Successful Recitations eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 540 pages of information about Successful Recitations.
    In half-articulate jargon, the old song: 
    “Some one hath done a wrong, hath done a wrong!”
    But ere he reached the belfry’s light arcade,
    He saw, or thought he saw, beneath its shade,
    No shape of human form of woman born,
    But a poor steed dejected and forlorn,
    Who with uplifted head and eager eye
    Was tugging at the vines of briony. 
    “Domeneddio!” cried the Syndic straight,
    “This is the Knight of Atri’s steed of state! 
    He calls for justice, being sore distressed,
    And pleads his cause as loudly as the best.”

    Meanwhile from street and lane a noisy crowd
    Had rolled together like a summer cloud,
    And told the story of the wretched beast
    In five-and-twenty different ways at least,
    With much gesticulation and appeal
    To heathen gods, in their excessive zeal. 
    The Knight was called and questioned; in reply
    Did not confess the fact, did not deny;

    Treated the matter as a pleasant jest,
    And set at nought the Syndic and the rest,
    Maintaining, in an angry undertone,
    That he should do what pleased him with his own. 
    And thereupon the Syndic gravely read
    The proclamation of the King; then said: 
    “Pride goeth forth on horseback grand and gay,
    But cometh back on foot, and begs its way;
    Fame is the fragrance of heroic deeds
    Of flowers of chivalry, and not of weeds! 
    These are familiar proverbs; but I fear
    They never yet have reached your knightly ear. 
    What fair renown, what honour, what repute
    Can come to you from starving this poor brute? 
    He who serves well and speaks not, merits more
    Than they who clamour loudest at the door. 
    Therefore the law decrees that as this steed
    Served you in youth, henceforth you shall take heed
    To comfort his old age, and to provide
    Shelter in stall, and food and field beside.”

    The Knight withdrew abashed; the people all
    Led home the steed in triumph to his stall. 
    The King heard and approved, and laughed in glee,
    And cried aloud:  “Right well it pleaseth me! 
    Church-bells at best but ring us to the door;
    But go not into mass; my bell doth more: 
    It cometh into court and pleads the cause
    Of creatures dumb and unknown to the laws;
    And this shall make, in every Christian clime,
    The Bell of Atri famous for all time.”



The tempest rages wild and high,
The waves lift up their voice and cry
Fierce answers to the angry sky,—­

                    Miserere Domine.

Through the black night and driving rain,
A ship is struggling, all in vain
To live upon the stormy main;—­

                    Miserere Domine.

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Successful Recitations from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.