Page images

For thro' that dawning gleam'd a kindlier hope On Enoch thinking, " after I am gone,

830 Then may she learn I lov'd her to the last." He call'd aloud for Miriam Lane and said, “Woman, I have a secret only swear, Before I tell you

swear upon the book Not to reveal it, till you see me dead.”

835 “Dead," clamor’d the good woman,“ hear him talk; I warrant, man, that we shall bring you round." 'Swear,” added Enoch sternly, on the book.” And on the book, half-frighted, Miriam swore. Then Enoch rolling his gray eyes upon her,

840 “Did

you know Enoch Arden of this town?”
“Know him?” she said, “I knew him far away.
Ay, ay, I mind him coming down the street;
Held his head high, and cared for no man, he.”
Slowly and sadly Enoch answer'd her:
“His head is low, and no man cares for him.
I think I have not three days more to live;
I am the man." At which the woman gave
A half-incredulous, half-hysterical cry.
“You Arden, nay, - sure he was a foot 850
Higher than you be.” Enoch said again,
“My God has bow'd me down to what I am;
My grief and solitude have broken me;
Nevertheless, know you that I am he
Who married but that name has twice been

changed --
I married her who married Philip Ray.
Sit, listen.” Then he told her of his voyage,
His wreck, his lonely life, his coming back,
His gazing in on Annie, his resolve,
And how he kept it. As the woman heard,




[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


Fast flow'd the current of her easy tears,
While in her heart she yearn'd incessantly
To rush abroad all round the little haven,
Proclaiming Enoch Arden and his woes;
But awed and promise-bounden she forbore,
Saying only, “See your bairns before you go!
Eh, let me fetch 'em, Arden,” and arose
Eager to bring them down, for Enoch hung
A moment on her words, but then replied:


“Woman, disturb me not now at the last, 870 But let me hold my purpose till I die. Sit down again; mark me and understand, While I have power to speak. I charge you now When you shall see her, tell her that I died Blessing her, praying for her, loving her; 875 Save for the bar between us, loving her As when she lay her head beside my own. And tell my daughter Annie, whom I saw So like her mother, that my latest breath Was spent in blessing her and praying for her. 880 And tell my son that I died blessing him. And say to Philip that I blest him too; He never meant us any thing but good. But if my children care to see me dead, Who hardly knew me living, let them come, I am their father, but she must not come, For my

dead face would vex her after-life. And now there is but one of all my blood, Who will embrace me in the world-to-be: This hair is his: she cut it off and gave it, And I have borne it with me all these years, And thought to bear it with me to my grave;





But now my mind is changed, for I shall see him,
My babe in bliss: wherefore when I am gone,
Take, give her this, for it may comfort her: 895
It will moreover be a token to her,
That I am he.”

He ceased; and Miriam Lane
Made such a voluble answer promising all,
That once again he roll’d his eyes upon her
Repeating all he wish’d, and once again
She promised.

Then the third night after this,
While Enoch slumber'd motionless and pale,
And Miriam watch'd and dozed at intervals,
There came so loud a calling of the sea,
That all the houses in the haven rang.

He woke, he rose, he spread his arms abroad,
Crying with a loud voice “A sail! a sail !
I am saved;” and so fell back and spoke no more.

So past the strong heroic soul away. And when they buried him the little port Had seldom seen a costlier funeral.





At Flores in the Azoreso Sir Richard Grenville lay,
And a pinnace like a flutter'd bird, came flying from far


Spanish ships of war at sea! we have sighted fifty

three !! Then sware Lord Thomas Howardo: "'Fore God I am

no coward; But I cannot meet them here, for my ships are out of gear,

5 And the half my men are sick. I must fly, but follow

quick. We are six ships of the line; can we fight with fifty



Then spake Sir Richard Grenville: 'I know you are no

coward; You fly them for a moment to fight with them again. But I've ninety men and more that are lying sick

ashore. I should count myself the coward if I left them, my

Lord Howard, To these Inquisitiono dogs and the devildoms of Spain.'



So Lord Howard passed away with five ships of war that

day, Till he melted like a cloud in the silent summer

heaven; But Sir Richard bore in hand all his sick men from the

Very carefully and slow,
Men of Bidefordo in Devon,
And we laid them on the ballast down below;
For we brought them all aboard,

15 20

And they blest him in their pain, that they were not

left to Spain, To the thumbscrewo and the stakeo for the glory of the



He had only a hundred seamen to work the ship and to

fight And he sailed away from Flores till the Spaniard came

in sight, With his huge sea-castles heaving upon the weather

bow. ‘Shall we fight or shall we fly?

25 Good Sir Richard, tell us now, For to fight is but to die! There'll be little of us left by the time this sun be set.' And Sir Richard said again, 'We be all good English


Let us bang these dogs of Seville, the children of the devil,

30 For I never turn'd my back upon Dono or devil yet.'


Sir Richard spoke and he laugh'd, and we roar'd a

hurrah, and so The little Revenge ran on sheer into the heart of the foe, With her hundred fighters on deck, and her ninety sick

below; For half of her fleet to the right and half to the left

were seen, And the little Revenge ran on thro' the long sea-lane



« PreviousContinue »