Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

for they shan't stay at home; they shan't lose their learn. ing; it's all their father will leave them, I'm sure. — But they shall go to school. Don't tell me they needn't: you are so aggravating*, Caudle, you'd spoil the temper of an angel; they shall go to school! mark that: and if they get their deaths of cold, it's not my fault; I didn't lend the umbrella.

13. “Here,” says Caudle, in his manuscript, “I fell asleep, and dreamed that the sky was turned into green calico, with whalebone ribs : that, in fact, the whole world revolved under a tremendous umbrella !”

I CXB. A kind of carriage, with two 3 TRĀIPS'ING. A colloquial or low

or four wheels, drawn by one word, meaning, running about idly horse,

or carelessly. & CLOGS. A kind of overshoes, worn 4 XG'GRA-VĀT-ING. Making worse ; also to keep the feet dry.

colloquially, provoking; irritating.

XCVI. - BERNARDO DEL CARPIO.

MRS. HEMANS. [The celebrated Spanish champion, Bernardo del Carpio, having made many ineffectual efforts to procure the release of his father, the Count Saldana, who had been imprisoned by King Alfonso of Asturias, at last took up arms in despair. The war which he maintained proved so destructive that the men of the land gathered round the king, and united in demanding Saldana's liberty. Alfonso, accordingly, offered Bernardo immediate possession of his father's person in exchange for his castle of Carpio. Bernardo, without hesitation, gave up his stronghold, with all his captives, and being assured that his father, was then on his way from prison, rode forth with the king to meet him. "And when he saw his father approaching, he exclaimed,” says the ancient chronicle, .“ O God! is the Count of Saldana indeed coming ?” “Look where he is,” replied the cruel king ; " and now go and greet him whom you have so long desired to see.” The remainder of the story will be found related in the ballad. The chronicles and romances leave us nearly in the dark as to Bernardo's history after this event.)

THE warrior bowed his crested head, and tamed his heart of fire,
And sued the haughty king to free his long imprisoned sire :
“I bring thee here my fortress keys, I bring my captive train;
I pledge my faith, my liegel: my lord, O, break my father's chain !"

2. “Rise, rise! even now thy father comes, a ransomed? man this day Mount thy good horse, and thou and I will meet him on his way.” Then lightly rose that loyal son, and bounded on his steed, And urged, as if with lance in rest, the charger's foamy speed.

3. And, lo! from far, as on they pressed, there came a glittering band, With one that 'midst them stately rode, as a leader in the land. “ Now haste, Bernardo, haste! for there, in very truth, is he, The father, whom thy faithful heart hath yearned 4 so long to see.”

[bent;

His dark eye flashed, his proud breast heaved, his cheeks' hue came

and went ; He reached that gray-haired chieftain's side, and, there dismounting, A lowly knee to earth he bent, his father's hand he took — What was there in its touch that all his fiery spirit shook ?

5. That hand was cold! a frozen thing!— it dropped from his like lead: He looked up to the face above — the face was of the dead ! A plume waved o'er the noble brow - the brow was fixed and white ! He met, at length, his father's eyes — but in them was no sight!

6. Up from the ground he sprang, and gazed ; but who could paint that gaze! They hushed their very hearts, that saw its horror and amaze: They might have chained him, as before that stony form he stood; For the power was stricken from his arm, and from his lip the blood.

" Father !” at length he murmured low, and wept like childhood then Talk not of grief till thou hast seen the tears of warlike men !He thought on all his glorious hopes, on all his young renown; Then Aung his falchion from his side, and in the dust sat down ;

8. And covering with his steel-gloved hands his darkly mournful brow, “No more, there is no more,” he said, “ to lift the sword for now: My king is false! my hope betrayed ! my father — O, the worth, The glory, and the loveliness are passed away from earth!”

Then from the ground he sprang once more, and seized the monarch's rein,
Amidst the pale and wildered looks of all the courtier train ;
And with a fierce, o'ermastering grasp, the rearing war-horse led,
And sternly set them face to face — the king before the dead !

10.

“ Came I not forth, upon thy pledge, my father's hand to kiss ?
Be still, and gaze thou on, false king! and tell me, what is this ?
The voice, the glance, the heart I sought- give answer, where are they?
If thou wouldst clear thy perjured 6 soul, send life through this cold clay!

11. “ Into these glassy eyes put light - be still! keep down thine ire; Bid these white lips a blessing speak — this earth is not my sire ! Give me back him for whom I strove, for whom my blood was shed -Thou canst not? - and a king !- his dust be mountains on thy head!"

12.

He loosed the steed — his slack hand fell ; — upon the silent face
He cast one long, deep, troubled look, then turned from that sad place;
His hope was crushed, his after-fate untold in martial strain ;
His banner led the spears no more amidst the hills of Spain !

1 LIĒĢE. Sovereign..

| 3 CHÄRG'ER. A war-horse. 2 RXN'SQMED. Redeemed from cap- | 4 YËARNED. Desired earnestly; longed.

tivity of imprisonment by the pay- 5 PËR'JYRED. Guilty of taking a false ment of a ransom or price,

oath.

XCVII.- CLARENCE'S DREAM.

SHAKSPEARE. [The following lesson is taken from the tragedy of “ Richard III.” The scene occurs in an apartment in the Tower of London, between George, Duke of Clarence, brother of Richard, Duke of Gloster (afterwards Richard III.), and Sir Robert Brakenbury, keeper of the Tower.)

SCENE IV. An Apartment in the Tower. Enter CLARENCE and BRAKEN.

BURY. Brakenbury. Why looks your Grace so heavily to-day?

Clarence. O, I have passed a miserable night, So full of fearful dreams, of ugly sights,

That, as I am a Christian faithful man,
I would not spend another such a night,
Though 'twere to buy a world of happy days;
So full of dismal terror was the time.
Brak. What was your dream, my lord ? I pray you

tell me.
Clar. Methought that I had broken from the Tower, *
And was embarked to cross to Burgundy; †
And, in my company, my brother Gloster,
Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
Upon the hatches; thence we looked toward England,
And cited up? a thousand heavy times,
During the wars of York and Lancaster,
That had befallen us. As we paced along
Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,
Methought that Gloster stumbled, and, in falling,
Struck me, that thought to stay him, overboard
Into the tumbling billows of the main.
O Lord, methought, what pain it was to drown!
What dreadful noise of water in mine ears !
What sights of ugly death within mine eyes!
Methought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks;
A thousand men, that fishes gnawed upon;
Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl,
Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels,
All scattered in the bottom of the sea:
Some lay in dead men's skulls; and in those holes
Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept
(As 'twere in scorn of eyes) reflecting gems,
That wooed the slimy bottom of the deep,
And mocked the dead bones that lay scattered by.

Brak. Had you such leisure, in the time of death, To gaze upon these secrets of the deep ?

* The Tower of London is an assemblage of buildings on the north bank of the Thames, formerly used as a state prison.

† BÜR'GUN-DY. A province in the northern part of France,

To seeker in my soul, but still the often did I

Which Othered moty, vast, would i en vious f I strive

Clar. Methought I had: and often did I strive
To yield the ghost; but still the envious flood
Stopped in my soul, and would not let it forth
To seek the empty, vast, and wandering air;
But smothered it within my panting bulk,
Which almost burst to belch o it in the sea.

Brak. Awaked you not with this sore agony?

Clar. O, no, my dream was lengthened after life; O, then began the tempest to my soul ! I passed, methought, the melancholy flood, With that grim ferryman* which poets write of, Unto the kingdom of perpetual night. The first that there did greet my stranger soul, Was my great father-in-law, renowned Warwick; Who cried aloud, “ What scourge for perjury Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence ?” And so he vanished. Then came wandering by A shadow like an angel, with bright hair Dabbled in blood; and he shrieked out aloud, “ Clarence is come! — false, fleeting“, perjured Clarence That stabbed me in the field by Tewkesbury: Seize on him, Furies ! take him to your torments!” With that, methought, a legion of foul fiends Environed • me, and howled in mine ears Such hideous cries, that, with the very noise, I trembling waked, and, for a season after, Could not believe but that I was in Hell: Such terrible impression made my dream.

Brak. No marvel o, lord, though it affrighted you; I am afraid, methinks, to hear you tell it.

Clar. Ah, Keeper, Keeper! I have done these things, That now give evidence against my soul, —

* The shades of the dead were believed, by the ancient heathen, to be con veyed across the rivers of the lower world by a ferryman whom they named Charon.

« AnteriorContinuar »