The Project Gutenberg eBook of Rainbow gold; poems old and new selected for boys and girls

This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: Rainbow gold; poems old and new selected for boys and girls

Compiler: Sara Teasdale

Illustrator: Dugald Stewart Walker

Release date: February 28, 2022 [eBook #67522]

Language: English

Original publication: United States: The MacMillan Company, 1922

Credits: Charlene Taylor, Chuck Greif and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive/American Libraries.)


[Image of the book's cover unavailable.]

[Image unavailable.]


List of Illustrations
(In certain versions of this etext [in certain browsers] clicking on the image will bring up a larger version.)

Index of Authors
Index of First Lines

(etext transcriber's note)


[Image unavailable.]

[Image unavailable.]

MACMILLAN & CO., Limited

[Image unavailable.]






[Image unavailable.]


All rights reserved

Printed in the United States of America

Copyright, 1922,

Set up and published September, 1922




[Image unavailable.]
[Image unavailable.]


Every anthologist must adopt some plan for making selections. Mine has been very simple. I have made a small collection of poems that would have pleased the child I used to be and the boy who was my playmate. Above all things I have striven to keep the book small, for the big books of poetry on our shelves were always left to themselves. It was the little books that became our intimate companions.

To make a selection for boys and girls from the countless riches of lyric poetry in our language, and to reduce that selection to the contents of so small a book as this one, is a grave task. It involves the exclusion on the grounds of mere lack of space, of so much that one loves. I should have liked to make a book of this size containing only Elizabethan songs and early English ballads, another entirely devoted to Georgian and Victorian poets, a third to living writers, and a fourth to {6}child-rhymes, parodies, nonsense verses and the like. If the grown-up reader regrets omissions, I beg him to be sympathetic toward the compiler, who has been a prey to those same regrets constantly during the year in which she has been at work on the book. Alas that a volume cannot have the advantages of being both a big book and a little one at the same time!

In selecting the poems for the girl and boy who used to be, I have tried always to read with their eyes. I have been guided from first to last by their enjoyment or their boredom. The poems that they loved best had highly accented rhythms, and took them into “a land of clear colors and stories.” They enjoyed certain sad poems as much as merry ones, but meditative, moralistic and gloomy poems were never read but once, if they were read at all. And I am glad to say that poems full of sentimentality fared no better. I have brought together much that has been written since they were children, and boys and girls of to-day will find among these poems many of the most enjoyable things in the book. To mention only one recent poet that they would have loved, Walter de la Mare, is to realize how much a child has missed who does not possess his inimitable “Peacock Pie.”

A child’s enjoyment, as I said above, is what I have striven for in this collection. We who have seen how poetry has come to our rescue with its delight, its healing, and its new courage in times of stress and sorrow, know that it is an inestimable possession. We cannot come to the knowledge of it too early. If we can have a clear personal realization while we are children, that we love poetry, no amount of well-{7}meaning but sometimes tactless and uninspired teaching of it in schools and colleges can shake us in the knowledge of that love. I remember that the first poem I was condemned to learn by heart in school was “The Builders” by Longfellow. I say condemned, but it was not as a punishment. Every child in the class had to learn it. It is one of the poems that I am sure the poet himself would never have given to a child to learn, beginning, as grown-up readers will remember:

“All are Architects of Fate
Working in these walls of Time.”

After committing the nine stanzas of this poem to memory, it took me a long time to grow willing to read the stirring things that the same poet has written, poems as interesting as this one is humdrum.

But education is better managed now than then. Teachers and parents alike have come to feel that the love of poetry in general is more to be desired for children than the knowledge of certain “well known” poems, no matter how good, or even how great, these poems may be. Besides a more tactfully managed education in the schools, there are children’s rooms in the public libraries. I have wished many times during the months spent in making this book, when visits to these rooms were an inspiration, that I might have browsed among the low shelves long ago in childhood, and talked with the same delightful librarians. I should like to express my thanks to these librarians, who have been so kind in various{8} ways. I want especially to thank Annie Carroll Moore, Supervisor of Work with Children in the New York Public Library, who knows the heart of a child from long travelling on “The Roads to Childhood.”

In closing I shall quote briefly from the introduction by Andrew Lang to his anthology for children, “The Blue Poetry Book,” for he speaks my own thoughts better than I can express them: “It does not appear to the Editor that poems about children, or especially intended for children, are those which a child likes best. A child’s imaginative life is spent in the unknown future, and in the romantic past.... The poems written for and about children rather appeal to the old, whose own childhood is now to them a distant fairy world, as the man’s life is to the child.... We make a mistake when we ‘write down’ to children; still more do we err when we tell a child not to read this or that because he cannot understand it. He understands far more than we give him credit for, but nothing that can harm him. The half-understanding of it, too, the sense of a margin beyond, as in a wood full of unknown glades and birds and flowers unfamiliar, is a great part of a child’s pleasure in reading.... The child does not want everything to be explained. In the unexplained is great pleasure.”

A number of my friends have been kind in giving me the names of poems that they liked best when they were children. The small compass of the book has made it impossible to use all of the poems suggested in this way, but it has been a pleasure to include as many of them as I could. I want to{9} acknowledge very gratefully my indebtedness for counsel and suggestions to John Gould Fletcher, Vachel Lindsay, Amy Lowell, Jessie B. Rittenhouse, Louis Untermeyer, Jean Untermeyer, John Hall Wheelock and Marguerite Wilkinson.

Sara Teasdale

New York City, 1922

[Image unavailable.]


[Image unavailable.]


[Image unavailable.]


Thanks are due the following publishers for permission to include the poems enumerated below:

To Messrs. Constable & Co., for “Berries,” “Jim Jay,” and “Off the Ground,” by Walter de la Mare.

To Messrs. Doubleday, Page & Co., for “A Prayer,” by Edwin Markham, and “O Captain! My Captain,” by Walt Whitman.

To Messrs. Harper & Brothers for “When the Hounds of Spring,” by Algernon Charles Swinburne.

To Messrs. Henry Holt & Co., for “Good Hours,” by Robert Frost; and “Berries,” “Jim Jay” and “Off the Ground” from “Peacock Pie,” by Walter de la Mare.

To Messrs. Houghton Mifflin Co., by whose permission and by special arrangement with whom the following poems are included: “Fable,” by Ralph Waldo Emerson; “The Fountain,” by James Russell Lowell; “My Lost Youth,” and “The Skeleton in Armor,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; and “A Song for My Mother,” by Anna Hempstead Branch.

To Mr. Alfred Knopf for “Nature’s Friend,” by William H. Davies.

To Messrs. Little, Brown & Co., for “The Snow,” by Emily Dickinson.

To The Macmillan Co., for “The Fairies,” and “The Lepracaun,” by William Allingham; “The Forsaken Merman,” by Matthew Arnold; “The Pied Piper of Hamelin,” and “Song: The Year’s at the Spring,” by Robert Browning; “The Terrible Robber Men,” by Padraic Colum; “Moon Folly,” by Fannie Stearns Gifford; “Time, You Old Gipsy Man,” by Ralph Hodgson; “Sea Fever,” by John Masefield; “A Christmas{12} Carol,” by Christina Rossetti; “The Song of Wandering Aengus,” by William Butler Yeats; and “The Ghosts of the Buffaloes,” by Vachel Lindsay.

To Messrs. Macmillan & Co., for “The Fairies,” and “The Lepracaun,” by William Allingham; “The Forsaken Merman,” by Matthew Arnold; and “A Christmas Carol,” by Christina Rossetti.

To The Poetry Bookshop for “Star-Talk,” by Robert Graves.

To Messrs. Charles Scribner’s Sons for “Song of the Chattahoochee,” by Sidney Lanier from “Poems of Sidney Lanier”; copyright 1884, 1891, 1918 by Mary D. Lanier, by permission of the publishers; and “Escape at Bedtime,” and “Romance,” by Robert Louis Stevenson.

To Messrs. Frederick A. Stokes Co., for “Tree-Toad,” by Hilda Conkling; and “A Song of Sherwood,” by Alfred Noyes, from his Collected Poems, Volume I.

To the living poets who have generously allowed their poems to appear in this book, the compiler expresses grateful thanks.

[Image unavailable.]


[Image unavailable.]


Kubla KhanSamuel Taylor Coleridge19
Meg MerriliesJohn Keats22
BerriesWalter de la Mare24
RomanceRobert Louis Stevenson28
Hymn of PanPercy Bysshe Shelley29
Written in MarchWilliam Wordsworth31
“When the Hounds of Spring”Algernon Charles Swinburne32
SongRobert Browning36
“Under the Greenwood Tree”William Shakespeare37
To VioletsRobert Herrick38
On May MorningJohn Milton39
The LepracaunWilliam Allingham40
Hunting SongSir Walter Scott44
The Lady of ShalottAlfred Tennyson46
Hymn to DianaBen Jonson59
The Song of Wandering AengusWilliam Butler Yeats60
The Shepherd to His LoveChristopher Marlowe62
Robin Hood and the ButcherAuthor Unknown64
A Sea SongAllan Cunningham72
Epitaph on a HareWilliam Cowper73
The PilgrimJohn Bunyan76
Lullaby for TitaniaWilliam Shakespeare78
IsrafelEdgar Allan Poe82{14}
JaffárLeigh Hunt87
A Song of SherwoodAlfred Noyes89
The Destruction of SennacheribLord Byron92
IvryThomas Babington Macaulay94
The TigerWilliam Blake98
The Terrible Robber MenPadraic Colum100
Sir Patrick SpensAuthor Unknown101
“Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind”William Shakespeare108
The Pied Piper of HamelinRobert Browning109
“Time, You Old Gipsy Man”Ralph Hodgson124
The Solitary ReaperWilliam Wordsworth128
My Lost YouthHenry Wadsworth Longfellow130
Battle Hymn of the RepublicJulia Ward Howe133
Gathering Song of Donald DhuSir Walter Scott135
The Minstrel-BoyThomas Moore137
BannockburnRobert Burns138
FableRalph Waldo Emerson140
Good HoursRobert Frost141
WinterWilliam Shakespeare142
A Chanted CalendarSydney Dobell143
The CloudPercy Bysshe Shelley145
Bugle SongAlfred Tennyson151
The Forsaken MermanMatthew Arnold152
Nurse’s SongWilliam Blake158
To a MouseRobert Burns159
The FairiesWilliam Allingham162
La Belle Dame Sans MerciJohn Keats168
SpringThomas Nashe175
“I Wandered Lonely”William Wordsworth176
The Gay Gos-HawkAuthor Unknown178
An Old Song of FairiesAuthor Unknown186
Moon FollyFannie Stearns Gifford189
Star-TalkRobert Graves193{15}
Jim JayWalter de la Mare197
The Ghosts of the BuffaloesVachel Lindsay199
A Christmas CarolChristina Rossetti203
Escape at BedtimeRobert Louis Stevenson205
Song of the ChattahoocheeSidney Lanier206
Sea FeverJohn Masefield211
O Captain! My Captain!Walt Whitman212
The SnowEmily Dickinson214
A Song for My MotherAnna Hempstead Branch215
The FountainJames Russell Lowell217
Nature’s FriendWilliam H. Davies221
Tree-ToadHilda Conkling223
An Ancient Christmas CarolAuthor Unknown225
An Old Christmas CarolAuthor Unknown226
King John and the Abbot of CanterburyAuthor Unknown228
The Sands of DeeCharles Kingsley234
Sister, Awake!Author Unknown236
The Skeleton in ArmorHenry Wadsworth Longfellow237
By Bendemeer’s StreamThomas Moore244
A PrayerEdwin Markham245
Young LochinvarSir Walter Scott246
Off the GroundWalter de la Mare249
Auld Daddy DarknessJames Ferguson256
[Image unavailable.]


[Image unavailable.]


[Image unavailable.]


Kubla KhanSamuel Taylor ColeridgeFrontispiece
“When the Hounds of Spring”Algernon Charles Swinburne33
The Lady of ShalottAlfred Tennyson51
Hymn to DianaBen Jonson58
Robin Hood and the ButcherAuthor Unknown69
Lullaby for TitaniaWilliam Shakespeare79
IsrafelEdgar Allan Poe83
Sir Patrick SpensAuthor Unknown105
“Time, You Old Gipsy Man”Ralph Hodgson125
The CloudPercy Bysshe Shelley147
The FairiesWilliam Allingham165
La Belle Dame Sans MerciJohn Keats169
SpringThomas Nashe174
Moon FollyFannie Stearns Gifford191
Star-TalkRobert Graves195
Sea FeverJohn Masefield210
The FountainJames Russell Lowell219
Off the GroundWalter de la Mare251


[Image unavailable.]



A Vision in a Dream

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills
Where blossom’d many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail;
And ’mid these dancing rocks at once and ever{20}
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reach’d the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And ’mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!
A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight ’twould win me
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! Those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!{21}
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
[Image unavailable.]


[Image unavailable.]


Old Meg she was a Gipsy,
And liv’d upon the Moors:
Her bed it was the brown heath turf,
And her house was out of doors.{23}
Her apples were swart blackberries,
Her currants pods o’ broom;
Her wine was dew of the wild white rose,
Her book a churchyard tomb.
Her Brothers were the craggy hills,
Her Sisters larchen trees—
Alone with her great family
She liv’d as she did please.
No breakfast had she many a morn,
No dinner many a noon,
And ’stead of supper she would stare
Full hard against the Moon.
But every morn of woodbine fresh
She made her garlanding,
And every night the dark glen Yew
She wove, and she would sing.
And with her fingers old and brown
She plaited Mats o’ Rushes,
And gave them to the Cottagers
She met among the Bushes.
Old Meg was brave as Margaret Queen
And tall as Amazon:
An old red blanket cloak she wore;
A chip hat had she on.
God rest her aged bones somewhere—
She died full long agone!—John Keats
[Image unavailable.]


There was an old woman
Went blackberry picking
Along the hedges
From Weep to Wicking.
Half a pottle—
No more she had got,
When out steps a Fairy
From her green grot;
And says, “Well, Jill,
Would ’ee pick ’ee mo?”
And Jill, she curtseys,
And looks just so.
“Be off,” says the Fairy,
“As quick as you can,
Over the meadows
To the little green lane,
That dips to the hayfields
Of Farmer Grimes:
I’ve berried those hedges{25}
A score of times;
Bushel on bushel
I’ll promise ’ee, Jill,
This side of supper
If ’ee pick with a will.”
She glints very bright,
And speaks her fair;
Then lo, and behold!
She has faded in air.
Be sure old Goodie
She trots betimes
Over the meadows
To Farmer Grimes.
And never was queen
With jewellery rich
As those same hedges
From twig to ditch;
Like Dutchmen’s coffers,
Fruit, thorn, and flower—
They shone like William
And Mary’s bower.
And be sure Old Goodie
Went back to Weep,
So tired with her basket
She scarce could creep.
When she comes in the dusk
To her cottage door,{26}
There’s Towser wagging
As never before,
To see his Missus
So glad to be
Come from her fruit-picking
Back to he.
[Image unavailable.]


And soon as next morning
Dawn was grey,
The pot on the hob
Was simmering away;
And all in a stew
And a hugger-mugger
Towser and Jill
A-boiling of sugar,
And the dark clear fruit
That from Faërie came,
For syrup and jelly
And blackberry jam.
Twelve jolly gallipots
Jill put by;
And one little teeny one,
One inch high;
And that she’s hidden
A good thumb deep,
Half way over
From Wicking to Weep.
Walter de la Mare
[Image unavailable.]



I will make you brooches and toys for your delight
Of bird-song at morning and star-shine at night.
I will make a palace fit for you and me,
Of green days in forests and blue days at sea.
I will make my kitchen, and you shall keep your room,
Where white flows the river and bright blows the broom,
And you shall wash your linen and keep your body white
In rainfall at morning and dewfall at night.
And this shall be for music when no one else is near
The fine song for singing, the rare song to hear!
That only I remember, that only you admire,
Of the broad road that stretches and the roadside fire.
Robert Louis Stevenson
[Image unavailable.]


[Image unavailable.]


From the forests and highlands
We come, we come;
From the river-girt islands,
Where loud waves are dumb,
Listening to my sweet pipings.
The wind in the reeds and the rushes,
The bees on the bells of thyme,
The birds on the myrtle bushes,
The cicale above in the lime,
And the lizards below in the grass,
Were as silent as ever old Tmolus was,
Listening to my sweet pipings.
Liquid Penëus was flowing,
And all dark Tempe lay
In Pelion’s shadow outgrowing
The light of the dying day,{30}
Speeded by my sweet pipings.
The Sileni, and Sylvans, and Fauns,
And the Nymphs of the woods and waves,
To the edge of the moist river-lawns,
And the brink of the dewy caves,
And all that did then attend and follow,
Were silent with love, as you now, Apollo,
With envy of my sweet pipings.
I sang of the dancing Stars,
I sang of the daedal Earth,
And of Heaven, and the giant wars,
And Love, and Death, and Birth.
And then I changed my pipings—
Singing how down the vale of Maenalus
I pursued a maiden, and clasped a reed:
Gods and men, we are all deluded thus;
It breaks in our bosom, and then we bleed.
All wept—as I think both ye now would,
If envy or age had not frozen your blood,
At the sorrow of my sweet pipings.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
[Image unavailable.]



The Cock is crowing,
The stream is flowing,
The small birds twitter,
The lake doth glitter,
The green field sleeps in the sun;
The oldest and youngest
Are at work with the strongest;
The cattle are grazing,
Their heads never raising;
There are forty feeding like one!
Like an army defeated
The snow hath retreated,
And now doth fare ill
On the top of the bare hill;
The ploughboy is whooping—anon—anon
There’s joy in the mountains;
There’s life in the fountains;
Small clouds are sailing,
Blue sky prevailing;
The rain is over and gone!
William Wordsworth


When the hounds of spring are on winter’s traces,
The mother of months in meadow or plain
Fills the shadows and windy places
With lisp of leaves and ripple of rain;
And the brown bright nightingale amorous
Is half assuaged for Itylus,
For the Thracian ships and the foreign faces,
The tongueless vigil, and all the pain.
Come with bows bent and with emptying of quivers,
Maiden most perfect, lady of light,
With a noise of winds and many rivers,
With a clamor of waters, and with might;
Bind on thy sandals, O thou most fleet,
Over the splendor and speed of thy feet;
For the faint east quickens, the wan west shivers,
Round the feet of the day and the feet of the night.
Where shall we find her, how shall we sing to her,
Fold our hands round her knees, and cling?
O that man’s heart were as fire and could spring to her,
Fire, or the strength of the streams that spring!
For the stars and the winds are unto her
As raiment, as songs of the harp-player;
For the risen stars and the fallen cling to her,
And the southwest-wind and the west-wind sing.
[Image unavailable.]



For winter’s rains and ruins are over,
And all the season of snows and sins;
The days dividing lover and lover,
The light that loses, the night that wins;
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins....
Algernon Charles Swinburne
[Image unavailable.]



The year’s at the spring,
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hill-side’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His Heaven—
All’s right with the world!
Robert Browning
[Image unavailable.]



Under the greenwood tree,
Who loves to lie with me,
And turn his merry note
Unto the sweet bird’s throat,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
Here shall he see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather.
Who doth ambition shun,
And loves to live i’ the sun,
Seeking the food he eats,
And pleased with what he gets,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
Here shall he see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather.
William Shakespeare
[Image unavailable.]



Welcome, maids of honor,
You do bring
In the Spring,
And wait upon her.
She has virgins many,
Fresh and fair;
Yet you are
More sweet than any.
You’re the maiden posies,
And, so graced,
To be placed
’Fore damask roses.
Yet, though thus respected,
By and by
Ye do lie,
Poor girls, neglected.
Robert Herrick
[Image unavailable.]



Now the bright morning star, day’s harbinger,
Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her
The flow’ry May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose.
Hail, bounteous May, that doth inspire
Mirth and youth and warm desire!
Woods and groves are of thy dressing,
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.
John Milton
[Image unavailable.]



[Image unavailable.]
Little Cowboy, what have you heard,
Up on the lonely rath’s green mound?
Only the plaintive yellow bird
Sighing in sultry fields around,
Chary, chary, chary, chee-ee!—
Only the grasshopper and the bee?—
“Tip-tap, rip-rap,
Scarlet leather, sewn together,
This will make a shoe.
Left, right, pull it tight;
Summer days are warm;
Underground in winter,
Laughing at the storm!”
Lay your ear close to the hill.
Do you not catch the tiny clamour,
Busy click of elfin hammer,
Voice of the Lepracaun singing shrill
As he merrily plies his trade?{41}
He’s a span
And a quarter in height.
Get him in sight, hold him tight,
And you’re a made
[Image unavailable.]
You watch your cattle the summer day,
Sup on potatoes, sleep in the hay;
How would you like to roll in your carriage,
Look for a duchess’s daughter in marriage?
Seize the Shoemaker—then you may!
“Big boots a-hunting,
Sandals in the hall,
White for a wedding-feast,
Pink for a ball.
This way, that way,
So we make a shoe;
Getting rich every stitch,
Nine-and-ninety treasure-crocks
This keen miser-fairy hath,
Hid in mountains, woods and rocks,
Ruin and round-tow’r, cave and rath,{42}
And where the cormorants build;
From time of old
Guarded by him;
Each of them fill’d
Full to the brim
With gold!
[Image unavailable.]
I caught him at work one day, myself,
In the castle-ditch, where foxglove grows,—
A wrinkled, wizen’d, and bearded Elf,
Spectacles stuck on his pointed nose,
Silver buckles to his hose,
Leather apron—shoe in his lap—
“Rip-rap, tip-tap,
(A grasshopper on my cap!
Away the moth flew!)
Buskins for a fairy prince,
Brogues for his son,—
Pay me well, pay me well,
When the job is done!”
The rogue was mine, beyond a doubt.
I stared at him; he stared at me;
‘Servant, Sir!’ ‘Humph!’ says he,
And pull’d a snuff-box out.{43}
He took a long pinch, look’d better pleased,
The queer little Lepracaun;
Offer’d the box with a whimsical grace,—
Pouf! he flung the dust in my face,
And, while I sneezed,
Was gone!
William Allingham
[Image unavailable.]



Waken, lords and ladies gay!
On the mountain dawns the day;
All the jolly chase is here,
With hawk, and horse, and hunting spear!
Hounds are in their couples yelling,
Hawks are whistling, horns are knelling;
Merrily, merrily, mingle they,
‘Waken, lords and ladies gay.’
Waken, lords and ladies gay!
The mist has left the mountain grey,
Springlets in the dawn are steaming,
Diamonds on the brake are gleaming;
And foresters have busy been,
To track the buck in thicket green;
Now we come to chant our lay,
‘Waken, lords and ladies gay.’
Waken, lords and ladies gay!
To the greenwood haste away;
We can show you where he lies,
Fleet of foot, and tall of size;
We can show the marks he made,
When ’gainst the oak his antlers fray’d;
You shall see him brought to bay—
‘Waken, lords and ladies gay.{45}
Louder, louder chant the lay,
Waken, lords and ladies gay!
Tell them youth, and mirth, and glee,
Run a course as well as we;
Time, stern huntsman! who can baulk,
Stanch as hound, and fleet as hawk?
Think of this, and rise with day,
Gentle lords and ladies gay!
Sir Walter Scott
[Image unavailable.]



[Image unavailable.]

Part I

On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And through the field the road runs by
To many-towered Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
The island of Shalott.
Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Through the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.{47}
Four gray walls, and four gray towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle embowers
The Lady of Shalott.
By the margin, willow-veiled,
Slide the heavy barges trailed
By slow horses; and unhailed
The shallop flitteth silken-sailed
Skimming down to Camelot:
But who hath seen her wave her hand?
Or at the casement seen her stand?
Or is she known in all the land,
The Lady of Shalott?
Only reapers, reaping early
In among the bearded barley,
Hear a song that echoes cheerly
From the river winding clearly,
Down to towered Camelot:
And by the moon the reaper weary,
Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listening, whispers “Tis the fairy
Lady of Shalott.”
[Image unavailable.]

Part II

There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colors gay.
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay
To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
The Lady of Shalott.
And moving through a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
Winding down to Camelot:
There the river eddy whirls,{49}
And there the surly village-churls,
And the red cloaks of market-girls,
Pass onward from Shalott.
Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
An abbot on an ambling pad,
Sometimes a curly shepherd-lad,
Or long-haired page in crimson clad,
Goes by to towered Camelot;
And sometimes through the mirror blue
The knights come riding two and two:
She hath no loyal knight and true,
The Lady of Shalott.
But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror’s magic sights,
For often through the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights
And music, went to Camelot:
Or when the moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed;
“I am half sick of shadows,” said
The Lady of Shalott.
[Image unavailable.]


[Image unavailable.]

Part III

A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
He rode between the barley-sheaves,
The sun came dazzling through the leaves
And flamed upon the brazen greaves
Of bold Sir Lancelot.
A red-cross knight for ever kneeled
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,
Beside remote Shalott.
The gemmy bridle glittered free,
Like to some branch of stars we see
Hung in the golden Galaxy.
The bridle bells rang merrily
As he rode down to Camelot;
And from his blazoned baldric slung
[Image unavailable.]



A mighty silver bugle hung,
And as he rode his armor rung,
Beside remote Shalott.
All in the blue unclouded weather
Thick-jeweled shone the saddle-leather,
The helmet and the helmet-feather
Burned like one burning flame together,
As he rode down to Camelot;
As often through the purple night,
Below the starry clusters bright,
Some bearded meteor, trailing light,
Moves over still Shalott.
His broad clear brow in sunlight glowed;
On burnished hooves his war-horse trode;
From underneath his helmet flowed
His coal-black curls as on he rode,
As he rode down to Camelot.
From the bank and from the river
He flashed into the crystal mirror,
“Tirra lirra,” by the river
Sang Sir Lancelot.
She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces through the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
She looked down to Camelot.{54}
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror cracked from side to side;
“The curse is come upon me!” cried
The Lady of Shalott.
[Image unavailable.]

Part IV

In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining,
Heavily the low sky raining
Over towered Camelot;
Down she came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
And round about the prow she wrote
The Lady of Shalott.
And down the river’s dim expanse—
Like some bold seër in a trance,{55}
Seeing all his own mischance—
With a glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.
Lying, robed in snowy white
That loosely flew to left and right—
The leaves upon her falling light—
Through the noises of the night
She floated down to Camelot:
And as the boat-head wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her singing her last song,
The Lady of Shalott.
Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And her eyes were darkened wholly,
Turned to towered Camelot;
For ere she reached upon the tide
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,
The Lady of Shalott.{56}
Under tower and balcony,
By garden-wall and gallery,
A gleaming shape she floated by,
Dead-pale between the houses high,
Silent into Camelot.
Out upon the wharfs they came,
Knight and burgher, lord and dame,
And round the prow they read her name,
The Lady of Shalott.
Who is this? and what is here?
And in the lighted palace near
Died the sound of royal cheer;
And they crossed themselves for fear,
All the knights at Camelot:
But Lancelot mused a little space;
He said, “She has a lovely face;
God in His mercy lend her grace,
The Lady of Shalott.”
Alfred Tennyson
[Image unavailable.]



Queen and Huntress, chaste and fair,
Now the sun is laid to sleep,
Seated in thy silver chair,
State in wonted manner keep:
Hesperus entreats thy light,
Goddess excellently bright.
Earth, let not thy envious shade
Dare itself to interpose;
Cynthia’s shining orb was made
Heav’n to clear, when day did close:
Bless us then with wishéd sight,
Goddess excellently bright.
Lay thy bow of pearl apart
And thy crystal shining quiver;
Give unto the flying hart
Space to breathe, how short soever:
Thou that mak’st a day of night,
Goddess excellently bright.
Ben Jonson


I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.
When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,{61}
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
William Butler Yeats
[Image unavailable.]



Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and vallies, dales and fields,
And woods or steepy mountain yields.
And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks
By shallow rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.
And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroider’d all with leaves of myrtle.
A gown made of the finest wool,
Which from our pretty lambs we pull,
Fair-linèd slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold.
A belt of straw and ivy-buds
With coral clasps and amber studs,
An’ if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.
Thy silver dishes for thy meat
As precious as the gods do eat,{63}
Shall on an ivory table be
Prepar’d each day for thee and me.
The shepherd-swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May-morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me, and be my love.
Christopher Marlowe
[Image unavailable.]


[Image unavailable.]


Come, all you brave gallants, and listen a while,
With hey down, down, an a down,
That are in the bowers within;
For of Robin Hood, that archer good,
A song I intend for to sing.
Upon a time it chancëd so
Bold Robin in forrest did spy
A jolly butcher, with a bonny fine mare,
With his flesh to the market did hye.
‘Good morrow, good fellow,’ said jolly Robin,
‘What food hast? tell unto me;
And thy trade to me tell, and where thou dost dwell,
For I like well thy company.’
The butcher he answered jolly Robin:
‘No matter where I dwell;
For a butcher I am, and to Notingham
I am going, my flesh to sell.{65}
‘What is the price of thy flesh?’ said jolly Robin,
‘Come tell it soon unto me;
And the price of thy mare, be she never so dear,
For a butcher fain would I be.’
‘The price of my flesh,’ the butcher repli’d,
‘I soon will tell unto thee;
With my bonny mare, and they are not dear,
Four mark thou must give unto me.’
‘Four mark I will give thee,’ saith jolly Robin,
‘Four mark it shall be thy fee;
Thy mony come count, and let me mount,
For a butcher I fain would be.’
Now Robin he is to Notingham gone,
His butcher’s trade for to begin;
With good intent, to the sheriff he went,
And there he took up his inn.
When other butchers they opened their meat,
Bold Robin he then begun;
But how for to sell he knew not well,
For a butcher he was but young.
When other butchers no meat could sell,
Robin got both gold and fee;
For he sold more meat for one peny
Than others could do for three.{66}
But when he sold his meat so fast,
No butcher by him could thrive;
For he sold more meat for one peny
Than others could do for five.
Which made the butchers of Notingham
To study as they did stand,
Saying, surely he was some prodigal,
That had sold his father’s land.
The butchers they stepped to jolly Robin,
Acquainted with him for to be;
‘Come, brother,’ one said, ‘we be all of one trade,
Come, will you go dine with me?’
‘Accurst of his heart,’ said jolly Robin,
‘That a butcher doth deny;
I will go with you my brethren true,
And as fast as I can hie.’
But when to the sheriff’s house they came,
To dinner they hied apace,
And Robin he the man must be
Before them all to say grace.
‘Pray God bless us all,’ said jolly Robin,
‘And our meat within this place;
A cup of sack so good will nourish our blood,
And so I do end my grace.{67}
‘Come fill us more wine,’ said jolly Robin,
‘Let us merry be while we do stay;
For wine and good cheer, be it never so dear,
I vow I the reckning will pay.
‘Come, brothers, be merry,’ said jolly Robin,
‘Let us drink, and never give ore;
For the shot I will pay, ere I go my way,
If it cost me five pounds and more.’
‘This is a mad blade,’ the butchers then said;
Saies the sheriff, ‘He is some prodigal,
That some land has sold, for silver and gold,
And now he doth mean to spend all.
‘Hast thou any horn-beasts,’ the sheriff repli’d,
‘Good fellow, to sell unto me?’
‘Yes, that I have, good Master Sheriff,
I have hundreds two or three.
‘And a hundred aker of good free land,
If you please it to see;
And I’le make you as good assurance of it
As ever my father made me.’
The sheriff he saddled a good palfrey,
With three hundred pound in gold,
And away he went with bold Robin Hood,
His horned beasts to behold.{68}
Away then the sheriff and Robin did ride,
To the forrest of merry Sherwood;
Then the sheriff did say, ‘God bless us this day
From a man they call Robin Hood!’
But when that a little further they came,
Bold Robin he chanced to spy
A hundred head of good red deer,
Come tripping the sheriff full nigh.
‘How like you my hornd beasts, good Master Sheriff?
They be fat and fair for to see:’
‘I tell thee, good fellow, I would I were gone,
For I like not thy company.’
Then Robin he set his horn to his mouth,
And blew but blasts three;
Then quickly anon there came Little John,
And all his company.
‘What is your will?’ then said little John,
‘Good master come tell it to me;’
‘I have brought hither the sheriff of Notingham,
This day to dine with thee.’
‘He is welcome to me,’ then said Little John,
‘I hope he will honestly pay;
I know he has gold, if it be but well told,
Will serve us to drink a whole day.’
[Image unavailable.]



Then Robin took his mantle from his back,
And laid it upon the ground,
And out of the sheriffe’s portmantle
He told three hundred pound.
The Robin he brought him thorow the wood,
And set him on his dapple gray:
‘O have me commended to your wife at home;’
So Robin went laughing away.
Author Unknown


A wet sheet and a flowing sea,
A wind that follows fast,
And fills the white and rustling sail,
And bends the gallant mast;
And bends the gallant mast, my boys,
While, like the eagle free,
Away the good ship flies, and leaves
Old England on the lee.
O for a soft and gentle wind!
I heard a fair one cry;
But give to me the snoring breeze
And white waves heaving high;
And white waves heaving high, my boys,
The good ship tight and free—
The world of waters is our home,
And merry men are we.
There’s tempest in yon hornèd moon,
And lightning in yon cloud;
And hark the music, mariners!
The wind is piping loud;
The wind is piping loud, my boys,
The lightning flashes free—
While the hollow oak our palace is,
Our heritage the sea.
Allan Cunningham


Here lies, whom hound did ne’er pursue,
Nor swifter greyhound follow,
Whose foot ne’er tainted morning dew,
Nor ear heard huntsman’s hallo;
Old Tiney, surliest of his kind,
Who, nursed with tender care,
And to domestic bounds confined,
Was still a wild Jack-hare.
Though duly from my hand he took
His pittance every night,
He did it with a jealous look,
And, when he could, would bite.
His diet was of wheaten bread,
And milk, and oats, and straw;
Thistles, or lettuces instead,
With sand to scour his maw.
On twigs of hawthorn he regaled,
On pippins’ russet peel;
And, when his juicy salads failed,
Sliced carrot pleased him well.
A Turkey carpet was his lawn,
Whereon he loved to bound,{74}
To skip and gambol like a fawn,
And swing his rump around.
His frisking was at evening hours,
For then he lost his fear;
But most before approaching showers,
Or when a storm drew near.
[Image unavailable.]
Eight years and five round-rolling moons
He thus saw steal away,
Dozing out all his idle noons,
And every night at play.
I kept him for his humor’s sake,
For he would oft beguile
My heart of thoughts that made it ache,
And force me to a smile.
But now, beneath this walnut-shade
He finds his long, last home,
And waits, in snug concealment laid,
Till gentler Puss shall come.{75}
He, still more agèd, feels the shocks
From which no care can save,
And, partner once of Tiney’s box,
Must soon partake his grave.
William Cowper
[Image unavailable.]



From “The Pilgrim’s Progress

Who would true valor see,
Let him come hither!
One here will constant be,
Come wind, come weather;
There’s no discouragement
Shall make him once relent
His first-avowed intent
To be a Pilgrim.
Whoso beset him round
With dismal stories,
Do but themselves confound;
His strength the more is.
No lion can him fright;
He’ll with a giant fight;
But he will have a right
To be a Pilgrim.
Hobgoblin, nor foul fiend,
Can daunt his spirit;
He knows he at the end
Shall Life inherit:—
Then, fancies, fly away;{77}
He’ll not fear what men say;
He’ll labor night and day,
To be a Pilgrim.
John Bunyan
[Image unavailable.]



First Fairy
You spotted snakes with double tongue,
Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen;
Newts, and blind-worms, do no wrong;
Come not near our fairy queen.
Philomel with melody
Sing in our sweet lullaby!
Lulla, lulla, lullaby; lulla, lulla, lullaby!
Never harm, nor spell, nor charm,
Come our lovely lady nigh!
So good-night, with lullaby.
Second Fairy
Weaving spiders, come not here;
Hence, you long-legg’d spinners, hence;
Beetles black, approach not near;
Worm, nor snail, do no offence.
Philomel with melody
Sing in our sweet lullaby;
[Image unavailable.]



Lulla, lulla, lullaby; lulla, lulla, lullaby!
Never harm, nor spell, nor charm,
Come our lovely lady nigh!
So good-night, with lullaby.
William Shakespeare
[Image unavailable.]



And the angel Israfel, whose heart-strings are a lute, and who has the sweetest voice of all God’s creatures.—Koran.

In Heaven a spirit doth dwell
Whose heart-strings are a lute;
None sing so wildly well
As the Angel Israfel,
And the giddy stars (so legends tell),
Ceasing their hymns, attend the spell
Of his voice, all mute.
Tottering above
In her highest noon,
The enamoured moon
Blushes with love,
While, to listen, the red levin
(With the rapid Pleiads, even,
Which were seven)
Pauses in Heaven.
And they say (the starry choir
And the other listening things)
That Israfeli’s fire
Is owing to that lyre
By which he sits and sings,
The trembling living wire
Of those unusual strings.
[Image unavailable.]



But the skies that angel trod,
Where deep thoughts are a duty,
Where Love’s a grown-up God,
Where the Houri glances are
Imbued with all the beauty
Which we worship in a star.
Therefore thou art not wrong,
Israfeli, who despisest
An unimpassioned song;
To thee the laurels belong,
Best bard, because the wisest:
Merrily live, and long!
The ecstasies above
With thy burning measures suit:
Thy grief, thy joy, thy hate, thy love,
With the fervor of thy lute:
Well may the stars be mute!
Yes, Heaven is thine; but this
Is a world of sweets and sours;
Our flowers are merely—flowers,
And the shadow of thy perfect bliss
Is the sunshine of ours.
If I could dwell
Where Israfel{86}
Hath dwelt, and he where I,
He might not sing so wildly well
A mortal melody,
While a bolder note than this might swell
From my lyre within the sky.
Edgar Allan Poe


Jaffár, the Barmecide, the good Vizier,
The poor man’s hope, the friend without a peer,
Jaffár was dead, slain by a doom unjust;
And guilty Hàroun, sullen with mistrust
Of what the good, and e’en the bad, might say,
Ordained that no man living from that day
Should dare to speak his name on pain of death.
All Araby and Persia held their breath;
All but the brave Mondeer: he, proud to show
How far for love a grateful soul could go,
And facing death for very scorn and grief
(For his great heart wanted a great relief),
Stood forth in Bagdad daily, in the square
Where once had stood a happy house, and there
Harangued the tremblers at the scimitar
On all they owed to the divine Jaffár.
“Bring me this man,” the caliph cried. The man
Was brought, was gazed upon. The mutes began
To bind his arms. “Welcome, brave cords,” cried he;
“From bonds far worse Jaffár delivered me;
From wants, from shames, from loveless household fears;
Made a man’s eyes friends with delicious tears;
Restored me, loved me, put me on a par
With his great self. How can I pay Jaffár?{88}
Hàroun, who felt that on a soul like this
The mightiest vengeance could but fall amiss
Now deigned to smile, as one great lord of fate
Might smile upon another half as great.
He said, “Let worth grow frenzied if it will;
The caliph’s judgment shall be master still.
Go: and since gifts so move thee, take this gem,
The richest in the Tartar’s diadem,
And hold the giver as thou deemest fit!”
“Gifts!” cried the friend; he took, and holding it
High toward the heavens, as though to meet his star,
Exclaimed, “This, too, I owe to thee, Jaffár!”
Leigh Hunt


Sherwood in the twilight, is Robin Hood awake?
Gray and ghostly shadows are gliding through the brake;
Shadows of the dappled deer, dreaming of the morn,
Dreaming of a shadowy man that winds a shadowy horn.
Robin Hood is here again: all his merry thieves
Hear a ghostly bugle-note shivering through the leaves,
Calling as he used to call, faint and far away,
In Sherwood, in Sherwood, about the break of day.
Merry, merry England has kissed the lips of June:
All the wings of fairyland were here beneath the moon;
Like a flight of rose-leaves fluttering in a mist
Of opal and ruby and pearl and amethyst.
Merry, merry England is waking as of old,
With eyes of blither hazel and hair of brighter gold:
For Robin Hood is here again beneath the bursting spray
In Sherwood, in Sherwood, about the break of day.
Love is in the greenwood building him a house
Of wild rose and hawthorn and honeysuckle boughs:
Love is in the greenwood: dawn is in the skies;
And Marian is waiting with a glory in her eyes.
Hark! The dazzled laverock climbs the golden steep:
Marian is waiting: is Robin Hood asleep?{90}
Round the fairy grass-rings frolic elf and fay,
In Sherwood, in Sherwood, about the break of day.
Oberon, Oberon, rake away the gold,
Rake away the red leaves, roll away the mould,
Rake away the gold leaves, roll away the red,
And wake Will Scarlett from his leafy forest bed.
Friar Tuck and Little John are riding down together
With quarter-staff and drinking-can and gray goose-feather;
The dead are coming back again; the years are rolled away
In Sherwood, in Sherwood, about the break of day.
Softly over Sherwood the south wind blows;
All the heart of England hid in every rose
Hears across the greenwood the sunny whisper leap,
Sherwood in the red dawn, is Robin Hood asleep?
Hark, the voice of England wakes him as of old
And, shattering the silence with a cry of brighter gold,
Bugles in the greenwood echo from the steep,
Sherwood in the red dawn, is Robin Hood asleep?
Where the deer are gliding down the shadowy glen
All across the glades of fern he calls his merry men;
Doublets of the Lincoln green glancing through the May
In Sherwood, in Sherwood, about the break of day;{91}
Calls them and they answer: from aisles of oak and ash
Rings the Follow! Follow! and the boughs begin to crash;
The ferns begin to flutter and the flowers begin to fly;
And through the crimson dawning the robber band goes by.
Robin! Robin! Robin! All his merry thieves
Answer as the bugle-note shivers through the leaves:
Calling as he used to call, faint and far away,
In Sherwood, in Sherwood, about the break of day.
Alfred Noyes
[Image unavailable.]



(710 B.C.)

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.
For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!
And there lay the steed with his nostrils all wide,
But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride;
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.
And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail;
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.{93}
And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!
Lord Byron


(March 14, 1590)

Now glory to the Lord of Hosts, from whom all glories are!
And glory to our Sovereign Liege, King Henry of Navarre!
Now let there be the merry sound of music and of dance,
Through thy corn-fields green, and sunny vines, oh pleasant land of France!
And thou, Rochelle, our own Rochelle, proud city of the waters,
Again let rapture light the eyes of all thy mourning daughters.
As thou wert constant in our ills, be joyous in our joy;
For cold, and stiff, and still are they who wrought thy walls annoy.
Hurrah! hurrah! a single field hath turned the chance of war.
Hurrah! hurrah! for Ivry and Henry of Navarre.
Oh! how our hearts were beating, when, at the dawn of day,
We saw the army of the League drawn out in long array;
With all its priest-led citizens, and all its rebel peers,
And Appenzel’s stout infantry and Egmont’s Flemish spears.
There rode the brood of false Lorraine, the curses of our land;
And dark Mayenne was in the midst, a truncheon in his hand;
And, as we looked on them, we thought of Seine’s empurpled flood,
And good Coligni’s hoary hair all dabbled with his blood;{95}
And we cried unto the living God, who rules the fate of war,
To fight for His own holy name, and Henry of Navarre.
The King is come to marshal us, in all his armor dressed;
And he has bound a snow-white plume upon his gallant crest.
He looked upon his people, and a tear was in his eye;
He looked upon the traitors, and his glance was stern and high.
Right graciously he smiled on us, as rolled from wing to wing,
Down all our line, a deafening shout: “God save our Lord the King!”
“And if my standard-bearer fall, as fall full well he may,
For never saw I promise yet of such a bloody fray,
Press where ye see my white plume shine, amidst the ranks of war,
And be your oriflamme today the helmet of Navarre.”
Hurrah! the foes are moving. Hark to the mingled din,
Of fife, and steed, and trump, and drum, and roaring culverin.
The fiery Duke is pricking fast across Saint André’s plain,
With all the hireling chivalry of Guelders and Almayne.
Now by the lips of those ye love, fair gentlemen of France,
Charge for the golden lilies,—upon them with the lance!
A thousand spurs are striking deep, a thousand spears in rest,
A thousand knights are pressing close behind the snow-white crest;{96}
And in they burst, and on they rushed, while, like a guiding star,
Amidst the thickest carnage blazed the helmet of Navarre.
Now, God be praised, the day is ours. Mayenne hath turned his rein;
D’Aumale hath cried for quarter; the Flemish count is slain.
Their ranks are breaking like thin clouds before a Biscay gale;
The field is heaped with bleeding steeds, and flags, and cloven mail.
And then we thought on vengeance, and, all along our van,
“Remember Saint Bartholomew!” was passed from man to man.
But out spake gentle Henry, “No Frenchman is my foe:
Down, down with every foreigner, but let your brethren go.”
Oh! was there ever such a knight, in friendship or in war,
As our Sovereign Lord, King Henry, the soldier of Navarre?...
Ho! maidens of Vienna; ho! matrons of Lucerne;
Weep, weep, and rend your hair for those who never shall return.
Ho! Philip, send, for charity, thy Mexican pistoles,
That Antwerp monks may sing a mass for thy poor spearmen’s souls.
Ho! gallant nobles of the League, look that your arms be bright;{97}
Ho! burghers of St. Genevieve, keep watch and ward to-night;
For our God hath crushed the tyrant, our God hath raised the slave,
And mocked the counsel of the wise, and the valor of the brave.
Then glory to His holy name, from whom all glories are;
And glory to our Sovereign Lord, King Henry of Navarre!
Thomas Babington Macaulay
[Image unavailable.]



Tiger! Tiger! burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the Lamb, make thee?{99}
Tiger! Tiger! burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
William Blake
[Image unavailable.]



O! I wish the sun was bright in the sky,
And the fox was back in his den, O!
For always I’m hearing the passing by
Of the terrible robber men, O!
The terrible robber men.
O! what does the fox carry over the rye
When it’s bright in the morn again, O!
And what is it making the lonesome cry
With the terrible robber men, O!
The terrible robber men.
O! I wish the sun was bright in the sky,
And the fox was back in his den, O!
For always I’m hearing the passing by
Of the terrible robber men, O!
The terrible robber men.
Padraic Colum
[Image unavailable.]



The king sits in Dunfermline toun,
Drinking the blude-red wine:
‘O whare will I get a skeely skipper
To sail this new ship of mine?’
O up and spake an eldern knight,
Sat at the king’s right knee—
‘Sir Patrick Spens is the best sailor
That ever sailed the sea.’
Our king has written a braid letter,
And sealed it with his hand,
And sent it to Sir Patrick Spens,
Was walking on the strand.
‘To Noroway, to Noroway,
To Noroway o’er the faem;
The king’s daughter of Noroway,
’Tis thou maun bring her hame.’
The first word that Sir Patrick read,
Sae loud loud laughed he;
The neist word that Sir Patrick read,
The tear blinded his e’e.
‘O wha is this has done this deed,
And tauld the king o’ me,{102}
To send us out, at this time of the year,
To sail upon the sea?’
‘Be it wind, be it weet, be it hail, be it sleet,
Our ship must sail the faem;
The king’s daughter of Noroway,
’Tis we must fetch her hame.’
They hoysed their sails on Monenday morn,
Wi’ a’ the speed they may;
And they hae landed in Noroway
Upon a Wedensday.
They hadna been a week, a week
In Noroway but twae,
When that the lords o’ Noroway
Began aloud to say:
‘Ye Scottishmen spend a’ our king’s gowd,
And a’ our queenis fee.’
‘Ye lie, ye lie, ye liars loud!
Fu’ loud I hear ye lie!
‘For I hae brought as much white monie
As gane my men and me—
And I hae brought a half-fou’ o’ gude red gowd
Out o’er the sea wi’ me.{103}
‘Make ready, make ready, my merry men a’!
Our gude ship sails the morn.’
‘Now ever alake, my master dear,
I fear a deadly storm!
‘I saw the new moon, late yestreen,
Wi’ the auld moon in her arm;
And if we gang to sea, master,
I fear we’ll come to harm.’
They hadna sail’d a league, a league,
A league but barely three,
When the lift grew dark, and the wind blew loud,
And gurly grew the sea.
The ankers brak, and the top-masts lap,
It was sic a deadly storm;
And the waves cam’ o’er the broken ship
Till a’ her sides were torn.
‘O where will I get a gude sailor,
To take my helm in hand,
Till I get up to the tall top-mast;
To see if I can spy land?’
‘O here am I, a sailor gude,
To take the helm in hand,
Till ye get up to the tall top-mast:
But I fear you’ll ne’er spy land.{104}
He hadna gane a step, a step,
A step but barely ane,
When a bout flew out of our goodly ship,
And the salt sea it came in.
‘Gae, fetch a web o’ the silken claith,
Another o’ the twine,
And wap them into our ship’s side,
And letna the sea come in.’
They fetch’d a web o’ the silken claith,
Another o’ the twine,
And they wapped them round that gude ship’s side,
But still the sea came in.
O laith laith were our gude Scots lords
To wet their cork-heeled shoon!
But lang ere a’ the play was play’d
They wat their hats aboon.
And mony was the feather-bed
That floated on the faem,
And mony was the gude lord’s son
That never mair came hame.
The ladyes wrang their fingers white—
The maidens tore their hair;
[Image unavailable.]



A’ for the sake of their true loves—
For them they’ll see na mair.
O lang lang may the ladyes sit,
Wi’ their fans into their hand,
Before they see Sir Patrick Spens
Come sailing to the strand!
And lang lang may the maidens sit,
Wi’ the goud kaims in their hair,
A’ waiting for their ain dear loves—
For them they’ll see na mair.
O forty miles off Aberdour,
’Tis fifty fathoms deep,
And there lies gude Sir Patrick Spens,
Wi’ the Scots lords at his feet.
Author Unknown


Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou are not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
Heigh-ho! sing heigh-ho! unto the green holly;
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly;
Then, heigh-ho! the holly!
This life is most jolly!
Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
Thou dost not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As friend remembered not.
Heigh-ho! sing heigh-ho! unto the green holly
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly;
Then, heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly!
William Shakespeare


(A Child’s Story)

[Image unavailable.]


Hamelin Town’s in Brunswick,
By famous Hanover city;
The river Weser, deep and wide,
Washes its wall on the southern side;
A pleasanter spot you never spied;
But, when begins my ditty,
Almost five hundred years ago,
To see the townsfolk suffer so
From vermin was a pity.


They fought the dogs and killed the cats
And bit the babies in the cradles,{110}
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cook’s own ladles,
Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men’s Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women’s chats
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats.


At last the people in a body
To the Town Hall came flocking:
Tis clear,” cried they, “our Mayor’s a noddy;
And as for our Corporation,—shocking
To think we buy gowns lined with ermine
For dolts that can’t or won’t determine
What’s best to rid us of our vermin!
You hope, because you’re old and obese,
To find in the furry civic robe ease?
Rouse up, sirs! Give your brains a racking,
To find the remedy we’re lacking,
Or, sure as fate, we’ll send you packing!”
At this the Mayor and Corporation
Quaked with a mighty consternation.


An hour they sat in council,—
At length the Mayor broke silence:{111}
“For a guilder I’d my ermine gown sell;
I wish I were a mile hence!
It’s easy to bid one rack one’s brain,—
I’m sure my poor head aches again,
I’ve scratched it so, and all in vain.
Oh for a trap, a trap, a trap!”
Just as he said this, what should hap
At the chamber-door but a gentle tap?
“Bless us,” cried the Mayor, “what’s that?”
(With the Corporation as he sat,
Looking little though wondrous fat;
Nor brighter was his eye, nor moister
Than a too-long-opened oyster,
Save when at noon his paunch grew mutinous
For a plate of turtle green and glutinous)
“Only a scraping of shoes on the mat?
Anything like the sound of a rat
Makes my heart go pit-a-pat!”


“Come in!” the Mayor cried, looking bigger:
And in did come the strangest figure!
His queer long coat from heel to head
Was half of yellow and half of red,
And he himself was tall and thin,
With sharp blue eyes, each like a pin,
And light loose hair, yet swarthy skin,{112}
No tuft on cheek, nor beard on chin,
But lips where smiles went out and in;
There was no guessing his kith and kin:
And nobody could enough admire
The tall man and his quaint attire.
Quoth one: “It’s as my great-grandsire,
Starting up at the Trump of Doom’s tone,
Had walked this way from his painted tombstone!”


He advanced to the council-table:
And, “Please your honors,” said he, “I’m able,
By means of a secret charm to draw
All creatures living beneath the sun,
That creep or swim or fly or run,
After me so as you never saw!
And I chiefly use my charm
On creatures that do people harm,
The mole and toad and newt and viper;
And people call me the Pied Piper.”
(And here they noticed round his neck
A scarf of red and yellow stripe,
To match with his coat of the self-same check,
And at the scarf’s end hung a pipe;
And his fingers, they noticed, were ever straying
As if impatient to be playing
Upon this pipe as low it dangled{113}
Over his vesture so old-fangled.)
“Yet,” said he, “poor piper as I am,
In Tartary I freed the Cham,
Last June, from his huge swarms of gnats;
I eased in Asia the Nizam
Of a monstrous brood of vampire-bats;
And as for what your brain bewilders,—
If I can rid your town of rats,
Will you give me a thousand guilders?”
“One? fifty thousand!” was the exclamation
Of the astonished Mayor and Corporation.
[Image unavailable.]



Into the street the Piper stepped,
Smiling first a little smile,
As if he knew what magic slept
In his quiet pipe the while;
Then, like a musical adept,
To blow the pipe his lips he wrinkled,
And green and blue his sharp eyes twinkled,
Like a candle-flame where salt is sprinkled;
And ere three shrill notes the pipe uttered,
You heard as if an army muttered;
And the muttering grew to a grumbling;
And the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling;
And out of the houses the rats came tumbling.
Great rats, small rats, lean rats, brawny rats,
Brown rats, black rats, gray rats, tawny rats,
Grave old plodders, gay young friskers,
Fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins,
Cocking tails and pricking whiskers;
Families by tens and dozens,
Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives,—
Followed the Piper for their lives.
From street to street he piped advancing,
And step for step they followed dancing,
Until they came to the river Weser,
Wherein all plunged and perished!
—Save one who, stout as Julius Caesar,{115}
Swam across and lived to carry
(As he, the manuscript he cherished)
To Rat-land home his commentary,
Which was: “At the first shrill notes of the pipe,
I heard the sound as of scraping tripe,
And putting apples, wondrous ripe,
Into a cider-press’s gripe,—
And a moving away of pickle-tub-boards,
And a leaving ajar of conserve-cupboards,
And a drawing the corks of train-oil-flasks,
And a breaking the hoops of butter-casks;
And it seemed as if a voice
(Sweeter far than by harp or by psaltery
Is breathed) called out ‘Oh rats, rejoice!
The world is grown to one vast drysaltery!
So munch on, crunch on, take your nuncheon,
Breakfast, supper, dinner, luncheon!’
And just as a bulky sugar-puncheon,
Already staved, like a great sun shone
Glorious scarce an inch before me,
Just as methought it said, ‘Come, bore me!’—
I found the Weser rolling o’er me.”
[Image unavailable.]



You should have heard the Hamelin people
Ringing the bells till they rocked the steeple;
“Go,” cried the Mayor, “and get long poles!
Poke out the nests and block up the holes!
Consult with carpenters and builders,
And leave in our town not even a trace
Of the rats!”—when suddenly, up the face
Of the Piper perked in the market-place,
With a “First, if you please, my thousand guilders!”


A thousand guilders! the Mayor looked blue;
So did the Corporation too.
For council-dinners made rare havoc
With Claret, Moselle, Vin-de-Grave, Hock;
And half the money would replenish
Their cellar’s biggest butt with Rhenish.
To pay this sum to a wandering fellow
With a gypsy coat of red and yellow!
“Beside,” quoth the Mayor, with a knowing wink,
“Our business was done at the river’s brink;
We saw with our eyes the vermin sink,
And what’s dead can’t come to life, I think.
So, friend, we’re not the folks to shrink{117}
From the duty of giving you something to drink,
And a matter of money to put in your poke;
But as for the guilders, what we spoke
Of them, as you very well know, was in joke.
Beside, our losses have made us thrifty;
A thousand guilders! Come, take fifty!”


The Piper’s face fell, and he cried,
“No trifling! I can’t wait! beside,
I’ve promised to visit by dinner time
Bagdat, and accept the prime
Of the Head Cook’s pottage, all he’s rich in,
For having left, in the Caliph’s kitchen,
Of a nest of scorpions no survivor;
With him I proved no bargain-driver;
With you, don’t think I’ll bate a stiver!
And folks who put me in a passion
May find me pipe after another fashion.”
[Image unavailable.]



“How?” cried the Mayor, “d’ye think I brook
Being worse treated than a Cook?
Insulted by a lazy ribald
With idle pipe and vesture piebald?
You threaten us, fellow? Do your worst,
Blow your pipe there till you burst!”
[Image unavailable.]


Once more he stepped into the street;
And to his lips again
Laid his long pipe of smooth straight cane;
And ere he blew three notes (such sweet
Soft notes as jet musician’s cunning
Never gave the enraptured air)
There was a rustling that seemed like a bustling
Of merry crowds justling at pitching and hustling;{119}
Small feet were pattering, wooden shoes clattering,
Little hands clapping, and little tongues chattering;
And, like fowls in a farm-yard when barley is scattering,
Out came the children running:
All the little boys and girls,
With rosy cheeks and flaxen curls,
And sparkling eyes and teeth like pearls,
Tripping and skipping, ran merrily after
The wonderful music with shouting and laughter.


The Mayor was dumb, and the Council stood
As if they were changed into blocks of wood,
Unable to move a step, or cry
To the children merrily skipping by,—
And could only follow with the eye
That joyous crowd at the Piper’s back.
But how the Mayor was on the rack,
And the wretched Council’s bosoms beat,
As the Piper turned from the High Street
To where the Weser rolled its waters
Right in the way of their sons and daughters!
However, he turned from south to west,
And to Koppelberg Hill his steps addressed,{120}
And after him the children pressed;
Great was the joy in every breast.
“He never can cross that mighty top!
He’s forced to let the piping drop,
And we shall see our children stop!”
When, lo, as they reached the mountain-side,
A wondrous portal opened wide,
As if a cavern was suddenly hollowed;
And the Piper advanced and the children followed;
And when all were in, to the very last,
The door in the mountain-side shut fast.
Did I say, all? No! One was lame,
And could not dance the whole of the way;
And in after years, if you would blame
His sadness, he was used to say,—
“It’s dull in our town since my playmates left!
I can’t forget that I am bereft
Of all the pleasant sights they see,
Which the Piper also promised me;
For he led us, he said, to a joyous land,
Joining the town and just at hand,
Where waters gushed, and fruit-trees grew,
And flowers put forth a fairer hue,
And everything was strange and new;
The sparrows were brighter than peacocks here,
And their dogs outran our fallow deer,
And honey-bees had lost their stings,
And horses were born with eagles’ wings;{121}
And just as I became assured
My lame foot would be speedily cured,
The music stopped and I stood still,
And found myself outside the hill,
Left alone against my will,
To go now limping as before,
And never hear of that country more!”


Alas, alas for Hamelin!
There came into many a burgher’s pate
A text which says that heaven’s gate
Opes to the rich at as easy rate
As the needle’s eye takes a camel in!
The Mayor sent East, West, North and South,
To offer the Piper, by word of mouth,
Wherever it was men’s lot to find him,
Silver and gold to his heart’s content,
If he’d only return the way he went,
And bring the children behind him.
But when they saw ’twas a lost endeavor,
And piper and dancers were gone forever,
They made a decree that lawyers never
Should think their records dated duly
If, after the day of the month and year,
These words did not as well appear,
“And so long after what happened here{122}
On the Twenty-second of July,
Thirteen hundred and seventy-six:”
And the better in memory to fix
The place of the children’s last retreat,
They called it, the Pied Piper Street—
Where any one playing on pipe or tabor
Was sure for the future to lose his labor.
Nor suffered they hostelry or tavern
To shock with mirth a street so solemn;
But opposite the place of the cavern
They wrote the story on a column,
And on the great church-window painted
The same, to make the world acquainted
How their children were stolen away,
And there it stands to this very day.
And I must not omit to say
That in Transylvania there’s a tribe
Of alien people who ascribe
The outlandish ways and dress
On which their neighbors lay such stress,
To their fathers and mothers having risen
Out of some subterraneous prison
Into which they were trepanned
Long time ago in a mighty band
Out of Hamelin town in Brunswick land,
But how or why, they don’t understand.


So, Willy, let me and you be wipers
Of scores out with all men—especially pipers!
And, whether they pipe us free from rats or from mice,
If we’ve promised them aught, let us keep our promise!
Robert Browning
[Image unavailable.]



Time, you old gipsy man,
Will you not stay,
Put up your caravan
Just for one day?
All things I’ll give you
Will you be my guest,
Bells for your jennet
Of silver the best,
Goldsmiths shall beat you
A great golden ring,
Peacocks shall bow to you,
Little boys sing,
Oh, and sweet girls will
Festoon you with may.
Time, you old gipsy,
Why hasten away?
Last week in Babylon,
Last night in Rome,
Morning, and in the crush
Under Paul’s dome;
Under Paul’s dial
You tighten your rein—
Only a moment,
And off once again;
[Image unavailable.]



Off to some city
Now blind in the womb,
Off to another
Ere that’s in the tomb.
Time, you old gipsy man,
Will you not stay,
Put up your caravan
Just for one day?
Ralph Hodgson
[Image unavailable.]



Behold her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen! for the Vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.
No Nightingale did ever chaunt
More welcome notes to weary bands
Of travellers in some shady haunt,
Among Arabian sands:
A voice so thrilling ne’er was heard
In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.
Will no one tell me what she sings?—
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago:
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again?{129}
Whate’er the theme, the Maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work,
And o’er the sickle bending;—
I listened, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.
William Wordsworth
[Image unavailable.]



Often I think of the beautiful town
That is seated by the sea;
Often in thought go up and down
The pleasant streets of that dear old town,
And my youth comes back to me.
And a verse of a Lapland song
Is haunting my memory still:
“A boy’s will is the wind’s will,
And the thoughts of youth, are long, long thoughts.”
I can see the shadowy lines of its trees,
And catch, in sudden gleams,
The sheen of the far-surrounding seas,
And islands that were the Hesperides
Of all my boyish dreams.
And the burden of that old song,
It murmurs and whispers still:
“A boy’s will is the wind’s will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.”
I remember the black wharves and the slips,
And the sea-tides tossing free;
And Spanish sailors with bearded lips,
And the beauty and mystery of the ships,
And the magic of the sea.{131}
And the voice of that wayward song
Is singing and saying still:
“A boy’s will is the wind’s will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.”
I remember the bulwarks by the shore,
And the fort upon the hill;
The sunrise gun, with its hollow roar,
The drum-beat repeated o’er and o’er,
And the bugle wild and shrill.
And the music of that old song
Throbs in my memory still:
“A boy’s will is the wind’s will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.”
I remember the sea-fight far away,
How it thundered o’er the tide!
And the dead captains, as they lay
In their graves, o’erlooking the tranquil bay
Where they in battle died.
And the sound of that mournful song
Goes through me with a thrill:
“A boy’s will is the wind’s will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.”
I can see the breezy dome of groves,
The shadows of Deering’s Woods;
And the friendships old and the early loves{132}
Come back with a Sabbath sound, as of doves
In quiet neighborhoods.
And the verse of that sweet old song,
It flutters and murmurs still:
“A boy’s will is the wind’s will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.”
I remember the gleams and glooms that dart
Across the school-boy’s brain;
The song and the silence in the heart,
That in part are prophecies, and in part
Are longings wild and vain.
And the voice of that fitful song
Sings on, and is never still:
“A boy’s will is the wind’s will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.”...
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
[Image unavailable.]



Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lighting of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps;
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read his righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps;
His day is marching on.
I have read a fiery gospel, writ in burnished rows of steel:
“As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on.”
He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.{134}
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.
Julia Ward Howe
[Image unavailable.]



Pibroch of Donuil Dhu,
Pibroch of Donuil,
Wake thy wild voice anew,
Summon Clan Conuil.
Come away, come away,
Hark to the summons!
Come in your war-array,
Gentles and commons.
Come from deep glen, and
From mountain so rocky,
The war-pipe and pennon
Are at Inverlochy.
Come every hill-plaid, and
True heart that wears one,
Come every steel blade, and
Strong hand that bears one.
Leave untended the herd,
The flock without shelter;
Leave the corpse uninterr’d,
The bride at the altar;
Leave the deer, leave the steer,
Leave nets and barges:
Come with your fighting gear,
Broadswords and targes.{136}
Come as the winds come, when
Forests are rended;
Come as the waves come, when
Navies are stranded:
Faster come, faster come,
Faster and faster,
Chief, vassal, page and groom,
Tenant and master.
Fast they come, fast they come;
See how they gather!
Wide waves the eagle plume
Blended with heather.
Cast your plaids, draw your blades,
Forward each man set!
Pibroch of Donuil Dhu
Knell for the onset!
Sir Walter Scott
[Image unavailable.]



The Minstrel-boy to the war is gone,
In the ranks of death you’ll find him;
His father’s sword he has girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him.—
‘Land of song!’ said the warrior-bard,
‘Though all the world betrays thee,
One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee!’
The Minstrel fell!—but the foeman’s chain
Could not bring his proud soul under;
The harp he loved ne’er spoke again,
For he tore its chords asunder;
And said, ‘No chains shall sully thee,
Thou soul of love and bravery!
Thy songs were made for the brave and free,
They shall never sound in slavery!’
Thomas Moore
[Image unavailable.]



(Robert Bruce’s Address to His Army)

Scots, wha hae wi’ Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led;
Welcome to your gory bed,
Or to glorious victorie.
Now’s the day, and now’s the hour;
See the front o’ battle lower;
See approach proud Edward’s power—
Edward! chains and slaverie!
Wha will be a traitor knave?
Wha can fill a coward’s grave?
Wha sae base as be a slave?
Traitor! coward! turn and flee!
Wha for Scotland’s King and law
Freedom’s sword will strongly draw,
Free-man stand, or free-man fa’?
Caledonian! on wi’ me!
By oppression’s woes and pains!
By your sons in servile chains!
We will drain our dearest veins,
But they shall—they shall be free!{139}
Lay the proud usurpers low!
Tyrants fall in every foe!
Liberty’s in every blow!
Forward! let us do, or die!
Robert Burns
[Image unavailable.]



The mountain and the squirrel
Had a quarrel,
And the former called the latter “Little Prig;”
Bun replied,
“You are doubtless very big;
But all sorts of things and weather
Must be taken in together,
To make up a year
And a sphere.
And I think it no disgrace
To occupy my place.
If I’m not so large as you,
You are not so small as I,
And not half so spry.
I’ll not deny you make
A very pretty squirrel track;
Talents differ; all is well and wisely put;
If I cannot carry forests on my back,
Neither can you crack a nut.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
[Image unavailable.]



I had for my winter evening walk—
No one at all with whom to talk,
But I had the cottages in a row
Up to their shining eyes in snow.
And I thought I had the folk within:
I had the sound of a violin;
I had a glimpse through curtain laces
Of youthful forms and youthful faces.
I had such company outward bound.
I went till there were no cottages found.
I turned and repented, but coming back
I saw no window but that was black.
Over the snow my creaking feet
Disturbed the slumbering village street
Like profanation, by your leave,
At ten o’clock of a winter eve.
Robert Frost


When icicles hang by the wall,
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipt, and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
Tuwhit! tuwhoo! A merry note!
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
When all around the wind doth blow,
And coughing drowns the parson’s saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
And Marian’s nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring owl
Tuwhit! tuwhoo! A merry note!
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
William Shakespeare


First came the primrose,
On the bank high,
Like a maiden looking forth
From the window of a tower
When the battle rolls below,
So looked she,
And saw the storms go by.
Then came the wind-flower
In the valley left behind,
As a wounded maiden, pale
With purple streaks of woe,
When the battle has rolled by
Wanders to and fro
So tottered she,
Dishevelled in the wind.
Then came the daisies,
On the first of May
Like a bannered show’s advance
While the crowd runs by the way,
With ten thousand flowers about them they came trooping through the fields.
As a happy people come,
So came they,{144}
As a happy people come
When the war has rolled away,
With dance and tabor, pipe and drum,
And all make holiday.
Then came the cowslip,
Like a dancer in the fair,
She spread her little mat of green,
And on it danced she.
With a fillet bound about her brow,
A fillet round her happy brow,
A golden fillet round her brow,
And rubies in her hair.
Sydney Dobell
[Image unavailable.]



I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers
From the seas and the streams;
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid
In their noonday dreams.
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken
The sweet buds every one,
When rocked to rest on their mother’s breast
As she dances about the sun.
I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
And whiten the green plains under;
And then again I dissolve it in rain,
And laugh as I pass in thunder.
I sift the snow on the mountains below,
And their great pines groan aghast;
And all the night ’tis my pillow white,
While I sleep in the arms of the blast.
Sublime on the towers of my skiey bowers
Lightning my pilot sits;
In a cavern under is fettered the thunder,
It struggles and howls at fits.
Over earth and ocean, with gentle motion,
This pilot is guiding me,
Lured by the love of the Genii that move
In the depths of the purple sea;{146}
Over the rills, and the crags, and the hills,
Over the lakes and the plains,
Wherever he dream, under mountain or stream,
The Spirit he loves remains;
And I all the while bask in heaven’s blue smile,
Whilst he is dissolving in rains.
The sanguine Sunrise, with his meteor eyes,
And his burning plumes outspread,
Leaps on the back of my sailing rack,
When the morning star shines dead,
As on the jag of a mountain-crag,
Which an earthquake rocks and swings,
An eagle alit one moment may sit
In the light of its golden wings.
And, when Sunset may breathe, from the lit sea beneath,
Its ardors of rest and of love,
And the crimson pall of eve may fall
From the depth of heaven above,
With wings folded I rest on mine airy nest,
As still as a brooding dove.
That orbèd maiden with white fire laden,
Whom mortals call the Moon,
Glides glimmering o’er my fleece-like floor,
By the midnight breezes strewn;
[Image unavailable.]



And wherever the beat of her unseen feet,
Which only the angels hear,
May have broken the woof of my tent’s thin roof,
The Stars peep behind her and peer.
And I laugh to see them whirl and flee
Like a swarm of golden bees,
When I widen the rent in my wind-built tent,
Till the calm rivers, lakes, and seas,
Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high,
Are each paved with the moon and these.
I bind the Sun’s throne with a burning zone,
And the Moon’s with a girdle of pearl;
The volcanoes are dim, and the Stars reel and swim,
When the Whirlwinds my banner unfurl.
From cape to cape, with a bridge-like shape,
Over a torrent sea,
Sunbeam-proof, I hang like a roof;
The mountains its columns be.
The triumphal arch through which I march,
With hurricane, fire and snow,
When the Powers of the air are chained to my chair,
Is the million-colored bow;
The Sphere-fire above its soft colors wove,
While the moist Earth was laughing below.
I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky:{150}
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain, when with never a stain
The pavilion of heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams
Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
I arise and unbuild it again.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
[Image unavailable.]



The splendor falls on castle walls
And snowy summits old in story:
The long light shakes across the lakes,
And the wild cataract leaps in glory.
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.
O hark, O hear! how thin and clear,
And thinner, clearer, farther going!
O sweet and far from cliff and scar
The horns of Elfland faintly blowing!
Blow, let us hear the purple glens replying:
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.
O love, they die in yon rich sky,
They faint on hill or field or river:
Our echoes roll from soul to soul,
And grow for ever and for ever.
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dying, dying.
Alfred Tennyson


Come, dear children, let us away;
Down and away below!
Now my brothers call from the bay,
Now the great winds shoreward blow,
Now the salt tides seaward flow;
Now the wild white horses play,
Champ and chafe and toss in the spray.
Children dear, let us away!
This way, this way!
Call her once before you go.—
Call once yet!
In a voice that she will know:
“Margaret! Margaret!”
Children’s voices should be dear.
(Call once more) to a mother’s ear;
Children’s voices, wild with pain,—
Surely she will come again!
Call her once and come away;
This way, this way!
“Mother dear, we cannot stay!
The wild white horses foam and fret.”
Margaret! Margaret!
Come, dear children, come away down;
Call no more!
One last look at the white-walled town,{153}
And the little gray church on the windy shore;
Then come down!
She will not come, though you call all day;
Come away, come away!
Children dear, was it yesterday
We heard the sweet bells over the bay?
In the caverns where we lay,
Through the surf and through the swell,
The far-off sound of a silver bell?
Sand-strewn caverns, cool and deep,
Where the winds are all asleep;
Where the spent lights quiver and gleam,
Where the salt weed sways in the stream,
Where the sea-beasts, ranged all round,
Feed in the ooze of their pasture-ground;
Where the sea-snakes coil and twine,
Dry their mail and bask in the brine;
Where great whales come sailing by,
Sail and sail, with unshut eye,
Round the world for ever and aye?
When did music come this way?
Children dear, was it yesterday?
Children dear, was it yesterday
(Call yet once) that she went away?
Once she sate with you and me,
On a red gold throne in the heart of the sea,{154}
And the youngest sate on her knee,
She combed its bright hair, and she tended it well,
When down swung the sound of the far-off bell.
She sighed, she looked up through the clear green sea;
She said: “I must go, for my kinsfolk pray
In the little gray church on the shore to-day.
’Twill be Easter-time in the world,—ah me!
And I lose my poor soul, Merman, here with thee.”
I said: “Go up, dear heart, through the waves:
Say thy prayer, and come back to the kind sea-caves!”
She smiled, she went up through the surf in the bay.
Children dear, was it yesterday?
[Image unavailable.]
Children dear, were we long alone?
“The sea grows stormy, the little ones moan;
Long prayers,” I said, “in the world they say;
Come!” I said, and we rose through the surf in the bay.
We went up the beach, by the sandy down
Where the sea-stocks bloom, to the white-walled town,
Through the narrow paved streets, where all was still,
To the little gray church on the windy hill.
From the church came a murmur of folk at their prayers,
But we stood without in the cold blowing airs.{155}
We climbed on the graves, on the stones worn with rains,
And we gazed up the aisle through the small leaded panes.
She sate by the pillar; we saw her clear:
“Margaret, hist! come quick, we are here!
Dear heart,” I said, “we are long alone;
The sea grows stormy, the little ones moan.”
But, ah, she gave me never a look,
For her eyes were sealed to the holy book!
Loud prays the priest; shut stands the door.
Come away, children, call no more!
Come away, come down, call no more!
Down, down, down!
Down to the depths of the sea!
She sits at her wheel in the humming town,
Singing most joyfully.
Hark what she sings: “O joy, O joy,
For the humming street, and the child with its toy!
For the priest and the bell, and the holy well;
For the wheel where I spun,
And the blessed light of the sun!”
And so she sings her fill,
Singing most joyfully,
Till the spindle drops from her hand,
And the whizzing wheel stands still.
She steals to the window, and looks at the sand,
And over the sand at the sea;
And her eyes are set in a stare,{156}
And anon there breaks a sigh,
And anon there drops a tear,
From a sorrow-clouded eye,
And a heart sorrow-laden,
A long, long sigh;
For the cold strange eyes of a little Mermaiden,
And the gleam of her golden hair.
Come away, away, children;
Come, children, come down!
The hoarse wind blows coldly;
Lights shine in the town.
She will start from her slumber
When gusts shake the door;
She will hear the winds howling,
Will hear the waves roar.
We shall see, while above us
The waves roar and whirl,
A ceiling of amber,
A pavement of pearl
Singing: “Here came a mortal,
But faithless was she!
And alone dwell for ever
The kings of the sea.”
But, children, at midnight,
When soft the winds blow,
When clear falls the moonlight,
When spring-tides are low;{157}
When sweet airs come seaward
From heaths starred with broom,
And high rocks throw mildly
On the blanched sands a gloom;
Up the still, glistening beaches,
Up the creeks we will hie;
Over banks of bright seaweed
The ebb-tide leaves dry.
We will gaze, from the sand-hills,
At the white, sleeping town;
At the church on the hillside—
And then come back down.
Singing: “There dwells a loved one,
But cruel is she!
She left lonely for ever
The kings of the sea.”
Matthew Arnold
[Image unavailable.]



When the voices of children are heard on the green
And laughing is heard on the hill,
My heart is at rest within my breast,
And everything else is still.
“Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down,
And the dews of night arise;
Come, come, leave off play, and let us away
Till the morning appears in the skies.”
“No, no, let us play, for it is yet day,
And we cannot go to sleep;
Besides in the sky the little birds fly,
And the hills are all covered with sheep.”
“Well, well, go and play till the light fades away,
And then go home to bed.”
The little ones leaped and shouted and laughed;
And all the hills echoèd.
William Blake


(On Turning Up Her Nest with the Plough, November, 1785)

Wee, sleekit, cow’rin’, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa’ sae hasty,
Wi’ bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee,
Wi’ murd’ring pattle!
I’m truly sorry man’s dominion
Has broken Nature’s social union,
An’ justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
An’ fellow-mortal!
I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave
’S a sma’ request;
I’ll get a blessin’ wi’ the lave,
And never miss’t!
Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
Its silly wa’s the win’s are strewin’!{160}
An’ naething, now, to big a new ane,
O’ foggage green!
An’ bleak December’s wind ensuin’,
Baith snell an’ keen!
Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,
An’ weary winter comin’ fast,
An’ cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,—
Till, crash! the cruel coulter passed
Out through thy cell.
That wee bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble
Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!
Now thou’s turned out, for a’ thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter’s sleety dribble,
An cranreuch cauld!
But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men,
Gang aft a-gley,
An’ lea’e us naught but grief an’ pain,
For promised joy!
Still thou art blest, compared wi’ me!
The present only toucheth thee:{161}
But, och! I backward cast my e’e
On prospects drear!
An’ forward, though I canna see,
I guess an’ fear!
Robert Burns
[Image unavailable.]



[Image unavailable.]
Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren’t go a-hunting
For fear of little men;{163}
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl’s feather!
Down along the rocky shore
Some make their home,
They live on crispy pancakes
Of yellow tide-foam;
Some in the reeds
Of the black mountain lake,
With frogs for their watch-dogs,
All night awake.
High on the hill-top
The old King sits;
He is now so old and gray
He’s nigh lost his wits.
With a bridge of white mist
Columbkill he crosses,
On his stately journeys
From Slieveleague to Rosses;
Or going up with music
On cold starry nights
To sup with the Queen
Of the gay Northern Lights.
They stole little Bridget
For seven years long;{164}
When she came down again
Her friends were all gone.
They took her lightly back,
Between the night and morrow,
They thought that she was fast asleep,
But she was dead with sorrow.
They have kept her ever since
Deep within the lake,
On a bed of flag-leaves,
Watching till she wake.
By the craggy hill-side,
Through the mosses bare,
They have planted thorn-trees
For pleasure here and there.
If any man so daring
As dig them up in spite,
He shall find their sharpest thorns
In his bed at night.
Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren’t go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
[Image unavailable.]



Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl’s feather.
William Allingham
[Image unavailable.]



O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.
O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms
So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel’s granary is full,
And the harvest’s done.
I see a lily on thy brow
With anguish moist and fever-dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too.
I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful—a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.
I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan.
I set her on my pacing steed
And nothing else saw all day long,
[Image unavailable.]



For sideways would she bend, and sing
A faery’s song.
She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild and manna-dew,
And sure in language strange she said,
“I love thee true.”
She took me to her elfin grot,
And there she wept and sighed full sore;
And there I shut her wild, wild eyes
With kisses four.
And there she lullèd me asleep,
And there I dreamed—Ah! woe betide!
The latest dream I ever dreamed
On the cold hill’s side.
I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all:
They cried—“La belle dame sans merci
Hath thee in thrall!”
I saw their starved lips in the gloam
With horrid warning gapèd wide,
And I awoke and found me here
On the cold hill’s side.{172}
And this is why I sojourn here
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.
John Keats
[Image unavailable.]



[Image unavailable.]



Spring, the sweet Spring, is the year’s pleasant king;
Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring,
Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing,
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!
The palm and may make country houses gay,
Lambs frisk and play, the shepherds pipe all day,
And we hear aye, birds tune this merry lay,
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!
The fields breathe sweet, the daisies kiss our feet,
Young lovers meet, old wives a-sunning sit,
In every street, these tunes our ears do greet,
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!
Spring! the sweet Spring!
Thomas Nashe
[Image unavailable.]



I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye{177}
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
William Wordsworth
[Image unavailable.]



“O well is me, my gay gos-hawk,
That you can speak and flee;
For you can carry a love-letter
To my true love frae me.”
“O how can I carry a letter to her,
Or how should I her know?
I bear a tongue ne’er wi’ her spak’,
And eyes that ne’er her saw.”
“The white o’ my love’s skin is white
As down o’ dove or maw;
The red o’ my love’s cheek is red
As blood that’s spilt on snaw.
“When ye come to the castle,
Light on the tree of ash,
And sit ye there, and sing our loves
As she comes frae the mass.
“Four and twenty fair ladies
Will to the mass repair;
And weel may ye my lady ken,
The fairest lady there.”
When the gos-hawk flew to that castle,
He lighted on the ash;{179}
And there he sat and sang their loves
As she came frae the mass.
“Stay where ye be, my maidens a’,
And sip red wine anon,
Till I go to my west window
And hear a birdie’s moan.”
She’s gane unto her west window,
The bolt she fainly drew;
And unto that lady’s white, white neck
The bird a letter threw.
[Image unavailable.]
“Ye’re bidden to send your love a send,
For he has sent you twa;
And tell him where he may see you soon,
Or he cannot live ava.”
“I send him the ring from my finger,
The garland off my hair,{180}
I send him the heart that’s in my breast;
What would my love have mair?
And at the fourth kirk in fair Scotland,
Ye’ll bid him wait for me there.”
She hied her to her father dear
As fast as gang could she:
“I’m sick at the heart, my father dear;
An asking grant you me!”
“Ask ye na for that Scottish lord,
For him ye’ll never see!”
“An asking, an asking, dear father!” she says,
“An asking grant you me;
That if I die in fair England,
In Scotland ye’ll bury me.
“At the first kirk o’ fair Scotland,
Ye cause the bells be rung;
At the second kirk o’ fair Scotland,
Ye cause the mass be sung;
“At the third kirk o’ fair Scotland,
Ye deal gold for my sake;
At the fourth kirk o’ fair Scotland,
O there ye’ll bury me at!{181}
“This is all my asking, father,
I pray ye grant it me!”
“Your asking is but small,” he said;
“Weel granted it shall be.
But why do ye talk o’ suchlike things?
For ye arena going to dee.”
The lady’s gane to her chamber,
And a moanfu’ woman was she,
As gin she had ta’en a sudden brash,
And were about to dee.
The lady’s gane to her chamber
As fast as she could fare;
And she has drunk a sleepy draught,
She mixed wi’ mickle care.
She’s fallen into a heavy trance,
And pale and cold was she;
She seemed to be as surely dead
As any corpse could be.
Out and spak’ an auld witch-wife,
At the fireside sat she:
“Gin she has killed herself for love,
I wot it weel may be:
“But drap the het lead on her cheek,
And drap it on her chin.{182}
And drap it on her bosom white,
And she’ll maybe speak again.
’Tis much that a young lady will do
To her true love to win.”
They drapped the het lead on her cheek,
They drapped it on her chin,
They drapped it on her bosom white,
But she spake none again.
[Image unavailable.]
Her brothers they went to a room,
To make to her a bier;
The boards were a’ o’ cedar wood,
The edges o’ silver clear.
Her sisters they went to a room,
To make to her a sark;
The cloth was a’ o’ the satin fine,
And the stitching silken-wark.{183}
“Now well is me, my gay gos-hawk,
That ye can speak and flee!
Come show me any love-tokens
That ye have brought to me.”
“She sends ye her ring frae her finger white,
The garland frae her hair;
She sends ye the heart within her breast;
And what would ye have mair?
And at the fourth kirk o’ fair Scotland,
She bids ye wait for her there.”
“Come hither, all my merry young men!
And drink the good red wine;
For we must on towards fair England
To free my love frae pine.”
The funeral came into fair Scotland,
And they gart the bells be rung;
And when it came to the second kirk,
They gart the mass be sung.
And when it came to the third kirk,
They dealt gold for her sake;
And when it came to the fourth kirk,
Her love was waiting thereat.
At the fourth kirk in fair Scotland
Stood spearmen in a row;{184}
And up and started her ain true love,
The chieftain over them a’.
“Set down, set down the bier,” he says,
“Till I look upon the dead;
The last time that I saw her face,
Its color was warm and red.”
He stripped the sheet from off her face
A little below the chin;
The lady then she opened her eyes,
And lookèd full on him.
“O give me a shive o’ your bread, love,
O give me a cup o’ your wine!
Long have I fasted for your sake,
And now I fain would dine.
“Gae hame, gae hame, my seven brothers,
Gae hame and blow the horn!
And ye may say that ye sought my skaith,
And that I hae gi’en ye the scorn.
“I cam’ na here to bonny Scotland
To lie down in the clay;
But I cam’ here to bonny Scotland,
To wear the silks sae gay!{185}
“I cam’ na here to bonny Scotland,
Amang the dead to rest;
But I cam’ here to bonny Scotland
To the man that I lo’e best!”
Author Unknown
[Image unavailable.]



Come, follow, follow me,
You, fairy elves that be:
Which circle on the greene,
Come, follow Mab your queene.
Hand in hand let’s dance around,
For this place is fairye ground.
When mortals are at rest,
And snoring in their nest:
Unheard, and unespy’d,
Through key-holes we do glide;
Over tables, stools, and shelves,
We trip it with our fairy elves.
And, if the house be foul
With platter, dish, or bowl,
Up stairs we nimbly creep,
And find the sluts asleep:
There we pinch their armes and thighes;
None escapes, nor none espies.
But if the house be swept,
And from uncleanness kept,
We praise the household maid,
And duely she is paid:{187}
For we use before we goe
To drop a tester in her shoe.
Upon a mushroomes head
Our table-cloth we spread;
A grain of rye, or wheat,
Is manchet, which we eat;
Pearly drops of dew we drink
In acorn cups fill’d to the brink.
The brains of nightingales,
With unctuous fat of snailes,
Between two cockles stew’d,
Is meat that’s easily chew’d;
Tailes of wormes, and marrow of mice,
Do make a dish, that’s wonderous nice.
The grashopper, gnat, and fly,
Serve for our minstrelsie;
Grace said, we dance a while,
And so the time beguile:
And if the moon doth hide her head,
The gloe-worm lights us home to bed.
On tops of dewie grasse
So nimbly do we passe,{188}
The young and tender stalk
Ne’er bends when we do walk:
Yet in the morning may be seen
Where we the night before have been.
Author Unknown
[Image unavailable.]



(The Song of Conn the Fool)

I will go up the mountain after the Moon:
She is caught in a dead fir-tree.
Like a great pale apple of silver and pearl,
Like a great pale apple is she.
I will leap and will catch her with quick cold hands
And carry her home in my sack.
I will set her down safe on the oaken bench
That stands at the chimney-back.
And then I will sit by the fire all night,
And sit by the fire all day.
I will gnaw at the Moon to my heart’s delight
Till I gnaw her slowly away.
And while I grow mad with the Moon’s cold taste
The World will beat at my door,
Crying “Come out!” and crying “Make haste,
And give us the Moon once more!”
But I shall not answer them ever at all.
I shall laugh, as I count and hide
The great black beautiful Seeds of the Moon
In a flower-pot deep and wide.{190}
Then I shall lie down and go fast asleep,
Drunken with flame and aswoon.
But the seeds will sprout and the seeds will leap,
The subtle swift seeds of the Moon.
And some day, all of the World that cries
And beats at my door shall see
A thousand moon-leaves spring from my thatch
On a wonderful white Moon-tree!
Then each shall have Moons to his heart’s desire:
Apples of silver and pearl;
Apples of orange and copper fire
Setting his five wits aswirl!
And then they will thank me, who mock me now,
“Wanting the Moon is he,”—
Oh, I’m off to the mountain after the Moon,
Ere she falls from the dead fir-tree!
Fannie Stearns Gifford
[Image unavailable.]




“Are you awake, Gemelli,
This frosty night?”
“We’ll be awake till reveillé,
Which is Sunrise,” say the Gemelli,
“It’s no good trying to go to sleep:
If there’s wine to be got we’ll drink it deep,
But sleep is gone for to-night
But sleep is gone for to-night.”
“Are you cold, too, poor Pleiads,
This frosty night?”
“Yes, and so are the Hyads:
See us cuddle and hug,” say the Pleiads,
“All six in a ring: it keeps us warm:
We huddle together like birds in a storm:
It’s bitter weather to-night,
It’s bitter weather to-night.”
“What do you hunt, Orion,
This starry night?”
“The Ram, the Bull and the Lion,
And the Great Bear,” says Orion,
“With my starry quiver and beautiful belt
I am trying to find a good thick pelt
To warm my shoulders to-night,
To warm my shoulders to-night.{194}
“Did you hear that, Great She-bear,
This frosty night?”
“Yes, he’s talking of stripping me bare
Of my own big fur,” says the She-bear,
“I’m afraid of the man and his terrible arrow:
The thought of it chills my bones to the marrow,
And the frost so cruel to-night!
And the frost so cruel to-night!”
“How is your trade, Aquarius,
This frosty night?”
“Complaints is many and various
And my feet are cold,” says Aquarius,
“There’s Venus objects to Dolphin-scales,
And Mars to Crab-spawn found in my pails,
And the pump has frozen to-night,
And the pump has frozen to-night.”
Robert Graves
[Image unavailable.]




Do diddle di do,
Poor Jim Jay
Got stuck fast
In Yesterday.
Squinting he was,
On cross-legs bent,
Never heeding
The wind was spent.
Round veered the weathercock,
The sun drew in—
And stuck was Jim
Like a rusty pin....
We pulled and we pulled
From seven till twelve,
Jim, too frightened
To help himself.
But all in vain.
The clock struck one,
And there was Jim
A little bit gone.
At half-past five
You scarce could see
A glimpse of his flapping
And when came noon,
And we climbed sky-high,{198}
Jim was a speck
Slip-slipping by.
Come tomorrow,
The neighbours say,
He’ll be past crying for;
Poor Jim Jay.
Walter de la Mare
[Image unavailable.]



Last night at black midnight I woke with a cry,
The windows were shaking, there was thunder on high,
The floor was a-tremble, the door was a-jar,
White fires, crimson fires, shone from afar.
I rushed to the door yard. The city was gone.
My home was a hut without orchard or lawn.
It was mud-smear and logs near a whispering stream,
Nothing else built by man could I see in my dream....
Then ...
Ghost-kings came headlong, row upon row,
Gods of the Indians, torches aglow.
They mounted the bear and the elk and the deer,
And eagles gigantic, aged and sere,
They rode long-horn cattle, they cried “A-la-la.”
They lifted the knife, the bow, and the spear,
They lifted ghost-torches from dead fires below,
The midnight made grand with the cry “A-la-la.”
The midnight made grand with a red-god charge,
A red-god show,
A red-god show,
“A-la-la, a-la-la, a-la-la, a-la-la.”
With bodies like bronze, and terrible eyes
Came the rank and the file, with catamount cries,
Gibbering, yipping, with hollow-skull clacks,{200}
Riding white bronchos with skeleton backs,
Scalp-hunters, beaded and spangled and bad,
Naked and lustful and foaming and mad,
Flashing primeval demoniac scorn,
Blood-thirst and pomp amid darkness reborn,
Power and glory that sleep in the grass
While the winds and the snows and the great rains pass.
They crossed the gray river, thousands abreast,
They rode in infinite lines to the west,
Tide upon tide of strange fury and foam,
Spirits and wraiths, the blue was their home,
The sky was their goal where the star-flags are furled,
And on past those far golden splendors they whirled.
They burned to dim meteors, lost in the deep.
And I turned in dazed wonder, thinking of sleep.
And the wind crept by
Alone, unkempt, unsatisfied,
The wind cried and cried—
Muttered of massacres long past,
Buffaloes in shambles vast...
An owl said: “Hark, what is a-wing?”
I heard a cricket carolling,
I heard a cricket carolling,
I heard a cricket carolling.
Snuffing the lightning that crashed from on high{201}
Rose royal old buffaloes, row upon row.
The lords of the prairie came galloping by.
And I cried in my heart “A-la-la, a-la-la,
A red-god show,
A red-god show,
A-la-la, a-la-la, a-la-la, a-la-la.”
Buffaloes, buffaloes, thousands abreast,
A scourge and amazement, they swept to the west.
With black bobbing noses, with red rolling tongues,
Coughing forth steam from their leather-wrapped lungs,
Cows with their calves, bulls big and vain,
Goring the laggards, shaking the mane,
Stamping flint feet, flashing moon eyes,
Pompous and owlish, shaggy and wise.
Like sea-cliffs and caves resounded their ranks
With shoulders like waves, and undulant flanks.
Tide upon tide of strange fury and foam,
Spirits and wraiths, the blue was their home,
The sky was their goal where the star-flags are furled,
And on past those far golden splendors they whirled.
They burned to dim meteors, lost in the deep,
And I turned in dazed wonder, thinking of sleep.
I heard a cricket’s cymbals play,
A scarecrow lightly flapped his rags,
And a pan that hung by his shoulder rang,
Rattled and thumped in a listless way,{202}
And now the wind in the chimney sang,
The wind in the chimney,
The wind in the chimney,
The wind in the chimney,
Seemed to say:—
“Dream, boy, dream,
If you anywise can.
To dream is the work
Of beast or man.
Life is the west-going dream-storm’s breath,
Life is a dream, the sigh of the skies,
The breath of the stars, that nod on their pillows
With their golden hair mussed over their eyes.”
The locust played on his musical wing,
Sang to his mate of love’s delight.
I heard the whippoorwill’s soft fret.
I heard a cricket carolling,
I heard a cricket carolling,
I heard a cricket say: “Good-night, good-night,
Good-night, good-night, ... good-night.”
Vachel Lindsay


In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.
Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty
Jesus Christ.
Enough for Him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.{204}
Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air;
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.
What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a Wise Man
I would do my part,—
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.
Christina Rossetti


The lights from the parlour and kitchen shone out
Through the blinds and the windows and bars;
And high overhead and all moving about,
There were thousands of millions of stars.
There ne’er were such thousands of leaves on a tree
Nor of people in church or the Park,
As the crowds of the stars that looked down upon me,
And that glittered and winked in the dark.
The Dog, and the Plough, and the Hunter, and all,
And the star of the sailor, and Mars,
These shone in the sky, and the pail by the wall
Would be half full of water and stars.
They saw me at last, and they chased me with cries,
And they soon had me packed into bed;
But the glory kept shining and bright in my eyes,
And the stars going round in my head.
Robert Louis Stevenson
[Image unavailable.]



Out of the hills of Habersham,
Down the valleys of Hall,
I hurry amain to reach the plain,
Run the rapid and leap the fall,
Split at the rock and together again,
Accept my bed, or narrow or wide,
And flee from folly on every side
With a lover’s pain to attain the plain
Far from the hills of Habersham,
Far from the valleys of Hall.
All down the hills of Habersham,
All through the valleys of Hall,
The rushes cried Abide, abide,
The wilful waterweeds held me thrall,
The laving laurel turned my tide,
The ferns and the fondling grass said Stay,
The dewberry dipped for to work delay,
And the little reeds sighed Abide, abide,
Here in the hills of Habersham,
Here in the valleys of Hall.
High o’er the hills of Habersham,
Veiling the valleys of Hall,
The hickory told me manifold{207}
Fair tales of shade, the poplar tall
Wrought me her shadowy self to hold,
The chestnut, the oak, the walnut, the pine,
Overleaning, with flickering meaning and sign,
Said, Pass not, so cold, these manifold
Deep shades of the hills of Habersham,
These glades in the valleys of Hall.
And oft in the hills of Habersham,
And oft in the valleys of Hall,
The white quartz shone, and the smooth brook-stone
Did bar me of passage with friendly brawl,
And many a luminous jewel lone
—Crystals clear or a-cloud with mist,
Ruby, garnet and amethyst—
Made lures with the lights of streaming stone
In the clefts of the hills of Habersham,
In the beds of the valleys of Hall.
But oh, not the hills of Habersham,
And oh, not the valleys of Hall
Avail: I am fain for to water the plain.
Downward the voices of Duty call—
Downward, to toil and be mixed with the main.
The dry fields burn, and the mills are to turn,
And a myriad flowers mortally yearn,{208}
And the lordly main from beyond the plain
Calls o’er the hills of Habersham,
Calls through the valleys of Hall.
Sidney Lanier
[Image unavailable.]



[Image unavailable.]



I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a gray mist on the sea’s face, and a gray dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gipsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.
John Masefield


(In Memory of Abraham Lincoln)

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red!
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here, Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck
You’ve fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,{213}
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult, O shores! and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
Walt Whitman
[Image unavailable.]



It sifts from leaden sieves,
It powders all the wood,
It fills with alabaster wool
The wrinkles of the road.
It makes an even face
Of mountain and of plain,—
Unbroken forehead from the east
Unto the east again.
It reaches to the fence,
It wraps it, rail by rail,
Till it is lost in fleeces;
It flings a crystal veil
On stump and stack and stem,—
The summer’s empty room,
Acres of seams where harvests were,
Recordless, but for them.
It ruffles wrists of posts,
As ankles of a queen,—
Then stills its artisans like ghosts,
Denying they have been.
Emily Dickinson


My mother’s hands are cool and fair,
They can do anything.
Delicate mercies hide them there
Like flowers in the spring.
When I was small and could not sleep,
She used to come to me,
And with my cheek upon her hand
How sure my rest would be.
For everything she ever touched
Of beautiful or fine,
Their memories living in her hands
Would warm that sleep of mine.
Her hands remember how they played
One time in meadow streams,—
And all the flickering song and shade
Of water took my dreams.
Swift through her haunted fingers pass
Memories of garden things;—
I dipped my face in flowers and grass
And sounds of hidden wings.
One time she touched the cloud that kissed
Brown pastures bleak and far;{216}
I leaned my cheek into a mist
And thought I was a star.
All this was very long ago
And I am grown; but yet
The hand that lured my slumber so
I never can forget.
For still when drowsiness comes on
It seems so soft and cool,
Shaped happily beneath my cheek,
Hollow and beautiful.
Anna Hempstead Branch
[Image unavailable.]



Into the sunshine,
Full of the light,
Leaping and flashing
From morn till night!
Into the moonlight,
Whiter than snow,
Waving so flower-like
When the winds blow!
Into the starlight,
Rushing in spray,
Happy at midnight,
Happy by day!
Ever in motion,
Blithesome and cheery.
Still climbing heavenward,
Never aweary;—
Glad of all weathers,
Still seeming best,
Upward or downward,
Motion thy rest;{218}
Full of a nature
Nothing can tame,
Changed every moment,
Ever the same;—
Ceaseless aspiring,
Ceaseless content,
Darkness or sunshine
Thy element;—
Glorious fountain!
Let my heart be
Fresh, changeful, constant,
Upward, like thee!
James Russell Lowell
[Image unavailable.]




Say what you like,
All things love me!
I pick no flowers—
That wins the Bee.
The Summer’s Moths
Think my hand one—
To touch their wings—
With Wind and Sun.
The garden Mouse
Comes near to play;
Indeed, he turns
His eyes away.
The Wren knows well
I rob no nest:
When I look in,
She still will rest.
The hedge stops Cows,
Or they would come
After my voice
Right to my home.{222}
The Horse can tell,
Straight from my lip,
My hand could not
Hold any whip.
Say what you like,
All things love me!
Horse, Cow, and Mouse,
Bird, Moth and Bee.
William H. Davies
[Image unavailable.]



Tree-toad is a small gray person
With a silver voice.
Tree-toad is a leaf-gray shadow
That sings.
Tree-toad is never seen
Unless a star squeezes through the leaves,
Or a moth looks sharply at a gray branch.
How would it be, I wonder,
To sing patiently all night,
Never thinking that people are asleep?
Raindrops and mist, starriness over the trees,
The moon, the dew, the other little singers,
Cricket ... toad ... leaf rustling....
They would listen:
It would be music like weather
That gets into all the corners
Of out-of-doors.
Every night I see little shadows
I never saw before.
Every night I hear little voices
I never heard before.
When night comes trailing her starry cloak,
I start out for slumberland,
With tree-toads calling along the roadside.{224}
Good-night, I say to one, Good-by, I say to another,
I hope to find you on the way
We have traveled before!
I hope to hear you singing on the Road of Dreams!
Hilda Conkling
(Six years old)
[Image unavailable.]



He came all so still
Where His mother was,
As dew in April
That falleth on the grass.
He came all so still
Where His mother lay,
As dew in April
That falleth on the spray.
He came all so still
To His mother’s bower,
As dew in April
That falleth on the flower.
Mother and maiden
Was never none but she!
Well might such a lady
God’s mother be.
Author Unknown

[Image unavailable.]


As Joseph was a-waukin’,
He heard an angel sing,
“This night shall be the birthnight
Of Christ our heavenly King.
“His birth-bed shall be neither
In housen nor in hall,
Nor in the place of paradise,
But in the oxen’s stall.
“He neither shall be rockèd
In silver nor in gold,{227}
But in the wooden manger
That lieth in the mould.
“He neither shall be washen
With white wine nor with red,
But with the fair spring water
That on you shall be shed.
“He neither shall be clothèd
In purple nor in pall,
But in the fair, white linen
That usen babies all.”
As Joseph was a-waukin’,
Thus did the angel sing,
And Mary’s son at midnight
Was born to be our King.
Then be you glad, good people,
At this time of the year;
And light you up your candles,
For His star it shineth clear.
Author Unknown


An ancient story I’ll tell you anon
Of a notable prince that was called King John;
And he rulèd England with main and with might,
For he did great wrong, and maintained little right.
And I’ll tell you a story, a story so merry,
Concerning the Abbot of Canterbury;
How for his house-keeping and high renown,
They rode post for him to fair London town.
An hundred men the king did hear say,
The abbot kept in his house every day;
And fifty gold chains without any doubt,
In velvet coats waited the abbot about.
“How now, father abbot, I hear it of thee,
Thou keepest a far better house than me;
And for thy house-keeping and high renown,
I fear thou work’st treason against my own crown.”
“My liege,” quo’ the abbot, “I would it were known
I never spend nothing, but what is my own;
And I trust your grace will do me no deere,
For spending of my own true-gotten gear.”
“Yes, yes, father abbot, thy fault it is high,
And now for the same thou needest must die;
For except thou canst answer me questions three,
Thy head shall be smitten from thy bodie.{229}
“And first,” quo’ the king, “when I’m in this stead,
With my crown of gold so fair on my head,
Among all my liege-men so noble of birth,
Thou must tell me to one penny what I am worth.
“Secondly, tell me, without any doubt,
How soon I may ride the whole world about;
And at the third question, thou must not shrink,
But tell me here truly what I do think.”
“O these are hard questions for my shallow wit,
Nor I cannot answer your grace as yet:
But if you will give me but three weeks’ space,
I’ll do my endeavor to answer your grace.”
“Now three weeks’ space to thee will I give,
And that is the longest time thou hast to live;
For if thou dost not answer my questions three,
Thy lands and thy livings are forfeit to me.”
[Image unavailable.]


Away rode the abbot all sad at that word,
And he rode to Cambridge, and Oxenford;
But never a doctor there was so wise,
That could with his learning an answer devise.
Then home rode the abbot of comfort so cold,
And he met his shepherd a-going to fold:
“How now, my lord abbot, you are welcome home;
What news do you bring us from good King John?”
“Sad news, sad news, shepherd, I must give,
That I have but three days more to live;
For if I do not answer him questions three,
My head will be smitten from my bodie.
“The first is to tell him there in that stead,
With his crown of gold so fair on his head,
Among all his liege-men so noble of birth,
To within one penny of what he is worth.
“The second, to tell him without any doubt,
How soon he may ride this whole world about;
And at the third question I must not shrink,
But tell him there truly what he does think.”
“Now cheer up, sire abbot, did you never hear yet
That a fool he may learn a wise man wit?
Lend me horse, and serving-men, and your apparel,
And I’ll ride to London to answer your quarrel.{231}
“Nay, frown not, if it hath been told unto me,
I am like your lordship, as ever may be;
And if you will but lend me your gown,
There is none shall know us at fair London town.”
“Now horses and serving-men thou shalt have,
With sumptuous array most gallant and brave,
With crozier and mitre, and rochet, and cope,
Fit to appear ’fore our Father the Pope.”
“Now welcome, sire abbot,” the king he did say,
Tis well thou’rt come back to keep thy day:
For and if thou canst answer my questions three,
Thy life and thy living both savèd shall be.
“And first, when thou seest me here in this stead,
With my crown of gold so fair on my head,
Among all my liege-men so noble of birth,
Tell me to one penny what I am worth.”
“For thirty pence our Saviour was sold
Among the false Jews, as I have been told,
And twenty-nine is the worth of thee,
For I think thou art one penny worser than he.”
[Image unavailable.]


The king he laughed, and swore by St. Bittel,
“I did not think I had been worth so little!
—Now secondly tell me, without any doubt,
How soon I may ride this whole world about.”
“You must rise with the sun, and ride with the same
Until the next morning he riseth again;
And then your grace need not make any doubt
But in twenty-four hours you’ll ride it about.”
The king he laughed, and swore by St. Jone,
“I did not think it could be done so soon!
—Now from the third question thou must not shrink,
But tell me here truly what I do think.”
“Yea, that shall I do, and make your grace merry;
You think I’m the Abbot of Canterbury;
But I’m his poor shepherd, as plain you may see,
That am come to beg pardon for him and for me.”
The king he laughed and swore by the Mass,
“I’ll make thee lord abbot this day in this place!”
“Now nay, my liege, be not in such speed,
For alack I can neither write nor read.{233}
“Four nobles a week, then, I will give thee,
For this merry jest thou hast shown unto me;
And tell the old abbot when thou comest home,
Thou hast brought him a pardon from good King John.”
Author Unknown
[Image unavailable.]



“O Mary, go and call the cattle home,
And call the cattle home,
And call the cattle home
Across the sands of Dee!”
The western wind was wild and dank with foam,
And all alone went she.
The western tide crept up along the sand,
And o’er and o’er the sand,
And round and round the sand,
As far as eye could see.
The rolling mist came down and hid the land:
And never home came she.
“Oh! is it weed, or fish, or floating hair—
A tress of golden hair,
A drownèd maiden’s hair
Above the nets at sea?
Was never salmon yet that shone so fair
Among the stakes on Dee.”
They rowed her in across the rolling foam,
The cruel crawling foam,
The cruel hungry foam,{235}
To her grave beside the sea:
But still the boatmen hear her call the cattle home
Across the sands of Dee!
Charles Kingsley
[Image unavailable.]



(Old English Song)

Sister, awake! close not your eyes!
The day her light discloses,
And the bright morning doth arise
Out of her bed of roses.
See the clear sun, the world’s bright eye,
In at our window peeping:
Lo, how he blusheth to espy
Us idle wenches sleeping!
Therefore awake! make haste, I say,
And let us, without staying,
All in our gowns of green so gay
Into the Park a-maying!
Author Unknown
[Image unavailable.]



“Speak! speak! thou fearful guest!
Who, with thy hollow breast
Still in rude armor dressed,
Comest to daunt me!
Wrapped not in Eastern balms,
But with thy fleshless palms
Stretched, as if asking alms,
Why dost thou haunt me?”
Then, from those cavernous eyes
Pale flashes seemed to rise,
As when the Northern skies
Gleam in December;
And, like the water’s flow
Under December’s snow,
Came a dull voice of woe
From the heart’s chamber.
“I was a Viking old!
My deeds, though manifold,
No Skald in song has told,
No Saga taught thee!
Take heed, that in thy verse
Thou dost the tale rehearse,
Else dread a dead man’s curse
For this I sought thee.{238}
“Far in the Northern Land,
By the wild Baltic’s strand,
I with my childish hand,
Tamed the gerfalcon;
And, with my skates fast-bound,
Skimmed the half-frozen Sound,
That the poor whimpering hound
Trembled to walk on.
“Oft to his frozen lair
Tracked I the grisly bear,
While from my path the hare
Fled like a shadow;
Oft through the forest dark
Followed the were-wolf’s bark,
Until the soaring lark
Sang from the meadow.
“But when I older grew,
Joining a corsair’s crew,
O’er the dark sea I flew
With the marauders.
Wild was the life we led;
Many the souls that sped,
Many the hearts that bled,
By our stern orders.
“Many a wassail-bout
Wore the long Winter out;{239}
Often our midnight shout
Set the cocks crowing,
As we the Berserk’s tale
Measured in cups of ale,
Draining the oaken pail,
Filled to o’erflowing.
“Once as I told in glee
Tales of the stormy sea,
Soft eyes did gaze on me,
Burning yet tender;
And as the white stars shine
On the dark Norway pine,
On that dark heart of mine
Fell their soft splendor.
“I wooed the blue-eyed maid,
Yielding, yet half afraid,
And in the forest’s shade
Our vows were plighted.
Under its loosened vest
Fluttered her little breast,
Like birds within their nest
By the hawk frighted.
“Bright in her father’s hall
Shields gleamed upon the wall,
Loud sang the minstrels all,
Chanting his glory;{240}
When of old Hildebrand
I asked his daughter’s hand,
Mute did the minstrels stand
To hear my story.
“While the brown ale he quaffed,
Loud then the champion laughed,
And as the wind-gusts waft
The sea-foam brightly,
So the loud laugh of scorn,
Out of those lips unshorn,
From the deep drinking-horn
Blew the foam lightly.
“She was a Prince’s child,
I but a Viking wild,
And though she blushed and smiled,
I was discarded!
Should not the dove so white
Follow the sea-mew’s flight,
Why did they leave that night
Her nest unguarded?
“Scarce had I put to sea,
Bearing the maid with me,
Fairest of all was she
Among the Norsemen!{241}
When on the white sea-strand,
Waving his armèd hand,
Saw we old Hildebrand,
With twenty horsemen.
“Then launched they to the blast,
Bent like a reed each mast,
Yet we were gaining fast,
When the wind failed us;
And with a sudden flaw
Came round the gusty Skaw,
So that our foe we saw
Laugh as he hailed us.
“And as to catch the gale
Round veered the flapping sail,
‘Death!’ was the helmsman’s hail,
‘Death without quarter!’
Mid-ships with iron keel
Struck we her ribs of steel;
Down her black hulk did reel
Through the black water!
“As with his wings aslant,
Sails the fierce cormorant,
Seeking some rocky haunt,
With his prey laden,{242}
So toward the open main,
Beating to sea again,
Through the wild hurricane,
Bore I the maiden.
“Three weeks we westward bore,
And when the storm was o’er,
Cloud-like we saw the shore
Stretching to leeward;
There for my lady’s bower
Built I the lofty tower,
Which, to this very hour,
Stands looking seaward.
“There lived we many years;
Time dried the maiden’s tears;
She had forgot her fears,
She was a mother;
Death closed her mild blue eyes,
Under that tower she lies;
Ne’er shall the sun arise
On such another!
“Still grew my bosom then,
Still as a stagnant fen!
Hateful to me were men,
The sunlight hateful!{243}
In the vast forest here,
Clad in my warlike gear,
Fell I upon my spear,
Oh, death was grateful!
“Thus, seamed with many scars,
Bursting these prison bars,
Up to its native stars
My soul ascended!
There from the flowing bowl
Deep drinks the warrior’s soul,
Skoal! to the Northland! skoal!
Thus the tale ended.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
[Image unavailable.]



There’s a bower of roses by Bendemeer’s stream,
And the nightingale sings round it all the day long;
In the time of my childhood ’twas like a sweet dream,
To sit in the roses and hear the bird’s song.
That bower and its music I never forget,
But oft when alone, in the bloom of the year,
I think—is the nightingale singing there yet?
Are the roses still bright by the calm Bendemeer?
No, the roses soon wither’d that hung o’er the wave,
But some blossoms were gather’d while freshly they shone,
And a dew was distill’d from their flowers, that gave
All the fragrance of summer, when summer was gone.
Thus memory draws from delight, ere it dies,
An essence that breathes of it many a year;
Thus bright to my soul, as ’twas then to my eyes,
Is that bower on the banks of the calm Bendemeer!
Thomas Moore
[Image unavailable.]



Teach me, Father, how to go
Softly as the grasses grow;
Hush my soul to meet the shock
Of the wild world as a rock;
But my spirit, propt with power,
Make as simple as a flower.
Let the dry heart fill its cup,
Like a poppy looking up;
Let life lightly wear her crown,
Like a poppy looking down.
Teach me, Father, how to be
Kind and patient as a tree.
Joyfully the crickets croon
Under shady oak at noon;
Beetle, on his mission bent,
Tarries in that cooling tent.
Let me, also, cheer a spot,
Hidden field or garden grot—
Place where passing souls can rest
On the way and be their best.
Edwin Markham


O, young Lochinvar is come out of the West!
Through all the wide Border his steed was the best;
And save his good broadsword, he weapons had none;
He rode all unarm’d, and he rode all alone.
So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war,
There never was knight like the young Lochinvar.
He stay’d not for brake and he stopp’d not for stone;
He swam the Eske river where ford there was none;
But ere he alighted at Netherby gate,
The bride had consented, the gallant came late;
For a laggard in love, and a dastard in war,
Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar.
So boldly he enter’d the Netherby Hall,
Among bridesmen, and kinsmen, and brothers, and all;—
Then spoke the bride’s father, his hand on his sword
(For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word),
‘O, come ye in peace here, or come ye in war,
Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar?’
‘I long woo’d your daughter, my suit you denied;—
Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide;—
And now I am come with this lost Love of mine
To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine.{247}
There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far,
That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar!’
The bride kiss’d the goblet: the knight took it up,
He quaff’d off the wine and he threw down the cup.
She look’d down to blush, and she look’d up to sigh,
With a smile on her lips, and a tear in her eye.
He took her soft hand, ere her mother could bar,—
‘Now tread we a measure!’ said young Lochinvar.
So stately his form and so lovely her face,
That never a hall such a galliard did grace;
While her mother did fret, and her father did fume,
And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and plume;
And the bride-maidens whispered, ‘Twere better by far,
To have match’d our fair cousin with young Lochinvar!’
One touch to her hand, and one word in her ear,
When they reach’d the hall door, and the charger stood near;
So light to the croupe the fair lady he swung,
So light to the saddle before her he sprung!
‘She is won! we are gone, over bank, bush, and scaur;
They’ll have fleet steeds that follow,’ quoth young Lochinvar.
There was mounting ’mong Graemes of the Netherby clan,
Forsters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode and they ran,{248}
There was racing and chasing, on Cannobie lea,
But the lost bride of Netherby ne’er did they see.
So daring in love, and so dauntless in war,
Have ye e’er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar?
Sir Walter Scott
[Image unavailable.]



Three jolly Farmers
Once bet a pound
Each dance the others would
Off the ground.
Out of their coats
They slipped right soon,
And neat and nicesome
Put each his shoon.
And away they go,
Not too fast,
And not too slow;
Out from the elm-tree’s
Noonday shadow,
Into the sun
And across the meadow.
Past the schoolroom,
With knees well bent
Fingers a-flicking,
They dancing went.
Up sides and over,
And round and round,
They crossed click-clacking,
The Parish bound,
By Tupman’s meadow
They did their mile,{250}
On a three-barred stile.
Then straight through Whipham,
Downhill to Week,
Footing it lightsome,
But not too quick,
Up fields to Watchet,
And on through Wye,
Till seven fine churches
They’d seen skip by—
Seven fine churches,
And five old mills,
Farms in the valley,
And sheep on the hills;
Old Man’s Acre
And Dead Man’s Pool
All left behind,
As they danced through Wool.
And Wool gone by,
Like tops that seem
To spin in sleep
They danced in dream:
Like an old clock
Their heels did go.
A league and a league
And a league they went,
[Image unavailable.]



And not one weary,
And not one spent.
And lo, and behold!
Past Willow-cum-Leigh
Stretched with its waters
The great green sea.
Says Farmer Bates,
“I puffs and I blows,
What’s under the water,
Why, no man knows!”
Says Farmer Giles,
“My wind comes weak,
And a good man drownded
Is far to seek.”
But Farmer Turvey,
On twirling toes
Up’s with his gaiters,
And in he goes:
Down where the mermaids
Pluck and play
On their twangling harps
In a sea-green day;
Down where the mermaids,
Finned and fair,
Sleek with their combs
Their yellow hair....
Bates and Giles—
On the shingle sat,{254}
Gazing at Turvey’s
Floating hat.
But never a ripple
Nor bubble told
Where he was supping
Off plates of gold.
Never an echo
Rilled through the sea
Of the feasting and dancing
And minstrelsy.
They called—called—called:
Came no reply:
Nought but the ripples’
Sandy sigh.
Then glum and silent
They sat instead,
Vacantly brooding
On home and bed,
Till both together
Stood up and said:—
“Us knows not, dreams not,
Where you be,
Turvey, unless
In the deep blue sea;
But excusing silver—
And it comes most willing—
Here’s us two paying
Our forty shilling;{255}
For it’s sartin sure, Turvey,
Safe and sound,
You danced us square, Turvey,
Off the ground!”
Walter de la Mare
[Image unavailable.]



Auld Daddy Darkness creeps frae his hole,
Black as a blackamoor, blin’ as a mole:
Stir the fire till it lowes, let the bairnie sit,
Auld Daddy Darkness is no wantit yit.
See him in the corners hidin’ frae the licht,
See him at the window gloomin’ at the nicht;
Turn up the gas licht, close the shutters a’,
An’ Auld Daddy Darkness will flee far awa’.
Awa’ to hide the birdie within its cosy nest,
Awa’ to lap the wee flooers on their mither’s breast,
Awa’ to loosen Gaffer Toil frae his daily ca’,
For Auld Daddy Darkness is kindly to a’.
He comes when we’re weary to wean’s frae oor waes,
He comes when the bairnies are getting aff their claes;
To cover them sae cosy, an’ bring bonnie dreams,
So Auld Daddy Darkness is better than he seems.
Steek yer een, my wee tot, ye’ll see Daddy then;
He’s in below the bed claes, to cuddle ye he’s fain;
Noo nestle to his bosie, sleep and dream yer fill,
Till Wee Davie Daylight comes keekin’ owre the hill.
James Ferguson
[Image unavailable.]




Allingham, William (1824-1889)

The Fairies, 162
The Lepracaun, 40

Arnold, Matthew (1822-1888)

The Forsaken Merman, 152

Blake, William (1757-1827)

Nurse’s Song, 158
The Tiger, 98

Branch, Anna Hempstead (18-  )

A Song for My Mother, 215

Browning, Robert (1812-1889)

The Pied Piper of Hamelin, 109
Song (“The Year’s at the Spring”), 36

Bunyan, John (1628-1688)

The Pilgrim, 76

Burns, Robert (1759-1796)

Bannockburn, 138
To a Mouse, 159

Byron, Lord (1788-1824)

The Destruction of Sennacherib, 92

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor (1772-1834)

Kubla Khan, 19

Colum, Padraic (1881-  )

The Terrible Robber Men, 100

Conkling, Hilda (1910-  )

Tree-Toad, 223

Cowper, William (1731-1800)

Epitaph on a Hare, 73

Cunningham, Allan (1784-1842)

A Sea Song, 72

Davies, William H. (1870-  )

Nature’s Friend, 221

de la Mare, Walter (1873-  )

Berries, 24
Jim Jay, 197
Off the Ground, 249

Dickinson, Emily (1830-1886)

The Snow, 214

Dobell, Sydney (1824-1874)

A Chanted Calendar, 143

Emerson, Ralph Waldo (1803-1882)

Fable, 140

Ferguson, James (?)

Auld Daddy Darkness, 256

Frost, Robert (1875-  )

Good Hours, 141

Gifford, Fannie Stearns (1884-  )

Moon Folly, 189

Graves, Robert (1895-  )

Star-Talk, 193

Herrick, Robert (1591-1674)

To Violets, 38

Hodgson, Ralph (about 1879-  )

“Time, you Old Gipsy Man,” 124

Howe, Julia Ward (1819-1910)

Battle Hymn of the Republic, 133

Hunt, Leigh (1784-1859)

Jaffár, 87

Jonson, Ben (1574-1637)

Hymn to Diana, 59

Keats, John (1795-1821)

La Belle Dame Sans Merci, 168
Meg Merrilies, 22

Kingsley, Charles (1819-1875)

The Sands of Dee, 234

Lanier, Sidney (1842-1881)

Song of the Chattahoochee, 206

Lindsay, Vachel (1879-  )

The Ghosts of the Buffaloes, 199

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth (1807-1882)

My Lost Youth, 130
The Skeleton in Armor, 237

Lowell, James Russell (1819-1891)

The Fountain, 217

Macaulay, Thomas Babington (1800-1859)

Ivry, 94

Markham, Edwin (1852-  )

A Prayer, 245

Marlowe, Christopher (1562-1593)

The Shepherd to His Love, 62

Masefield, John (1874-  )

Sea Fever, 211

Milton, John (1608-1674)

On May Morning, 39

Moore, Thomas (1780-1852)

By Bendemeer’s Stream, 244
The Minstrel-Boy, 137

Nashe, Thomas (1567-1601?)

Spring, 175

Noyes, Alfred (1880-  )

A Song of Sherwood, 89

Poe, Edgar Allan (1809-1849)

Israfel, 82

Rossetti, Christina (1830-1894)

A Christmas Carol, 203

Scott, Sir Walter (1771-1832)

Gathering Song of Donald Dhu, 135
Hunting Song, 44
Young Lochinvar, 246

Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)

“Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind,” 108
Lullaby for Titania, 78
“Under the Greenwood Tree” 37
Winter, 142

Shelley, Percy Bysshe (1792-1822)

Hymn of Pan, 29
The Cloud, 145

Stevenson, Robert Louis (1850-1894)

Escape at Bedtime, 205
Romance, 28

Swinburne, Algernon Charles (1837-1909)

“When the Hounds of Spring,” 32

Tennyson, Alfred (1809-1892)

Bugle Song, 151
The Lady of Shalott, 46


An Ancient Christmas Carol, 225
An Old Christmas Carol, 226
An Old Song of Fairies, 186
King John and the Abbot of Canterbury, 228
Robin Hood and the Butcher, 64
Sir Patrick Spens, 101
Sister, Awake! 236
The Gay Gos-Hawk, 178

Whitman, Walt (1819-1892)

O Captain! My Captain! 212

Wordsworth, William (1770-1850)

“I Wandered Lonely,” 176
The Solitary Reaper, 128
Written in March, 31

Yeats, William Butler (1865-  )

The Song of Wandering Aengus, 60


A wet sheet and a flowing sea, 72
An ancient story I’ll tell you anon, 228
“Are you awake, Gemelli, 193
As Joseph was a-waukin’, 226
Auld Daddy Darkness creeps frae his hole, 256

Behold her, single in the field, 128
Blow, blow, thou winter wind, 108

Come, all you brave gallants, and listen a while, 64
Come, dear children, let us away, 152
Come, follow, follow me, 186
Come live with me and be my love, 62

Do diddle di do, 197

First came the primrose, 143
From the forests and highlands, 29

Hamelin Town’s in Brunswick, 109
He came all so still, 225
Here lies, whom hound did ne’er pursue, 73

I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers, 145
I had for my winter evening walk, 141
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, 211
I wandered lonely as a cloud, 176
I went out to the hazel wood, 60
I will go up the mountain after the Moon, 189
I will make you brooches and toys for your delight, 28
In Heaven a spirit doth dwell, 82
In the bleak mid-winter, 203
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan, 19
Into the sunshine, 217
It sifts from leaden sieves, 214

Jaffár, the Barmecide, the good Vizier, 87

Last night at black midnight I woke with a cry, 199
Little Cowboy, what have you heard, 40

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord, 133
My mother’s hands are cool and fair, 215

Now glory to the Lord of Hosts, from whom all glories are!, 94
Now the bright morning star, day’s harbinger, 39

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, 212
O! I wish the sun was bright in the sky, 100
“O Mary, go and call the cattle home, 234
“O well is me, my gay gos-hawk, 178
O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms, 168
O, young Lochinvar is come out of the West!, 246
Often I think of the beautiful town, 130
Old Meg she was a Gipsy, 22
On either side the river lie, 46
Out of the hills of Habersham, 206

Pibroch of Donuil Dhu, 135

Queen and Huntress, chaste and fair, 59

Say what you like, 221
Scots, wha hae wi’ Wallace bled, 138
Sherwood in the twilight, is Robin Hood awake?, 89
Sister, awake! close not your eyes!, 236
“Speak! speak! thou fearful guest!, 237
Spring, the sweet Spring, is the year’s pleasant king, 175

Teach me, Father, how to go, 245
The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold, 92
The Cock is crowing, 31
The king sits in Dunfermline toun, 101
The lights from the parlour and kitchen shone out, 205
The Minstrel-boy to the war is gone, 137
The mountain and the squirrel, 140
The splendor falls on castle walls, 151
The year’s at the spring, 36
There was an old woman, 24
There’s a bower of roses by Bendemeer’s stream, 244
Three jolly Farmers, 249
Tiger! Tiger! burning bright, 98
Time, you old gipsy man, 124
Tree-toad is a small gray person, 223

Under the greenwood tree, 37
Up the airy mountain, 162

Waken, lords and ladies gay!, 44
Wee, sleekit, cow’rin’, tim’rous beastie, 159
Welcome, maids of honor, 38
When icicles hang by the wall, 142
When the hounds of spring are on winter’s traces, 32
When the voices of children are heard on the green, 158
Who would true valor see, 76

You spotted snakes with double tongue, 78