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Oh, come you from the Indies ? and, soldier, can you tell,
SENIOR POETICAL READER. .
AN APRIL DAY.-Chaucer. * GEOFFREY CHAUCER (1328-1400) was closely connected with the court of Edward III. He is looked upon as the Father of English poetry. His chief work is the Canterbury Tales, consisting of stories told by some pilgrims whom Chaucer accompanied to the shrine of St. Thomas at Canterbury.
All day the low-hung clouds have dropt
Garnered, stored up.
Grove, a collection of
size. 5 There has not been a sound to-day
Of life, or living creature,
singing. I could have half believed I heard
Lowing, the bellow. The leaves and blossoms growing.
ing or cry made by
Continuous, not leav
ing off, 15 Small drops, but thick and fast they fell,
Down straight into the ground.
Screen, to hide.
With shoots of tender green.
Honeysuckle, a climb
Hath put forth larger studs. * These verses are given in the spelling of the present day, as Chaucer's old mode of orthography would not be intelligible to young readers.
Cones, leaf buds. Revealing, making known.
That lilac's cleaving cones* have burst, 25
The milk-white floweis revealing ;*
Methinks their sweets are stealing.*
30 And grace and beauty everywhere
Are flushing into life.
Those earth-rejoicing drops !
Have circled out of sight,
Breaks forth of amber* light.
Comes down the glittering rain;
The fringes* of her train,
Amber', a yellow transparent substance. Abrupt, very sudden, unexpected. Fringe, the border or edge.
A PSALM OF LIFE.-Longfellow.
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW (1807-1882) was an eminent American poet. He was born at Portland, Maine, U.S., and for many years was Professor of Modern Languages and Literature at Harvard College, Massachusetts. Chief poems : Voices of the Night, Evangeline, Song of Hiawatha, Golden Legend, and Tales of a Wayside Inn.
Numbers, verse or poetry.
Goal, the place one is trying to reach; the end of a race-course. Dust thou art, &c., referring to the death of the body and its decay in the grave. Destined, appointed, intended.
TELL me not, in mournful numbers,*
Life is but an empty dream !
And things are not what they seem.
And the grave is not its goal ; *
Was not spoken of the soul.
Is our destined * end or way;
Finds us further than to-day !
Trust no future, howe'er pleasant !
Let the dead Past bury its dead ;
Heart within, and God o'erhead !
Alfred the Great, Columbus, Shakspeare, Captain Cook, Nelson, George Washington, Stephenson, &c. Sublime, grand, noble. Footprints, &c., tho mark which one makes in the world by a good and noble life. Main,
the ocean: here, the length of one's life. Forlorn, forsaken, helpless, unfriended. Achieving, performing our work or task. Pursuing, going on without ceasing with the work we have undertaken ; perse. vering with our task.
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main, *
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us then be
and doing, With a heart for any fate; Still achieving,* still pursuing,
Learn to labour and to wait.
JOSEPH ADDISON (1672–1719) was born in Wiltshire. He was one of the most elegant of our prose-writers, and gained a high reputation by his poems. He became Secretary of State in 1717. Chief works: The Campaign, a poem celebrating Marlborough's victory of Blenheim (1704); essays to the Tatler, Spectator, and Guardian, on which his fame chiefly rests; and Cato, a tragedy written in 1713.
How are Thy servants blest, O Lord !
How sure is their defence !
Their help Omnipotence.
Omnipotence here means God, who is All-powerful.
Hoary Alpine hills, the snow-capped hills of Switzerland. Tyrrhene seas,
the ancient name for the sea on the west coast of Italy. Afrighted, frightened,
Confusion, not know. ing what to do.
Pilot, one who con. ducts vessels in and out of harbour, or along a dangerous coast.
Thy mercy sweetened every soul,
Made every region please ;
And smoothed the Tyrrhene seas.
How with affrighted * eyes,
In all its horrors rise.
And fear on every heart;
O’ercame the pilot's * art.
Thy mercy set me free ;
My soul took hold on Thee.
High on the broken wave,
Nor impotent* to save.
Obedient to Thy will ;
At Thy command was still.
Thy goodness I'll adore;
And humbly hope for more.
Thy sacrifice * shall be ;
Shall join my soul to Thee.
Sucrifice, offering to