Page images



Can scarcely trust his eyes, when he perceives
That of the pair-tossed on the waves to bring
Hope to the hopeless, to the dying, life-
One is a Woman, a poor earthly sister;
Or, be the Visitant other than she seems,
A guardian Spirit sent from pitying Heaven,
In woman's shape. But why prolong the tale,
Casting weak words amid a host of thoughts 55
Armed to repel them ? Every hazard faced
And difficulty mastered, with resolve
That no one breathing should be left to perish,
This last remainder of the crew are all
Placed in the little boat, then o'er the deep
Are safely borne, landed upon the beach,
And in fulfilment of God's mercy, lodged
Within the sheltering Lighthouse.

Shout, ye Waves ! Send forth a song of triumph. Waves and Winds,

65 Exult in this deliverance wrought through faith In Him whose providence your rage hath

Ye screaming Sea-mews, in the concert join !
And would that some immortal Voice-a Voice
Fitly attuned to all that gratitude
Breathes out from floor or couch, through pallid

Of the survivors-to the clouds might bear-
Blended with praise of that parental love
Beneath whose watchful eye the Maiden grew
Pious and pure, modest and yet so brave,



Though young so wise, though meek so reso

luteMight carry to the clouds and to the stars, Yea, to celestial Choirs, GRACE DARLING'S



1 Grace Darling was the daughter

of a lighthouse keeper on Longstone, the largest of the Farne Islands, off the coast of Northumberland. The incident related in the poem occurred in September 1838. She died of consump

tion in 1841. 2 Island-rock, Longstone, the only

inhabitants of which were her father, mother, and herself. 3 Invincible rock, Lindisfarne, about

three miles from the coast of

Northumberland, and the site of an ancient monastery in which St. Cuthbert, bishop of Durham,

was buried in 687.
4 A wreck, the Steamer Forfarshire.
5 Vanished, disappeared, went out

of sight.
6 Belike, probably, most likely.
7 Sustained, upheld.
8 Imminent, possible.
9 Incessantly, continually.
10 Perturbed, disquicted.


“ Ho, Sailor of the sea !
How's my boy—my boy?”
“What's your boy's name, good wife,
And in what good ship sailed he?"

My boy John-
He that went to sea.
What care I for the ship, sailor ?
My boy's my boy to me.
“You come back from sea,
And not know my John ?
I might as well have asked some landsman
Yonder down in the town.
There's not an ass in all the parish
But he knows my John.





“How's my boy—my boy?
And unless you let me know
I'll swear you are no sailor,
Blue jacket or no,
Brass buttons or no, sailor,
Anchor and crown or no !
Sure his ship was the 'Jolly Briton'"
“ Speak low, woman, speak low !”
“And why should I speak low, sailor ?
About my own boy John ?
If I was loud as I am proud
I'd sing him over the town!
Why should I speak low, sailor ?"
“ That good ship went down.”
“How's my boy—my boy?
What care I for the ship, sailor?
I was never aboard her.
Be she afloat or be she aground,
Sinking or swimming, I'll be bound,
Her owners can afford her!


John ?"
Every man on board went down,
Every man aboard her.”
“How's my boy-my boy ?
What care I for the men, sailor?
I'm not their mother-
How's my boy—my boy?
Tell me of him and no other !
How's my boy—my boy ?"



[ocr errors]



1. If the exhibition of the most brilliant valour, of the excess of courage, and of a daring which would have reflected lustre on the best days of chivalry, can afford full consolation for the disaster of this day, we can have no reason to regret the melancholy loss which we sustained in a contest with a savage and barbarian enemy

2. Several battalions of Russian infantry crossed the Tchernaya, and they threatened the rear of our position and our communication with Balaclava. Their bands could be heard playing at night by the travellers along the Balaclava road to the camp, but they "showed ” but little during the day, and kept up among the

gorges and mountain-passess, through which the roads to Inkerman, Simpheropol, and southeast of the Crimea wind towards the interior.

3. The position we occupied in reference to Balaclava was supposed by most people to be very strong-even impregnable. Our lines were formed by natural mountain-slopes in the rear, along which the French had made very formidable 4 entrenchments.

4. Below those entrenchments, and very nearly in a right line across the valley beneath, are four conical hillocks, one rising above the other as they recede from our lines; the furthest, which joins the chain of mountains opposite to our ridges, being named Canrobert's Hill, from the meeting there of that general with Lord Raglan after the march to Balaclava.

5. On the top of each of these hills the Turks had thrown up earthen redoubts, defended by two hundred and fifty men each, and armed with two or three guns, some heavy ship-guns, lent by us to them, with one artilleryman in each redoubt to look after them. These hills cross the valley of Balaclava at the distance of about two and a half miles from the town.

6. Supposing the spectator, then, to take his stand on one of the heights forming the rear of our camp before Sebastopol, he would see the town of Balaclava with its scanty shipping, its narrow strip of water, and its old forts on his right hand ; immediately below he would behold the valley and plain of coarse meadowland, occupied by our cavalry tents.

7. Stretching from the base of the ridge on which he stood to the foot of the formidable heights at the other side, he would see the French trenches lined with Zouaves' a few feet beneath; and distant from him, on the slope of the hill, a Turkish redoubt lower down; then another in the valley; then, in a line with it, some angular earthworks; then, in succession, the other two redoubts up to Canrobert's Hill.

8. At the distance of two or two and a half miles across the valley there is an abrupt rocky

« PreviousContinue »