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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 236 pages of information about MacMillan's Reading Books.

GOLDSMITH.

[Note:  He stood for a child of mine, i.e., stood as godfather for a child of mine.]

* * * * *

       A SEA SONG.

       A wet sheet and a flowing sea,
          A wind that follows fast,
       And fills the white and rustling sail
          And bends the gallant mast. 
       And bends the gallant mast, my boys,
          While, like the eagle free,
       Away the good ship flies, and leaves
          Old England on the lee.

       Oh, for a soft and gentle wind,
          I heard a fair one cry: 
       But give to me the snoring breeze
          And white waves heaving high. 
       And white waves heaving high, my lads,
          A good ship, tight and free,
       The world of waters is our home,
          And merry men are we.

There’s tempest in yon horned moon,
And lightning in yon cloud;
And hark the music, mariners! 
The wind is piping loud. 
The wind is piping loud, my boys,
The lightning flashes free;
While the hollow oak our palace is,
Our heritage the sea.

CUNNINGHAM.

[Note:  A wet sheet.  The sheet is the rope fastened to the lower corner of a sail to retain it in position.]

* * * * *

       ON THE LOSS OF THE ‘ROYAL GEORGE.’

       Toll for the brave! 
          The brave that are no more;
       All sunk beneath the wave,
          Fast by their native shore!

       Eight hundred of the brave,
          Whose courage well was tried,
       Had made the vessel heel,
          And laid her on her side.

       A land breeze shook the shrouds,
          And she was overset;
       Down went the ‘Royal George,’
          With all her crew complete.

       Toll for the brave! 
          Brave Kempenfeldt is gone;
       His last sea-fight is fought;
          His work of glory done.

       It was not in the battle;
          No tempest gave the shock;
       She sprang no fatal leak;
          She ran upon no rock.

       His sword was in its sheath;
          His fingers held the pen,
       When Kempenfeldt went down,
          With twice four hundred men.

       Weigh the vessel up,
          Once dreaded by our foes! 
       And mingle with our cup,
          The tear that England owes.

Her timbers yet are sound,
And she may float again,
Full-charged with England’s thunder,
And plough the distant main.

But Kempenfeldt is gone,
His victories are o’er;
And he and his eight hundred
Shall plough the wave no more.

COWPER.

[Note:  The Royal George.  A ship of war, which went down with Admiral Kempenfeldt and her crew off Spithead in 1782, while undergoing a partial careening.]

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