Изображения страниц

IV. Very Low. 1. Hear the tolling of the bèlls

Iron bells! What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!

In the silence of the night

How we shiver with affright
At the melancholy menace of their tone!

For every sound that floats
From the rust within their throats

Is a groan.

2. 'Tis midnight's holy hour, and silence now

Is brooding, like a gentle spirit, o'er
The still and pulseless world.

3. Night, sable goddess ! from her ebon throne,

In rayless majesty, now stretches forth
Her leaden sceptre o'er a slumbering world.
Silence how dèad! and darkness how profòund!
Nor eye nor listening èar an object finds.
Creation sleeps. 'Tis as the general pulse
Of life stood still, and nature made a pàuse,-
An àwful pause, prophetic of her ènd.

4. Hùsh! the dèad-march wails in the people's ears,

The dark crowd moves, and there are sobs and tears;
The black earth yawns, the mortal disappears !

Ashes to ashes, dust to dùst;
He is gòne who seemed so great.

5. Still night;—and the old church bell hath tolled,

With its swinging peal, the passing hòur,-
Dolorous now, as it tolled of old
From the heart of its quarried tòwer;

And it seems to say,

As it dies away, —
The brazen clang of the tremulous bell,-
“Old-old, wēary and old ;-
The hēart grows õld; for the world is cold,”–

Solemnly sighs the far-spent knell.



TRANSITION. WE following exercises will be found useful in breaking up

monotony of style, and in giving a ready command of the voice. The pupil should acquire facility in making the changes of intonation indicated at the margin. The exercise is not withont use if practiced merely mechanically; but the true way, in this case as in all others, is for the reader to throw himself in sympathy with the sentiment expressed, that he may spontaneously give the requisite variety of vocal effect independently of the specific directions. 1. Soft. Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows,

And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows; Loud. But when loud surges lash the sounding shore,

The hoarse rough verse should like the tòrrent roar,

2. Slow. When Ajax strives some rock’s vast weight to throw,

The line, tòo, làbors, and the words move slów; Quick. Not sò, when swift Camilla scours the plain, Flies o'er the unbending corn and skims along the


3. Loud.

The combat dèepens. On, ye brave,
Who rush to glory or the gràve!
Wàve, Munich! all thy bànners wave,

And charge with all thy chivalry!


Ah! few shall part where many meet!
The snow shall be their winding-sheet,
And every turf beneath their feet

Shall be a soldier's sèpulcher.

1. Aspi- Lo, dim in the starlight their white tènts appear! rated. Ride sòftly! ride slowly! the onset is near!

Mòre slowly! mòre softly! the sentry may hèar! Loud. Now fall on the foe like a tempest of fàme!

Strike down the false banner whose triumph were 5. Aspirated. Hùsh! hårk! did stealing stéps go by ?

shame! Strìke, strike for the true flàg, for freedom and fàme! Slow and

Came not faint whispers near ?
Pure tone. Nò!—The wild wìnd hath many a sigh

Amid the foliage sere.

6. Full tone.

Her giant form
O’er wrāthful sūrge, through blāckening storm,
Majēsticālly cālm, would go,

Mid the deep darkness, white as snow!
Gentle. But gèntler now the small waves glite,

Like playful làmbs o'er a mòuntain's side. Full tone. So stātely her bēaring, so proud her arrāy,

The māin she will trāverse for ever and dye.

Many pòrts will exùlt at the gleam of her màst. Aspirated. Hùsh! hùsh! thou vain dreamer! this hour is her


[blocks in formation]

8. Aspirated.

Hark! below the gates unbårring!
Tramp of men and quick commands !
“ 'Tis my lord come back from hùnting,"
And the Duchess claps her hànds.

Pure tone.


Slow and tired came the hunters;
Stopped in darkness in the court.
“Hò, this way, ye laggard hunters !
To the hall! What spòrt, what spòrt.


Slow they entered with their master;

soft. Slightly aspirated.

In the hall they laid him dòwn.
On his coat were leaves and blood-stains,

On his brow an angry frown.

9. Pure tone. O Freedom, thou art not, as poets dréam,

A fair young girl, with light and delicate limbs,
And wavy tresses, gushing from the cap
With which the Roman master crowned his slave

When he took off the gýves.

A bearded màn,
Armed to the teeth, art thou; one mailëd hand
Grasps the broad shiéld, and one the sword; thy

Glorious in beauty though it be, is scarred
With tokens of old wàrs; thy massive limbs
Are strong with struggling.

10. Loud. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once


Or close the wall up with our English dèad !
Moderate. In peace, there's nothing so becomes a man

As modest stillness and humility;
Loud. But when the blast of war blows in our ears,

Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sìnews, summon up the blood,

Disguise fair nature with hard-favored ràge. · Very Loud. Òn, on, you noblest English,

Whose blood is fetched from fathers of wàr-proof!
Fathers, that, like so many Alexànders,
Have, in these parts, from morn till éven fought,

And sheathed their swords for lack of argument.
Quick and I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,

Straining upon the start. The game's afòot;

Follow your spirits, and, upon this charge,



Tone of the one with yawning made reply:
Indifference. “What have we séen?-Not much have I!

Trees, meadows, mountains, groves, and streams,
Blue sky and clouds, and sunny gleams.”



The other, smiling, said the sàme;

But with face transfigured and eye of fàme: “Trees, meadows, mountains, groves, and streams! Blue sky and clouds, and sunny glèams !"

12. Gradually How soft the music of those village bèlls,
softer. Falling at intervals upon the ear

In cadence sweet! now dying all away,
Gradually Now pealing loud again, and louder still,

louder. Clear and sonorous, as the gàle comes on.

13. Gradually Ever, as on they bore, more loud,

louder. And lòuder rang the pibroch proud. Gradually At first the sound, by distance tame, softer. Mèllowed, along the waters came;

And lingering long by cape and bay,

Wailed every harsher note away;
Loud. When bursting bolder on the ear,

The clàns’shrill gathering they could hear,
Those thrilling sounds that call the might
Of old Clan-Alpine to the fìght.

11. Soft Oro- Fāther of ēarth and heaven! I call thy nàme! tund. Round me the smoke and shout of bàttle roll;

My eyes are dàzzled with the rustling flame;

Father, sustàin an untried soldier's soul,

Or lífe, or death, whatever be the goal
That crowns or closes round this struggling hóur,
Thou knowest, if ever from my spirít stole
One deeper prayer; ’t was that no cloud might

On my young fâme !-O hèar! God of eternal


Loud Oro- Now for the fight-now for the cànnon pealtund. Fòrward — through blood and toil and cloud

and fire!
Glorious the shout, the shock, the crash of steel,

The vòlley's roll, the rocket's blasting spire;
They shake-like broken wàves their squares

On them, hussars !–Now give them rein and hèel;
Think of the orphaned child, the murdered

sire: Earth cries for blòod,-in thùnder on them wheel! This hour to Europe's fate shall set the triumph


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »