Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE BATTLE OF BLENHEIM.

It was a summer evening,

Old Kaspar's work was done,
And he before his cottage door

Was sitting in the sun,
And by him sported on the green
His little grandchild, Wilhelmine.

She saw her brother Peterkin

Roll something large and round, Which he beside the rivulet,

In playing there, had found : He came to ask what he had found, That was so large, and smooth, and round

:

Old Kaspar took it from the boy,

Who stood expectant by;
And then the old man shook his head,

And with a natural sigh, 'Tis some poor fellow's skull,” said he, Who fell in the great victory. “I find them in the garden,

For there's many hereabout; And often, when I go to plough,

The ploughshare turns them out ! For many thousand men,” said he, "Were slain in that great victory.“Now tell us what 'twas all about,"

Young Peterkin he cries; And little Wilhelmine looks

up, With wonder-waiting eyes ;

“ Now tell us all about the war,
And what they fought each other for.”
“It was the English,” Kaspar cried,

“Who put the French to rout; But what they fought each other for,

I could not well make out;
But everybody said," quoth he,
“That 'twas a famous victory.
“My father lived at Blenheim then,

Yon little stream hard by;
They burnt his dwelling to the ground,

And he was forced to fly;
So with his wife and child he fled,
Nor had he where to rest his head.
“ With fire and sword the country round

Was wasted far and wide,
And many a childing-mother then,

And new-born baby, died ;
But things like that, vou know, must be,
At every famous victory.
“They say it was a shocking sight,

After the field was won ;
And many thousand bodies here

Lay rotting in the sun ;
But things like that, you know, must be,
After a famous victory.
“Great praise the Duke of Marlbro' won,

And our good Prince Eugene.” “Why 'twas a very wicked thing!

Said little Wilhelmine; “Nay, nay, my little girl," quoth he, “ It was a famous victory.

“And every body praised the Duke,

Who this great fight did win.” “ But what good came of it at last ?”

Quoth little Peterkin. “ Why that I cannot tell,” said he; “But 'twas a famous victory.

SOUTHEY.

THE CATARACT OF LODORE.

“ How does the Water Come down at Lodore ?

My little boy ask'd me

Thus, once on a time;
And moreover he task'd 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 in 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 awhile, 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,

Helter-skelter,

Hurry-scurry
Here it comes sparkling,
And there it lies darkling;
Now smoaking and frothing
Its tumult and wrath in,

Till in its rapid race,
On which it is bent,
It reaches the place
Of its deep 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 wringing,
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,

« PreviousContinue »