« AnteriorContinuar »
“ Your hands are weak with age,” he said,
“Your hearts are stout and true;
While others fight for you.
Shall send a blast so clear,
That stirring sound may hear.
7. Or, if it be the will of Heaven
That back I never come,
Ye hear the English drum, —
Then gird you to the fray,
And fight while fight you may.
The roof should thunder down,
Should trample in the town!”
8. Then in came Randolph Murray,
His step was slow and weak,
The tears ran down his cheek :
And on his mailéd hand,
Leaning sorely on his brand'.
9. And none who then beheld him
But straight were smote with fear,
They knew so sad a messenger
Some ghastly news must bring,
And their sons were with the King.
10. And up then rose the Provost 8 –
A brave old man was he,
And chivalrous degree.
0, woful now was the old man's look,
And he spake right heavily:
However sharp they be!
Death is looking from thy face:
It cannot be disgrace!”
11. Right bitter was the agony
That wrung that soldier proud:
And thrice he groaned aloud.
To the old man's shaking hand,
From the bravest of the land!
It was guarded well and long,
By the valiant and the strong.
As the archers laid them low,
With their faces to the foe.
12. Ay! ye well may look upon it
There is more than honor there,
From the field of dark despair.
Steeped in such a costly dye;
Where no other shroud shall lie.
Keep it as a sacred thing,
Was the life-blood of your King!”
What a piteous cry was there!
Shrieking, sobbing in despair !
14. O, the blackest day for Scotland
That she ever knew before !
Shall we see him never more ?
O our sons, our sons and men!
Surely some will come again ?”
Shall uprear its shattered stem -
Ye may look in vain for them!
I BĒa con. A fire lighted on a height | 6 CÖRSE'LĘT. A breastplate or light as a signal.
I armor for the fore part of the body. : WÄRD'ER. Keeper ; guard.
7 BRAND. Sword. : HÄR'NESS. Defensive armor ; equip. 8 Prov'ost. The chief or head. In ment of an ancient knight.
Scotland, a provost corresponds to 4 RYV'EN. Torn or rent asunder.
a mayor elsewhere. 6 Bürgh'ęR (bürger). A townsman. | 9 VÝş'ÂGE. Face,
* SOUTU'RỌN. Englishman. † DON-ÉD'IN. Gaelic name for Edinburgh.
LXXVII. – DIALOGUE BETWEEN ANTONY AND
(John Dryden, a celebrated English poet, was born in 1631, and died in 1700. He was a voluminous writer, his works comprising tragedies, comedies, satires, didactic poems, narrative poems, odes, and occasional pieces. His is an emia nent name in English literature. No writer is a greater master in the use of the heroic measure, and no one possesses in so high a degree the power of reasoning in verse. He was also a forcible and animated prose writer.
The following scene is from the tragedy of “ All for Love." Mark Antony, a distinguished Roman, despairing of further success in the field, after his defeat at Actium, gives himself up to inglorious ease. Ventidius is one of his generals. Octavius Cæsar (afterwards the Emperor Augustus) has taken up arms against Antony. Cleopatra is the Queen of Egypt, for whom Antony has abandoned his wife Octavia, the sister of Octavius Cæsar.)
Antony. Art thou Ventidius ?
Are you Antony ?
I would be private: leave me.
Ant. Will not leave me!
Ven. My Emperor: the man I love next Heaven.
All that's wretched,
'Twas too presuming
Ant. Now thou hast seen me, art thou satisfied ?
For, if a friend, thou hast beheld enough;
Ven. Look, Emperor, this is no common dew :
Ant. Sure there's contagion in the tears of friends;
Ant. Emperor! why that's the style of victory.
Ven. So has Julius * done.
Ven. Nay, stop not.
I know thy meaning. But I have lost my reason, have disgraced The name of soldier, with inglorious ease. In the full vintage 2 of my flowing honors Sate still, and saw it pressed by other hands.
* Julius Cæsar.