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208

MR. ORATOR PUFF.

And heaven, as he listened, spoke out from the space,

And the hope that makes heroes shot flame from his eyes ; He gazed on the flush in that beautiful face

It pales—at the feet of her father she lies !
How priceless the guerdon !-a moment-a breath-
And headlong he plunges to life and to death !
They hear the loud surges sweep back in their swell,

Their coming the thunder-sound heralds along !
Fond eyes yet are tracking the spot where he fell.

They come, the wild waters, in tumult and throng,
Roaring up to the cliff-roaring back as before-
But no wave ever brings the lost youth to the shore !

Schiller, translated by Lord Lytton.

MR. ORATOR PUFF.

MR. ORATOR PUFF had two tones in his voice,
The one squeaking thus, and the other down so !
In each sentence he uttered he gave you your choice,
For one was B alt, and the rest G below.

Oh! oh! Orator Puff!
One voice for one orator's surely enough.
But he still talked away spite of coughs and of frowns,
So distracting all ears with his ups and his downs,
That a wag once, on hearing the orator say,
My voice is for war," ask'd him,“ Which of them pray 7?"

Oh, oh, &c.
Reeling homewards one evening, top-heavy with gin,
And rehearsing his speech on the weight of the crown,
He tripp'd

near a saw-pit, and tumbled right in, “Sinking Fund," the last words as his noddle came down.

Oh ! oh! &c. “ Help! help !” he exclaim'd, in his he-and-she tones, “Help me out! help me out—I have broken my bones!” “Help you out ?” said a Paddy who pass’d: “what a bother! Why, there's two of you there, can't you help one another po Oh ! oh! &c.

Thomas Moore,

THE RUINED COTTAGE.

209

THE RUINED COTTAGE.

NONE will dwell in that cottage, for they say
Oppression reft it from an honest man,
And that a curse clings to it. hence the vine
Trails its green weight of leaves upon the ground;
Hence weeds are in that garden; hence the hedge,
Once sweet with honeysuckle, is half dead ;
And hence the grey moss on the apple-tree.

One once dwelt there, who had been in his youth
A soldier ; and when many years

had passed
He sought his native village, and sat down
To end his days in peace. He had one child—
A little, laughing thing, whose large dark eyes,
He said, were like the mother's he had left
Buried in strange lands. And time went on
In comfort and content, and that fair girl
Had grown far taller than the red rose tree
Her father planted her first English birthday;
And he had trained it up against an ash
Till it became his pride ;-it was so rich
In blossom and in beauty, it was callid
The tree of Isabel. 'Twas an appeal
To all the better feelings of the heart
To mark their quiet happiness,-their home,
In truth a home of love: and, more than all,
To see them on the Sabbath, when they came
Among the first to church ; and Isabel,
With her bright colour, and her clear glad eyes,
Bow'd down so meekly in the house of prayer;
And in the hymn her sweet voice audible :
Her father look'd so fond of her, and then
From her look'd up so thankfully to heaven !
And their small cottage was so very neat ;
Their garden fill’d with fruits, and herbs, and flowers ;
And in the winter there was no fireside
So cheerful as their own. But other days
And other fortunes came—an evil power !
They bore against it cheerfully, and hoped
For better times, but ruin came at last";

210

THE RUINED COTTAGE.

And the old soldier left his own dear home,
And left it for a prison. 'Twas in June,
One of June's brightest days—the bee, the bird,
The butterfly, were on their brightest wings;
The fruits had their first tinge of summer light;
The sunny sky, the very leaves, seemed glad,
And the old man looked back upon his cottage
And wept aloud. They hurried him

away,
And the dear child that would not leave his side.
They led him from the sight of the blue heaven
And the green trees into a low, dark cell,
The windows shutting out the blessed sun
With iron-grating; and for the first time
He threw him on his bed, and could not hear
His Isabel's "good-night !” But the next morn
She was the earliest at the prison gate,
The last on whom it closed; and her sweet voice,
And sweeter smile, made him forget to pine.
She brought him every morning fresh wild flowers ;
But every morning could he see her cheek
Grow paler and more pale, and her low tones
Get fainter and more faint, and a cold dew
Was on the hand he held. One day he saw
The sun shine through the grating of his cell,
Yet Isabel came not; at every sound
His heart-beat took away his breath, yet still
She came not near him. But one sad day
He mark'd the dull street through the iron bars
That shut him from the world ;—at length he saw
A coffin carried carelessly along,
And he grew desperate-he forced the bars ;
And he stood on the street, free and alone!
He had no aim, no wish for liberty-
He had only felt one want, to see the corpse
That had no mourners. When they set it down
Or e'er 'twas lowered into the new dug grave,
A rush of passion came upon his soul,
And he tore off the lid, and saw the face
Of Isabel, and knew he had no child !
He lay down by the coffin quietly-
His heart was broken!

Mrs. Maclean, L.E.L

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CHLOE, a maid at fifty-five,

Was at her toilet dressing;
Her waiting-maid, with iron hot,

Each paper'd curl was pressing.
The looking-glass her eyes engross,

While Betty humm'd a ditty ;
She gazed so much upon her face,

She really thought it pretty,
Her painted cheeks and pencil brows

She could not but approve;
Her thoughts on various subjects turned,

At length they fixed on love.
“ And shall,” said she," a virgin life

Await these pleasing charms ?
And will no sighing, blooming youth

Receive me to his arms ?

“Forbid it, love !" She scarce had spoke

When Cupid laid a trap,
For at the chamber door was heard

A soft and gentle rap.
Cried Betty, "Who is at the door ?"

"Ay, tell," quoth Chloe, “true ;'
When straight a tender voice replied,

“ Dear ma'am I die for you.
• What's that ?" she said ; “O, Betty, say!

A man ! and die for me !
And can I see the youth expire ?

Oh, no!-it must not be?
Haste, Betty, open quick the door 1"
A little man with bundle stood,

In sleeves and apron blue.
“ Ye powers !” cried Chloe, “what is this ?

What vision do I see i
Is this the man, O mighty Love-

The man that dies for me?"

212

KING ROBERT OF SICILY.

“ Yes, ma'am ; your ladyship is right,"

The figure straight replied ;
" And hard for me it would have been

If I had never dyed.
“La ! ma'am, you must have heard of me,

Although I'm no highflyer ;
I live just by, at No. 1,

I'm Billy Dip the dyer.
'Twas I, ma'am, Betty there employed

To dye your lustring gown;
And I not only dye for you,
But dye for all the town.”

Anon.

KING ROBERT OF SICILY.

ROBERT OF SICILY, brother of Pope Urbane
And Valmond, Emperor of Allemaine,
Apparelled in magnificent attire,
With retinue of many a knight and squire,
On St. John's eve at vespers proudly sat,
And heard the priests chant the Magnificat.
And as he listened, o'er and o'er again
Repeated, like a burden or refrain,
He caught the words, Deposuit potentes
De sede, et exaltavit humiles ;
And slowly lifting up his kingly head,
He a learned clerk beside him said,
“What mean these words?The clerk made answer meet-
“He has put down the mighty from their seat,
And has exalted them of low degree.”
Thereat King Robert muttered scornfully-
“ 'Tis well that such seditious words are sung
Only by priests, and in the Latin tongue ;
For unto priests and people be it known,
There is no power can push me from my throne !"
And, leaning back, he yawned and fell asleep,
Lulled by the chant monotonous and deep.
When he awoke, it was night;
The church was empty, and there was no light,

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