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Why, Elihu, that took to the sea
S. "The other day?" The sailor's eyes
"The other day!- the Swan!"
M. "Ay, ay, sir; here in the cupboard lies
"And so your lad is
M. "Gone with the Swan." S. "And did she stand
For a month, and never stir?"
Why, to be sure! I've seen from the land,
The wild sea kissing her,
S. "But, my good mother, do you know
I stood on the Gray Swan's deck,
S. "And did the little lawless lad,
That has made you sick and made you sad,
Be sure he sailed with the crew:
S. "And has he never written line,
M. "Hold! if 'twas wrong, the wrong is mine;
And could he write from the grave?
S. "Gone twenty years, — a long, long cruise!
And come back home, think you you can
The sailor twitched his shirt so blue,
M. "My God! my Father! is it true?
My blessed boy, my child!
1. After you have read this poem through, read it again in dia. logue form one pupil taking the mother's part and another the sailor's. In this way you will realize more clearly which one is speaking. 2. What was the Gray Swan? How long since she had sailed away? Why does the mother say, "It was just the other day"? 3. Explain the fourth line of the third stanza. Explain the sixth line of the fourth stanza. 4. Why does the mother call the grown man her little lad? 5. Explain the last line of the last stanza.
Written Composition. Write the story, suggested by the Gray Swan, of the boy who went to sea. Select an attractive title for your story, then write:
1. Why he went whether he ran away, or went to earn money for his mother. 2. Whether it was as pleasant as he expected. 3. Why he stayed away so long. 4. His return.
You may use in your composition lines or expressions that you like from any of the sea poems in this book.
Common and Proper Nouns. How many nouns are there in the following sentences?
1. Is my little lad, my Elihu,
A-sailing with your ship?
2. The Gray Swan sailed away.
Which of them are the names of particular persons or things? Which of them are names that belong to a large class of objects?
Rule. A noun used as the name of a particular person, place, or thing is called a proper noun. (A proper noun is written with a capital.)
Rule. A noun used as the name of a class of persons, places,
or things is called a common noun.
Which of the following nouns are proper and which are common? Elihu, country, Kansas City, man, lad, Gray Swan, United States, city, George Washington, ship.
Written Exercise. Write ten proper nouns. Write ten com
[In 1833 the government decided to destroy the frigate Constitution, popularly known as "Old Ironsides," which had been built in 1797, and had won several glorious victories during the War of 1812. Holmes, then a young man, wrote these verses in protest. They so aroused public opinion that the project was abandoned and the Constitution still exists.]
Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
Her deck, once red with heroes' blood,
When winds were hurrying o'er the flood,
Oh, better that her shattered hulk
-OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.
en'sign, flag; van 'quished, conquered; har'pies, foul birds.
1. Read the poem aloud. What kind of vessel was "Old Iron
sides"? Read the lines that prove your answer.
2. Explain "The meteor of the ocean air.”
3. Explain the last two lines of the second stanza.
4. What is meant by her thunders?
5. Why is the flag called holy?
6. Give the last four lines of the last stanza in your own words.