MacMillan's Reading Books eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 344 pages of information about MacMillan's Reading Books.

       The spirit of your fathers
          Shall start from every wave!—­
       For the deck it was their field of fame,
          And ocean was their grave;
       Where Blake and mighty Nelson fell,
          Your manly hearts shall glow,

       As ye sweep through the deep
          While the stormy winds do blow;
       While the battle rages loud and long,
          And the stormy winds do blow.

       Britannia needs no bulwarks,
          No towers along the steep;
       Her march is o’er the mountain-waves,
          Her home is on the deep. 
       With thunders from her native oak,
          She quells the floods below,
       As they roar on the shore,
          When the stormy winds do blow. 
       While the battle rages loud and long,
          And the stormy winds do blow.

       The meteor flag of England
          Shall yet terrific burn;
       Till danger’s troubled night depart,
          And the star of peace return. 
       Then, then, ye ocean warriors! 
          Your song and feast shall flow
       To the fame of your name,
          When the storm has ceased to blow;
       When the fiery fight is heard no more,
          And the storm has ceased to blow.


[Notes:  Blake.  Robert Blake (1598-1657), an English admiral under Cromwell, chiefly distinguished for his victories over the Dutch.]

* * * * *


One morning I can remember well, how we watched from the Hartland Cliffs a great barque, which came drifting and rolling in before the western gale, while we followed her up the coast, parsons and sportsmen, farmers and Preventive men, with the Manby’s mortar lumbering behind us in a cart, through stone gaps and track-ways, from headland to headland.  The maddening excitement of expectation as she ran wildly towards the cliffs at our feet, and then sheered off again inexplicably;—­her foremast and bowsprit, I recollect, were gone short off by the deck; a few rags of sail fluttered from her main and mizen.  But with all straining of eyes and glasses, we could discern no sign of man on board.  Well I recollect the mingled disappointment and admiration of the Preventive men, as a fresh set of salvors appeared in view, in the form of a boat’s crew of Clovelly fishermen; how we watched breathlessly the little black speck crawling and struggling up in the teeth of the gale, under the shelter of the land, till, when the ship had rounded a point into smoother water, she seized on her like some tiny spider on a huge unwieldy fly; and then how one still smaller black speck showed aloft on the main-yard, and another—­and then the desperate efforts to get the topsail set—­and how we saw it tear out of their hands again, and again, and again, and almost fancied we could hear the thunder

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MacMillan's Reading Books from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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