Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

of my sovereign, I counsel you to assist, with your attermost efforts, in preserving the peace, and upholding and perpetuating the constitution.

10. Therefore, I pray and I exhort you not to reject this measure. By all you hold most dear, by all the ties that bind every one of us to our common order and our common country, I solemnly adjure you, I warn you, I implore you, yea, on my bended knees, I supplicate you reject not this bill.

1 MIN'IS-TERS. Here, heads of the before magistrates as the ensiga

different departments of the gov of authority. ernment.

| 6 WOOL'SĂCK (wûl'-). The seat of the 1 ÂU-SPICIOUS. Favorable; prosper lord chancellor of England in the ous; fortunate.

House of Lords, being a large, 8 FRÅN'cıĮşe. A right reserved to | square bag of wool, without back

the people by the constitution; as, or arms, covered with red cloth. “the elective franchise.

7 JÜ'DI-CA-TŪRE. Court of justice; a SOF'FRAGE. Vote; right of voting. tribunal. 6 MĀCE. An ornamental staff carried 18 AL'IỆN-ĀTE (-yen-). Estrange.

CII.-— ODE TO THE SEA-SERPENT.

1. FROM what abysses of the unfathomed sea

Turnest thou up, Great Serpent, now and then,
If we may venture to believe in thee,

And affidavits' of seafaring men ?

2. What whirlpool gulf to thee affords a home?

Amid the unknown depths, where dost thou dwell! If — like the mermaid, with her glass and comb

Thou art not what the vulgar call a “sell.”

3. Art thou, indeed, a serpent, and no sham ?

Or, if no serpent, a prodigious* eel, —
An entity), though modified by flam“, -

A basking-shark, or monstrous kind of seal ?

4. I'll think that thou a true ophidiano art;

I cannot say a reptile of the deep,
Because thou dost not play a reptile's part;

Thou swimmest, it appears, and dost not creep.

5. Art thou a giant adder, or huge asp,

And hast thou got a rattle at thy tail ?
If of the boa species, couldst thou clasp

Within thy folds, and suffocate, a whale ?

6. How long art thou ? — Some sixty feet, they say,

And more; but how much more they do not know: I fancy thou couldst reach across a bay,

From head to head, a dozen miles or so.

7. Scales hast thou got, of course ;- but what's the

weight?
On either side 'tis said thou hast a fin,
A crest, too, on thy neck, deponents state,

A saw-shaped ridge of flabby, dabby skin.

8. If I could clutch thee in a giant's grip,

Could I retain thee in that grasp sublime ? Wouldst thou not quickly through my fingers slip,

Being all over glazed with fishy slime ?

9. Hast thou a forkéd tongue, — and dost thou hiss

If ever thou art bored with Ocean's play?
And is it the correct hypothesis ?

That thou by gills or lungs dost breathe thy way?

10. What spines, or spikes, or claws, or nails, or fin,

Or paddle, ocean-serpent, dost thou bear?
What kind of teeth show'st thou, when thou dost grin ?
A set that probably would make one stare.

11. What is thy diet? Canst thou gulp a shoal 8

Of herrings ? Or hast thou the gorge and room To bolt fat porpoises and dolphins, whole,

By dozens, e’en as oysters we consume ?

12. Art thou alone, thou serpent, on the brine,

The sole surviving member of thy race ?
Is there ro brother, sister, wife, of thine,

But thou alone afloat on Ocean’s face ?

13. If such a calculation may be made,

Thine age at what a figure may we take ?
When first the granite mountain-stones were laid,

Wast thou not present there and then, old snake ?

14. What fossil saurians 1° in thy time have been ?

How many mammoths crumbled into mould ?
What geologic periods hast thou seen,

Long as the tail thou doubtless canst unfold ?

15. As a dead whale, but as a whale, though dead,

Thy floating bulk a British crew did strike;
And, so far, none will question what they said,

That thou unto a whale wast very like.

16. A flock of birds, a record, rather loose,

Describes as hovering o’er thy lengthy hull; Among them, doubtless, there was many a goose,

And, also, several of the genus gull.

1 ÅF-FI-DÃ'VIT. A declaration on oath, 6 DE-PÕNENT. One who gives testigenerally in writing.

mony under oath. 2 PRO-DIG'io's (-dīj'ụs). Very great; 1 7 Hy-PÕTH'E-SIS. A supposition. enormous ; monstrous.

8 SHŌAL. A multitude; a crowd, 8ĚN'T!-Ty. Being ; existence.

Görge. Throat; gullet. FLĂM. Fancy ; whim.

10 SÂU'RỊ-ẠN. A reptile having scales 5 Q-PHID'I-ẠN: Serpent.

and four legs, as the lizard,

CIII. — THE ABBOT AND ROBERT BRUCE.

SIR WALTER SCOTT.

[Robert Bruce, the famous King of Scotland, being overtaken by a storm, seeks refuge in Artornish Castle, where a wedding feast is going on. Ile craveg the hospitality of the castle, but conceals his name. Notwithstanding this, he is boon recognized, and is in imminent danger of being set upon and killed, as many of the guests are his bitter enemies. De Argentine, an English knight, claims Bruce as a rebel against the authority of the King of England. The Lord of Lorn is a kinsman of Comyn whom Bruce had killed in a church, and whose death he is eager to avenge. It is finally agreed to allow an abbot, who is present, to decide what shall be done.)

ABBOT.
1. UNHAPPY! what hast thou to plead,

Why I denounce not on thy deed
That awful doom which, canons' tell,
Shuts Paradise and opens Hell ?
Anathema? of power so dread,
It blends the living with the dead,
Bids each good angel soar away,
And every ill one claim his prey;
Expels thee from the Church's care,
And deafens Heaven against thy prayer;
Arms every hand against thy life,
Bans’ all who aid thee in the strife,
Nay, each whose succor, cold and scant,
With meanest alms relieves thy want;
Haunts thee while living, and when dead,
Dwells on thy yet devoted“ head;
Rends honor's scutcheon from thy hearse,
Stills o'er thy bier the holy verse,
And spurns thy corpse from hallowed ground,
Flung like vile carrion to the hound!
Such is the dire and desperate doom
For sacrilege, decreed by Rome;

And such the well-deservéd meed
Of thine unhallowed, ruthless deed.

BRUCE.
2. Abbot! thy grave and weighty charge

It boots' not to dispute at large:
This much, howe'er, I bid thee know,
No selfish vengeance dealt the blow :
For Comyn died his country's foe.
Nor blame I friends whose ill-timed speed
Fulfilled my soon repented deed ;
Nor censure those from whose stern tongue
The dire anathema has rung.
I only blame mine own wild ire,
By Scotland's wrongs incensed to fire.
Heaven knows my purpose to atone,
Far as I may, the evil done,
And hears a penitent's appeal
From papal curse and prelate's zeal.

3. My first and dearest task achieved,

Fair Scotland from her thrall relieved,
Shall many a priest in cope® and stoleo
Say requiem 10 for Red Comyn's soul,
While I the blesséd cross advance,
And expiate this unhappy chance,
In Palestine, with sword and lance.
But, while content the Church should know
My conscience owns the debt I owe,
Unto De Argentine and Lorn
The name of traitor I return,
Bid them defiance, stern and high,
And give them in their throats the lie!
These brief words spoke, I speak no more:
Do what thou wilt; my shrift" is o'er.

« AnteriorContinuar »