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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
From the depth of heaven above,
As still as a brooding dove.
Whom mortals call the moon,
By the midnight breezes strewn;
Which only the angels hear,
The stars peep behind her and peer :
Like a swarm of golden bees,
Till the calm river, lakes, and seas,
Are each paved with the moon and these.
And the moon's with a girdle of pearl ;
When the whirlwinds my banner unfurl. From cape to cape, with a bridge-like shape,
Over a torrent sea,
Sunbeam-proof, I hang like a roof,
The mountains its columns be.
With hurricane, fire, and snow,
Is the million-coloured bow;
While the moist earth was laughing below.
And the nursling of the sky;
I change, but I cannot die.
The pavilion of heaven is bare,
And out of the caverns of rain,
CORPORAL CRUMP'S NARRATIVE.
John Mills. Author of "The Belle of the Village," "Old English Gentleman,"
and other popular novels. “I'm not going," said Corporal Crump, “ to give ye the particulars of my own life, only in so far as they may be considered part and parcel of the history of my betters, although, if I just break ground by saying that, in the words of the song,
"'Twas in the merry month of May,
When bees from flower to flower do hum;
The village all flew to the sound of the drum ;'
and that I was one of them, it will but be beginning the story at the right end. The fife and the drum, comrade, cockade and streamers, were too tempting for a farmer's boy on the sunny side of twenty, and, half afraid of my own act and deed, I took the shilling, and became one of my country's noble defenders, and full private on full pay. At the time of my enlisting, the whole of the continent was bristling with bayonets, and the French were spreading more mischief throughout the countries they had overrun, than the devil himself in a gale of wind.
“As soon as I could be drilled into something like a soldier, and before I knew the difference between a sergeant's stripe and a corporal's, I was marched off for Spain, where I soon learned what was parade, and the gold and gammon of the profession, and the real downright hard knocks of active service.
“Rumours, which kept our officers always on the alert, marching, counter-marching, fatigue, heat, thirst, short rations, and bad food, were now the order of the day, and my feelings were particularly similar to those of a young lady of my acquaintance, who fell in love with a scarlet coat at a fair, and found the colour a deal faded when her eyes became more familiar to it in the barrack-yard.
“The particular event, however, with which I have to deal, took place in Brussels just previous to the battle of Waterloo ; a battle, comrade," continued the old soldier, pointing to the white seam running like the line of a map across his countenance, “wherein I got this brand. It was cut with something heavier than a pen-knife, and there was will and power in the elbow."
Jacob Giles stooped forward, and examined the mark with apparently greater interest than he had yet felt when his eyes rested upon the blemish.
“I must now tell you that attached to our corps was a young officer of the name of Somerset. I never knew how it was, but although he wore epaulettes, and I, as yet, had not my stripes, there was a goodwill, and, if I may so call it, kind of understanding between us, which may be formed between one in the ranks, and those above him, without either being forgetful of his duty, line, or position.
“Like the greater number of lieutenants attached to marching regiments, and poor chaplains without hope of promotion, Lieutenant Somerset was married. They all do. It's constitoo-tional, I suppose," said the old soldier, with emphasis ; “but the poorer a man is, the younger he marries, and the more children he has. Somehow, too, his wife is sure to be a delicate creetur, with calico hands, pretty face, and one of eight or ten. I've seen it so, over and over twenty times told, in my life, and shall again, if ever I look for anything so common.
“Having been in garrison during the winter and spring, and occupying the private post of the lieutenant's own servant, there was plenty of time and opportunity to note down trifles which otherwise might have escaped my attention. Now, it occurred to me, one morning, upon seeing the lieutenant's wife stitching away at as small a piece of dimity as was ever cut in the shape of a night-cap, that it couldn't be for herself, as her husband couldn't have got his fist into it, I concluded that the design wasn't for him. And yet what wonderful pleasure both seemed to take in that little bit of dimity! I think I see 'm now," said the corporal, casting his eyes upwards, " at this very moment, sitting close together, like a couple of love birds. Her needle and thread are plying away at the little bit of dimity, and he's got an arm round her taper waist, now and then whispering something which makes her face mantle like a rose. Hah!" sighed the old soldier, “our happiest moments are often set on hair triggers !"
Jacob's bosom heaved a responsive sigh, but he ventured nothing further to interrupt the tale.
" As it is well known," resumed the narrator, " the Duke and our principal officers were shaking their heels at a ball when Blucher's despatch arrived, notify
ing that the French had crossed the Sambre, and were marching towards Charleroi and Fleurus. By dad, sir, but it put a halt to dancing! The tune was changed for another sort in about the quickest movement that was ever made by fiddlers. Drums beat, bugles sounded, and in a few ticks of the clock, the streets were lined with troops, pouring forth from houses, haylofts, cellars, stables, and every nook and corner forming the good and bad, rough-and-ready quarters of our men.
“Our corps were among the first to muster, and before the word was given to march, every man belonging to it was present, save-one."
Corporal Crump rested here, and raising a forefinger, as if to call his auditors' especial attention, slowly repeated the words—"every man belonging to it was present, save-one.
" The distance between Brussels and Quarter Bras is over twenty miles, and before eight o'clock the cavalry, artillery, infantry, and waggon train were on the march. By two in the afternoon, the fifth division, of which we formed a part, commanded by Sir Thomas Picton, arrived at Quarter Bras, and as we came up, and were forming into line, a body of French lancers charged, and thrust many a brave fellow's soul from earth to heaven.
“The fields of rye, growing almost to our shoulders, offered considerable hindrance to infantry movements, and the flights of the enemy's cavalry often swept down upon the columns, and cut them into pieces before they could form into square. But let a square be once formed,” said Corporal Crump, and the old soldier's eyes glistened as he spoke, “and they might as well have charged the solid rock.
“As soon as it was possible, we formed in square, but in doing which two companies were left out, and we had to see them butchered almost to a man, before our eyes, while each struggled like a lion to the last.
“For nearly two hours we fought with fearful odds