George Green Loane.

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Can dart on ice and snow.

" And fading, like that varied gleam,

Is our inconstant shape,
Who now like knight and lady seem, 90

And now like dwarf and ape.

" It was between the night and day,

When the Fairy King has power,
That I sunk down in a sinful fray,
And, 'twixt life and death, was snatched away

To the joyless Elfin bower.

" But wist I of a woman bold,

Who thrice my brow durst sign,
I might regain my mortal mould,

As fair a form as thine." 100



She cross'd him once she crossed him twice-

That lady was so brave;
The fouler grew his goblin hue,

The darker grew the cave.

She crossed him thrice, that lady bold ;

He rose beneath her hand
The fairest knight on Scottish mould,

Her brother, Ethert Brand!



28 STORY POEMS

Merry it is in good greenwood,

When the mavis and merle are singing, no
But merrier were they in Dumfermline grey,

When all the bells were ringing.

SIR WALTER SCOTT.



VI. LOCHINVAR
LADY HERON'S SONG

O YOUNG Lochinvar is come out of the west,
Through all the wide Border his steed was the best ;
And save his good broadsword, he weapons had none,
He rode all unarm'd and he rode all alone.
So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war,
There never was knight like the young Lochinvar.

He staid not for brake, and he stopp'd not for stone,

He swam the Eske river where ford there was none ;

But ere he alighted at Netherby gate,

The bride had consented, the gallant came late: 10

For a laggard in love, and a dastard in war,

Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar.

So boldly he enter'd the Netherby Hall,

Among bride's-men, and kinsmen, and brothers, and all :

Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his sword

(For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word),

" O come ye in peace here, or come ye in war,

Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar? "



SIR WALTER SCOTT 29

" I long woo'd your daughter, my suit you denied
Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide ; 20
And now I am come, with this lost love of mine
To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine.
There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far,
That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar."

The bride kiss'd the goblet : the knight took it up,
He quafFd off the wine, and he threw down the cup.
She look'd down to blush, and she look'd up to sigh,
With a smile on her lips, and a tear in her eye.
He took her soft hand, ere her mother could bar :
" Now tread we a measure ! " said young Lochinvar. 30

So stately his form, and so lovely her face,

That never a hall such a galliard did grace ;

While her mother did fret, and her father did fume,

And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and

plume;
And the bride-maidens whisper 'd " 'Twere better

by far,

To have match'd our fair cousin with young Loch-
invar/'

One touch to her hand, and one word in her ear,
When they reach'd the hall-door, and the charger

stood near ;

So light to the croupe the fair lady he swung,
So light to the saddle before her he sprung ! 40

32. Galliard. A lively dance.

39. Croupe. Hind-quarters of a horse.



30 STORY POEMS

" She is won ! we are gone, over bank, bush, and scaur;
They'll have fleet steeds that follow/' quoth young
Lochinvar.

There was mounting 'mong Graemes of the Netherby

clan;
Forsters, Fen wicks, and Musgraves, they rode and

they ran:

There was racing and chasing, on Cannobie Lee,
But the lost bride of Netherby ne'er did they see.
So daring in love, and so dauntless in war,
Have ye e'er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar ?

SIR WALTER SCOTT.



VII. THE HIGH TIDE ON THE COAST
OF LINCOLNSHIRE



THE old mayor climbed the belfry tower,

The ringers ran by two, by three;
" Pull, if ye never pulled before;

Good ringers, pull your best/' quoth he.
" Play uppe, play uppe, O Boston bells!
Ply all your changes, all your swells,

Play uppe, ' The Brides of Enderby/ "

Men say it was a stolen tyde
The Lord that sent it, He knows all;

But in myne ears doth still abide 10

The message that the bells let fall :



JEAN INGELOW 3*

And there was nought of strange, beside
The flights of mews and peewits pied
By millions crouched on the old sea wall.

I sat and spun within the doore,

My thread brake off, I raised myne eyes;

The level sun, like ruddy ore,
Lay sinking in the barren skies,

And dark against day's golden death

She moved where Lindis wandereth, 20

My sonne's faire wife, Elizabeth.

"Cusha! Cusha! Cusha! " calling,
Ere the early dews were falling,
Farre away I heard her song.
" Cusha! Cusha! " all along
Where the reedy Lindis floweth,

Floweth, floweth ;

From the meads where melick groweth
Faintly came her milking song

" Cusha! Cusha! Cusha! " calling, 30

" For the dews will soone be falling;
Leave your meadow grasses mellow

Mellow, mellow;

Quit your cowslips, cowslips yellow ;
Come uppe Whitefoot, come uppe Light foot,
Quit the stalks of parsley hollow,

Hollow, hollow;
Come uppe Jetty, rise and follow,

20. Lindis. The river Witham.
28. Melick. A kind of grass.



32 STORY POEMS

From the clovers lift your head;

Come uppe Whitefoot, come uppe Lightfoot, 40

Come uppe Jetty, rise and follow,

Jetty, to the milking shed."

If it be long, ay, long ago,
When I beginne to think howe long,

Againe I hear the Lindis flow,

Swift as an arrowe, sharpe and strong;

And all the aire, it seemeth mee,

Bin full of floating bells (sayth shee),

That ring the tune of Enderby.

Alle fresh the level pasture lay 50

And not a shadowe mote be seene,

Save where full fyve good miles away
The steeple towered from out the greene;

And lo! the great bell farre and wide

Was heard in all the country side

That Saturday at eventide.

The swanherds where their sedges are
Moved on in sunset's golden breath,

The shepherde lads I heard afarre,

And my sonne's wife, Elizabeth ; 60

Till floating o'er the grassy sea

Came downe that kyndly message free,

The " Brides of Mavis Enderby."

Then some looked uppe into the sky,
And all along where Lindis flows

To where the goodly vessels lie,

And where the lordly steeple shows,



JEAN INGELOW 33

They sayde, " And why should this thing be?

What danger lowers by land or sea ?

They ring the tune of Enderby ! 70

" For evil news from Mablethorpe,

Of pyrate galleys warping downe ;
For shippes ashore beyond the scorpe,

They have not spared to wake the towne:
But while the west bin red to see,
And storms be none, and pyrates flee,
Why ring ' The Brides of Enderby ' ? "

I looked without, and lo ! my sonne
Came riding downe with might and main:

He raised a shout as he drew on, 80

Till all the welkin rang again,

'"Elizabeth! Elizabeth! "

(A sweeter woman ne'er drew breath

Than my sonne's wife, Elizabeth.)

" The olde sea wall (he cried) is downe,

The rising tide comes on apace,
And boats adrift in yonder towne

Go sailing uppe the market-place/'
He shook as one that looks on death:
" God save you, mother! " straight he saith; 90
" Where is my wife, Elizabeth? "

" Good sonne, where Lindis winds away,
With her two bairns I marked her long;

And ere yon bells beganne to play
Afar I heard her milking- song."



34 STORY POEMS

. He looked across the grassy lea,
To right, to left, " Ho Enderby! "
They rang " The Brides of Enderby! "

With that he cried and beat his breast ;

For lo ! along the river's bed 100

A mighty eygre reared his crest,

And uppe the Lindis raging sped.
It swept with thunderous noises loud;
Shaped like a curling snow-white cloud,
Or like a demon in a shroud.

And rearing Lindis backward pressed

Shook all her trembling bankes amaine;
Then madly at the eygre's breast

Flung uppe her weltering walls again.
Then bankes came down with ruin and rout
Then beaten foam flew round about in

Then all the mighty floods were out.

So farre, so fast the eygre drave,
The heart had hardly time to beat,

Before a shallow seething wave
Sobbed in the grasses at our feet:

The feet had hardly time to flee

Before it brake against the knee,

And all the world was in the sea.

Upon the roofe we sate that night, 120

The noise of bells went sweeping by;
101. Eygre. Tidal wave.



JEAN INGELOW 35

I marked the lofty beacon light

Stream from the church tower, red and high
A lurid mark and dread to see ;
And awsome bells they were to me,
That in the dark rang " Enderby."



They rang the sailor lads to guide

From roofe to roofe who fearless rowed;

And I my sonne was at my side,

And yet the ruddy beacon glowed; 130

And yet he moaned beneath his breath,

" O come in life, or come in death!

O lost! my love, Elizabeth."

And didst thou visit him no more?

Thou didst, thou didst, my daughter deare;
The waters laid thee at his doore,

Ere yet the early dawn was clear.
Thy pretty bairns in fast embrace,
The lifted sun shone on thy face,
Downe drifted to thy dwelling-place. 140

That flow strewed wrecks about the grass,
That ebbe swept out the flocks to sea;

A fatal ebbe and flow, alas !

To manye more than myne and mee:

But each will mourn his own (she saith),

And sweeter woman ne'er drew breath

Than my sonne's wife, Elizabeth.



36 STORY POEMS

I shall never hear her more

By the reedy Lindis shore,

"Cusha! Cusha! Cusha! " calling 150

Ere the early dews be falling;

I shall never hear her song,

" Cusha! Cusha! " all along

Where the sunny Lindis floweth,

Goeth, floweth;

From the meads where melick groweth
When the water winding down,
Onward floweth to the town.

I shall never see her more

Where the reeds and rushes quiver, 160

Shiver, quiver;

Stand beside the sobbing river,
Sobbing, throbbing in its falling
To the sandy lonesome shore ;
I shall never hear her calling,
" Leave your meadow grasses mellow,

Mellow, mellow;

Quit your cowslips, cowslips yellow;
Come uppe Whitefoot, come uppe Lightfoot;
Quit your pipes of parsley hollow, 170

Hollow, hollow;
Come up Lightfoot, rise and follow;

Lightfoot, Whitefoot,
From your clovers lift the head;
Come uppe Jetty, follow, follow,
Jetty, to the milking shed."

JEAN INGELOW.



ROBERT BROWNING 37

VIII. HERVE KIEL



ON the sea and at the Hogue, sixteen hundred ninety-two,

Did the English fight the French, woe to France !
And, the thirty-first of May, helter-skelter through the blue,
Like a crowd of frightened porpoises a shoal of sharks pursue,
Came crowding ship on ship to Saint-Malo on the Ranee,
With the English fleet in view.

ii

'Twas the squadron that escaped, with the victor in full chase;
First and foremost of the drove, in his great ship, Damfreville;

Close on him fled, great and small,

Twenty-two good ships in all; 10

And they signalled to the place

" Help the winners of a race !
Get us guidance, give us harbour, take us quick, or, quicker still,

Here's the English can and will ! "

in

Then the pilots of the place put out brisk and leapt on board;
" Why, what hope or chance have ships like these to pass ? "

laughed they :
" Rocks to starboard, rocks to port, all the passage scarred and

scored,

5. Ranee. The river which runs into the English Channel at St.
Malo.



38 STORY POEMS

Shall the Formidable here, with her twelve and eighty guns,
Think to make the river-mouth by the single narrow way,
Trust to enter where 'tis ticklish for a craft of twenty tons, 20

And with flow at full beside ?

Now, 'tis slackest ebb of tide.

Reach the mooring ? Rather say,

While rock stands and water runs,

Not a ship will leave the bay ! "

IV

Then was called a council straight.

Brief and bitter the debate :
" Here's the English at our heels ; would you have them take

in tow
All that's left us of the fleet, linked together stern and bow,

For a prize to Plymouth Sound ? 30

Better run the ships aground ! "

(Ended Damfreville his speech).

" Not a minute more to wait !

Let the Captains all and each
Shove ashore, then blow up, burn the vessels on the beach !

France must undergo her fate.

v

" Give the word ! " But no such word

Was ever spoke or heard ;

For up stood, for out stepped, for in struck amid all these
A Captain ? A Lieutenant ? A Mate first, second, third ? 40

No such man of mark, and meet

With his betters to compete !



ROBERT BROWNING 39

But a simple Breton sailor pressed by Tourville for the fleet,
A poor coasting-pilot he, Herve Riel the Croisickese.



VI

And " What mockery or malice have we here ? " cries Herve Riel:
" Are you mad, you Malouins ? Are you cowards, fools, or rogues ?
Talk to me of rocks and shoals, me who took the soundings, tell
On my fingers every bank, every shallow, every swell
'Twixt the offing here and Grve where the river disembogues ?
Are you bought by English gold ? Is it love the lying's for? 50

Morn and eve, night and day,

Have I piloted your bay,

Entered free and anchored fast at the foot of Solidor.
Burn the fleet and ruin France? That were worse than fifty

Hogues !
Sirs, they know I speak the truth ! Sirs, believe me there's a way !

Only let me lead the line,

Have the biggest ship to steer,

Get this Formidable clear,

Make the others follow mine,
And I lead them, most and least, by a passage I know well, 60

Right to Solidor past Greve,

And there lay them safe and sound ;

And if one ship misbehave,

Keel so much as grate the ground,

Why, I've nothing but my life, here's my head!" cries Herve
Riel.

44. Croisickese. Native of Le Croisic, a village at the mouth of
the Loire.

46. Malouins. Natives of St. Malo.



4 o STORY POEMS

VII

Not a minute more to wait.

" Steer us in, then, small and great !
Take the helm, lead the line, save the squadron ! " cried its chief.

Captains, give the sailor place !

He is Admiral, in brief. 70

Still the north-wind, by God's grace.

See the noble fellow's face

As the big ship, with a bound,

Clears the entry like a hound,
Keeps the passage, as its inch of way were the wide sea's profound !

See, safe thro' shoal and rock,

How they follow in a flock,
Not a ship that misbehaves, not a keel that grates the ground,

Not a spar that comes to grief !

The peril, see, is past. 80

All are harboured to the last,
And just as Herve Kiel hollas " Anchor! " sure as fate,

Up the English come, too late !



VIII

So, the storm subsides to calm :

They see the green trees wave

On the heights o'erlooking Greve.

Hearts that bled are staunched with balm.

" Just our rapture to enhance,

Let the English rake the bay,
Gnash our teeth and glare askance 90

As they cannonade away !



ROBERT BROWNING 41

'Neath rampired Solidor pleasant riding on the Ranee! "
How hope succeeds despair on each Captain's countenance !

Out burst all with one accord,

" This is Paradise for Hell!

Let France, let France's King

Thank the man that did the thing ! "

What a shout, and all one word,
"HerveRiel!"

As he stepped in front once more, 100

Not a symptom of surprise

In the frank blue Breton eyes,

Just the same man as before.

IX

Then said Damfreville, " My friend,
I must speak out at the end,
Though I find the speaking hard.
Praise is deeper than the lips :
You have saved the King his ships,
You must name your own reward.
'Faith, our sun was near eclipse ! no

Demand whate'er you will,
France remains your debtor still.
Ask to heart's content and have ! or mv name's not Damfreville."



Then a beam of fun outbroke
On the bearded mouth that spoke,
As the honest heart laughed through
Those frank eyes of Breton blue :






42 STORY POEMS

" Since I needs must say my say,

Since on board the duty's done, 119

And from Malo roads to Croisic Point, what is it but a run ?

Since 'tis ask and have, I may

Since the others go ashore

Come ! A good whole holiday !

Leave to go and see my wife, whom I call the Belle Aurore ! "
That he asked and that he got, nothing more.



XI

Name and deed alike are lost :

Not a pillar nor a post
In his Croisic keeps alive the feat as it befell;

Not a head in white and black

On a single fishing-smack, 130

In memory of the man but for whom had gone to wrack
All that France saved from the fight whence England bore the bell.

Go to Paris : rank on rank

Search the heroes flung pell-mell

On the Louvre, face and flank !
You shall look long enough ere you come to Herve Riel.

So, for better and for worse,

Herve Riel, accept my verse !
In my verse, Herve Riel, do thou once more
Save the squadron, honour France, love thy wife the Belle
Aurore ! 140

ROBERT BROWNING.



ROBERT BROWNING 43



IX. AN INCIDENT OF THE FRENCH CAMP

You know, we French stormed Ratisbon:

A mile or so away,
On a little mound, Napoleon

Stood on our storming day;
With neck out-thrust, you fancy how,

Legs wide, arms locked behind,
As if to balance the prone brow

Oppressive with its mind.

Just as perhaps he mused, " My plans

That soar to earth may fall, 10

Let once my army-leader Lannes

Waver at yonder wall/'
Out 'twixt the battery-smokes there flew

A rider, bound on bound,
Full-galloping; nor bridle drew

Until he reached the mound.

Then off there flung in smiling joy,

And held himself erect,
By just his horse's mane, a boy,

You hardly could suspect 20

(So tight he kept his lips compressed,

Scarce any blood came thro')
You looked twice ere you saw his 'breast

Was all but shot in two.



44 STORY POEMS

" Well/' cried he, " Emperor, by God's grace

We've got you Ratisbon!
The Marshal's in the market-place,

And you'll be there anon
To see your flag-bird flap his vans,

Where I, to heart's desire, 30

Perched him ! " The Chief's eye flashed, his plans

Soared up again like fire.

The Chief's eye flashed; but presently

Softened itself, as sheathes
A film the mother-eagle's eye

When her bruised eaglet breathes:
" You're wounded! " " Nay," his soldier's pride

Touched to the quick, he said:
"I'm killed, sire! " And his Chief beside,

Smiling, the boy fell dead. 40

ROBERT BROWNING.

29. Vans. Wings; another form of " fan."



ROBERT BROWNING 45

X. HOW THEY BROUGHT THE GOOD NEWS
FROM GHENT TO AIX

I SPRANG to the stirrup, and Joris, and he;

I galloped, Dirck galloped, we galloped all three ;

" Good speed ! " cried the watch, as the gate-bolts undrew;

" Speed ! " echoed the wall to us galloping through;

Behind shut the postern, the lights sank to rest,

And into the midnight we galloped abreast.

Not a word to each other; we kept the great pace

Neck by neck, stride by stride, never changing our place ;

I turned in my saddle and made its girths tight,

Then shortened each stirrup, and set the pique right, 10

Rebuckled the cheek-strap, chained slacker the bit,

Nor galloped less steadily Roland a whit.

'Twas moonset at starting ; but while we drew near

Lokeren, the cocks crew and twilight dawned clear;

At Boom, a great yellow star came out to see ;

At Diiffeld, 'twas morning as plain as could be ;

And from Mecheln church-steeple we heard the half-chime,

So Joris broke silence with, " Yet there is time ! "

At Aershot, up leaped of a sudden the sun,

And against him the cattle stood black every one, 20

To stare thro' the mist at us galloping past,

And I saw my stout galloper Roland at last,

With resolute shoulders, each butting away

The haze, as some bluff river headland its spray,



46 STORY POEMS

And his low head and crest, just one sharp ear bent back

For my voice, and the other pricked out on his track;

And one eye's black intelligence, ever that glance

O'er its white edge at me, his own master, askance !

And the thick heavy spume-flakes which aye and anon

His fierce lips shook upwards in galloping on. 30

By Hasselt, Dirck groaned; and cried Joris, " Stay spur!
Your Roos galloped bravely, the fault's not in her,
We'll remember at Aix " for one heard the quick wheeze
Of her chest, saw the stretched neck and staggering knees,
And sunk tail, and horrible heave of the flank,
As down on her haunches she shuddered and sank.

So we were left galloping, Joris and I,

Past Looz and past Tongres, no cloud in the sky !

The broad sun above laughed a pitiless laugh,

'Neath our feet broke the brittle bright stubble like chaff; 40

Till over by Dalhem a dome-spire sprang white,

And " Gallop," gasped Joris, " for Aix is in sight ! "

" How they'll greet us ! " and all in a moment his roan
Rolled neck and croup over, lay dead as a stone ;
And there was my Roland to bear the whole weight
Of the news which alone could save Aix from her fate,
With his nostrils like pits full of blood to the brim,
And with circles of red for his eye-sockets' rim.

Then I cast loose my buffcoat, each holster let fall,

Shook off both my jack-boots, let go belt and all, 50



ROBERT BROWNING 47

Stood up in the stirrup, leaned, patted his ear,
Called my Roland his pet-name, my horse without peer;
Clapped my hands, laughed and sang, any noise bad or good,
Till at length into Aix Roland galloped and stood.

And all I remember is, friends flocking round

As I sat with his head 'twixt my knees on the ground,

And no voice but was praising this Roland of mine,

As I poured down his throat our last measure of wine,

Which (the burgesses voted by common consent) 59

Was no more than his due who brought good news from Ghent.

ROBERT BROWNING.




48 STORY POEMS



XL THE BALLAD OF AGINCOURT

FAIR stood the wind for France,
When we our sails advance,
Nor now to prove our chance

Longer will tarry;
But putting to the main,
At Caux, the mouth of Seine,
With all his martial train

Landed King Harry.

And taking many a fort,

Furnish 'd in warlike sort, 10

Coming towards Agincourt

In happy hour,
Skirmishing day by day
With those that stopp'd his way,
Whereas the General lay

With all his power.

Which, in his height of pride,
King Henry to deride,
His ransome to provide

Unto him sending: 20

Which he neglects the while,
As from a nation vile,
Yet with an angry smile

Their fall portending.



MICHAEL DRAYTON 49

And turning to his men,
Quoth our brave Henry then,
" Though they to one be ten,

Be not amazed:
Yet have we well begun;
Battles so bravely won 30

Have ever to the sun

By fame been raised.

" And for my self (quoth he),
This my full rest shall be;
England ne'er mourn for me,

Nor more esteem me ;
Victor I will remain,
Or on this earth lie slain;
Never shall she sustain

Loss to redeem me. 40

" Poitiers and Cressy tell,
When most their pride did swell,
Under our swords they fell;

No less our skill is,
Than when our grandsire great,
Claiming the regal seat,
In many a warlike feat,

Lopp'd the French Lilies."

The Duke of York so dread
The eager vaward led ; 50

With the main Henry sped
Among his henchmen.
34. Rest. Stake or venture; a gambling term.



50 STORY POEMS

Excester had the rear,
A braver man not there.
O Lord, how hot they were
On the false Frenchmen !

They now to fight are gone,
Armour on armour shone,
Drum now to drum did groan,

To hear was wonder; 60

That with the cries they make
The very earth did shake;
Trumpet to trumpet spake,

Thunder to thunder.

Well it thine age became,

O noble Erpingham !

Which didst the signal frame

To our hid forces ;
When from a meadow by,
Like a storm, suddenly 70

The English archery

Stuck the French horses.

The Spanish yew so strong,
Arrows a cloth-yard long,
That like to serpents stung,

Piercing the weather:
None from his fellow starts,
But playing manly parts,
And like true English hearts

Stuck close together. 80






MICHAEL DRAYTON 51

When down their bows they threw,
And forth their bilbows drew,
And on the French they flew,

No one was tardy.
Arms were from shoulders sent,
Scalps to the teeth were rent ;
Down the French peasants went

Our men were hardy.



This while our noble King,

His broadsword brandishing, 90

Down the French host did fling,

As to o'erwhelm it ;
And many a deep wound lent,
His arms with blood besprent,
And many a cruel dent

Bruised his helmet.

Glo'ster, that Duke so good,
Next of the royal blood,
For famous England stood

With his brave brother: 100

Clarence in steel so bright,
Though but a maiden knight,
Yet in that furious fight,

Scarce such another.

Warwick in blood did wade,
Oxford the foe invade,

82. Bilbows. Billhooks; properly, swords made at Bilbao.
86. Scalps. Skulls; the original sense.



52 STORY POEMS

And cruel slaughter made,

Still as they ran up ;
Suffolk his axe did ply,
Beaumont and Willoughby, no

Bare them right doughtily,

Ferrers and Fanhope.

Upon Saint Crispin's day
Fought was this noble fray,
Which fame did not delay

To England to carry.
O ! when shall Englishmen


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