Imágenes de páginas

And fumed and swore, as them between
A flock of fifty sheep had been;
While each gaunt cur that with them came,
Still prompt to fight for food or fame,
Roused by his master's madd’ning cry,
Rushed to the fray, he knew not why.
While thus they toiled from side to side,

Across the bridge a miller came,
Renowned for shrewdness far and wide,

And Will the Witty was his name: Large were his limbs—his horse was poor, And heavy was the sack he bore ; But William kindly bore his part, For William had a tender heart : And though to ease his legs he rode, On his own back he piled the load, Continuing thus to reconcile Humanity with ease, the while. “ Zounds, dang it, sirs ! why, what's the matter ?" Cries Will, “ What means this coil and clatter, Why break you with your staves the stones ? Be still, or else I'll break your bones." “ These sheep,” cries Hodge, “ shall pass, I say." "Not till the toll,” cries Sim, "you pay." “What sheep ?" quoth Will, “ no sheep I see, The toll !—what toll? this bridge is free. Is it for this you rage? I fear, All is not clever, mark me! here !" To ease his own and horse's back, Down sapient William throws the sack, Then slowly from his steed descends, And bids the late contending friends Remove it to the bridge-way side, Where gravely he the mouth untied : “ Now gently raise it on the wall, And bend it, that the meal may fall.”. Down falls the meal, and soon like snow O’erspreads the wondering waves below.

“ Now shake it, Hodge,” quoth Will, and then
To Simkin, “Shake the sack again.
Now tell me, after all your pains,
Within the sack what meal remains ?"
“ Why, none,” they answer. “So much brain,"
Quoth Will, “ your jobber-nowls contain."
Now who can doubt that justly fame
Had spread through Gotham William's name,
And that the wisdom here he'd shown
Deserved at least an oaken crown ?
Yet some will say, that such expense,
To prove two blockheads void of sense,
As clearly proves, that Hodge and Sim,
In wisdom well might vie with him.
A point so nice our faithful guide,
The Muse, forbids us to decide.
But she, with sly and sapient sneer,
Tells of a nation--heaven knows where,
Which, when some unimportant jar
Has plunged two friendly states in war,
To check their fury's murderous course
Calls out, at mighty cost, her force;
And after many a victory won,
And deeds of noblest daring done,
And on the ocean and the plain
Full many a gallant warrior slain,
Small good results from all her zeal,
But she, alas ! has lost her meal.

By the Rev. Dr. George Aspinale.
THERMOPYLÆ's rude pass

Rose rugged to the sky;
Leonidas held watch,
The Persian army nigh.

Whole millions number'd they,

A scant three hundred he ; They fought for conquest-these

To keep their country free.

And like a silver lake

Beneath the moonbeams clear, The Persian bucklers shone,

Shone corslet, casque, and spear.

Then spake Leonidas

To that small martyr-bandHis eye ablaze with fire,

Uplifted his right hand.

“Spartans, for hearth and home,

Draw we the steel to-day; The land our fathers claim

Let not the Persian sway.

“ List now—this pass admits

Only twelve men abreast Within its narrowest part:

Mark them 'bove all the rest.

“That part then doubly guard ;

Sustain your old renown, And as each fresh relay

Appears, strike each man down.

“ Xerxes advances on,

And heads his 'whelming host; To grace his chariot wheels

Our doom—so runs his boast!

! Vain boast, that ne'er can be !

For well, full well ye know That we must here receive

In death our overthrow !

66 Yet every hour we keep

The enemy at bay,
Will give our brothers time

To arm them for the fray :

" To call on friendly states

Their saving help to lend; Be 't ours then to protract

The inevitable end!

“ The issue death-no less;

Yes, comrades, each one here Must die the soldier's death,

Beneath the Persian's spear!

“ But, Spartans, what of that ?

'Tis Sparta's voice doth call ;
She bids ye fight like men,
Like men she bids ye fall.

“And now, on Spartan fare

Dine well before you fight; For e'en in Pluto's realm

We all shall sup to-night.

" Take, then, your last meal here,

And 'vigorated riseHonour'd in being deemed

Your country's sacrifice !".

He paused—and every breast

Beat high with martial swell; They eat, and in Greek wine

They bade to Greece farewell.

Then rose they, and each man

His stalwart sword did take; Each glorying to die

For Lacedemon's sake,

Yet not in Pluto's realm

That night supp'd any man :
For three hard days they fought,

As but the desperate can.

But on the third, at eve,

By filthy lucre's lust,
False Ephiàltes mov'd,

Betray'd his sacred trust :

And by a secret path,

That up the mountain wound,
The traitor led the foe

Another way around !

By thousands in they poured,

With keen-edged blade in hand,
And hew'd to pieces all

That brave, devoted band.

And last—Leonidas,

That leader of renown,
Fell, and gave up the ghost,
As the red sun went down!



DANIEL WEBSTER. THE land is not wholly free from the contamination of a traffic, at which every feeling of humanity must for ever revolt-I mean the African slave trade. Neither public sentiment, nor the law, has hitherto been able entirely to put an end to this odious and abominable traffic. At the moment when God, in his mercy, has blessed the Christian world with an universal peace, there is reason to fear, that, to the

« AnteriorContinuar »