Page images
PDF
EPUB

POETRY FOR RECITATION.

The Officer's Funeral.

HARK, hark, 'mid the busy stir of life,
And the crowded city's hum,
I hear the thrilling tones of the fife,
And the roll of the muffled drum !

But their alter'd tones chime sad and slow
To the mourners' silent tread;
And they breathe the hallow'd dirge of woe,
The solemn march of the dead !

And looks of manliest grief are there,
And stern eyes drop a tear;
And soldiers falter as they bear
Their youthful leader's bier !

And see ! as that bier draws nigh, it brings
Bright arms- a useless show w;
He hath no need of these gaudy things
Who sleeps in death below!

For the voice that gave the stern command
Hath sigh'd its latest breath;
And an infant now may snatch the brand
From his dull cold grasp of death!

And the breast so true and the brow so proud
Are cold and senseless all;
He hath changed for the martial vest the shroud,
For the soldier's cloak the pall !

He would have hailed the dart that sped
His soul to a warrior's doom ;
But a slow and sickly couch was spread
To waste him to the tomb !

They have borne him to the sacred porch,
They have borne bim to the grave;
And the last sad rites of Holy Church
Are paid to the young and brave !

They have breath'd the funeral prayer and hymn,
They have fired the soldier's knell;
But it reach'd not, alas ! the ear of him
Who sleeps in the narrow cell !

They have lower'd the coffin dark and deep,
In the lone grave's hollow womb;
And the lady he loved may come to weep
This eve o'er her soldier's tomb !

Earth and Weaven.

[Suggested by the Death of a young Female.]

EARTH.

THERE is grief! there is grief! there is clasping of

hands, And weeping and calling for aid ; For Sorrow hath summon’d her group and it stands Round the couch where the suff'rer is laid. And cheeks are all pallid, and hearts are all cold, And tears from the heart-springs are shed ; And who that looks on the sweet saint to behold, But would gladly lie down in her stead ! There is grief! there is grief! there is anguish and

strife, And the suff'rer is striving for breath; For the spirit will cling, oh! how fondly to life, And stern is the struggle with death ! And the terrible conflict grows deadlier still, Till the last fatal symptoms have birth ; And the eyeball is glazed and the heart's blood is chill, And this is the portion of Earth!

HEAVEN.

There is bliss ! there is bliss ! in the regions above,
They have opened the gates of the sky;
A spirit hath soared to the mansions of love,
And seeks for admission on high.
And friends long divided are hasting to greet,
To a land where no sorrow may come;
And the seraphs are eager a sister to meet,
And to welcome the child to its home!

[ocr errors]

There is bliss ! there is bliss ! at the foot of the throne,
See the spirit all purified bend ;
And look up in delight since it gazes alone
On the face of a father-a friend !
Then it joins in the anthems for ever that rise,
And its frailty or folly forgiven ;
It is dead to the earth and new born to the skies,
And this is the portion of Heaven !

Queen Elizabeth and the Countess of

Nottingham. The following anecdote of Queen Elizabeth and the Countess of Not. tingham, which is related by Hume and contradicted by other authorities may possibly be allowed to form the subject of a ballad.

A lady lies upon her bed, the lonely bed of death, Aer aged life is parting fast and fleeting is her breath ; Bat yet she cannot life resign, nor hope for peace

or rest Until she hath the secret told that weighs upon her

breast.

And fearful are her thoughts by day, and wild her

midnight dreams, She utters moanings loud and deep, and wild terrific

screams ; She weeps, she tears her hair, she sheds of briny tears

a flood, And shaking wild her withered hand, she cries

" 'tis stained with blood.” And haste," she shriek’d, “in pity haste, and seek

our Lady Queen, “I may not rest till I, once more, that injured one

have seen ;

"And say I beg for grace from her, and hope to be

forgiven, “ As she herself would mercy ask and pray

for

peace from Heaven !” They sought the Queen, she quickly flew besides

that dying bed, And whisper'd mild the sufferer lone, and cheer'd

her drooping head ; But strong convulsions seized her straight, and shook

her aged frame, While mid the pauses of her grief she breath'd Lord Essex' name.

« PreviousContinue »