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POETRY FOR RECITATION.
The Officer's Funeral.
HARK, hark, 'mid the busy stir of life,
I hear the thrilling tones of the fife,
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;
He hath no need of these gaudy things
Who sleeps in death below!
For the voice that gave the stern command
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,
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;
Earth and Heaven.
[Suggested by the Death of a young Female.]
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
And cheeks are all pallid, and hearts are all cold,
And who that looks on the sweet saint to behold,
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!
There is bliss! there is bliss! in the regions above,
A spirit hath soared to the mansions of love,
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!
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,
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, Her aged life is parting fast and fleeting is her breath;
But yet she cannot life resign, nor hope for peace
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
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
"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.