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The sun in heaven was shining gay,
All things were joyful on that day;
The sea-birds scream'd as they wheeld round,
And there was joyance in their sound.
The buoy of the Inchcape Bell was seen
A darker speck on the ocean green ;
Sir Ralph the Rover walk'd his deck,
And he fix'd his eye on the darker speck.
He felt the cheering power of spring,
It made him whistle, it made him sing;
His heart was mirthful to excess,
But the Rover's mirth was wickedness.
His eye was on the Inchcape float;
Quoth he,“ My men, put out the boat,
And row me to the Inchcape Rock,
And I'll plague the priest of Aberbrothok.”
The boat is lower'd, the boatmen row,
And to the Inchcape Rock they go;
Sir Ralph bent over from the boat,
And he cut the bell from the Inchcape float.
Down sank the bell, with a gurgling sound,
The bubbles rose and burst around;
Quoth Sir Ralph, “ The next who comes to the Rock
Won't bless the Abbot of Aberbrothok.”
Sir Ralph the Rover sail'd away,
He scour'd the seas for many a day;
And now grown rich with plunder'd store,
He steers his course for Scotland's shore.
So thick a haze o’erspreads the sky
They cannot see the sun on high;
The wind hath blown a gale all day,
At evening it hath aied away.
On the deck the Rover takes his stand,
So dark it is they see no land.
Quoth Sir Ralph, “It will be lighter soon,
For there is the dawn of the rising mocn."
“ Can'st hear," said one, “the breakers roar ?
For methinks we should be near the shore ;-
Now where we are I cannot tell,
But I wish I could hear the Inchcape Bell.”
They hear no sound, the swell is strong;
Though the wind hath fallen, they drift along,
Till the vessel strikes with a shivering shock:
Cried they, “It is the Inchcape Rock ! ”
Sir Ralph the Rover tore his hảir,
He cursed himself in his despair ;
The waves rush in on every side,
The ship is sinking beneath the tide.
But even in his dying fear
One dreadful sound could the Rover hear,
A sound as if with the Inchcape Bell,
The fiends below were ringing his knell.
ONE bright November's afternoon,
Miss Kettle, feeling quite in tune,
Requested Betty's skilful hand
To polish up her sides with sand;
And sent out cards to every friend,
An evening concert to attend !
The drawing-room its best display'd,
The curtains drawn, the carpet laid;
'Twas dark, and now the guests, a score,
Were loudly thumping at the door.
The two Miss Candles-twinkling creatures,
With taper waists and shining features-
Were first to enter; with them came
Their governess, a cross-patch dame,
Call’d Madame Snuffers, who, 'twas granted,
Could trim her scholars when they wanted;
And all allow'd her merit such,
Each pupil brighten’d ’neath her touch!
Next Lady Teapot made her entrée,
Surrounded by her noisy gentry;
And dandy Sugar-basin too,
The sweetest fellow, all in blue-
Though pert he seem’d to Lucy Crumpet,
And bade ber either like or lump it.
Next Mrs. Urn came in a heat,
Fearful she should not get a seat;
For she and kettle met scarce ever,
Though both as singers were thought clever.
The cause of difference was this-
Once jealous Urn was heard to hiss
When Kettle sung at Madame Steam's
Her favorite air, “ Ye limpid streams."
But this, as Bellows said in clover,
Was an ill wind long blown over.
Horse laugh’d, that airy jest to hear ;
But Tongs and Poker, with a sneer,
Observed, that rude and vulgar jokes
Were quite unworthy polish'd fólks.
The overture thus being ended, Without much fuss, and well intended, Kettle pour’d forth a pleasing strain, So musical, and yet so plain, It caused much mutual admiration, Poor Urn was in a perspiration ; And then, with many a “hem ! ” and “ha!” Warbled Italian “Sol mi fa!”
Says Milk, “That's quite the cream of songs;" “ Where did she pick it up?” ask'd Tongs. “Really, 'tis melting,” Candles sighed. “Melting, a' ye call it ? ” Snuffers cried; “For my part I detest such stuff ;" Then took a pinch of hideous snuff; And lying down in angry scorn, Her mouth she stretch'd with such a yawn, And breathed therefrom such strange perfume, That Salver hurried from the room; Nor lad John Footman's hand the power To save his falling on the floor ;
Nay, worse—as if to end his cares,
He roll'd completely down the stairs.
Be sure this caused a grievous test,
For Salver was so smartly drest
In silver, and no beau as he
Handed the ladies toast or tea;
So guileless was his nature too,
'Twas thought that guilt be never knew.
Brush swept into the room and said,
“Alas, alas! poor Salver's dead!”
Tea-kettle from the fire fell,
John Footman, weeping, rung the bell;
Oh, heavy woe, so little dreaded !
Both the Miss Candles were light-beaded ;
Loud burst a scream from Mrs. Tray;
The Tea-spoons fainted quite away;
Tears trickled down Urn's cheeks so fast,
'Twas fear'd she soon would weep her last;
More of their grief I dare not say,
Lest you should weep as well as they.
HOW THEY BROUGHT THE GOOD NEWS FROM
GHENT TO AIX.
1 SPRANG to the stirrup, and Joris, and he : 1 gallop’d, Dirck gallop'd, we gallop'd all three; “Good speed !” cried the watch, as the gate-bolts undrew, “Speed !” echo'd the wall to us galloping through ; Beliind shut the postern, the lights sank to rest, And into the midnight we gallop'd abreast.
Not a word to each other; we kept the great pace
Neck by neck, stride by stride, never changing our place;
I turn’d in my saddle and made its girths tight,
Then shorten'd each stirrup, and set the pique right,
Rebuckled the cheek-strap, chain'd slacker the bit,
Nor gallop'd less steadily Roland a whit.
'Twas moonset at starting ; but, while we drew near Lokeren, the cocks crew, and twilight dawn'd clear;
At Boom, a great yellow star came out to see;
At Düffeld, 'twas morning as plain as could be ;
And from Mecheln church-steeple we heard the half-chime,
So Joris broke silence with “ Yet there is time!”
At Aerschot, up leap'd of a sudden the sun,
And against him the cattle stood black every one,
To stare through the mist at us galloping past,
And I saw my stout galloper, Roland, at last,
With resolute shoulders each butting away
The baze, as some bluff river headland its spray;
And his low head and crest, just one sharp ear bent back
For my voice, and the other prick'd out on his track;
And one eye's black intelligence,-ever that glance
O’er its white edge at me, his own master, askance!
And the thick heavy spume-flakes which aye and anon
His fierce lips shook upwards in galloping on.
By Hasselt, Dirck groan’d; and cried Joris, “Stay spur!
Your Roos gallop'd bravely, the fault's not in her,
We'll remember at Aix," for one heard the quick wheeze
Of her chest, saw the stretch'd neck, and staggering knees,
And sunk tail, and horrible heave of the flank,
As down on her haunches she shudder'd and sank.
So we were left galloping, Joris and I,
Past Loos and past Tongres, no cloud in the sky;
The broad sun above laugli'd a pitiless laugh,
'Neath our foot broke the brittle bright stubble like chaff;
Till over by Dalhem a dome-tower sprang white,
And “ Gallop,” cried Joris, "for Aix is in sight!”
“How they'll greet us !” and all in a moment his roan
Rollid neck and croup over, lay dead as a stone;
And there was my Roland to bear the whole weight
Of the news which alone could save Aix from her fate,
With his nostrils like pits full of blood to the brim,
And with circles of red for his eye-sockets' rim.
Then I cast my loose buff-coat, each Jolster let fall,
Shook off both my jack-boots, let go belt and all;
Stood up in the stirrup, lean’d, patted his ear,
Call’d my Roland his pet name, my horse without peer;
Clapp'd my hands, laugh'd and sang, any noise, bad or good,
Till at length into Aix Roland gallop'd and stood.