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Where a king lay stately on his bier, in the church of Fonte
Banners of battle o'er him hung, and warriors slept beneath, And light, as noon's broad light, was flung on the settled face of death.
On the settled face of death a strong and ruddy glare,
Though dimmed at times by the censer's breath, yet it fell still brightest there;
As if each deeply-furrowed trace of earthly years to show,Alas! that sceptred mortal's race had surely closed in woe.
The marble floor was swept by many a long dark stole, As the kneeling priests, round him that slept, sang mass for the parted soul;
And solemn were the strains they poured through the stillness of the night,
With the cross above, and the crown and sword, and the silent king in sight.
There was heard a heavy clang, as of steel-girt men the tread, And the tombs and the hollow pavement rang with a sounding thrill of dread;
And the holy chaunt was hushed awhile, as, by the torches' flame,
A gleam of arms, up the sweeping aisle, with a mail-clad leader
He came with haughty look, an eagle-glance and clear,
But his proud heart through his breast-plate shook, when he
stood beside the bier!
He stood there still, with a drooping brow, and clasped hands o'er it raised;
For his father lay before him low-it was Coeur-de-Lion' gazed!
And silently he strove with the workings of his breast; But there's more in late repentant love than steel may keep suppressed!
And his tears brake forth, at last, like rain,-men held their breath in awe,
For his face was seen by his warrior train, and he recked not that they saw.
1 Fontevraud, (Fong-te-vro) a village in France.
2 Coeur-de-Lion, that is, lion-hearted,-Richard was so called for his bravery.
He looked upon the dead, and sorrow seemed to lie,
A weight of sorrow, even like lead, pale on the fast-shut eye. He stooped-and kissed the frozen cheek, and the heavy hand
Till bursting words-yet all too weak-gave his soul's passion way.
"O, father! is it vain, this late remorse and deep!
Speak to me, father! once again!-I weep-behold, I weep!
"Speak to me:-mighty grief ere now the dust hath stirred: Hear me, but hear me!-father, chief, my king! I must be heard!
Hushed, hushed!-how is it that I call, and that thou answerest not?
When was it thus ?-woe, woe for all the love my soul forgot!
"Thy silver hairs I see-so still, so sadly bright!
And, father, father! but for me they had not been so white! I bore thee down, high heart, at last; no longer couldst thou strive ;
Oh! for one moment of the past, to kneel and say:
'forgive!' "Thou wert the noblest king, on a royal throne e'er seen, And thou didst wear, in knightly ring, of all, the stateliest mien ;
And thou didst prove, where spears are proved, in war the
Oh! ever the renowned and loved thou wert—and there thou art!
"Thou that my boyhood's guide didst take fond joy to be !— The times I've sported at thy side, and climbed thy parent knee! And there before the blessed shrine, my sire, I see thee lie,How will that sad still face of thine look on me till I die !" Mrs. Hemans.
1. Why was Henry II. called Plantagenet?
2. Where and when was he born? 3. When did he ascend the throne? 4. When did he die, and how long did he reign?
5. What embittered the latter part of his reign?
6. Name his four sons, and say what came of them.
7. What stipulation had he to agree to, when he was forced to treat with his own son Richard?
8. What seemed to break his heart? 9. What was his son Richard called? 10. Describe the scene in the Church of Frontevraud, where the king lay in state.
11. Describe the mail-clad warrior who entered the church.
12. Who was he, and what brought him there?
18. What would he have given to obtain his father's blessing and forgiveness? 14. What does he say on beholding his father's gray hairs?
15. How does he speak of his father as a king?
16. Explain to me the last line.
17. Can these children expect God's blessing who bring down their father's gray hairs with sorrow to the grave?
XXI. THE DEATH OF MURAT.
JOACHIM Murat, was born in Perigord, in 1767. His father was a country innkeeper. Young Joachim was placed at the College of Cahors, and destined for the church; but he preferred the army, and enlisted into a regiment of chasseurs, from which he was dismissed for insubordination. He then took charge of his father's horses until the breaking out of the Revolution, when he obtained a commission in a regiment of chasseurs, and rose rapidly to the rank of colonel. He avowed Jacobin principles, but these did not prevent him from assisting Bonaparte in the affair of the Sections in 1795; and he was rewarded by being placed on the personal staff of the future emperor in the Italian campaign of 1796. He commanded the cavalry in the campaigns of Egypt, Italy, Austria, and Prussia; and in all, at Aboukir, Marengo, Austerlitz, Jena, Eylau, and Friedland, his services were brilliantly conspicuous.
After the Egyptian campaign, he obtained the hand of Caroline, youngest sister of Napoleon; and in 1806 was created grand-duke of Berg and Cleeves. In 1808 he commanded the French army in the invasion of Spain; whence he was recalled, and sent to Naples to ascend the throne of that kingdom. In 1812 he accompanied Napoleon on the expedition to Russia, in the command of the cavalry of the grand army. During this expedition, Murat displayed his usual valour, but disagreements arose between him and Napoleon, and finally, after the battle of Leipzig, he deserted his brother-in-law, and allied himself with his enemies. By this defection he for a time saved his own throne; but the delay of the Congress of Vienna to recognise his regal title hurried him, in 1815, into hostilities against the allied powers. He was compelled to flee from his kingdom; and afterwards landing in arms on the coast of Calabria with a few followers, he was captured and shot by the sentence of a Neapolitan court-martial.-Knight's National Cyclopædia.
"My hour is come! Forget me not! My blessing is with you; With you my last, my fondest thought; with you my heart's adieu.
Farewell farewell, my Caroline! my children's doting mother, I made thee wife, and fate a queen-an hour and thou art neither ;
Farewell, my fair Letitia, my love is with thee still:
Louise and Lucien, adieu; and thou, my own Achille !"
With quivering lip, but with no tear, or tear that gazers saw, These words, to all his heart held dear, thus wrote the brave Murat.
Then of the locks which, dark and large, o'er his broad shoulders hung;
That streamed war-pennons in the charge, yet like caressings clung
In peace around his forehead high, which, more than diadem, Beseemed the curls that lovingly replaced the cold hard gem; He cut him one for wife-for child-'twas all he had to will; But, with the regal wealth and state, he lost its heartless chill! The iciness of alien power, what gushing love may thaw ? -The agony of such an hour as this-thy last-Murat!
"Comrade-though foe!—a soldier asks from thee a soldier's aid,
They're not a warrior's only tasks that need his blood and blade
That upon which I latest gaze—that which I fondest clasp, When death my eye-balls wraps in haze, and stiffens my hands' grasp !
With these love-locks around it twined, say, wilt thou see them sent
Need I say where ?-Enough!-'tis kind !-to death, then, I'm content!
O! to have found it in the field, not as a chained outlaw! No more!-to destiny I yield-with mightier than Murat!
They led him forth-'twas but a stride between his prison
And where, with yet a monarch's pride, he met a felon's doom. "Soldiers !—your muzzles to my breast will leave brief space for pain.
Strike to the heart!"-His last behest was uttered not in vain. He turned him to the levelled tubes that held the wishedfor boon;
He gazed upon some love-clasped pledge,-then vollied the platoon;
And when their hold the hands gave up, the pitying gazers saw, In the dear image of a wife, thy heart's best trait, Murat!
6. How was he employed in 1812 ? 7. Why did he join Napoleon's enemies? 8. How did he act after this, and what was his fate ?
9. Repeat the words that Murat wrote
5. The throne of what kingdom did he to his wife. ascend?
10. Name his children.
A MARINER, whom fate compelled
Lived in yon cottage on the mount,
With ivy mantled o'er ;
He placed yon vane upon the roof,
And in his spot of garden ground,
Models of cannoned ships of war,
Rigged out in gallant style;
Pictures of Camperdown's1 red fight,
And Nelson at the Nile,
Were round his cabin hung,—his hours,
When lonely, to beguile.
1 Camperdown, a village of the Netherlands 27 miles N. W. of Amsterdam, in the North Sea, celebrated for Admiral Duncan's victory over the Dutch fleet 11th Oct, 1797.