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thoughts, and to stir up in his heart feelings that he could not have known existed there. There was sadness, indeed, over all the parish for the fair English twins, who had come to live in the manse after all the other boys had left it, and who, as they were the last, so were they the loveliest of all my flock. The very sound or accent of their southern voices, so pretty and engaging to our ears in the simplicity of childhood, had won many a heart, and touched, too, the imaginations of many with a new delight; and therefore, on the morning when they were buried, it may be said there was here a fast-day of grief.
“ The dead children were English — in England had all their ancestors been born; and I knew, from the little I had seen of the mother, that though she had brought her mind to confide her children to the care of a Scottish minister in their tender infancy, she was attached truly and deeply to the ordinances of her own church. I felt that it would be accordant with her feelings, and that afterwards she would have satisfaction in the thought, that they should be buried according to the form of the English funeral service. I communicated this wish to an Episcopalian clergyman in the city, and he came to my house. He arranged the funeral, as far as possible in the circumstances, according to that service.
“ The bier was carried slowly aloft, upon men's shoulders, towards the churchyard gate. I myself walked at their little heads. Some of the neighboring gentry, my own domestics, a few neighbors, and some of the school children formed the procession. The latter, walking before the coffin, continued singing a funeral psalm all the way till we reached the churchyard gate. It was a still, gentle autumnal day, and now and then a withered leaf came rustling across the path of the weeping choristers. To us, to whom that dirge-like strain was new, all seemed like a pensive, and mournful, and holy dream.
“The clergyman met the bier at the gate, and preceded it into the kirk. It was then laid down; and while all knelt I keeping my place at the heads of the sweet boys — he read, beautifully, affectingly, and solemnly, a portion of the funeral
service. The children had been beloved and admired, while alive, as the English twins, and so had they always been called; and that feeling of their having belonged, as it were, to another country, not only justified but made pathetic to all now assembled upon their knees, the ritual employed by that church, to which they, and their parents, and all their ancestors had belonged. A sighing, and a sobbing too, were heard over the silence of my kirk, when the clergyman repeated these words : “ As soon as thou scatterest them, they are even as a sleep, and fade away suddenly like the grass.
In the morning it is green and groweth up; but in the evening it is cut down, dried up, and withered.''
While the old man was thus describing their burial, the clock in the steeple struck, and he paused a moment at the solemn sound. Soon as it had slowly told the hour of advancing evening, he arose from the gravestone, as if his mind sought a relief from the weight of tenderness in a change of bodily position. We stood together facing the little monument, and his narrative was soon brought to a close. ...
“ Next day their mother arrived at the manse. She knew, before she came, that her children were dead and buried. It is true that she wept; and at the first sight of their grave, (for they both lay in one coffin,) her grief was passionate and bitter. But that fit soon passed away. Her tears were tears of pity for them; but as for herself, she hoped that she was soon to see them in heaven. Her face pale, yet flushed — her eyes hollow, yet bright — and a general languor and lassitude over her whole frame — all told that she was in the first stage of a consumption. This she knew, and was happy. But other duties called her back to England for the short remainder of her life. She herself drew the design of that monument with her own hand, and left it with me when she went away. I soon heard of her death. Her husband lies buried near Grenada, Spain ; she lies in the chancel of the cathedral of Salisbury, in England; and there sleep her twins in the little burial ground of Auchindown, a Scottish parish.”
XXI. - THE FORGING OF THE ANCHOR.
S. FERGUSON. This spirited poem appeared originally in Blackwood's Magazine. Mr. Ferguson resides in Dublin, and has written several ballads and lyrical poems of considerable merit; but none of them have attained a popularity equal to that of The Forging of the Anchor.)
Come, see the Dolphin's anchor forged; 'tis at a white heat now; The bellows ceased, the flames decreased; though on the
forge's brow The little flames still fitfully play through the sable mound; And fitfully you still may see the grim smiths ranking round, All clad in leathern panoply, their broad hands only bare ; Some rest upon their sledges here, some work the windlask
The windlass strains the tackle chains, the black mound heaves
below, And red and deep a hundred veins burst out at every throe; It rises, roars, rends all outright-O Vulcan, what a glow! 'Tis blinding white, 'tis blasting bright; the high sun shines
not so; The high sun sees not, on the earth, such fiery, fearful show; The roof-ribs swarth, the candent hearth, the ruddy, lurid row Of smiths, that stand, an ardent band, like men before the foe; As, quivering through his fleece of flame, the sailing monster
slow Sinks on the anvil — all about the faces fiery grow“Hurrah!" they shout, “ leap out--leap out!" bang, bang, the
sledges go; Hurrah! the jetted lightnings are hissing high and low; A hailing fount of fire is struck at every squashing blow; The leathern mail rebounds the hail; the rattling cinders strow The ground arsund; at every bound the sweltering fountains
flow : And thick and loud the swinking crowd, at every stroke, pant
Leap out, leap out, my masters ; leap out and lay on load! *
chains; But courage still, brave mariners, the bower yet remains, And not an inch to flinch he deigns save when ye pitch sky
high, Then moves his head, as though he said, “Fear nothing-here
Swing in your strokes in order, let foot and hand keep time;
craftsmen here, For the yeo-heave-o, and the heave away, and the sighing
seaman's cheer; When weighing slow, at eve they go, far, far from love and home, And sobbing sweethearts, in a row, wail o'er the ocean foam.
In livid and obdurate gloom, he darkens down at last,
• Lay on load is an expression common among the earlier English writ ers, meaning, to strike heavy blows.
+ Cat is the nautical name for the tackle used to hoist up the anchor to the cathead. a stout piece of timber projecting from the ship's side.
O deep-sea diver, who might then behold such sights as thou? The hoary monster's palaces! methinks what joy ’twere now To go plump plunging down amid the assembly of the whales, And feel the churned sea round me boil beneath their scourg
ing tails ! Then deep in tangle woods to fight the fierce sea-unicorn, And send him foiled and bellowing back, for all his ivory horn ; To leave the subtle sworder-fish, of bony blade forlorn, And for the ghastly grinning shark, to laugh his jaws to scorn; To leap down on the kraken's back, where ʼmid Norwegian
isles He lies a lubber anchorage, for sudden shallowed miles ; Till snorting, like an under-sea volcano, off he rolls, Meanwhile to swing, a buffeting the far astonished shoals Of his back-browsing ocean calves; or haply in a cove, Shell-strown, and consecrate of old to some Undine's love, To find the long-haired mermaidens; or, hard by icy lands, To wrestle with the sea-serpent, upon cerulean sands !
O broad-armed fisher of the deep, whose sports can equal
thine ? The Dolphin weighs a thousand tons, that tugs thy cable line; And night by night 'tis thy delight, thy glory day by day, Through sable sea and breaker white, the giant game to play; But, shamer of our little sports, forgive the name I gave; A fisher's joy is to destroy—thine office is to save.
0, lodger in the sea-king's halls, couldst thou but understand Whose be the white bones by thy side, or who that dripping band, Slow swaying in the heaving wave, that round about thee bend, With sounds like breakers in a dream, blessing their ancient
friend O, couldst thou know what heroes glide with larger steps
round thee, Thine iron side would swell with pride, thou’dst leap within
the sea !