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SONGS FOR BOYHOOD.
169'
u It was the English," Kaspar cried,
" Who put the French to rout; But what they killed each other for
I could not well make out. But every body said," quoth he, " That 'twas a famous victory !
" My father lived at Blenheim then,
Yon little stream hard by; They burned his dwelling to the ground,
And he was forced to fly ; So with his wife and child he fled, Nor had he where to rest his head.
"With fire and sword the country round
Was wasted far and wide; And many a childing mother then
And new-born baby died. But things like that, you know, must be, At every famous victory.
"They say it was a shocking sight
After the field was won ; For many thousand bodies here
Lay rotting in the sun. But things like that, you know, must be, After a famous victory.
" Great praise the Duke of Marlborough won,
And our good Prince Eugene." " Why, 'twas a very wicked thiug!"
Said little Wilhelmine. " Nay, nay, my little girl," quoth he, " It was a famous victory !
"And every body praised the duke
Who this great fight did win." " But what good came of it at last V
Quoth little Peterkin. " Why, that I can not tell," said he, " But 'twas a famous victory !"
And, from the frowning rampart, the black cannon Hailed it with feverish lips.
Sandwich and Romney, Hastings, Hythe, and Dover, Were all alert that day                                      N
To see the French war-steamers speeding over, When the fog cleared away.
Sullen and silent, and like couchant lions,
Their cannon, through the night, Holding their breath, had watched, iu grim defiance,
The sea-coast opposite.
And now they roared at drum-beat from their sta�tions
On every citadel, Each answering each, with morning salutations,
That all was well.
And down the coast, all taking up the burden,
Replied the distant forts, As if to summon from his sleep the Warden
And Lord of the Cinque Ports.
Him shall no sunshine from the fields of azure,
No drum-beat from the wall, No morning-gun from the black fort's embrasure:
Awaken with its call!
No more, surveying with an eye impartial
The long line of the coast, Shall the gaunt figure of the old Field-marshal
Be seen upon his post!
For in the uight, unseen, a single warrior,
In sombre harness mailed, Dreaded of man, and surnamed the Destroyer,
The rampart wall has scaled.
He passed into the chamber of the sleeper,
The dark and silent room ; And as he entered, darker grew, and deeper,
The silence and the gloom.
He did not pause to parley or dissemble,
But smote the warden hoar. Ah, what a blow ! that made all England tremble
And groan from shore to shore.
Meanwhile, without, the surly cannon waited,
The sun rose bright o'erhead ; Nothing in Nature's aspect intimated
That a great man was dead.
THE WARDEN OF THE CINQUE PORTS.
Henby Wadsworth Longfellow.
A mist was driving down the British Channel,
The day was just begun, And through the window-panes, on floor and panel,
Streamed the red autumn sun.
It glanced on flowing flag and rippliug pennon, And the white sail of ships;







E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III