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XL. — “THE TEMPEST STILLED.”
The strong winds burst on Judah’s sea,
Far pealed the raging billow,
The fires of heaven flashed wrathfully,
When Jesus pressed his pillow.
The light frail bark was fiercely tossed,
From surge to dark surge leaping,
For sails were torn and oars were lost,
Yet Jesus still lay sleeping.
When o'er that bark the loud waves roared,
And blasts went howling round her,
Those Hebrews roused their wearied Lord, -
“ Lord! help us, or we founder !” He said, “ Ye waters, peace, be still !”
The chafed waves sank reposing, As wild herds rest on field and hill,
When clear, calm days are closing. And, turning to the startled men
Who watched that surge subsiding,
He spoke in mournful accents then
These words of righteous chiding :
O, ye, who thus fear wreck and death,
As if by Heaven forsaken,
How is it that ye have no faith,
Or faith so quickly shaken ? ”
Then, then those doubters saw with dread
The wondrous scene before them ;
Their limbs waxed faint, their boldness fled,
Strange awe stole creeping o'er them :
“This, this," they said, is Judah's Lord,
array Behold! he does but speak the word, And winds and waves obey him!”
REV, J. G. LYONS.
XLI. — THE FLIGHT OF XERXES.
I saw him on the battle-eve,
When like a king he bore him ;
Proud hosts in glittering helm and greave,
And prouder chiefs, before him.
The warrior and the warrior's deeds,
The morrow and the morrow's meeds,
No daunting thought came o'er him ;
He looked around him, and his eye
Defiance flashed to earth and sky.
He looked on ocean,
- its broad breast
Was covered with his feet :
On earth, - and saw from East to West
His bannered millions meet;
While rock, and glen, and cave, and coast,
Shook with the war-cry of that host,
The thunder of their feet !
He heard the imperial echoes ring, –
He heard, and felt himself a king.
I saw him next alone : — nor camp
Nor chief his steps attended ;
Nor banner blazed, nor courser's tramp
With war-cries proudly blended.
He stood alone, whom Fortune high
So lately seemed to deify;
He, who with Heaven contended,
Fled like a fugitive and slave ! -
Behind, the foe; before, the wave!
He stood -fleet, army, treasure, gone -
Alone, and in despair !
But wave and wind swept ruthless on,
For they were monarchs there;
And Xerxes, in a single bark,
Where late his thousand ships were deo's
Must all their fury dare.
What a revenge, a trophy, this.
For thee, immortal Salamis !
True valor springs from reason,
And tends to perfect honesty. The scope
Is always honor and the public good.
Valor in private quarrels is no valor;
No, not for reputation! That's man's idol
Set up 'gainst God's, the maker of all laws,
Who hath commanded us WE SHALL NOT KILL;
And yet we say we must for reputation !
What honest man can either fear his own,
Or else will hurt another's reputation?
Fear to do base, unworthy things, is valor!
I never thought an angry person valiant ;
Virtue is never aided by a vice;
And 't is an odious kind of remedy
To owe our health to a disease.
If it proceed from passion, not from judgment,
Brute beasts have valor — wicked persons have it.
So in the end where it respects not truth
Or public honesty, but mere revenge,
The ignorant valor,
That knows not why it undertakes, but does it
To escape the infamy merely,
Valor that lies in the eyes of the lookers on,
Is worst of all.
The things true valor 's exercised about
Are poverty, restraint, captivity,
Banishment, loss of children, long disease:
The least is death. Here valor is beheld;
And as all knowledge, when it is removed,
Or separate from justice, is called craft,
Rather than wisdom; so a mind affecting
Or undertaking dangers for ambition,
Or any self-pretext, not for the public,
Deserves the name of daring, not of valor ;
And over-daring is as great a vice
As over-fearing — ay, and often greater.
But, as it is not the mere punishment,
But the cause, that makes the martyr, so it is not
Fighting, or dying, but the manner of it,
Renders a man himself. A valiant man
Ought not to undergo; or tempt a danger,
But worthily, and by selected ways:
He undertakes with reason, not by chance.
His valor is the salt to his other virtues ;
They are all unseasoned without it. The attendants
Or the concomitants of it are his patience,
His magnanimity, his confidence,
His constancy, security, and quiet;
He can assure himself against all rumor,
Despairs of nothing, laughs at contumelies,
As knowing himself advanced in a height
Where injury cannot reach him, nor aspersion
Touch him with soil !
BEN JONSON (altered).
I CHARM thy life from the weapons of strife, from stone and from wood, from fire and from blood, from the serpent's tooth, and the beasts of blood; from sickness I charm thee, and time shall not harm thee, but earth, which is mine, its fruits shall deny thee; and water shall hear me, and know thee and fly thee, and the winds shall not touch thee when they pass by thee; and the dews shall not wet thee, when they come nigh thee; and thou shalt seek death to release thee in vain ; thou shalt live in thy pain, while Kehama shall reign, with a fire in thy heart and a fire in thy brain ; and sleep shall obey me, and visit thee never, and the curse shall be on thee for ever and ever!
COMBAT OF FITZ_JAMES AND RODERICK.
THE chief in silence strāde before,
And reached the torrent's sounding shore ;
And here, at length, his course he staid,
Threw down his target and his plaid,
And to the Lowland warrior said :
“ Bold Saxon! to his promise just,
Vich-Alpine has discharged his trust;
This murderous chief, this ruthless man,
This head of a rebellious clan,
Hath led thee safe through watch and ward,
Far past Clan-Alpine's outmost guard.
Now, man to man, and steel to steel,
A chieftain's vengeance thou shalt feel !
See, here, all vantageless I stand,
Armed, like thyself, with single brand !
For this is Coilantogle ford,
And thou must keep thee with thy sword.”
The Saxon paused :—“ I ne'er delayed
When foeman băde me draw my
Nay, more, brave chief, I vowed thy death!
Yet sure thy fair and generous faith,
COMBAT OF FITZ-JAMES AND RODERICK.
And my deep debt for life preserved,
A better meed have well deserved.
Can naught but blood our feud atone ?
Are there no means ? No, stranger, none !
Not yet prepared ? By heaven, I change
My thought, and hold thy valor light,
As that of some vain carpet-knight,
Who ill deserved my courteous care,
And whose best boast is but to wear
A braid of his fair lady's hair!”
“ I thank thee, Roderick, for the word;
It nerves my heart, it steels my sword !
For I have sworn this braid to stain
In the best blood that warms thy vein.
Now, truce, farewell! and, ruth, begone!
Yet think not that by thee alone,
Proud chief, can courtesy be shown :
Though not from copse, or heath, or cairn,
Start at my whistle clansmen stern,
Of this small horn one feeble blast
Would fearful odds against thee cast.
But fear not - doubt not - what thou wilt
We try this quarrel hilt to hilt ! ”
Then each at once his falchion drew,
Each on the ground his scabbard threw;
Each looked to sun, and stream, and plain,
As what he ne'er might see again.
Then, foot, and point, and cye opposed,
In dubious strife they darkly closed.
Ill fared it then with Rhoderick Dhu,
That on the field his targe he threw;
Whose brazen studs, and tough bull-hide,
Had death so often dashed aside :
For, trained abroad his arms to wield,
Fitz-James's blade was sword and shield.
He practiced every pass and ward,
To thrust, to strike, to feint, to guard ;
While less expert, though stronger far,
The Gael * maintained unequal war.
Three times in closing strife they stood,
And thrice the Saxon blade drank blood;