Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

I long to see the Northern Lights,
With their rushing splendors, fly,

Like living things, with flaming wings,
Wide o'er the wondrous sky.

I long to see those icebergs vast,
With heads all crowned with snow;

Whose green roots sleep in the awful deep,
Two hundred fathoms low.

I long to hear the thundering crash
Of their terrific fall;

And the echoes from a thousand cliffs,
Like lonely voices call.

There shall we see the fierce white bear, The sleepy seals aground,

And the spouting whales that to and fro Sail with a dreary sound.

There may we tread on depths of ice,
That the hairy mammoth hide;
Perfect as when, in times of old,

The mighty creature died.

And while the unsetting sun shines on
Through the still heaven's deep blue,

We'll traverse the azure waves, the herds
Of the dread sea-horse to view.

We'll pass the shores of solemn pine,
Where wolves and black bears prowl,

And away to the rocky isles of mist,
To rouse the northern fowl.

40

THE CHILDREN IN THE WOOL),

Up there shall start ten thousand wings,
With a rushing, whistling din;

Up shall the auk and fulmar start, —
All but the fat penguin.

And there, in the wastes of the silent sky,
With the silent earth below,

We shall see far off to his lonely rock
The lonely eagle go.

Then softly, softly will we tread
By inland streams, to see

Where the pelican of the silent North
Sits there all silently.

[ocr errors][merged small]

Now ponder well, you parents dear,
The words which I shall write;

A doleful story you shall hear,

In time brought forth to light: —
A gentleman of good account

In Norfolk lived of late, -
Whose wealth and riches did surmount

Most men of his estate.

Sore sick he was, and like to die,
No help that he could have;
His wife by him as sick did lie,
And both possessed one grave.
No love between these two was lost,
Each was to other kind;
In love they lived, in love they died,
And left two babes behind;

The one a fine and pretty boy,
Not passing three years old;
The other a girl, more young than he,
And made in beauty's mould.
The father left his little son,
As plainly doth appear,
When he to perfect age should come,
Three hundred pounds a year;

And to his little daughter Jane
Five hundred pounds in gold,
To be paid down on marriage-day,
Which might not be controlled;
But if the children chance to die
Ere they to age should come,
Their uncle should possess their wealth,
For so the will did run. -

“Now, brother,” said the dying man,
“Look to my children dear;
Be good unto my boy and girl,
No friends else have I here.
To God and you I do commend
My children night and day;
But little while, be sure, we have
Within this world to stay.

“You must be father and mother both,
And uncle, all in one ;
God knows what will become of them
When I am dead and gone.”
With that bespake their mother dear:
“O brother kind,” quoth she,
“You are the man must bring our babes
To wealth or misery.

[ocr errors][merged small]

“And if you keep them carefully,
Then God will you reward;
If otherwise you seem to deal,
God will your deeds regard.”
With lips as cold as any stone,
She kissed her children small:
“God bless you both, my children dear!”
With that the tears did fall.

These speeches then their brother spoke
To this sick couple there:
“The keeping of your children dear,
Sweet sister, do not fear;
God never prosper me nor mine,
Nor aught else that I have,
If I do wrong your children dear,
When you are laid in grave.”

Their parents being dead and gone,
The children home he takes,
And brings them home unto his house,
And much of them he makes.
He had not kept these pretty babes
A twelvemonth and a day,
When for their wealth he did devise
To make them both away.

He bargained with two ruffians rude,
Which were of furious mood,
That they should take the children young,
And slay them in the wood.
He told his wife, and all he had,
He did the children send
To be brought up in fair London,
With one that was his friend.

Away then went these pretty babes,
Rejoicing at that tide,
Rejoicing with a merry mind,
They should on cock-horse ride.
They prate and prattle pleasantly,
As they rode on their way,
To those that should their butchers be,
And work their lives’ decay.

So that the pretty speech they had
Made murderous hearts relent;
And they that undertook the deed,
Full sore they did repent.
Yet one of them, more hard of heart,
Did vow to do his charge,
Because the wretch that hired him
Had paid him very large.

The other would not agree thereto,
So here they fell at strife;
With one another they did fight
About the children's life;
And he that was of mildest mood
Did slay the other there,
Within an unfrequented wood,
While babes did quake for fear.

He took the children by the hand,
When tears stood in their eye;
And bade them come and go with him,
And look they did not cry.
And two long miles he led them on,
While they for food complain:
“Stay here,” quoth he, “I’ll bring you bread.
When I do come again.”

« НазадПродовжити »