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He comes, then, as Jarl should,
Sword belted to side,
To win thee and wear thee,
With glory and pride.
So sternly Jarl Egill wooed, and smote his long brand.
Thy father, thy brethren,
Thy kin, keep from me,
The maiden I 've sworn shall
Be Queen of the Sea !
A truce with that folly -
Yon sea-strand can show,
If this eye missed its aim,
Or this arm failed its blow;
I had not well taken
Three strides on this land,
Ere a Jarl and his six sons
In death bit the sand.
Nay, weep not, pale maid, though
In battle should fall
The Kemps, who would keep thy
Bridegroom from the hall.
So carped Jarl Egill, and kissed the bright weeper.
The curl of that proud lip,
The flash of that eye,
The swell of that bosom,
So full and so high,
Like foam of sea billow
Thy white bosom shows,
Like flash of red levin
Thine eagle eye glows;
Ha! firmly and boldly,
So stately and free,
Thy foot treads this chamber,
As bark rides the sea ;
This likes me
this likes me,
Stout maiden of mould,
Thou wooest to purpose ;
Bold hearts love the bold.
So shouted Jarl Egill, and clutched the proud maiden.
Away and away, then!
I have thy small hand;
Joy with me,
our tall bark
Now bears toward the strand;
I call it the Raven,
The wing of black night,
That shadows forth ruin
O'er islands of light;
Once more on its long deck,
Behind us the gale,
Thou shalt see how before it
Great kingdoms do quail ;
Thou shalt see then how truly,
My noble-souled maid,
The ransom of kings can
Be won by this blade.
So bravely Jarl Egill did soothe the pale trembler.
Ay, gaze on its large hilt,
One wedge of red gold ;
But doat on its blade, gilt
With blood of the bold.
The hilt is right seemly, .
But nobler the blade,
That swart Velint's hammer
With cunning spells made; ;
I call it the Adder,
Death lurks in its bite,
Through bone and proof-harness
It scatters pale light.
Fair daughter of Einar, •
Deem high of the fate
That makes thee, like this blade,
Proud Egill's loved mate !
So Jarl Egill bore off Torf Einar's bright daughter.
THOMAS HOOD. 1798-1845. Hood is chiefly distinguished as a comic poet and humorist, though he has, in some of his writings, evinced a talent for the grave and pathetic. He was a native of London, and for a time editor of the New Monthly Magazine, and also of the Comic Almanac. Whims and Oddities, The Plea of the Midsummer Fairies, and the Song of the Shirt, are among his most popular pieces.
A PARENTAL ODE TO MY SON, AGED THREE YEARS
AND FIVE MONTHS,
THOU happy, happy elf!
(But stop — first let me kiss away that tear,).
Thou tiny image of myself!
(My love, he's poking peas into his ear!)
Thou merry, laughing sprite!
With spirits feather light,
Untouched by sorrow, and unsoiled by sin,
(Good Heavens ! the child is swallowing a pin !)
Thou little, tricksy Puck!
With antic toys so funnily bestuck,
Light as the singing bird that wings the air,
(The door! the door! he 'll tumble down the stair !)
Thou darling of thy sire !
(Why, Jane, he 'll set his pinafore afire!)
Thou imp of mirth and joy !
In love's dear chain so strong and bright a link,
Thou idol of thy parents ! — (Drat the boy !
There goes my ink!)
Thou cherub but of earth;
Fit playfellow for fays by moonlight pale,
In harmless sport and mirth,
(That dog will bite him, if he pulls his tail !)
Thou human humming-bee, extracting honey
blossom in the world that blows,
Singing in youth's Elysium ever sunny,
(Another tumble — that 's his precious nose !)
Thy father's pride and hope !
(He 'll break the mirror with that skipping-rope !)
With pure heart newly stamped from nature's mint,
(Where did he learn that squint ?)
domestic dove !
(He 'll have that jug off, with another shove !)
Dear nursling of the hymeneal nest !
(Are those torn clothes his best ?)
Little epitome of man!
(He 'll climb upon the table that 's his plan!)
Touched with the beauteous tints of dawning life,
(He 's got a knife !)
Thou enviable being !
No storms, no clouds, in thy blue sky foreseeing,
Play on, play on,
My elfin John !
Toss the light ball — bestride the stick,
(I knew so many cakes would make him sick !)
With fancies buoyant as the thistle-down,
Prompting the face grotesque, and antic brisk,
many a lamb-like frisk,
(He 's got the scissors, snipping at your gown !)
Thou pretty opening rose !
(Go to your mother, child, and wipe your nose !)
Balmy and breathing music like the south,
(He really brings my heart into my mouth!)
Fresh as the morn, and brilliant as its star,
(I wish that window had an iron bar!)
Bold as the hawk, yet gentle as the dove,
(I 'll tell you what, my love,
I cannot write, unless he 's sent above !)
T H O MA 8 N o 0 N T A LF OU RD. 1796Talfourd's early compositions secured for him the friendship of Lord Brougham, through whose influence he was led to make his way to the bar. He was for a number of years a member of Parliament. Wordsworth, Lamb, Hazlitt and Hunt, are reckoned among his particular friends. The tragedy of Ion, which resembles the old Greek drama, is his most distinguished work, though he has produced many others, in poetry and prose,
of great purity of thought and tenderness of feeling.
[Ion, being declared the rightful heir of the throne, is waited upon by Clemanthe, daughier of the high priest of the temple, wherein lon had been reared in obscurity.)
Ion. What wouldst thou with me, lady?
Clemanthe. Is it so ?
Nothing, my lord, save to implore thy pardon,
That the departing gleams of a bright dream,
From which I scarce had wakened, made me bold
To crave a word with thee; but all are fled —
Ion. 'T was indeed a goodly dream ;
But thou art right to think it was no more,
And study to forget it.
Clem. To forget it!
Indeed, my lord, I will not wish to lose
What, being past, is all my future hath,
All I shall live for; do not grudge me this,
I shall need it.
Ion. Speak not, fair one,
In tone so mournful, for it makes me feel
Too sensibly the hapless wretch I am,
That trouble the deep quiet of thy soul,
In that pure fountain which reflected heaven,
For a brief taste of rapture.
Clem. Dost thou yet
Esteem it rapture, then? My foolish heart,
Be still! Yet wherefore should a crown divide us ?
dear Ion !- let me call thee so,
This once, at least - it could not in
Increase the distance that there was between us
When, rich in spirit, thou, to stranger's eyes,
Seemed a poor foundling.
Ion. It must separate us !
Think it no harmless bauble; but a curse
Will freeze the current in the veins of youth,
And from familiar touch of genial hand,
From household pleasures, from sweet daily tasks,
From airy thought, free wanderer of the heavens,
Forever banish me !