« PreviousContinue »
The leaves which the sibyl presented of old,
Though lessen'd in number, were not worth less gold;
And though Fate steal our joys, do not think they're
The few she hath spared may be worth all the rest ;
Good-fortune oft comes in adversity's form,
And the rainbow is brightest when darkest the storm.
Then up! up! Never despair ! And when all creation was sunk in the flood, Sublime o'er the deluge the patriarch stood; Though destruction around him in thunder was hurl'd, Undaunted he look 'd on the wreck of the world; For high o'er the ruin hung Hope's blessed form, The rainbow beamed bright through the gloom of the storm.
Then up! up! Never despair !
H. W. LONGFELLOW.]
[Music by J. BLOCKLEY,
God sent his singers upon earth
With songs of sadness and of mirth,
That they might touch the hearts of men,
And bring them back to heaven again.
The first, a youth with soul of fire,
Held in his hand a golden lyre;
Through groves he wander'd, and by streams,
Playing the music of our dreams.
The second, with a bearded face,
Stood singing in the market-place,
And stirr'd with accents deep and loud
The hearts of all the list’ning crowd.
grey old man, the third and last,
Sang in cathedrals dim and vast,
While the majestic organ rolled
Contrition from its mouths of gold.
And those who heard the singers three
Disputed which the best might be;
For still their music seem'd to start
Discordant echoes in each heart.
But the great Master said, “I see
No best in kind, but in degree;
I gave a various gift to each,
To charm, to strengthen; and to teach.
" These are the three great chords of night,
And he whose ear is tuned aright
Will hear no discord in the three,
But the most perfect harmony."
WE WATCHED HER BREATHING IN
THE NIGHT. T. Hood.]
[Music by J. BLOCKLEY, We watch'd her breathing through the night,
Her breathing soft and low,
As in her breast the wave of life
Kept heaving to and fro.
So silently we seem'd to speak,
So slowly moved about,
As we had lent her half our powers
To eke her living out.
Our very hopes belied our fears,
Our fears our hopes belied;
We thought her dying when she slept,
And sleeping when
For when the morn came, dim and sad,
And chill with early showers,
Por quiet eyelids closed-she had
Another morn than ours.
THE MID-WATCH. R. B. SHERIDAN.]
[Music by W. LINLEY. When 'tis night, and the mid-watch is come
And chilling mists hang o'er the darken'd main, Then sailors think of their far-distant home, And of those friends they ne'er may see again;
But when the fight's begun,
Each serving at his gun, Should any thought of them come o'er your mind, Think only, should the day be won,
How 'twill cheer
Their hearts to hear
That their old companion he was one.
Or, my lad, if you a mistress kind
Have left on shore, some pretty girl and true,
Who many a night doth listen to the wind,
And sighs to think how it may fare with you;
Or, when the fight's begun,
You, serving at your gun,
Should any thought of her come o'er your mind,
Think only, should the day be won,
How 'twill cheer
Her heart to hear
That her old companion he was one.
THE GENTLE HOUR. C. JEFFREYS.]
[German Air. The last faint ray hath left the flow'r,
The bird hath wing'd his homeward flight;
The day hath lost its wonted power,
Yet dear to me its lessening light.
What kindly feelings now have birth,
What gentle thoughts my fond heart swell,
While memory wanders o'er the earth
To scenes remember'd well.
My fancy peoples many a home
With loving friends, by me beloved ;
O'er all there's but one starry dome,
Though from each other far removed.
be that the hearts I prize
Feel now the self-same soothing power.
O, welcome then, sweet evening skies,
And twilight's gentle hour.
HEARTS OF OAK. D. GARRICK.]
[Music by Dr. ARNE,
Come, cheer up, my lads! 'tis to glory we steer,
To add something more to this wonderful year:
To honour we call you, not press you like slaves,
For who are so free as the sons of the waves ?
Hearts of oak are our ships,
Gallant tars are our men;
We always are ready,
Steady, boys, steady!
We'll fight and we'll conquer again and again.
We ne'er see our foes but we wish them to stay,
They never see us but they wish us away;
If they run, why, we follow, or run them ashore,
For if they wont fight us, we cannot do more.
Hearts of oak, &c.
They swear they'll invade us, these terrible foes !
They frighten our women, our children, and beaux;
But should their flat bottoms in darkness get o'er,
Still Britons they'll find to receive them on shore.
Hearts of oak, &c. Britannia triumphant, her ships sweep the sea, Her standard is justice-her watch word, " Be free !" Then cheer up, my lads ! with one heart let us sing, “Our soldiers, our sailors, our statesmen, and king.” Hearts of oak, &c.
THE ARROW AND THE SONG.
H. W. LONGFELLOW.]
[Music by G. BARKER,
I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where,
For so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.
I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong
That it can follow the flight of song ?
Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke,
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.
KING WITLAF'S DRINKING-HORN. H. W. LONGFELLOW.]
[Music by W. H. WEISS. Witlaf, a king of the Saxons,
Ere yet his last he breathed,
To the merry monks of Croyland
His drinking-horn bequeathed, -
That whenever they sat at their revels,
And drank from the golden bowl,
They might remember the donor,
And breathe a prayer for his soul.
So sat they once at Christmas,
And bade the goblet pass,
In their beards the red wine glisten'd
Like dewdrops in the grass.
They drank to the soul of Witlaf,
They drank to Christ the Lord,
And to each of the Twelve Apostles
Who had preached his holy word.