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第55章 POETRY FOR RECITATION GEORGE NIDIVER

1.Men have done brave deeds,And bards have sung them well;I of good George NidiverNow the tale will tell.

2.In Californian mountains,A hunter bold was he;Keen his eye and sure his aim As any you could see.

3.A little Indian boy Followed him everywhere,Eager to share the hunter’s joy,The hunter‘s meal to share;4.And when the bird or deer Fell by the hunter’s skill,The boy was always nearTo help with right goodwill.

5.One day,as through the cleft Between two mountains steep,Shut in both right and left,Their weary way they keep.

6.They see two grizzly bears,With hunger fierce and fell,Rush at them unawaresRight down the narrow dell.

7.The boy turned round with screams,And ran with terror wild ;One of the pair of savage beasts Pursued the shrieking child.

8.The hunter raised his gun-He knew one charge was all-And through the boy‘s pursuing foeHe sent his only ball.

9.The other on George Nidiver Came on with dreadful pace;The hunter stood,unarmed,And met him face to face.

10.I say unarmed he stood:Against those frightful paws,The rifle-butt or club of wood Could stand no more than straws.

11.George Nidiver stood still,And looked him in the face;The wild beast stopped amazed,Then came with slackening pace.

12.Still firm the hunter stood,Although his heart beat high;Again the creature stopped,And gazed with wondering eye.

13.The hunter met his gaze,Nor yet an inch gave way;The bear turned slowly round,And slowly moved away.

14.What thoughts were in his mind,It would be hard to spell;What thoughts were in George Nidiver,I rather guess than tell.

15.But sure that rifle’s aim,Swift choice of generous part,Showed in its passing gleamThe depths of a brave heart.

THE DAISY

1.There is a flower,a little flower,With silver crest and golden eye,That welcomes every changing hour,And weathers every sky.

2.The prouder beauties of the field In gay but quick succession shine;Race after race their honours yield-They flourish and decline.

3.But this small flower,to nature dear,While moon and stars their courses run,Wreathes the whole circle of the year,Companion of the sun:

4.It smiles upon the lap of May,To sultry August spreads its charms,Lights pale October on his way,And twines December’s arms.

5.The purple heath and golden broom On moory mountains catch the gale,O‘er lawns the lily sheds perfume,The violet in the vale.

6.But this bold floweret climbs the hill,Hides in the forest,haunts the glen,Plays on the margin of the rill,Peeps round the fox’s den.

7.Within the garden‘s cultured round It shares the sweet carnation’s bed;And blooms on consecrated ground,In honour of the dead.

8.The lambkin crops its crimson gem,The wild bee murmurs on its breast,The blue fly bends its pensile stem Light o‘er the skylark’s nest.

9.‘Tis Flora’s page-in every place,In every season fresh and fair;It opens with perennial grace,And blossoms everywhere.

10.On waste and woodland,rock and plain,Its humble buds unheeded rise:

The rose has but a summer reign,The daisy never dies.

1.Our bugles sang truce,for the night-cloud had lowered,And the sentinel stars set their watch in the sky;And thousands had sunk on the ground overpowered-The weary to sleep,and the wounded to die.

2.When reposing that night on my pallet of straw,By the wolf-scaring fagot that guarded the slain,At the dead of the night a sweet vision I saw,And thrice ere the morning I dreamt it again.

3.Methought from the battle-field’s dreadful array Far,far I had roamed,on a desolate track:

‘Twas autumn,-and sunshine arose on the wayTo the home of my fathers,that welcomed me back.

4.I flew to the pleasant fields traversed so oftIn life’s morning march,when my bosom was young;I heard my own mountain-goats bleating aloft,And knew the sweet strain that the corn-reapers sung.

5.Then pledged we the wine-cup,and fondly I swore From my home and my weeping friends never to part:My little ones kissed me a thousand times o‘er,And my wife sobbed aloud in her fulness of heart:-6.“Stay,stay with us,-rest,thou art weary and worn;”And fain was their war-broken soldier to stay;But sorrow returned with the dawning of morn,And the voice in my dreaming ear melted away.

LORD ULLIN’S DAUGHTER

I.A chieftain to the Highlands bound Cries,“Boatman,do not tarry,And I‘ll give thee a silver pound To row us o’er the ferry.”

2.“Now,who be ye would cross Lochgyle,This dark and stormy water?”-“Oh!I‘m the chief of Ulva’s isle;And this,Lord Ullin‘s daughter:

3.”And fast before her father’s men Three days we‘ve fled together;For should he find us in the glen,My blood would stain the heather.

4.“His horsemen hard behind us ride;Should they our steps discover,Then who will cheer my bonnie bride When they have slain her lover?”

5.Out spoke the hardy Highland wight,“I’ll go,my chief-I‘m ready!

It is not for your silver bright,But for your winsome lady!

6.”And,by my word,the bonnie bird In danger shall not tarry;So,though the waves are raging white,I’ll row you o‘er the ferry.

7.By this the storm grew loud apace,The water-wraith was shrieking,And in the scowl of heaven each faceGrew dark as they were speaking.

8.But still,as wilder blew the wind,And as the night grew drearer,Adown the glen rode armèd men!-Their trampling sounded nearer.

9.”Oh,haste thee,haste!“the lady cries;“Though tempests round us gather,I’ll meet the raging of the skies,But not an angry father.”-10.The boat has left a stormy land,A stormy sea before her,When-oh!too strong for human hand-The tempest gathered o‘er her!

11.And still they rowed amidst the roar Of waters fast prevailing:

Lord Ullin reached that fatal shore-His wrath was changed to wailing.

12.For sore dismayed,through storm and shade,His child he did discover:

One lovely hand she stretched for aid,And one was round her lover.

13.“Come back!come back!”he cried in grief,“Across this stormy water;And I’ll forgive your Highland chief,My daughter-O my daughter!”

14.‘Twas vain:the loud waves lashed the shore,Return or aid preventing;The waters wild went o’er his child,And he was left lamenting.

THE WIND IN A FROLIG

1.The Wind one morning sprang up from sleep,Saying,“Now for a frolic!now for a leap!

Now for a mad-cap galloping chase!

I‘ll make a commotion in every place!”

2.So it swept with a bustle right through a great town,Cracking the signs and scattering downShutters;and whisking,with merciless squalls,Old women’s bonnets and gingerbread stalls.There never was heard a much lustier shout,As the apples and oranges trundled about;And the urchins that stand with their thievish eyes For ever on watch,ran off each with a prize.

3.Then away to the fields it went,blustering and humming,And the cattle all wondered what monster was coming.It plucked by the tails the grave matronly cows,And tossed the colts‘manes all over their brows ;Till,offended at such an unusual salute,They all turned their backs,and stood sulky and mute.

4.So on it went,capering and playing its pranks,-Whistling with reeds on the broad river’s banks,Puffing the birds as they sat on the spray,Or the traveller grave on the king‘s highway.It was not too nice to hustle the bagsOf the beggar,and flutter his dirty rags;’Twas so bold,that it feared not to play its joke With the doctor‘s wig or the gentleman’s cloak.

Through the forest it roared,and cried gaily,“Now,You sturdy old oaks,I‘ll make you bow!”

And it made them bow without more ado,Or it cracked their great branches through and through.

5.Then it rushed like a monster on cottage and farm,Striking their dwellers with sudden alarm;And they ran out like bees in a midsummer swarm:There were dames with their kerchiefs tied over their caps,To see if their poultry were free from mishaps;The turkeys they gobbled,the geese screamed aloud,And the hens crept to roost in a terrified crowd;There was rearing of ladders,and logs were laid on,Where the thatch from the roof threatened soon to be gone.

6.But the Wind had swept on,and had met in a lane With a school-boy,who panted and struggled in vain;For it tossed him and twirled him,then passed-and he stood With his hat in a pool and his shoes in the mud!

7.Then away went the Wind in its holiday glee,And now it was far on the billowy sea;And the lordly ships felt its staggering blow,And the little boats darted to and fro.

8.But,lo!it was night,and it sank to restOn the sea-birds’rock in the gleaming west,Laughing to think,in its frolicsome fun,How little of mischief it really had done.

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