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26.- The Heritage.
ad-júdġed', awarded. eon-těnt', contentment.
This noble poem is by James Russell Lowell (1819–1891), a native of Cambridge, Mass. Mr. Lowell ranks as one of the foremost American poets, and has shown his power both in the serious and the satirical vein. His style is marked by extraordinary force and felicity of expression, and by the use of noble and beautiful imagery. He is also master of a prose style of marvelous strength, wit, and grace.
1. What doth the poor man's son inherit?
Stout muscles and a sinewy heart,
King of two hands, he does his part
In every useful toil and art,-
2. What doth the poor man's son inherit?
Wishes o'erjoyed with humble things,
Content that from employment springs,
A heart that in his labor sings, -
3. What doth the poor man's son inherit?
A patience learned by being poor;
A fellow-feeling that is sure
To make the outcast bless his door,-
4. O rich man's son! there is a toil
That with all other level stands;
But only whitens, soft white hands;
This is the best crop from thy lands, –
5 O poor man's son! scorn not thy state;
There is worse weariness than thine,
Toil only gives the soul to shine,
And makes rest fragrant and benign, -
6. Both, heirs to some six feet of sod,
Are equal in the earth at last;
Prove title to your heirship vast
By record of a well-filled past, -
1. Write the analysis of: contentment (tenere); courage (cor); record (cor); equal (æquus).
Write the analysis of: sinewy; useful; employment; whiten; weariness; heirship.
What expression (1) means courage? Explain “king of two hands” (1). “Wishes o'erjoyed," etc. (2); i.e., desires that are more than satisfied, etc.
II. Select a declarative sentence; an interrogative sentence; an imperative sentence.
III. Notice the structure of this poem, as exemplified in the first three stanzas. The poet, in each, begins by asking a question; then develops the details of the “heritage,” and ends with a refrain. (See Definition 23.) What figure of speech in the expression “to toil-worn merit" (2)? (See Definition 7.) What is meant by “six feet of sod” (6)? What is the figure of speech? (See Definition 8.) crop" (4): what is the figure of speech ? (See Definition 3.)
27.–First Impressions of a Young Sailor.
ěx'e-eüt-ed, carried out.
roadş, place where ships may lie at in-dif'fer-ent, not very good. anchor a distance from the shore. līt'er-al-ly, according to the very strāinş, tones, chant. meaning of the words.
un-in-těl'li-gi-ble, not undernau'tie-al, maritime, seafaring. stood.
This is an extract from “Two Years Before the Mast," by Richard Henry Dana, jun. (1815-1881), a native of Cambridge, Mass., and son of the American poet of the same name. In 1834 Mr. Dana made the voyage described in “Two Years Before the Mast" to California, then an almost unknown region; and as a result of his experiences wrote this exceedingly interesting narrative, depicting in its true colors the real life of the common sailor,
(1) “With all my imperfections,” etc.: a quotation from Shakespeare's “Hamlet.” — (6) watch: that is, the men who attend to managing a ship for an allotted time, — four hours. — (8) eight bells: here means twelve o'clock at night.
1. “With all my imperfections on my head,” I joined the crew; and we hauled out into the stream, and came to anchor for the night. The next morning was Saturday; and, a breeze having sprung up from the southward, we took a pilot on board, hove up our anchor, and began beating down the bay.
2. I took leave of those of my friends who came to see me off, and had barely opportunity to take a last look at the city and well-known objects, as no time is allowed on board ship for sentiment. As we drew down into the lower harbor we found the wind ahead in the bay, and were obliged to come to anchor in the roads. We remained there through the day and a part of the night.
3. About midnight the wind became fair, and having called the captain I was ordered to call all hands. How I accomplished this I do not know; but I am quite sure that I did not give the true, hoarse, boatswain call of "A-a-ll ha-a-a-nds! up anchor, a-ho-oy!” In a short time every one was in motion, the sails loosed, the yards braced, and we began to heave up the anchor, which was our last hold upon Yankee-land.
4. I could take but little part in these preparations. My little knowledge of a vessel was all at fault. Unintelligible orders were so rapidly given, and so immediately executed, there was such a hurrying about, and such an intermingling of strange cries and stranger actions, that I was completely bewildered. There is not so helpless and pitiable an object in the world as a landsman beginning a sailor's life.
5. At length those peculiar, long-drawn sounds, which denote that the crew are heaving at the windlass, began; and in a few minutes we were under way. The noise of the water thrown from the bows began to be heard, the vessel leaned over from the damp night breeze, and rolled with the heavy ground swell, and we had actually begun our long, long journey. This was literally bidding "good-night” to my native land.
6. The first day we passed at sea was the sabbath. As we were just from port, and there was a great deal to be done on board, we were kept at work all day; and at night the watches were set, and everything put into sea order. I had now a fine time for reflection. I felt for the first time the perfect silence of the sea. The officer was walking the quarter-deck, where I had no right to go; one or two men were talking on the forecastle, whom I had little inclination to join; so that I was left open to the full impression of everything about me.
7. However much I was affected by the beauty of the sea, the bright stars, and the clouds driven swiftly over them, I could not but remember that I was separating myself from all the social and intellectual enjoyments of life. Yet, strange as it may seem, I did