Page images
PDF
EPUB

No mate, no comrade Lucy knew;

She dwelt on a wide moor,
-The sweetest thing that ever grew

Beside a human door!

You yet may spy the fawn at play,

The hare upon the green;
But the sweet face of Lucy Gray

Will never more be seen.

To-night will be a stormy night

You to the town must go;
And take a lantern, child, to light

Your mother through the snow.

“That, father, will I gladly do:

'Tis scarcely afternoonThe minster-clock has just struck two,

And yonder is the moon!”

At this the father raised his hook,

And snapped a faggot-band;
He plied his work;—and Lucy took

The lantern in her hand.

Not blither is the mountain roe:

With many a wanton stroke
Her feet disperse the powdery snow,

That rises up like smoke.

The storm came on before its time,

She wandered up and down; And many a hill did Lucy climb,

But never reached the town.

The wretched parents all that night

Went shouting far and wide;
But there was neither sound nor sight

To serve them for a guide.

At daybreak on a hill they stood

That overlooked the moor; And thence they saw the bridge of wood,

A furlong from their door.

They wept--and, turning homeward, cried,
“In heaven we all shall meet!”
When in the snow the mother spied

The print of Lucy's feet.

Then downwards from the steep hill's edge

They tracked the footmarks small;
And through the broken hawthorn hedge,

And by the long stone wall;
And then an open field they crossed:

The marks were still the same;
They tracked them on, nor ever lost;

And to the bridge they came.

They followed from the snowy bank

Those footmarks, one by one,
Into the middle of the plank;
And further there were none !

-Yet some maintain that to this day

She is a living child;
That you may see sweet Lucy Gray

Upon the lonesome wild.

O'er rough and smooth she trips along,

And never looks behind;
And sings a solitary song

That whistles in the wind.

A FAREWELL.

CHARLES KINGSLEY.

My fairest child, I have no song to give you;

No lark could pipe to skies so dull and gray; Yet, ere we part, one lesson I can leave you

For every day. Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever;

Do noble things, not dream them, all day long: And so make life, death, and that vast forever

One grand, sweet song.

THE MOUNTAIN AND THE SQUIRREL.

RALPH WALDO EMERSON.

The mountain and the squirrel
Had a quarrel,
And the former called the latter “Little Prig;"
Bun replied,
“You are doubtless very big;
But all sorts of things and weather
Must be taken in together,
To make up a year
And a sphere,
And I think it no disgrace
To occupy my place.
If I'm not so large as you,
You are not so small as I,
And not half so spry:
I'll not deny you inake
A very pretty squirrel track;
Talents differ; all is well and wisely put;
If I cannot carry forests on my back,
Neither can you crack a nut.”

A VISIT FROM THE SEA.

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON:

Far from the loud sea beaches

Where he goes fishing and crying,
Here in the inland garden

Why is the sea-gull flying ?
Here are no fish to dive for;

Here is the corn and lea;
Here are the green trees rustling,

Hie away home to sea !
Fresh is the river water,

And quiet among the rushes;
This is no home for the sea-gull

But for the rooks and thrushes,

Pity the bird that has wandered !

Pity the sailor ashore !
Hurry him home to the ocean,

Let him come here no more !

High on the sea-cliff ledges

The white gulls are trooping and crying,
Here among rooks and roses,

Why is the sea-gull flying?

LOCHINVAR.

WALTER SCOTT.

Oh, young Lochinvar is come out of the West,
Through all the wide Border his steed was the best;
And save his good broadsword he weapon 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 Lochin var.

He stayed not for brake, and he stopped not for stone,
He swam the Eske 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,
Among 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), “Oh, 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 Solway, but ebbs like its tide,-
Aud now I am 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 he 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 surile on her lips and a tear in her eye;
He took her soft land, 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 funie,
And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and

plume;
And the bridemaidens whispered, “' Twere better by far
To have matched our fair cousin with youug 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 croup 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 lea, 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?

THE BATTLE OF BLENHEIM.

ROBERT SOUTHEY.

The English and Dutch under the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy, defeated the French and ,Bavarians at Blenheim in 1704.

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,

« PreviousContinue »