Imagini ale paginilor

Till, in this rapid race
On which it is bent,
It reaches the place
Of its steep descent

3. The cataract strong
Then plunges along,
Striking and raging,
As if a war waging
Its caverns and rocks among;

Rising and leaping,

Sinking and creeping,
Swelling and sweeping,
Showering and springing,
Flying and flinging,
Writhing and ringing,
Eddying and whisking,
Spouting and frisking,
Turning and twisting,
Around and around
With endless rebound;
Smiting and fighting,
A sight to delight in ;

Confounding, astounding,

Dizzying, and deafening the ear with its sound.

4. Collecting, projecting,
Receding and speeding,
And shocking and rocking,
And darting and parting,
And threading and spreading,
And whizzing and hissing,
And dripping and skipping,
And hitting and splitting,

And shining and twining,
And rattling and battling,
And shaking and quaking,
And pouring and roaring,
And waving and raving,
And tossing and crossing,
And flowing and going,
And running and stunning,
And foaming and roaming,
And dinning and spinning,
And dropping and hopping,
And working and jerking,
And guggling and struggling,
And heaving and cleaving,
And moaning and groaning,

5. And glittering and frittering,
And gathering and feathering,
And whitening and brightening,
And quivering and shivering,
And hurrying and skurrying,
And thundering and floundering;

6. Dividing and gliding and sliding,

And falling and brawling and sprawling,
And driving and riving and striving,
And sprinkling and twinkling and wrinkling,
And sounding and bounding and rounding,
And bubbling and troubling and doubling,
And grumbling and rumbling and tumbling,
And chattering and battering and shattering;

7. Retreating and beating and meeting and sheeting, Delaying and straying and playing and spraying,

Advancing and prancing and glancing and dancing,
Recoiling, turmoiling, and toiling and boiling,
And gleaming and streaming and steaming and beam-


And rushing and flushing and brushing and gushing,

And flapping and rapping and clapping and slapping,

And curling and whirling and purling and twirling, And thumping and plumping and bumping and jump`ing,

And dashing and flashing and splashing and clashing;

And so never ending, but always descending, Sounds and motions forever and ever are blending, All at once, and all o'er, with a mighty uproar: And this way the water comes down at Lodore. Robert Southey.


FOR PREPARATION.-I. "Lodore "-can you find this cataract? (On Derwent River, in Cumberland. See p. 48.) "Laureate "-what does this Have you read the author's poem, “The March Moscow "? II. Pro-çeeds', mead'-ow, flŭr'-ry, skür'-ry-ing, grōan'-ing (grōn'-), de-scent'.

III. Note the rhymes: (a) at end of line; (3) on second syllable from the end; (c) of one syllable with another within the same line. Note the change of rhyme and rhythm as we descend from the source of the stream to the foot of the cataract.

IV. Tarn, fell, cataract, helter-skelter, hurry-skurry.

V. What object could a poet have in writing such a piece as this? (Humorous amusement of children? To display his command of descriptive words? To portray in a genuine manner the impression which the cataract makes upon the sympathetic beholder?) Are there any metaphors or personifications in this poem?

VI. Use this piece as an exercise in articulation.


1. While I was occupied in criticising my fellow-guests, the mayor had got up to propose another toast; and, listening rather inattentively to the first sentence or two, I became sensible of a drift in his worship's remarks that made me glance apprehensively toward Sergeant Wilkins. "Yes," grumbled that gruff personage, "it is your turn next"; and seeing in my face, I suppose, the consternation of a wholly unpracticed orator, he added, “It is nothing. A mere acknowledgment will answer the purpose. The less you say, the better they will like it.”

2. That being the case, I suggested that perhaps they would like it best if I said nothing at all. But the sergeant shook his head. Now, on first receiving the mayor's invitation to dinner, it had occurred to me that I might possibly be brought into my present predicament, but I had dismissed the idea from my mind as too disagreeable to be entertained; and, moreover, as so alien from my disposition and character, that Fate surely could not keep such a misfortune in store for me.

3. If nothing prevented, an earthquake, or the crack of doom, would certainly interfere before I need rise to speak. Yet here was the mayor getting on inexorably; and, indeed, I heartily wished that he might get on and on forever, and of his wordy wanderings find no end. If the gentle reader, my kindest friend and closest confidant, deigns to desire it, I can impart to him my own experience as a public speaker quite as indifferently as if it concerned another person. Indeed, it does concern another, or a mere spectral phenomenon; for it was not I, in my proper and natural self, that sat there at table, or subsequently rose to speak.

4. At the moment, then, if the choice had been offered to me whether the mayor should let off a speech at my head, or a pistol, I should unhesitatingly have taken the latter alternative. I had really nothing to say, not an idea in my head, nor-which was a good deal worse-any flowing words or embroidered sentences in which to dress out that empty nothing, and give it a cunning aspect of intelligence, such as might last the poor vacuity the little time it had to live.

5. But time pressed; the mayor brought his remarks, affectionately eulogistic of the United States, and complimentary to their distinguished representative at that table, to a close, amid a vast deal of cheering; and the band struck up "Hail Columbia," I believe though it might have been "Old Hundred," or "God Save the Queen" over again, for anything that I should have known or cared.

6. When the music ceased, there was an intensely disagreeable instant, during which I seemed to rend away and fling off the habit of a lifetime, and rose, still void of ideas, but with preternatural composure, to make a speech. The guests rattled on the table, and cried, "Hear!" most vociferously; as if now, at length, in this foolish and idly garrulous world, had come the longexpected moment when one golden word was to be spoken; and in that imminent crisis I caught a glimpse of a little bit of an effusion of international sentiment which it might, and must, and should do to utter.

7. Well, it was "nothing," as the sergeant had said. What surprised me most was the sound of my own voice, which I had never before heard at a declamatory pitch, and which impressed me as belonging to some other person, who—and not myself—would be responsible for the

« ÎnapoiContinuă »