Sir John Constantine eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 502 pages of information about Sir John Constantine.

“The worst of a flute,” said Mr. Badcock, withdrawing it from his lips with obvious reluctance, “and the objection commonly urged by its detractors, is that a man cannot blow upon it and sing at the same time.”

“I don’t say,” said Billy, seriously, “as that mayn’t be a reas’nable objection; only it didn’t happen to be mine.”

“You have heard the tune,” said Mr. Badcock.  “Now for the words—­

     “I attempt from love’s sickness to fly, in vain,
      Since I am myself my own fever and pain.”

“Bravo!” my father cried.  “Mr. Badcock has hit it.  You are in love, Billy, and beyond a doubt.”

“Be I?” said Billy, scratching his head.  “Well, as the saying is, many an ass has entered Jerusalem.”



“We laid them aboard the larboard side—­
With hey! with ho! for and a nonny no! 
And we threw them into the sea so wide,
And alongst the Coast of Barbary.”
The Sailor’s Onely Delight.

My father, checked in the midst, or rather at the outset, of a panegyric upon love, could not rest until he had found an ear into which to deliver it; but that same evening, after the moon had risen, drew Nat aside on the poop, and discharged the whole harangue upon him; the result being that the dear lad, who already fancied himself another Rudel in quest of the Lady of Tripoli, spent the next two days in composing these verses, the only ones (to my knowledge) ever finished by him: 


“Thou, thou, that art
My port, my refuge, and my goal,
I have no chart,
No compass but a heart
Trembling t’ward thee and to no other pole.

“My star!  Adrift
On seas that well-nigh overwhelm,
Still when they lift
I strain toward the rift,
And steer, and hold my courage to the helm.

“With ivory comb,
Daylong thou dalliest dreaming where
The rainbow foam
Enisles thy murmuring home: 
Home too for me, though I behold it ne’er!

“Yet when the bird
Is tired, and each little wave,
Aloft is heard
A call, reminds thee gird
Thy robe and climb to where the summits rave: 

“Yea, to the white
Lone sea-mark shaken on the verge—­
‘What of the night?’
Ah, climb—­ah, lift the light! 
Ah, lamp thy lover labouring in the surge!

“Fray’d rope, burst sail,
Drench’d wing, as moth toward the spark—­
I fetch, I fail,
Glad only that the gale
Breaks not my faith upon the brutal dark.

“Be it frost or fire,
Thy bosom, I believed it warm: 
I did aspire
For that, and my desire—­
Burn thou or freeze—­fought thro’ and beat the storm.

“Thou, thou, that art
My sole salvation, fixed, afar,
I have no chart,
No compass but a heart
Hungry for thee and for no other star.”

Project Gutenberg
Sir John Constantine from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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