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Just the hour of the Earthquake shock!
End of the wonderful one-hoss shay,
HELPS TO STUDY
Notes and Questions How does Holmes account for the applied ?
fact "that a chaise breaks down, To what does the poet compare but doesn't wear out''?
the breaking down of the chaise? What kind of chaise did the Dea Read lines which show the serious con decide to build?
side of the poet's nature. On what principle did he expect Read the lines by means of which to do this?
he passes from seriousness to Read the lines in which the Deacon jest.
states the result of his expe. Do you think Holmes expects his rience with chaises.
readers to believe this story? What do you think of his reason. Give reason for your answer. ing?
What was his purpose in writing it? To what besides the building of a What has the reading of this poem
chaise might this principle be done for you?
Words and Phrases for Discussion “Georgius Secundus”!
“from the German hive” “Lisbon earthquake day” “Braddock's army??
HELPS TO STUDY Historical: Old Ironsides was the name given the frigate Constitution. It was proposed by the Secretary of the Navy to dispose of the ship as it had become unfit for service. Popular sentiment did not approve of this. It was said a ship which was the pride of the nation should continue to be the property of the Navy and be rebuilt for service when needed. Holmes wrote this poem at the time of this discussion.
Notes and Questions Of what does the first stanza treat? What is meant by lines 15 and 16? The second ?
| Where does Holmes say should be What does the third stanza tell the grave of Old Ironsides?
Why? To what does "tattered ensign” | Explain lines 23 and 24. refer?
Which lines do you like best? What is “The meteor of the ocean
Words and Phrases for Discussion "sweep the clouds" "vanquished foe", "victor's tread” “conquered knee'. “The god of storms" "shattered hulk” "mighty deep"
OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES
Has there any old fellow got mixed with the boys ?
We're twenty! We're twenty! Who says we are more?
We've a trick, we young fellows, you may have been told,
That fellow's the “Speaker,”—the one on the right;
That boy with the grave mathematical look
And there's a nice youngster of excellent pith,-
You hear that boy laughing ?—You think he's all fun;
Yes, we're boys,-always playing with tongue or with pen,-
Then here's to our boyhood, its gold and its gray!
HELPS TO STUDY Historical: This poem was read by Oliver Wendell Holmes at a reunion of his college class thirty years after their graduation.
Notes and Questions
Who were “the boys''?
| What fancy does the poet carry What was the “Almanac's cheat''? out in the next stanza? What catalogue do you think What song did the “nice young. Holmes meant ?
ster' write? How could it be interpreted as What is his full name?
showing spite against “the What word is omitted from the line boys''
of the song quoted by Holmes? How did the poet defend “gray / How do you think Holmes felt totemples at twenty''?
ward the laughing “boy''? Why What was the significance in early do you think so ?
times of the garland or wreath Can you name anything besides upon the head?
"tongue and pen” with which What do you think the garlands men may be said to play?
which the poet imagines his What time of life is meant by classmates “have shed” repre- the “gold''? By the “gray''? sent?
How much of this poem is fun ? Of what does Holmes say their new Which stanza do you like best? garlands were made?
Why? What might the new garlands” | What do you know about Oliver represent?
Wendell Holmes from this poem?
Words and Phrases for Discussion
"three-decker brain" "excellent pith”
THE LAST LEAF
OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES
I saw him once before,
With his cane.