Page images
PDF
EPUB

Right sharp and quick the bells rang out, all night, from

Bristol town ; And, ere the day, three hundred horse had met on Clifton

Down. The sentinel on Whitehall gate looked forth into the night, And saw o'erhanging Richmond Hill, that streak of blood

red light. The bugle's note, and cannon's roar, the deathlike silence

broke, And with one start, and with one cry the royal city woke ; At once, on all her stately gates, arose the answering fires At once the wild alarum clashed from all her reeling spires; From all the batteries of the Tower pealed loud the voice of

fear, And all the thousand masts of Thames sent back a louder

cheer ; And from the farthest wards was heard the rush of hurrying

feet, And the broad streams of flags and pikes dashed down each

rousing street; And broader still became the blaze, and louder still the din, At fast from every village round the horse came spurring in ; And eastward straight, for wild Blackheath, the warlike er

rand went; And roused in many an ancient hall, the gallant squires of

Kent; Southward, for Surrey's pleasant hills, flew those bright

coursers forth; High on black Hampstead's swarthy moor, they started for

the north; And on, and on, without a pause untired they bounded still; All night from tower to tower they sprang, all night froin

hill to hill; Till the proud peak unfurled the flag o'er Derwent's rocky

dales; Till, like volcanoes, flared to heaven the stormy hills of Wales; Till twelve fair counties saw the blaze on Malvern's lonely

height; Till streamed in crimson, on the wind, the Wrekin's crest

of light; Till, broad and fierce the star came forth, on Ely's stately fane, And town and hamlet rose in arms, o'er all the boundless

plain :

Till Belvoir's lordly towers the sign to Lincoln sent,
And Lincoln sped the message on, o'er the wide vale of Trent;
Till Skiddaw saw the fire that burnt on Gaunt's embattled

pile, And the red glare on Skiddaw roused the burghers of Carlisle.

Macaulay. 1. Give the number of ships of war, men, 10. What was immediately done in Ply. and pieces of cannon, employed by Philip mouth! for the invasion of England.

11. What does unbonneted apply to ? 2. Of what number of ships did the 12. Who is called “her grace"? English fleet consist ?

13. What country is meant by " the lion 3. To what number was it soon in- of the sea," and what by the "gay lilies" ? creased by the zeal of the people ?

14. What have you to tell me about 4. Describe the Queen as she appeared “Picard field” ? in the camp at Tilbury, and give the noble 15. What about Agincourt? words with which she addressed the army. 16. Explain the Latin words “semper

5. With what success did the English eadem." squadron attack the Armada ?

17. If I put the large map of England 6. What completed its destruction ? before you, will any one point to Eddy

7. Give the beautiful inscription on the stone and tell me something about it? medal.

18. Now who will point to each of the 8. Should we not trace all our successes places mentioned ? to God's hand ?

19. For what is Stonehenge celebrated? 9. Who spied the Armada and gave the 20. Why comes Lancaster castle to be alarm ?

called Gaunt's embattled pile ?

XXVII.-HYMN BEFORE SUNRISE IN THE VALE OF

CHAMOUNI. TAE valley of Chamouni on N. W. of Mont Blanc, is the most celebrated in the Alps for its picturesque sites and the wild grandeur of its glaciers. The glaciers which descend into the valley from M. Blanc are without doubt the grandest in the Alps, and the grandest among these is the Mer de Glace or sea of ice. Cheever in his « Wanderings of a Pilgrim in the Shadow of M. Blanc," says," This Mer de Glace is an easy and excellent residence for the scientific study of the glaciers, a subject of very great interest, formerly filled with mysteries, which the bold and persevering investi. gations and theories of some modern naturalists have quite cleared up. The strange movements of the glaciers, their apparent wilful rejection of extraneous bodies and substances to the surface and the margin, their increase and decrease, long remained invested with something of the supernatural; they seemed to have a soul and a life of their own. They look motionless and silent, yet they are always moving and sounding on, and they have great voices that give prophetic warning of the weather to the shepherds of the Alps. Scientific men have set up huts upon the sea, and landmarks on the mountains opposite, to test the progress of the icy masses, and in this way it was found that a cabin constructed by Professor Hogi on the glacier of the Aar, had travelled, between the years 1827 and 1840, a distance of 4600 teet. It is supposed that the Mer de Glace moves down between four and five huudred feet annually.

It is impossible to form a grander image of the rigidity and barrenness, the cold. ness and death of winter, than when you stand among the billows of one of these frozen seas; and yet it is here that Nature locks up in her careful bosom the treasures of the Alpine valleys, the sources of rich summer verdure and vegetable life. They are hoarded up in winter, to be poured forth beneath the sun, and with the sun in summer. Some of the largest rivers in Europe take their rise from the glaciers, and give to the Swiss valleys their most abundant supply of water, in the season when ordinary streams are dried up. This is a most interesting provision in the economy of nature, for if the glaciers did not exist, those verdant valleys into which the summer sun pours with such fervour would be parched with drought. So the mountains are parents of perpetual streams, and the glaciers are reservoirs of plenty." -Cheever's Wanderings of a Pilgrim.

1" Gaunt's embattled pile."-The castle of Lancaster. John, duke of Lancaster, was born in Gaunt or Ghent, in Belgium. He was the progenitor of the Lancastrian line of kings.

Va'pour-y, adj............ vapor,

LATIN.
In-vis'i-ble, adj..........vidēre.
Di-lat'ing, part..

S latus, see
Trans-fused', part.. ..funděre.
Pas'sive, adj..... .pati.
Cav'erns, n..... .........cavus.
Pre-cip'i-tous, adj.......caput.
Mo'tion-less, adj.........movēre.

GREEK.
Hymn, N....... ..humnos.
Melo-dy, n...... ...melos, odē.
Ec'sta-sy, n... ..ek, stasis.
Cat'a racts, n..

.kataratto Hi'e-rarch, N..........

S hieros,

archē.

Hast thou a charm to stay the Morning-Star
In his steep course? So long he seems to pause
On thy bald awful head, O sovran Blanc !
The Arvē and Arveiron at thy base
Rave ceaselessly; but thou, most awful form!
Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines,
How silently! Around thee and above
Deep is the air, and dark, substantial, black,
An ebon mass: methinks thou piercest it,
As with a wedge! But when I look again,
It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine,
Thy habitation from eternity!
o dread and silent mount ! I gazed upon thee,
Till thou, still present to the bodily sense,
Didst vanish from my thought : entranc'd in prayer
I worshipp'd the Invisible alone.

Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody,
So sweet we know not we are listening to it,
Thou, the meanwhile, wast blending with my thought,
Yea, with my life, and life's own secret joy :
Till the dilating soul, enrapt, transfused,
Into the mighty Vision passing—there
As in her natural form, swellid vast to Heaven !

Awake, my soul! not only passive praise
Thou owest ! not alone these swelling tears,
Mute thanks and secret ecstasy! Awake,
Voice of sweet song! Awake, my heart, awake!
Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my Hymn.
Thou first and chief, sole sovran of the vale !
O struggling with the darkness all night long
And visited all night by troops of stars,
Or when they climb the sky, or when they sink :

Companion of the morning-star at dawn,
Thyself earth's rosy star, and of the dawn
Co-herald! wake, o wake, and utter praise.
Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in earth?
Who filled thy countenance with rosy light.?
Who made thee parent of perpetual streams ?

And you, ye five wild torrents, fiercely glad!
Who calld you forth from night and utter death,
From dark and icy caverns call’d you forth,
Down those precipitous, black, jagged rocks
For ever shattered, and the same for ever ?
Who gave you your invulnerable life,
Your strength, your speed, your fury, and your joy,
Unceasing thunder and eternal foam ?
And who commanded (and the silence came),
Here let the billows stiffen and have rest?

Ye ice-falls !

ye that from the mountain's brow
Adown ravines enormous slope amain-
Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice,
And stopp'd at once amid their maddest plunge.
Motionless torrents ! silent cataracts !
Who made you glorious as the gates of Heaven
Beneath the keen full moon ? Who bade the sun
Clothe

you with rainbows ? Who, with living flowers
Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your feet ?-
God ! let the torrents, like a shout of nations,
Answer! and let the ice-plains echo, God!
God! sing ye meadow-streams with gladsome voice !
Ye pine-groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds !
And they too have a voice, yon piles of snow,
And in their perilous fall shall thunder, God!

Ye livery flowers that skirt th' eternal frost !
Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's nest !
Ye eagles, playmates of the mountain-storm!
Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds !
Ye signs and wonders of the element !
Utter

forth God, and fill the hills with praise !

Once more, hoar mount! with thy sky-pointing peaks,

Oft from whose feet the Avalanche, unheard,
Shoots downward, glittering thro' the pure serene
Into the depth of clouds that veil thy breast
Thou too again, stupendous mountain! thou,
That as I raise my head, a while bow'd low
In adoration, upward from thy base
Slow travelling with dim eyes suffus'd with tears,
Solemnly seemest, like a vapoury cloud,
To rise before me-Rise, O ever rise,
Rise like a cloud of incense, from the earth!
Thou kingly spirit thron'd among the hills,
Thou dread ambassador from earth to heaven,
Great Hierarch! tell thou the silent sky,
And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun,
Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God.

Coleridge. 1. Why seems the morning star to pause 20. Change theconjunctions in line 33rd. on the mountain top ?

21. Is Mont Blanc the highest point of 2. Name the principal rivers in the vale? the Alps ? 3. Are these the only rivers there? 22. Where will the rosy beams of' morn4. What sort of trees abound at the ing first light ? foot of the inountain ?

23. Name the heralds of the dawn ? 5. How high does the mountain lift its 24. Name the questions in lines 37, 38, head into the air ?

39. 6. Is the air around the summit really

25. Whence have the five torrents their an ebon mass ?

source? 7. What gives it the dark appearance ? 26. How many questions are asked of 8. Is "calm home" correctly descriptive the torrents? of the sky at the summit?

27. What is the answer to them all? 9. At what height in the air do storms 28. By what agent does God stiffen the usually rage ?

billows ? 10. Is the word eternity in line 12th 29. What do the icefalls seem in the strictly correct ?

poet's

eye ? 11. Substitute the correct word.

30. Name the colours of which light is 12. What was the effect of the poet's long made up. and steady gaze at the mountain ?

31. Show that the icefalls are glorious 13. What mean you by the soul in her in the moonlight. natural form?

32. Enumerate the questions put to the 14. In what state was the soul of man icefalls. originally ?

33. With what voice are the torrents to 15. Did he then see God in everything? | answer?

16. Are tears, thanks, ecstasy, passive or 34. What objects echo the shout? active praise ?

35. What objects are to sing ? 17. What active praise does the poet 36. Why is the 3rd personal pronoun used propose to give ?

in speaking of the piles of snow ? (Ans. 18. Do stars rise in the east and set in They are so far above human reach, that the west just like the sun ?

he cannot speak to them, he must speak of 19. Explain lines 31st and 32nd.

them.)

1 Avalanches are the most dangerous and terrible phenomena to which the valleys embosomed between high snow-topped mountain-ranges are exposed. They are es pecially frequent in the Alps owing to the steepness of their declivities, but they are also known in other mountain regions, as in the Pyrenees and in Norway. They originate in the higher region of the mountains, when the accumulation of snow be comes so great that the inclined plane on which the inass rests cannot any longer support it. It is then pushed down the declivity by its own weight, and precipitated into the subjacent valley, where it often destroys forests and villages, buries men and cattle, and sometimes tills up the rivers and stops their course.

Knight's Cyclopaedia.

« PreviousContinue »