Successful Recitations eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 540 pages of information about Successful Recitations.

        Yes, honour calls!—­with strength like steel
          He put the vision by. 
        Let dusky Indians whine and kneel;
          An English lad must die. 
        And thus, with eyes that would not shrink,
          With knee to man unbent,
        Unfaltering on its dreadful brink,
          To his red grave he went.

        Vain, mightiest fleets of iron framed;
          Vain, those all-shattering guns;
        Unless proud England keep, untamed,
          The strong heart of her sons. 
        So, let his name through Europe ring—­
          A man of mean estate,
        Who died, as firm as Sparta’s king,
          Because his soul was great.



Hurrah! the craft is dashing
Athwart the briny sea;
Hurrah! the wind is lashing
The white sails merrily;
The sun is shining overhead,
The rough sea heaves below;
We sail with every canvas spread,
Yo ho! my lads, yo ho!

Simple is our vocation,
We seek no hostile strife;
But ’mid the storm’s vexation
We succour human life;
O, simple are our pleasures,
We crave no miser’s hoard,
But haul the great sea’s treasures
To spread a frugal board.

But if at usurpation
We needs must strike a blow,
Our hardy avocation
Shall fit us for the foe;
Then let the despot’s strength compete
Upon the open sea,
And on the proudest of his fleet
Our flag shall flutter free.



Stop!—­for thy tread is on an Empire’s dust! 
An Earthquake’s spoil is sepulchred below! 
Is the spot marked with no colossal bust? 
Nor column trophied for triumphal show? 
None:  but the moral’s truth tells simpler so. 
As the ground was before, thus let it be;
How that red rain hath made the harvest grow! 
And is this all the world has gained by thee,
Thou first and last of fields! king-making Victory?...

      There was a sound of revelry by night,
      And Belgium’s capital had gathered then
      Her Beauty and her Chivalry; and bright
      The lamps shone o’er fair women and brave men;
      A thousand hearts beat happily; and when
      Music arose, with its voluptuous swell,
      Soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again,
      And all went merry as a marriage bell;—­
    But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell!

      Did ye not hear it?  No; ’twas but the wind
      Or the car rattling o’er the stony street: 
      On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
      No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
      To chase the glowing Hours with flying feet—­
      But hark! that heavy sound breaks in once more,
      As if the clouds its echo would repeat;
      And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before! 
    Arm! arm! it is! it is!—­the cannon’s opening roar!

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Successful Recitations from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.