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down all around us. From these threatening masses, seamed at intervals with pale lightning, there now burst a heavy peal of thunder that shook the ground under our feet.
15. It was impossible any longer to keep our footing on the beach. The wind and the breakers would have swept us into the ocean if we had not clung to one another. We crawled up the sands on our hand and knees, and pausing in the lee of the granite ledge to gain breath, returned to the camp. We fell to crying, the three of us, and cried I know not how long. The wind rose higher and higher, cutting long slits in the tent, through which the rain poured incessantly. To complete the sum of our miseries, the night was at hand. It came down suddenly, at last, like a curtain, shutting in Sandpeep Island from all the world.
16. What an endless night it was ! I have known months that did not seem so long. Fred Langdon was the first to discover a filmy, luminous streak in the sky, the first glimmering of sunrise. “Look, it is nearly daybreak!” While we were following the direction of his finger, a sound of distant oars fell on our ears. Running down to the water's edge, we hailed the boats with all our might. The call was heard, for the oars rested a moment in the rowlocks, and then pulled in toward the island. two boats from the town.
17. Our story was soon told. A solemn silence fel! upon the crowd of rough boatmen. The sea was still running too high for any small boat to venture out; so it was arranged that one boat should take us back to town, leaving the other, with a picked crew, to hug the island until daybreak, and then set forth in search of the Dolphin.
18. Poor little Binny Wallace ! How strange it seemed, when I went to school again, to see that empty
seat in the fifth row! One day a folded sheet slipped from my algebra : it was the last note he ever wrote me. Poor little Binny Wallace ! Always the same to me! The rest of us have grown up into hard, worldly men; but you are forever young, and gentle, and pure; a part of my own childhood that time cannot wither ; always a little boy, always poor little Binny Wallace !
THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH. “Played at ducks and drakes ” (1) means throwing flat stones on the surface of the water so that they will rebound repeatedly ;
came lisping down" (2), that is, came down in few, scattered drops ; “white-caps ” (10) are waves crested with white foam ; “to hug the island” (17) is to keep close to the island.
2. văs' sal; n. slave; servant. 5. sērf; n, slave. 2. re tain'er; n. servant. 5. wạs' sail; n. festivity. 4. klos' ter; n. a German word 5. wäits; n. serenaders; musical
meaning cloister or monastery. watchmen.
The Norman Baron.
Was the Norman baron lying ;
And the castle-turret shook.
2. In this fight was Death the gainer,
Spite of vassal and retainer,
Written in the Doomsday Book.
3. By his bed a monk was seated,
Who in humble voice repeated
From the missal on his knee ;
4. And, amid the tempest pealing,
Sounds of bells came faintly stealing,
Rang for the Nativity.
5. In the hall, the serf and vassal
Held, that night, their Christmas wassail ;
Sang the minstrels and the waits ;
6. And so loud these Saxon gleemen
Sang to slaves the songs of freemen,
Knocking at the castle-gates.
7. Till at length the lays they chanted
Reached the chamber terror-haunted,
Whispered at the baron's ear.
8. Tears upon his eyelids glistened,
As he paused awhile and listened,
Turned his weary head to hear.
9. “Wassail for the kingly stranger
Born and cradled in a manger !
Christ is born to set us free!”
10. And the lightning showed the sainted
Figures on the casement painted,