The Illustrated London Reading Book eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 377 pages of information about The Illustrated London Reading Book.

    Ye mariners of England! 
      Who guard our native seas,
    Whose flag has braved a thousand years
      The battle and the breeze,
    Your glorious standard launch again,
      To match another foe,
    And sweep through the deep
      While the stormy tempests blow;
    While the battle rages long and loud,
      And the stormy tempests blow.

    The spirits 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 tempests blow;
    While the battle rages long and loud,
      And the stormy tempests 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 tempests blow;
    When the battle rages long and loud,
      And the stormy tempests 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! 
      Our 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.


* * * * *


“I knew” (says the pleasing writer of “Letters from Sierra Leone”) “that the long-looked-for vessel had at length furled her sails and dropped anchor in the bay.  She was from England, and I waited, expecting every minute to feast my eyes upon at least one letter; but I remembered how unreasonable it was to suppose that any person would come up with letters to this lonely place at so late an hour, and that it behoved me to exercise the grace of patience until next day.  However, between ten and eleven o’clock, a loud shouting and knocking aroused the household, and the door was opened to a trusty Kroo messenger, who, although one of a tribe who would visit any of its members in their own country with death, who could ‘savey white man’s book,’ seemed to comprehend something of our feelings at receiving letters, as I overheard him exclaim, with evident glee, ’Ah! massa! here de right book come at last.’  Every thing, whether a brown-paper parcel, a newspaper, an official despatch, a private letter or note is here denominated a ‘book,’ and this man understood well that newspapers are never received so gladly amongst ‘books’ from England as letters.”  The Kaffir, in the Engraving, was sketched from one employed to convey letters in the South African settlements; he carries his document in a split at the end of a cane.

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The Illustrated London Reading Book from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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