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The broad sun above laughed a pitiless laugh;

40 'Neath our feet broke the brittle bright stubble like


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 Greet, wel

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Rolled neck and croup* over, lay dead as a stone; 45 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.


Roan is applied to a


horse of
bay or brown

Then I cast loose my buffcoat, each holster * let fall, Holster, the 50 Shook off both my jack-boots, let go belt and all,

Stood up in the stirrup, leaned, patted his ear,
Called my Roland his pet-name, my horse without


Clapped my hands, laughed and sang, any noise, bad
or good-

Till at length into Aix Roland galloped and stood.

55 And all I remember is, friends flocking round,
As I sate with his head 'twixt my knees on the

case for a horseman's


And no voice but was praising this Roland of mine,
As I poured down his throat our last measure of wine, Burgesses,
Which (the burgesses * voted by common consent)

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

the inhabitants or freemen of a city or borough.


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Sing the glorious day's renown,

When to battle fierce came forth

All the might of Denmark's crown,

And her arms along the deep proudly shone ;


By each gun the lighted brand

In a bold determined hand,

And the Prince* of all the land
Led them on.

Nelson was born in

1758. He entered the navy in his twelfth year. He was killed on board the Victory, at Trafalgar, in 1805. Prince. The Danish forces were commanded by their Prince Regent, who became king as Frederick VI. in 1801.

* The Battle of the Baltic. In 1801 a fleet was sent to break up the confederacy formed by Russia, Prussia, Sweden, and Denmark. Seventeen sail of the Danes were sunk, burnt, or taken in the roads of Copenhagen. The Baltic, a sea in the north of Europe. Its waters are shallow, and from this cause and the numerous rivers which it receives it is only slightly salt. This sea is covered with ice in winter.

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O'er the deadly space between.

[each gun

"Hearts of oak!" our captains cried, when

Adamantine, hard as From its adamantine * lips

diamond. Here it

refers to the iron guns.

Boom, the noise made

by the firing of big


Spread a death-shade round the ships,
Like the hurricane eclipse

Of the sun!

Again! again! again!

And the havoc did not slack,

Till a feebler cheer the Dane
To our cheering sent us back.

Their shots along the deep slowly boom ;*-
Then ceased-and all is wail,

As they strike the shattered sail;

Conflagration, an ex- Or, in conflagration * pale,

tensive fire.

Hailed them, called to them.

Ye are brothers. This

Light the gloom!

Out spoke the victor then,


As he hailed them o'er the wave:
"Ye are brothers! * ye are men!

refers to the common And we conquer but to save!

origin of the English and Danes.

Denmark, a low, flat

country in the north of Europe. A great part of the western coast is embanked to

keep out the sea.

So instead of death, let us bring :-
But yield, proud foe, thy fleet,
With the crews, at England's feet,
And make submission meet
To our King."

Then Denmark * blessed our Chief,
Then he gave her wounds repose;
And the sounds of joy and grief
From her people wildly rose,


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As Death withdrew his shades from the day: 50
While the sun looked smiling bright

O'er a wide and woeful sight,

Where the fires of funeral light

Died away!

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Brave hearts! to Britain's pride
65 Once so faithful and so true,
On the deck of fame that died,
With the gallant, good Riou!

Tidings, news.

Festal cities' blaze. When news of the victory reached England, most of the large towns were illuminated.

Elsinore, a town and seaport on island of Zealand, where ships paid toll to the King of Denmark, till it was abolished in 1857. Riou. Captain Riou, gallant and good."

Soft sigh the winds of heaven o'er their grave! styled by Nelson "the

While the billow mournful rolls, 70 And the mermaid's song condoles,* Singing glory to the souls




Of the brave!

Condoles, sympathi. ses, grieves with others.


CAME the relief.* 66


What, sentry, ho!

Relief. It is the rule in the army for each

How passed the night through thy long waking?" soldier to take turn in "Cold, cheerless, dark,—as may befit


The hour before the dawn is breaking."

"No sight? no sound?" "No; nothing save The plover from the marshes calling,

And in yon western sky, about

An hour ago, a star was falling."

"A star? There's nothing strange in that." “No, nothing; but, above the thicket, Somehow it seemed to me that God

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keeping guard, and the one who has to do so is called the relief, or is said to be reliev ing guard.

Sentry, the one keeping guard.

Hour before the dawn. The hour before the morning breaks is considered to be the darkest time of the night.

Picket, soldiers placed to guard the outposts of a camp.


WEE, modest, crimson tippèd flower,
Thou's met me in an evil hour


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When upward springing, blythe, to greet
The purpling* east.

Neebor, neighbour.

Meet, fit.
Weet, wet.

Purpling, at dawn.

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Cauld* blew the bitter-biting north
Upon thy early, humble, birth;
Yet cheerfully thou glinted* forth
Amid the storm;

Scarce rear'd above the parent earth
Thy tender form.

The flaunting* flowers our gardens yield


High sheltering woods and wa's* maun shield, 20
But thou beneath the random bield *

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him through the

Till, wrench'd* of every stay but Heaven,
He, ruin'd, sink!

storms and troubles of this life.

Lore, learning.

Wrench'd, deprived
Elate, proudly.

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Minstrel, one of an order of men who sang to the harp verses composed by themselves or others; a musician, a bard. Sole, only.

Till crush'd beneath the furrow's weight,
Shall be thy doom.


THE way was long, the wind was cold,
The Minstrel * was infirm and old;
His withered cheek, and tresses gray,
Seemed to have known a better day;
The harp, his sole * remaining joy,
Was carried by an orphan boy.





The last of all the bards was he,
Who sung of Border chivalry;
For, well-a-day! their date was fled,
His tuneful brethren all were dead;
And he, neglected and oppressed,
Wished to be with them, and at rest.
No more, on prancing palfrey* borne,
He carolled,* light as lark at morn;
15 No longer, courted and caressed,*
High placed in hall, a welcome guest,
He poured, to lord and lady gay,
The unpremeditated * lay;


Old times were changed, old manners gone;
A stranger* filled the Stuart's* throne;
The bigots of the iron time

Had called his harmless art a crime.
A wandering harper, scorned and poor,
He begged his bread from door to door;
25 And tuned to please a peasant's ear,
The harp a king had loved to hear.

He passed where Newark's stately tower*
Looks out from Yarrow's * birchen bower:
The Minstrel gazed with wistful eye-
30 No humbler resting-place was nigh.
With hesitating step, at last,

The embattled* portal arch he passed,
Whose ponderous grate and massy bar
Had oft rolled back the tide of war,
35 But never closed the iron door
Against the desolate and poor.

The Duchess* marked his weary pace,
His timid mien,* and reverend face,
And bade her page the menials* tell,
40 That they should tend the old man well:
For she had known adversity,*
Though born in such a high degree;
In pride of power, in beauty's bloom,
Had wept o'er Monmouth's bloody tomb!*
45 When kindness had his wants supplied,
And the old man was gratified,

Began to rise his minstrel pride:
And he began to talk anon,*

Of good Earl Francis,* dead and gone,
50 And of Earl Walter,* rest him, God!
A braver ne'er to battle rode;
And how full many a tale he knew,
Of the old warriors of Buccleuch :

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The Duchess, Anne, the heiress of Buccleuch, who had been married to the Duke of Monmouth, son of Charles II.

Mien, way of conducting one's self; appearance.

Menials, the servants.

Monmouth's bloody
tomb, the Duke was
beheaded for rebel-
lion against James
II., 1685.
Anon, presently.
Earl Francis, the fa-
ther of the Duchess.
Earl Walter, the
Duchess's grand-
father, a celebrated

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