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The boat is lowered, the boatmen row,
Down sunk the bell with a gurgling sound;
Sir Ralph the Rover sailed away;
So thick a haze o'erspreads the sky,
On the deck the Rover takes his stand;
“Canst hear,” said one, “the breakers roar?
For methinks we should be near the shore.” “Now where we are I cannot tell,
But I wish I could hear the Inchcape Bell.”
They hear no sound; the swell is strong;
Sir Ralph the Rover tore his hair,
But even in his dying fear,
The island lies nine leagues away.
Along its solitary shore,
No sound but ocean's roar,
But when the light winds lie at rest,
And on the glassy, heaving sea
Sits swinging silently,
And inland rests the green, warm dell;
The brook comes tinkling down its side;
Rings cheerful, far and wide,
Nor holy bell, nor pastoral bleat,
In former days within the vale:
Curses were on the gale;
But calm, low voices, words of grace,
Now slowly fall upon the ear:
Subdued and holy fear:
TO A WATERFOWL.
WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT,
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
Thy figure floats along.
Seek'st thou the plashy brink
On the chafed ocean-side ?
There is a Power whose care
Lone wandering, but not lost.
All day thy wings have fanned,
Though the dark night is near.
And soon that toil shall end;
Soon, o'er thy sheltered nest.
Thou'rt gone, the abyss of heaven
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.
Ah, County Guy! the hour is nigh,
The sun has left the lea,
The breeze is on the sea.
Sits hushed his partner nigh;
But where is County Guy ?
The village maid steals through the shade,
Her shepherd's suit to hear;
Sings high-born Cavalier.
Now reigns o'er earth and sky;
But where is County Guy?
THE OLD SWORD.
Old Sword ! tho' dim and rusted
Be now thy sheeny blade,
With cankers Time hath made;
Of triumph's fierce delight,
The thunders of the fight!
Tho' age hath past upon thee
With still corroding breath, Yet once streamed redly on thee
The purpling tide of death: What time amid the war of foes
The dastard's cheek grew pale, As through the feudal field arose
The ringing of the mail.
Old Sword! what arm hath wielded
Thy richly gleaming brand,
The niaidens of their land ?
With thy puissant fire,
The victims of his ire ?
Old Sword ! whose fingers clasped thee
Around thy carved hilt?
What heroes' blood was spilt;
And lance to lance opposed,
The dark-eyed warriors closed:
Old Sword ! I would not burnish
Thy venerable rust,
sweep away the tarnish
Unfamed in olden rhyine,
A wreck of ancient time!
HOW THEY BROUGHT THE GOOD NEWS
FROM GHENT TO AIX.
This spirited poem is said to have no foundation in fact. 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 un
drew; "Speed !” echoed the wall to us galloping through; Behind shut the postern, the lights sank to rest, And into the midnight we galloped abreast.