), an officer ranking just below a captain in the army and a commander in the navy.

Lilinau (lil'i-no'),

limner (lim'ner), a painter who illumines books or parchments.

linchpin (linch'pin'), the pin which goes through the end of the axle of a wheel and keeps it in place.

lineage (lin'e-aj), family.

linendraper (lin'en-dra'per), one who deals in linen.

list (list), will. pl. n. an enclosing for a tournament.

listlessly (list'les-li), in an indifferent manner.

literature (lit'er-a-tur), the written or printed literary productions of a country or period of time.

lithe (lith), easily bent, pliable.

livery (liv'er-i), a uniform.

loath (loth), unwilling.

local (lo'kal), belonging to a particular place.

Lochiel (lok-el'),

Lodore (lo-dor'), a cataract in the Derwent river in England.

Lofoden (lo-fo'den), a group of islands off the coast of northern Norway.

logical (loj'i-kal), according to reason.

Lokeren (lo'ker-en), a town in Belgium.

loon (loon), a northern web-footed water bird whose note sounds like a laugh.

looping (loop'ing), fold.

loose (loos), unbind.

Looz (looz), a town in Belgium.

lore (lor), knowledge.

Loupgaroo (loo'ga'roo'), meaning a "Were-wolf," a person who, according to the superstition of the Middle Ages, became a wolf in order to devour children.

Lucifer (lu'si-fer),

luminous (lu'mi-nus), giving out light.

lure (lur), anything used as an enticement; entice.

lusty (lus'ti), healthy, vigorous.

luxuriant (luks-u'ri-ant), very abundant.

lyceum (li-se'um), originally the grove at Athens where Aristotle taught; an academy.

Maelström (mal'strom), a whirlpool on the coast of Norway.

magnanimous (mag-nan'i-mus) great of mind; heroic.

magpie (mag'pi), a chattering bird belonging to the crow family.

main (man), ocean,

Mainote (mi'not), Maina was the gathering place for the Greek troops who, under the Greek general, Ypsilanti, fought for Greek independence.

maintop (man'top'), a platform at the head of the main-mast of a square-rigged vessel.

malice (mal'is), wicked intention to injure others.

malleable (mal'e-a-b'l), capable of being shaped by beating or by pressure.

mallow (mal'o), a weed.

Malo (ma'lo),

Malouins (mal'e-wins),

Malta (mol'ta), a rocky fortified island belonging to Great Britain, and situated in the Mediterranean Sea south of Sicily.

manacles (man'a-k'lz), chains for the hand or wrist.

mandate (man'dat), command.

manifest (man'i-fest), known.

manifestation (man'i-fes-ta'shun), sign.

manifold (man'i-fold), many in number.

manoeuvre (ma-noo'ver), a skillful movement with a certain aim or plan.

manor (man'er), a district over which a feudal lord ruled subject to the commands of his court-baron or lord.

"mantling blush," color or glow of youth spreading over the face.

manual (man'u-al), made or performed by the hand.

Marathon (mar'-a-thon), a plain in Greece 18 miles northeast of Athens, the scene of a famous battle between the Greeks and the Persians.

marauders (ma-rod'erz), rovers in search of plunder.

Mare Ten'ebra'rum (mar ten'e-bra'-rum), Latin words meaning "sea of darkness."

marge (marj), poetic form for margin or edge.

Marion (mar'i-on), the name of an old southern family, to which Francis Marion, a Revolutionary general, belonged.

Marmion (mar'mi-on),

marquis (mar'kwis), a nobleman of England, France, and Germany next in rank below a duke.

marshal (mar'shal), direct or lead; in the French army, the highest military officer.

mart (mart), short form for market.

martial (mar'shal), suited for war.

marveled (mar'veld), to be astonished.

maternal (ma-tur'nal), motherly.

mathematical (math'e-mat'i-kal), precise.

matin (mat'in), morning worship, prayers or songs.

Matterhorn (mat'er-horn), a high mountain peak in the Swiss Alps.

maxim (mak'sim), a true saying, proverb.

McGregor (mak-greg'er), a Scotch nobleman who tried to establish a colony in Porto Rico.

meager (me'ger), scanty, poor.

Mecheln (mek'lin), a town in Belgium.

Medford (med'ferd), a small town near Boston, Massachusetts.

mediaeval (me'di-e'val; med'i), belonging to the Middle Ages, eighth to fifteenth centuries, A. D.

meditate (med'i-tat), muse or ponder.

medium (me'di-um), substance.

meet (met), fit.

melancholy (mel'an-kol-i), gloomy.

Melita (mel'i-ta), an island, where the apostle Paul, a prisoner on the way to Rome, was shipwrecked, modern Malta.

mellow (mel'o), softened by years; tender.

memento (me-men'to), a hint or relic to awaken memory.

Memphremagog (mem'fre-ma'gog), a lake on the border of Vermont and Canada.

menace (men'as), threaten, danger.

mendicant (men'di-kant), practicing beggary.

Mersey (mur'zi), a river in England, on which Liverpool is situated.

metamorphose (met'a-mor'foz), change into a different form.

mete (met), measure; limit.

methinks (me-thinks'), it seems to me.

mewling (mul'mg),

mickle (mik'l), much, great.

Midas (mi'das), a king, in fable, whose touch turned things to gold.

mien (men), outward appearance or look.

militia (mi-lish'a), the whole military force of a nation; citizens enrolled and trained for the protection of a state.

Miller, Joaquin' (mil'er wa-ken'),

Miltiades (mil-ti'a-dez), commander of the Athenian army who conquered the Persians at Marathon.

mimosa (mi-mo'sa), plants with pods including the sensitive plants.

Minas, Basin of (mi-nas), a bay in the northwestern part of the Bay of Fundy.

miniature (min'i-a-tur), done on a very small scale.

minion (min'yun), a flattering servant or dependent.

miraculous (mi-rak'u-lus), wonderful.

mirage (me-razh'), an illusion of the eye by which objects like ships at sea are seen inverted or oases appear to travelers in the desert.

miscalculation (mis-kal'ku-la'-shun), a wrong judgment.

missal (mis'al), a mass-book.

mitigate (mit'i-gat), make less severe or painful.

mitigation (mit'i-ga'shun), relief; lessening.

moccasin (mok'a-sin), a shoe made of soft leather worn by the American Indian.

mockery (mok'er-i), imitating reality, but not real; sham.

mode (mod), manner of doing or being; custom.

Mohawk (mo'hok), a tribe of Indians.

molder (mol'der), turn into dust by natural decay.

moment (mo'ment), importance; consequence,

monody (mon'e-di), a mournful poem or song for one voice.

monograph (mon'o-graf), a paper written on one particular subject or on some branch of it.

monopoly (mo-nop'o-li), possession of the whole of anything.

monotone (mon'o-ton), a single unvaried tone or sound.

monotony (mo-not'o-ni), a tiresome sameness.

Montcalm (mont-kam'), an officer commanding the French troops at Quebec.

moorings (mobr'ingz), the place where a vessel is anchored.

moorland (moor'land), a waste land covered with patches of heather, a low shrub.

moraler (mor'al-er),

Moravian (mo-ra'vi-an), one of a sect called United Brethren, organized in Moravia in the fifteenth century.

Moskoe (mos'ko), Probably Poe had in mind the Mos'kenaso island.

Moslem (moz'lem; mos),

motive (mo'tiv), the reason for actions.

motley-braided (mot'li-brad'ed), interlaced with many colors.

mouldering (mol'der-ing), crumbling.

multitudinous (mul'tl-tu'di-nus), numerous.

Muse (muz), the goddess who is supposed to inspire poets.

muse (muz), think.

Musgraves (mus'gravz), a clan or family of Scotland.

Mussulmans (mus'ul-manz), Mohammedans, The "tottering bridge which Mussulmans say is the only pathway between Time and Eternity" is the bridge which extends over hell and which has been described as being "finer than a hair and sharper than the edge of a sword."

muster (mus'ter), the gathering of troops or ships for war.

mutation (mu-ta'shun), change.

mutiny (mu'ti-ni), a revolt against one's superior officers or any rightful authority, especially applied to sailors or soldiers.

mutual (mu'tu-al), having something in common.

Mystic (mis'tik), a river in Massachusetts.

naiad (na'yad; ni'ad), a water nymph, fabled to preside over some lake, river, brook, or fountain.

necromancer (nek'ro-man'ser), one who foretells future events by pretending to communicate with the dead.

nectar (nek'tar), in Greek mythology, the divine wine of the gods served in golden drinking-cups by Hebe, the goddess of Youth.

nepenthe (ne-pen'the), a drug supposed, by the ancient Greeks, to have the power of causing forgetfulness of sorrow.

Netherby (neth'er-bi), the name of a Scotch family or clan.

niche (nich), a hollow, generally within the thickness of a wall, for a statue or other erect ornament.

night-tide, night-time.

Nilus (nil'us), the Latin word for Nile.

"Nine," referring to the nine Muses of Greek mythology, goddesses of Song, Dance, Music, and Poetry, companions of Apollo, who, in their light flowing draperies, danced and sang on Olympus.

nine-pins (nin'pinz), a game played with ninepins or pieces of wood set on end at which a wooden ball is bowled to knock them down.

Nineveh (nin'e-ve), the famous capital of the Assyrian empire, which was entirely destroyed in the fall of the empire.

Normandy (nor'man-di), an ancient province of France occupied by the Northmen or Normans during their invasion.

Norn-Mother (norn), in Norse mythology, the Norns corresponded to the Fates in Greek myths.

notary (no'ta-ri), a public officer who examines legal papers to make certain that they are genuine or true and sets the seal of his office upon the same.

Nubian geographer (nu'bi-an je-og'ra-fer), Poe, in all probability, refers to the African geographer, Ptolemy. 150 A. D.

nullification (nul'i-fi-ka'shun), an act giving the State the right to cancel a law of Congress.

Numidian lion (nu-mid'i-an), the fierce animals which attacked the gladiators in the arena were brought from Numidia, a country in northern Africa.

nurtured (nur'turd), nourished, trained.

nymph (nimf), a goddess presiding over mountains, forests, meadows, or waters.

obeisance (e-ba'sans; e-be'), a sign of respect; a bow.

obligatory (ob'li-ga-to-ri; ob-lig'-a-to-ri), required, binding in law or conscience.

obliquely (ob-lek'li), in a slanting manner.

oblivion (eb-liv'i-un), a forgetting or being forgotten.

obloquy (ob'lo-kwi), slander, reproach.

obsequious (ob-se'kwi-us), promptly obedient to the will of others; cringing.

obstacle (ob'sta-k'l), a hindrance.

occult (o-kult'), secret.

ode (od), a short poem, which might be sung.

odorous (o'der-us), fragrant.

offenceless (o-fens'les), harmless.

offing (of'ing), that part of the sea where there is deep water and no need of a pilot.

Olympus (o-lim'pus), a mountain in Thessaly, fabled as the home of the gods.

ominous (om'i-nus), foreboding evil.

omnipotent (om-nip'e-tent), all powerful.

Opelou'sas (op'e-loo'sas), an early settlement in south central Louisiana.

opponent (o-po'nent), foe.

opposed (o-pozd'), enemy,

oppressive (o-pres'iv), heavy, burdensome.

oracular (e-rak'u-lar), like oracles or answers of the gods to questions about future events.

orb (orb), a poetical word for sun, moon, or star.

Oregon (or'e-go-n), a name by which the Columbia river was first known.

Ormus (or'mus), an ancient Persian city, noted for its wealth.

Othello (e-thel'o), a Moorish general in the service of the Venetians.

Otterholm (ot'er-hom),

overture (e'ver-tur), an offer

Owyhee (e-wi'he), a river in northern Nevada.

paean (pe'an), a song of triumph.

pageant (paj'ent; pa'jent), spectacular exhibition or display.

palimpsest (pal'imp-sest), a parchment written upon twice, the first writing having been erased.

pall (pol), a black cloth thrown over a coffin at a funeral.

palladium (pa-la'di-um), the statue of Pallas, on the preservation of which depended the safety of Troy, hence an effectual safeguard.

Pallas (pal'as), Pallas Athene, the Grecian goddess of Wisdom, called also Athene, and identified at a later period with the Roman Minerva.

pallet (pal'et), a small and mean bed.

pallid (pal'id), wan.

palpable (pal'pa-b'l), capable of being touched and felt; plain, evident.

palpitate (pal'pi-tat), beat rapidly and strongly.

paltry' (pol'tri), small, worthless, trifling.

panorama (pan'e-ra'ma), a complete view in every direction.

pantomime (pan'to-mim), a dramatic representation by actors who use only dumb show.

paragon (par'a-gon), a model pattern of perfection.

parchment (parch'ment), skin of sheep or goat, etc., prepared for writing.

pard (pard), a leopard.

parricide (par'i-sid), one who murders his own father, or any ancestor.

participate (par-tis'i-pat), have a share in common with others; to take part.

particularize (par-tik'u-lar-iz), to state in detail.

Pascagoula (pas'ka-goo'la), a river in Mississippi flowing into the Gulf of Mexico.

patriarch (pa'tri-ark), Father and ruler of a family; a venerable old man.

patrician (pa-trish'an), one of high birth; a nobleman.

patricide (pat'ri-sid), murder of one's father; the crime of murdering one's father.

patrimonial (pat'ri-mo'ni-al), inherited from an ancestor.

pavilion (pa-vil'yun), a tent, a large temporary building.

peasant (pez'ant), tiller of the soil in European countries.

peasantry (pez'ant-ri), peasants, collectively.

pedagogue (ped'a-gog), teacher of children; a schoolmaster.

pedantry (ped'ant-ri), vain display of learning.

pedigree (ped'i-gre), a line of ancestors; descent.

peer (per), one of the same rank; an equal; member of the British nobility.

pellicle (pel'i-k'l), a crystallized film.

pell-mell (pel'-mel'), in utter confusion.

pendent (pen'dent), something which hangs, depends, or is suspended.

penetrate (pen'e-trat), enter into: understand.

penitent (pen'i-tent), feeling sorrow on account of offence. Penitent Peter, Luke 22, 54-62.

pensive (pen'siv), thoughtful; sad.

pent (pent), penned or shut up.

penthouse (pent'hous'), a shed sloping from the main wall or building, as over a door or window.

Pequot (pe'kwot), a former tribe of North American Indians, the most dreaded of all in southern New England.

peradventure (per'ad-ven'tur), by chance; perhaps.

perceive (per-sev'), obtain knowledge of through the senses; see.

perceptible (per-sep'ti-b'l), capable of being perceived.

perfidious (per-fid'i-us), false to a trust reposed.

perpetrator (pur'pe-tra'ter), one who does or performs.

perpetual (per-pet'u-al), continuing forever, endless.

perplexity (per-plek'si-ti), bewilderment; doubt.

persecution (pur'se-ku'shun), pursuing to injure; injury.

perseverance (pur'se-ver'ans), continuing in a given cause; persistence.

perusal (pe-rooz'al), a careful reading through.

pervade (per-vad'), spread through-out; pass through.

pervasive (per-va'siv), having the power to spread throughout.

perverse (per-vurs'), turned aside or away from the right, contrary.

perversity (per-vur'si-ti), the quality of being perverse.

pestilence (pes'ti-lens), any contagious disease that is devastating.

pestilent (pes'ti-lent), destructive; troublesome.

Petruchio's Kate (pe-troo'chi-o), Petruchio--a character in Shakespeare's play, "Taming the Shrew." His wife, Kate, is called a shrew on account of her ill-temper.

petty (pet'i), small, trifling.

pewter (pu'ter), a hard, tough, but easily fusible alloy of tin with lead.

phalanx (fa'lanks), a body of troops in close array; combination of people firmly united.

phantom (fan'tum), that which has only apparent existence, a ghost.

phenomenon (fe-nom'e-non), pl. phenomena, that which strikes one as strange, unusual, or unaccountable; an appearance.

philanthropist (fi-lan'thro-pist), one who loves mankind, and seeks to promote the good of others.

philosopher (fi-los'o-fer), one who lives according to the rules of practical wisdom; one devoted to the search after wisdom.

phiz (fiz), the face; a humorous abbreviation for physiognomy.

Phlegethon (fleg'e-thon), in Greek mythology, a river of fire in the lower world.

phlegm (flem), sluggishness of temperament; dullness.

Phoebus (fe'bus), or Phoebus Apollo in Greek and Roman mythology, one of the great Olympian gods and giver of light and life. Leader of the Muses and God of music.

physical (fiz'i-kal), pertaining to nature; relating to the bodily structure as opposed to things mental.

physiognomy (fiz'i-og'no-mi), the face or countenance.

pibroch (pe'brok), a Highland air; air played on bagpipes when Highlanders go to battle.

picturesque (pik'tur-esk'), forming a pleasing picture.

pillage (pil'aj), something taken by force; plunder.

pin (pin), mood,

Pinckney, William (pink'ni), an American lawyer and diplomatist of a fine old southern family.

"Pindusborn Aracthus" (pin'dus, a-rak'thus), a river in Greece, Pindus-born because it rises in the Pindus mountains.

pinion (pin'yun), a feather; quill; a wing.

pinnacle (pin'a-k'l), a lofty peak; the very topmost point.

Pisa (pe'za), small town in Italy, famous for its leaning tower.

Piscataqua (pis-kit'a-kwa), a river in New Hampshire.

"pitch and moment," impetus or speed.

"pitch of pride," in the very place where Douglas's pride is centered.

pitcher plant, a plant with leaves shaped like pitchers.

"pith o' sense," the force, strength, or essence of sense.

plain (plan), complain.

Plains of Abraham, an elevated plain just beyond Quebec to the southwest; the scene of the battle of Quebec.

plain-song, a short, comprehensive prayer, adapted to a particular day or occasion, recited in one tone.

Plaquemine (plak'men), Bayou of (bi'oo) an inlet from the Mississippi river in Louisiana.

planetree, an Oriental tree, rising with a straight, smooth branching Stem to a great height; the sycamore or buttonwood.

plashy (plash'i), watery; splashy

Plataea's day (pla-te'a),

plausible (plo'zi-b'l), praiseworthy; reasonable.

pleasance (plez'ans), pleasure; merriment.

plebeian (ple-be'yan), of or pertaining to the common people.

pliant (pli'ant), capable of plying or bending; flexible.

policy (pol'i-si), prudence or wisdom in the management of public and private affairs.

pollute (po-lut'), make foul, impure, or unclean.

pomp (pomp), show of magnificence or splendor.

ponder (pon'der), think or deliberate.

ponderous (pon'der-us), very heavy; weighty.

Popedom (pop'dum), place, office, or dignity of the pope.

populous (pop'u-lus), containing many inhabitants.

porpoise (por'pus), a sea fish closely allied to the dolphin.

port (port), the left side of a ship, looking forward.

portal (por'tal), a door or gate.

portcullis (port-kul'is), a grating of iron or of timbers pointed with iron, hung over the gateway of a fortress.

portent (por'tent), a sign of coming calamity.

portico (por'ti-ko), a colonnade; covered space before a building.

postern (pos'tern), back door or gate, especially of a castle.

potent (po'tent), powerful, having great authority.

potentate (po'ten-tat), monarch.

praetor (pre'tor), a civil officer among the ancient Romans,

precarious (pre-ka'ri-us), riot to be depended on; dangerous.

precedent (pre-sed'ent), going before.

precedent (pres'e-dent), a decision serving as a rule for future determination in similar cases.

precipitate (pre-sip'i-tat), overhasty, rash; to fall with steep descent.

precocity (pre-kos'i-ti), development more than is natural at a given age.

preconceive (pre'kon-sev'), form an idea or opinion in the mind beforehand.

predetermination (pre'de-tur'mi-na'shun), a decision reached beforehand.

preeminent (pre-em'i-nent), above other things of exalted station.

pregnant (preg'nant), heavy with important contents or significance.

prejudice (prej'oo-dis), judgment formed without due examination; to bias the mind of.

prelude (prel'ud), introductory performance.

premature (pre'ma-tur'), ripe before the proper time.

presage (pre'saj), n. sign, presentiment.

presage (pre-saj'), foretell.

presuppose (pre'su-poz'), take for granted.

pretension (pre-ten'shun), laying claim to more than is due.

prevalent (prev'a-lent), generally existing; widespread.

primal (pri'mal), first; original.

prithee (prith'e), a corruption of "pray thee," generally used without the "I."

privation (pri-va'shun), depriving or taking away; getting along without.

proclaim (pro-klam'), make known by public announcement.

prodigal (prod'i-gal), given to extravagant spending. Prodigal Son, Luke 15, 11-32.

prodigious (pro-dij'us), very great; immense.

prodigy (prod'i-ji), a marvel or wonder.

profess (por-fes) admit freely.

proffer (prof-er), offer for acceptance.

profound (pro-found') reaching too the bottom of a matter; deep.

profuse (pre-fus'), pouring forth bountifully; lavish.

progenitor (pro-jen'i-ter), ancestor; forefather.

projecting (pro-jekt'ing), planning; throwing forward.

promontory (prom'un-to-ri), high point of land projecting into the sea.

promulgate (pro-mul'gat), make known, proclaim.

prone (pron), prostrate, flat; inclined, disposed.

proportionate (pro-por'shun-at), at the same rate.

proscribe (pro-skrib'), doom to destruction; denounce.

prostrate (pros'trat), lying at length with the body extended on the ground.

provoke (pre-vok'), call forth, irritate.

prudence (proo'dens), wisdom in the way of caution and provision.

puke (puk), vomit.

Punic (pu'nik), pertaining to the Carthaginians, whom the Romans considered unworthy of trust, hence, faithless.

purling (pur'ling), eddy; also, to make a murmuring sound as water does in running over an obstruction.

purport (pur'port), meaning.

pursue (pur-su'), follow with a view to overtake; chase.

Pyrrhic (pir'ik), Pyrrhic dance, a Greek martial dance. Pyrrhic phalanx, a phalanx such as was used by Pyrrhus, king of Epirus.

quaff (kwaf), drink.

Queen of Lebanon (Leba-nen), Lady Hester Stanhope, niece of William Pitt. She established herself in the Lebanon hills near Jerusalem, awaiting the second coming of Christ.

quell (kwel), subdue; repress.

querulous (kwer'oo-lus), apt to find fault.

quick (kwik), vital part.

quietus (kwi-e'tus), that which silences claim; death.

rack (rak), danger.

radical (rad'i-kal), proceeding directly from the root.

railer (ral'er), one who scoffs.

raiment (ra'ment), clothing.

rampart (ram'part), defense.

rampire (ram'pir), same as rampart.

Rance (rans), a river in France.

random (ran'dum), want of direction: chance.

rapine (rap'Tn), a plundering,

rapture (rap'tur), pleasure, delight.

Ratisbon (rat'is-bon), town in Bavaria, Germany, called Regensburg by the Germans.

ravage (rav'aj), desolation by violence.

ravenous (rav''n-us), devouring with great eagerness.

raze (raz), lay level with the ground.

rebuff (re-buf), sudden check.

rebuke (re-buk'), check or silence with reproof; chide.

recall (re-kol'), call back; remember.

recede (re-sed'), retreat; move back.

recess (re-ses'), part of a room formed by the receding of a wall.

recessional (re-sesh'un-al), a hymn sung while the choir and clergy are leaving the church at the close of a service.

reciprocate (re-sip'ro-kat), a mutual giving and returning.

reck (rek), heed.

recoil (re-koil'), drawing back.

recollection (rek'o-lek'shun), something called to mind.

reconcile (rek'on-sil), pacify, settle.

reconnoiter (rek'o-noi'ter) examine with the eye, survey.

recreation (rek're-a'shun), amusement.

recruit (re-kroot'), repair by fresh supplies; reinforcement.

rectitude (rek'ti-tud), honesty.

recurrence (re-kur'ens), the act of returning from time to time.

redress (re-dres'), set right a wrong.

reek (rek), send forth vapor or smoke, "reeking tube," guns and cannons.

reel (rel), stagger.

refluent (ref'loo-ent), flowing back.

reflux (re'fluks), ebb.

refugee (ref'u-je'), one who flees to a place of safety.

refuse (ref'us), waste matter.

regal (re'gal), royal.

regent (re'jent), ruler.

Regulus (reg'u-lus),

reiterate (re-it'er-at), repeat again and again.

relax (re-laks'), slacken.

relevant (rel'e-vant), bearing upon the case in hand.

relief (re-lef), in art, projection of a figure above the ground on which it is formed.

reluctant (re-luk'tant), unwilling.

remnant (rem'nant), that which remains after a part is removed.

remonstrate (re-mon'strat), present and urge reasons in opposition to an act.

removes (re-moovz'), a transfer of one's business or belongings from one place to another.

remuneration (re-mu'ner-a'shun), payment.

renown (re-noun'), fame.

rent (rent), broken.

repair (re-par'), go.

reputation (rep'u-ta'shun), estimation in which one is held.

repute (re-put'), estimate.

requisite (rek'wi-zit), something required.

research (re-surch'), continued search after truth.

reserve (re-surv'), withhold from present use for another purpose or time.

resignation (rez'ig-na'shun), a giving up a claim, possession or office, etc.

resistless (re-zist'les), powerless to withstand; helpless.

resolute (rez'e-lut), determined.

respectively (re-spek'tiv-li), relating to each.

respite (res'pit), a putting off.

restoration (res'to-ra'shun), a bringing back to a former condition.

retain (re-tan'), keep.

retreat (re-tret'), departure; shelter.

reveal (re-vel'), disclose.

revelry (rev'el-ri), noisy festivity.

reverberate (re-vur'ber-at), echo.

reverence (rev'er-ens), a mingled feeling of awe and admiration.

reverend (rev'er-end), worthy of respect.

revery (rev'er-i), day dream.

reviving (re-viv'ing), returning to life.

Reyhan (ra-han'),

ribband (rib'band'), a ribbon.

rife (rif), prevailing.

rift (rift), an opening made by splitting.

riot (ri ut), tumult.

rise (riz; ris), cause; occasion.

rite (rit), solemn observance.

rivet (riv'et), fasten firmly.

riving (riv'ing), splitting.

roan (ron), brown or black color, with gray or white interspersed.

roister (rois'ter), a blustering, noisy fellow.

romance (ro-mans'), tale or novel.

"Romance languages," the languages which were originally dialects of Latin, as French, Spanish, Italian.

Roos (roos),

Roushan Beg (roo'shan-bag),

routed (rout'ed), overpowered.

routine (roo-ten'), a round of business or pleasure frequently returning.

Royal Society, a society of London for improving natural knowledge.

rub (rub), hindrance.

rubicund (roo'bi-kund), ruddy, red.

rudiment (roo'di-ment), a beginning or first step.

rumor (roo'mer), hearsay, common talk.

runic (roo'nik), pertaining to the written language of the ancient Norsemen.