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NARRATIVE AND DRAMATIC POEMS
ON FIRST LOOKING INTO CHAPMAN'S
Much have I traveled in the realms of gold,
— JOHN KEATS
know we French stormed Ratisbon:
Stood on our storming-day;
Legs wide, arms locked behind,
Oppressive with its mind.
Just as perhaps he mused, “My plans
That soar, to earth may fall,
Waver at yonder wall,”-
A rider, bound on bound
Until he reached the mound.
· Then off there flung in smiling joy,
And held himself erect
You hardly could suspect,
Scarce any blood came through),
Was all but shot in two.
"Well,” cried he, “Emperor, by God's grace
We've got you Ratisbon!
And you'll be there anon
To see your flag-bird flap his vans
Where I, to heart's desire,
Soared up again like fire.
The chief's eye flashed; but presently
Softened itself, as sheathes
When her bruised eaglet breathes:
Touched to the quick, he said:
HERVÉ RIEL 1
N the sea and at the Hogue, sixteen hundred ninety-two,
Did the English fight the French,—woe to France! And, the thirty-first of May, helter-skelter through the blue, Like a crowd of frightened porpoises a shoal of sharks pursuc,
Came crowding ship on ship to Saint Malo on the Rance, With the English fleet in view.
'Twas the squadron that escaped, with the victor in full chase; First and foremost of the drove, in his great ship, Dam
freville; Close on him fled, great and small, Twenty-two good ships in all; And they signaled to the place: “Help the winners of a race! Get us guidance, give us harbor, take us quick-or, quicker
still, Here's the English can and will!”
1 Reprinted with the permission of The Macmillan Company.
Then the pilots of the place put out brisk and leapt on board; "Why, what hope or chance have ships like these to pass?
laughed they: “Rocks to starboard, rocks to port, all the passage scarred and
scored, Shall the Formidable here with her twelve and eighty guns
Think to make the river mouth by the single narrow way, Trust to enter where 'tis ticklish for a craft of twenty tons, And with flow at full beside? Now, 'tis slackest ebb of tide.
Reach the mooring? Rather say, While rock stands or water runs,
Not a ship will leave the bay!”
Then was called a council straight. Brief and bitter the debate: “Here's the English at our heels, would you have them take
in tow All that's left us of the fileet, linked together stern and bow, For a prize to Plymouth Sound? Better run the ships aground!”
(Ended Damfreville his speech). "Not a minute more to wait!
Let the captains all and each
Shove ashore, then blow up, burn the vessels on the beach! France must undergo her fate.
"Give the word!” But no such word Was ever spoke or heard:
up stood, for out stepped, for in struck amid all these -A captain? A lieutenant? A mate—first, second, third?