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HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW. An American poet, born at Portland, in Maine, in the year 1807, and still living, (1877.)
Longfellow's chief works are, Voices of the Night; Evangeline ; The Golden Legend; Hiawatha ; The Courtship of Miles Standish; By the Fireside, etc.
THE WRECK OF THE HESPERUS.
That sailed the wintry sea;
To bear him company.
Her cheeks like the dawn of day,
That opes in the month of May.
His pipe was in his mouth,
The smoke now west, now south.
Had sailed 6 the Spanish Main,
pray thee put into yonder port,
For I fear a hurricane.
And to-night no moon we see !".
And a scornful laugh laughed he.
A gale from the north-east ;
And the billows frothed like yeast.
Schooner, a vessel with two masts. 2 Skipper, the captain of a merchant vessel. 3 Ope, a poetical word for open. 4 Veering, changing. 5 Flaw, a sudden gust of wind. 6 Had sailed, for who had sailed.
7 Spanish Main, that part of the Atlantic Ocean which washes the north of South America.
Down came the storm, and smote amain'
The vessel in its strength;
Then leaped her cable's length.
And do not tremble so ;
That ever wind did blow."
He wrapped her warm in his seaman's coat
Against the stinging blast;
And bound her to the mast.
“O father! I hear the church-bells ring,
O say what may it be?”
And he steered for the open sea.
O say what may it be?
“In such an angry sea.”
O say what may it be ?"
A frozen corpse was he.
With his face turned to the skies,
On his fixed and glassy eyes.
That saved she might be;
On the Lake of Galilee.
| Amain, violently or with great force.
2 Lashed to the helm, tied or fastened to the instrument by which the vessel is guided.
And fast through the midnight dark and drear,
Through the whistling sleet and snow,
Towards the reef of Norman's Woe.
A sound came from the land;
On the rocks and the hard sea-sand.
She drifted a dreary wreck,
Like icicles from her deck.
Looked soft as carded wool;
Like the horns of an angry bull.
With the mast went by the board ; 4
Ho! ho ! the breakers roared !
A fisherman stood aghast,
Lashed to a drifting mast.
The salt tears in her eyes ;
On the billows fall and rise.
In the midnight and the snow :
On the reef of Norman's Woe !
1 Reef, a ridge of rocks lying near the surface of the water. 2 Breakers, waves broken by dashing over the rocks.
3 Shrouds, ropes reaching from the sides of a vessel to the top of the niast.
4 Went by the board. To go by the board, is for the mast of a ship to be broken and thrown over the bord or side. Hence the phrase is employed to denote complete destruction.
THE REAPER AND THE FLOWERS.
And, with his sickle keen,
And the flowers ? that grow between.
“ Shall I have nought that is fair?” said he,
“ Have nought but the bearded grain ? Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me
I will give them all back again.”
He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes,
He kissed their drooping leaves ; It was for the Lord of paradise
He bound them in his sheaves.
“My Lord has need of these flowerets 3 gay,”
The reaper said, and smiled ; “ Dear tokens of the earth are they,
Where He was once a child.
They shall all bloom in fields of light,
Transplanted by my care,
'These sacred blossoms wear.
And the mother gave, in tears and pain,
The flowers she most did love ;
In the fields of light above.
Oh, not in cruelty, not in wrath,
The reaper came that day : 'Twas an angel visited the green earth,
And took the flowers away,
2 Flowers, children.
1 Bearded grain, aged persons. little flowers.
ELIZA COOK. Born in Southwark, London, in the year 1818, and still living (1877). She began at an early age to write for various periodicals. In 1840 published her first volume of poetry, which attracted much attention, and won for her considerable popularity.
In a lonely mood, to think;
But his heart was beginning to sink.
To make his people glad ;
And so he became quite sad.
As grieved as man could be ;
I'll give it all up," said he.
With its silken, filmy clue ; 3
To see what the spider would do.
And it hung by a rope so fine ;
King Bruce could not divine. 4
Straight up, with strong endeavour ;
As near to the ground as ever.
To utter the least complaint ;
A little dizzy and faint.
1 King Bruce, Robert Bruce, the hero of Bannockburn. page 20.
2 Pondered, weighed in the mind, or thought much. 3 Filmy clue, a fine, thin thread. 4 Divine, guess.