Page images
PDF
EPUB

Upon his royal throne he sat,

In a monarch's thoughtful mood;
Attendants on his regal state

His servile courtiers stood,
With foolish flatteries, false and vain,
To win his smile, his favour gain.

They told him e'en the mighty deep

His kingly sway confessed :
That he could bid its billows leap

Or still its stormy breast !
He smiled contemptuously, and cried,
“Be then my boasted empire tried !”
Down to the ocean's sounding shore

The proud procession came,
To see its billows' wild uproar

King Canute's power proclaim;
Or, at his high and dread command,
In gentle murmurs kiss the strand.
Not so, thought he, their noble king,

As his course he seaward sped, And each base slave like a guilty thing,

Hung down his conscious head :He knew the ocean's Lord on high ! They, that he scorned their senseless lie. His throne was placed by ocean's side,

He lifted his sceptre there ; Bidding, with tones of kingly pride,

The waves their strife forbear :And, while he spoke his royal will, All but the winds and waves were still.

Louder the stormy blast swept by,

In scorn of his idle word;
The briny deep its waves tossed high,

By his mandate undeterred,
As threatening, in their angry play,
To sweep both king and court away.
The monarch with upbraiding look,

Turned to the courtly ring ;

But none, the kindling eye could brook

Even of his earthly king ;
For in that wrathful glance they see
A mightier monarch wronged than he !
Canute! thy regal race is run;

Thy name had passed away,
But for the meed this tale hath won,

Which never shall decay :
Its meek, unperishing renown,
Outlasts thy sceptre and thy crown.
The Persian, in his mighty pride,

Forged fetters for the main ;
And when its floods his power defied,

Inflicted stripes as vain ;-
But it was worthier far of thee
To know thyself, than rule the sea !

Bernard Barton.

1. Of what countries was Canute king? 9. What sort of look did the king give

2. How great did his flatterers say his his nobles ? power was?

10. What might they see in his wrath3. Did the king believe what they said? ful glance ? 4. In how many ways did they say the 11. What mightier monarch is meant ? sea would own his power?

12. When did Canute flourish ? 5. To what verb is they, in verse 4th the 13. What keeps his name alive still ? nominative ?

14. Relate the historical fact referred to 6. When seated on the shore, what com- in the

last verse ? mand did the monarch give the sea ? 15. What king is mentioned in the New 7. What effect did it produce ?

Testament who believed similar flattery? 8. Who are meant by the word all, in 16. What happened to him for this act? verse 5th ?

V.-STUDY OF THE WORKS OF NATURE. "To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty; and in the same field it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again. The heavens change every moment, and reflect their glory or gloom on the place beneath. The state of the crop on the surrounding farms alters the expression of the earth from week to week. The succession of native plants in the pastures and roadsides, which makes the silent clock by which time tells the summer hours, which make even the divisions of the day sensible to a keen observer. The tribes of birds and insects, like the plants, punctual to their time, follow each other, and the year has room for all." —R. W. Emerson.

O NATURE ! all-sufficient! over all!
Enrich me with the knowledge of thy works!
Snatch me to heaven; thy rolling wonders there,
World beyond world, in infinite extent,
Profusely scattered o'er the blue immense,
Show me; their motions, periods, and their laws,

Give me to scan; through the disclosing deep,
Light my blind way; the mineral strata there;
Thrust, blooming, thence the vegetable world ;
O'er that the rising system more complex,
Of animals; and higher still, the mind,
The varied scene of quick-compounded thought,
And where the mixing passions endless shift ;
These ever open to my ravished eye ;
A search, the flight of time can ne'er exhaust !
But if to that unequal; if the blood,
In sluggish streams about my heart, forbid
That best ambition ; under closing shades,
Inglorious, lay me by the lowly brook,
And whisper to my dreams. From thee begin,
Dwell all on thee, with thee conclude my song;

And let me never, never stray from thee !—Thomson. 1. What mean you by the rolling wonders, 8. What is the grandest work of creation of heaven?

here below? 2. What would he like to learn about 9. Shall the material universe perish?

10. Will the souls of men ever cease to 3. Who will name to me the three king- exist ? doms of nature ?

11. Does the poet mean by Nature here, 4. Name them in their order, beginning a power distiuct from the Almighty ? with the lowest.

12. Does he rot simply mean God as 5. Where are the strata or beds of min- seen in the material universe, and espe. er als found ?

cially as seen in the mind of man? 6. Whence is the vegetable world thrust, 13. What perfections of God may we as the poet beautifully expresses it? learn from the material world?

7. What system of works stands above 14. Ah, but where do we learn that Be the vegetable kingdom?

is a God of mercy and justice combined ?

these worlds ?

VI.-NAPOLEON AND THE BRITISH SAILOR. “The history of Napoleon, shows a spirit of self-exaggeration, unrivalled in enlightened ages, and which reminds us of an Oriental king to whom incense had been burnt from his birth as to a deity. This was the chief source of his crimes. He wanted the sentiment of a common nature with his fellow-beings. He had no sympathies with his racc. That feeling of brotherhood, which is developed in truly, great souls with peculiar energy, and througb which they give up themselves willing victims, joyful sacrifices, to the interests of mankind, was wholly unknown to him. His heart, amidst its wild beatings, never had a throb of disinterested love. The ties which bind man to man he broke asunder. The proper happiness of a man, which consists in the victory of moral energy and social affection over the selfish passions, he cast away for the lonely joy of a despot. With powers, which might have made him a glorious representative and minister of the beneficent Divinitv, and with natural sen. sibilities which might have been exalted into sublime virtues, he chose to separate himself from his kind. to forego their love, esteem, and gratitude, that he might be. come their gaze, their tear, their wonder; and for this selfish solitary good, parted with peace and imperishable renown.”-Channing.

I LOVE contemplating-apart
From all his homicidal glory
The traits that soften to our heart

Napoleon's story.

'Twas when his banners at Boulogne, Armed in our island

every freeman, His navy

chanced to capture one Poor British seaman.

They suffered him, I know not how,
Unprisoned on the shore to roam ;
And aye was bent his youthful brow

On England's home.
His eye, methinks, pursued the flight
Of birds to Britain, half way over,
With envythey could reach the white

Dear cliffs of Dover.

A stormy midnight watch, he thought, Than this sojourn would have been dearer, If but the storm his vessel brought

To England nearer.
At last when care had banished sleep,
He saw one morning, dreaming, doating,
An empty hogshead from the deep

Come shoreward floating.
He hid it in a cave, and wrought
The live long day, laborious, lurking,
Until he launched a tiny boat,

By mighty working.
Oh dear me! 'twas a thing beyond
Description !—such a wretched wherry,
Perhaps, ne'er ventured on a pond,

Or crossed a ferry.
For ploughing in the salt sea field,
It would have made the boldest shudder;
Untarred, uncompassed, and unkeeled, -

No sail-no rudder. From neighbouring woods he interlaced His sorry skiff with wattled willows; And thus equipped he would have passed

The foaming billows.

[ocr errors]

A French guard caught him on the beach,
His little Argo sorely jeering,
Till tidings of him chanced to reach

Napoleon's hearing.
With folded arms Napoleon stood,
Serene alike in peace and danger,
And, in his wonted attitude,

Addressed the stranger.
“Rash youth, that wouldst yon channel pass
On twigs and staves so rudely fashioned,
Thy heart with some sweet English lass

Must be impassioned." “ I have no sweetheart," said the lad; “ But absent years from one another, Great was the longing that I had

To see my mother.
“And so thou shalt," Napoleon said,
“ You've both my favour justly won,
A noble mother must have bred

So brave a son."
He gave the tar a piece of gold,
And, with a flag of truce, commanded
He should be shipped to England old,

And safely landed.
Our sailor oft could scantly shift
To find a dinner, plain and hearty,
But never changed the coin and gift
Of Buonaparte.

Campbell 1. In what light did the poet love to 12. To whom was the story told ?, contemplate Napoleon ?

13. What was Napoleon's usual atti2. What mean you by his homicidal glory? tude?

3. What freedom was our captive tar 14. What did the Emperor think must allowed ?

have caused the sailor to make such a 4. How far to Boulogue from Dover? rash attempt ?

5. Where was he constantly turning his 15. Give the exact words of the sailor's ege?

reply? 6. Why think you, would he watch the 16. Repeat Buonaparte's reply to the tar, birds flying to England ?

17. Tell me how the sailor's mother had 7. What do you understand by midnight won Napoleon's favour. watch?

18. How was the sailor's filial affection 8. What saw he floating towards him rewarded ? one morning ?

19. How greatly did the sailor value 9. What did he make from the large the coin ?

20. For what did God bless this sailor 10. With what did he fasten his sorry and cause Napoleon to set him at liberty? skiff together!

21. Who will repeat to me the fifth com11. State what his wretched wherry was mandment? eficient in ?

cask?

« PreviousContinue »