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The Waste Land

by T. S. Eliot

I. THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,        
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
And when we were children, staying at the archduke’s,
My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,              
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.        
     Frisch weht der Wind
     Der Heimat zu
     Mein Irisch Kind,
     Wo weilest du?
“You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
“They called me the hyacinth girl.”
- Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,        
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
Od’ und leer das Meer.

Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,
Had a bad cold, nevertheless
Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe,
With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she,
Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor,
(Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!)
Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks,
The lady of situations.      
Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find
The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.
I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.
Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,
Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:
One must be so careful these days.

Unreal City,                                  
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.
There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying “Stetson!
“You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!       
“That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
“Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
“Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?

Line 42 Od’] Oed’ – Editor.

“Oh keep the Dog far hence, that’s friend to men,
“Or with his nails he’ll dig it up again!
“You! hypocrite lecteur! – mon semblable, – mon frere!”

II. A GAME OF CHESS

The Chair she sat in, like a burnished throne,
Glowed on the marble, where the glass
Held up by standards wrought with fruited vines
From which a golden Cupidon peeped out            
(Another hid his eyes behind his wing)
Doubled the flames of sevenbranched candelabra
Reflecting light upon the table as
The glitter of her jewels rose to meet it,
From satin cases poured in rich profusion;
In vials of ivory and coloured glass
Unstoppered, lurked her strange synthetic perfumes,
Unguent, powdered, or liquid – troubled, confused
And drowned the sense in odours; stirred by the air
That freshened from the window, these ascended        
In fattening the prolonged candle-flames,
Flung their smoke into the laquearia,
Stirring the pattern on the coffered ceiling.
Huge sea-wood fed with copper
Burned green and orange, framed by the coloured stone,
In which sad light a carved dolphin swam.
Above the antique mantel was displayed
As though a window gave upon the sylvan scene
The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king
So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale  
Filled all the desert with inviolable voice
And still she cried, and still the world pursues,
“Jug Jug” to dirty ears.
And other withered stumps of time
Were told upon the walls; staring forms
Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed.
Footsteps shuffled on the stair.
Under the firelight, under the brush, her hair
Spread out in fiery points
Glowed into words, then would be savagely still.      

“My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me.
“Speak to me. Why do you never speak. Speak.
“What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
“I never know what you are thinking. Think.”

I think we are in rats’ alley
Where the dead men lost their bones.

“What is that noise?”
                             The wind under the door.
“What is that noise now? What is the wind doing?”
                             Nothing again nothing.     
                                                                 
“Do
“You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember
“Nothing?”

   I remember
Those are pearls that were his eyes.
“Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?”
                                                                   
But
O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag -
It’s so elegant
So intelligent                                     
“What shall I do now? What shall I do?”
I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street
“With my hair down, so. What shall we do to-morrow?
“What shall we ever do?”
                                     The hot water at ten.
And if it rains, a closed car at four.
And we shall play a game of chess,
Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door.

When Lil’s husband got demobbed, I said -
I didn’t mince my words, I said to her myself,
HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME
Now Albert’s coming back, make yourself a bit smart.
He’ll want to know what you done with that money he gave you
To get yourself some teeth. He did, I was there.
You have them all out, Lil, and get a nice set,
He said, I swear, I can’t bear to look at you.
And no more can’t I, I said, and think of poor Albert,
He’s been in the army four years, he wants a good time,
And if you don’t give it him, there’s others will, I said.
Oh is there, she said. Something o’ that, I said.      
Then I’ll know who to thank, she said, and give me a straight look.
HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME
If you don’t like it you can get on with it, I said.
Others can pick and choose if you can’t.
But if Albert makes off, it won’t be for lack of telling.
You ought to be ashamed, I said, to look so antique.
(And her only thirty-one.)
I can’t help it, she said, pulling a long face,
It’s them pills I took, to bring it off, she said.
(She’s had five already, and nearly died of young George.) 
The chemist said it would be alright, but I’ve never been the same.
You are a proper fool, I said.
Well, if Albert won’t leave you alone, there it is, I said,
What you get married for if you don’t want children?
HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME
Well, that Sunday Albert was home, they had a hot gammon,
And they asked me in to dinner, to get the beauty of it hot -
HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME
HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME
Goonight Bill. Goonight Lou. Goonight May. Goonight.  
Ta ta. Goonight. Goonight.
Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night.

III. THE FIRE SERMON

The river’s tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf
Clutch and sink into the wet bank. The wind
Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed.
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.
The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers,
Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends
Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed.
And their friends, the loitering heirs of city directors;  
Departed, have left no addresses.

Line 161 ALRIGHT. This spelling occurs also in
the Hogarth Press edition – Editor.

By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept . . .
Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song,
Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long.
But at my back in a cold blast I hear
The rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear.
A rat crept softly through the vegetation
Dragging its slimy belly on the bank
While I was fishing in the dull canal
On a winter evening round behind the gashouse     
Musing upon the king my brother’s wreck
And on the king my father’s death before him.
White bodies naked on the low damp ground
And bones cast in a little low dry garret,
Rattled by the rat’s foot only, year to year.
But at my back from time to time I hear
The sound of horns and motors, which shall bring
Sweeney to Mrs. Porter in the spring.
O the moon shone bright on Mrs. Porter
And on her daughter                  
They wash their feet in soda water
Et O ces voix d’enfants, chantant dans la coupole!

Twit twit twit
Jug jug jug jug jug jug
So rudely forc’d.
Tereu

Unreal City
Under the brown fog of a winter noon
Mr. Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant
Unshaven, with a pocket full of currants
C.i.f. London: documents at sight,
Asked me in demotic French
To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel
Followed by a weekend at the Metropole.

At the violet hour, when the eyes and back
Turn upward from the desk, when the human engine waits
Like a taxi throbbing waiting,
I Tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives,
Old man with wrinkled female breasts, can see
At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives  
Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea,
The typist home at teatime, clears her breakfast, lights
Her stove, and lays out food in tins.
Out of the window perilously spread
Her drying combinations touched by the sun’s last rays,
On the divan are piled (at night her bed)
Stockings, slippers, camisoles, and stays.
I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs
Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest -
I too awaited the expected guest.     
He, the young man carbuncular, arrives,
A small house agent’s clerk, with one bold stare,
One of the low on whom assurance sits
As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire.
The time is now propitious, as he guesses,
The meal is ended, she is bored and tired,
Endeavours to engage her in caresses
Which still are unreproved, if undesired.
Flushed and decided, he assaults at once;
Exploring hands encounter no defence;     
His vanity requires no response,
And makes a welcome of indifference.
(And I Tiresias have foresuffered all
Enacted on this same divan or bed;
I who have sat by Thebes below the wall
And walked among the lowest of the dead.)
Bestows one final patronising kiss,
And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit . . .

She turns and looks a moment in the glass,
Hardly aware of her departed lover;              
Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass:
“Well now that’s done: and I’m glad it’s over.”
When lovely woman stoops to folly and
Paces about her room again, alone,
She smoothes her hair with automatic hand,
And puts a record on the gramophone.

“This music crept by me upon the waters”
And along the Strand, up Queen Victoria Street.
O City city, I can sometimes hear
Beside a public bar in Lower Thames Street,
The pleasant whining of a mandoline
And a clatter and a chatter from within
Where fishmen lounge at noon: where the walls
Of Magnus Martyr hold
Inexplicable splendour of Ionian white and gold.

     The river sweats
     Oil and tar
     The barges drift
     With the turning tide
     Red sails                      
     Wide
     To leeward, swing on the heavy spar.
     The barges wash
     Drifting logs
     Down Greenwich reach
     Past the Isle of Dogs.
          Weialala leia
          Wallala leialala

     Elizabeth and Leicester
     Beating oars                  
     The stern was formed
     A gilded shell
     Red and gold
     The brisk swell
     Rippled both shores
     Southwest wind
     Carried down stream
     The peal of bells
     White towers
          Weialala leia               
          Wallala leialala

“Trams and dusty trees.
Highbury bore me. Richmond and Kew
Undid me. By Richmond I raised my knees
Supine on the floor of a narrow canoe.”

“My feet are at Moorgate, and my heart
Under my feet. After the event
He wept. He promised ‘a new start’.
I made no comment. What should I resent?”
“On Margate Sands.                        
I can connect
Nothing with nothing.
The broken fingernails of dirty hands.
My people humble people who expect
Nothing.”
     la la

To Carthage then I came

Burning burning burning burning
O Lord Thou pluckest me out
O Lord Thou pluckest      

burning

IV. DEATH BY WATER

Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell
And the profit and loss.
                                         A current under sea
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
He passed the stages of his age and youth
Entering the whirlpool.
                                       Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,          
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.

V. WHAT THE THUNDER SAID

After the torchlight red on sweaty faces
After the frosty silence in the gardens
After the agony in stony places
The shouting and the crying
Prison and palace and reverberation
Of thunder of spring over distant mountains
He who was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying
With a little patience              

Here is no water but only rock
Rock and no water and the sandy road
The road winding above among the mountains
Which are mountains of rock without water
If there were water we should stop and drink
Amongst the rock one cannot stop or think
Sweat is dry and feet are in the sand
If there were only water amongst the rock
Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit
Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit 
There is not even silence in the mountains
But dry sterile thunder without rain
There is not even solitude in the mountains
But red sullen faces sneer and snarl
From doors of mudcracked houses
                                                        
If there were water
And no rock
If there were rock
And also water
And water  
A spring
A pool among the rock
If there were the sound of water only
Not the cicada
And dry grass singing
But sound of water over a rock
Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees
Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop
But there is no water

Who is the third who walks always beside you? 
When I count, there are only you and I together
But when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another one walking beside you
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
I do not know whether a man or a woman
- But who is that on the other side of you?

What is that sound high in the air
Murmur of maternal lamentation
Who are those hooded hordes swarming
Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth 
Ringed by the flat horizon only
What is the city over the mountains
Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air
Falling towers
Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
Vienna London
Unreal

A woman drew her long black hair out tight
And fiddled whisper music on those strings
And bats with baby faces in the violet light      
Whistled, and beat their wings
And crawled head downward down a blackened wall
And upside down in air were towers
Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours
And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells.

In this decayed hole among the mountains
In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing
Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel
There is the empty chapel, only the wind’s home.
It has no windows, and the door swings,                            
Dry bones can harm no one.
Only a cock stood on the rooftree
Co co rico co co rico
In a flash of lightning. Then a damp gust
Bringing rain

Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves
Waited for rain, while the black clouds
Gathered far distant, over Himavant.
The jungle crouched, humped in silence.
Then spoke the thunder                                            
DA
Datta: what have we given?
My friend, blood shaking my heart
The awful daring of a moment’s surrender
Which an age of prudence can never retract
By this, and this only, we have existed
Which is not to be found in our obituaries
Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider
Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor
In our empty rooms                                              
DA
Dayadhvam: I have heard the key
Turn in the door once and turn once only
We think of the key, each in his prison
Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison
Only at nightfall, aetherial rumours
Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus
DA
Damyata: The boat responded
Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar                        
The sea was calm, your heart would have responded
Gaily, when invited, beating obedient
To controlling hands

                                     I sat upon the shore
Fishing, with the arid plain behind me
Shall I at least set my lands in order?
London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down
Poi s’ascose nel foco che gli affina
Quando fiam ceu chelidon – O swallow swallow
Le Prince d’Aquitaine a la tour abolie                     
These fragments I have shored against my ruins
Why then Ile fit you. Hieronymo’s mad againe.
Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.
                           Shantih    shantih    shantih

by Emily Dickinson

Our share of night to bear,
Our share of morning,
Our blank in bliss to fill,
Our blank in scorning.

Here a star, and there a star,
Some lose their way.
Here a mist, and there a mist,
Afterwards — day!

To My Mother

by Edgar Allan Poe
  Because I feel that, in the Heavens above,
    The angels, whispering to one another,
  Can find, among their burning terms of love,
    None so devotional as that of “Mother,”
  Therefore by that dear name I long have called you–
    You who are more than mother unto me,
  And fill my heart of hearts, where Death installed you,
    In setting my Virginia’s spirit free.
  My mother–my own mother, who died early,
    Was but the mother of myself; but you
  Are mother to the one I loved so dearly,
    And thus are dearer than the mother I knew
  By that infinity with which my wife
    Was dearer to my soul than its soul-life.

The Children of Stare

by Walter de la Mare
  Winter is fallen early
  On the house of Stare;
Birds in reverberating flocks
  Haunt its ancestral box;
  Bright are the plenteous berries
  In clusters in the air.

  Still is the fountain’s music,
  The dark pool icy still,
Whereupon a small and sanguine sun
  Floats in a mirror on,
  Into a West of crimson,
  From a South of daffodil.

  ‘Tis strange to see young children
  In such a wintry house;
Like rabbits’ on the frozen snow
  Their tell-tale footprints go;
  Their laughter rings like timbrels
  ‘Neath evening ominous:

  Their small and heightened faces
  Like wine-red winter buds;
Their frolic bodies gentle as
  Flakes in the air that pass,
  Frail as the twirling petal
  From the briar of the woods.

  Above them silence lours,
  Still as an arctic sea;
Light fails; night falls; the wintry moon
  Glitters; the crocus soon
  Will ope grey and distracted
  On earth’s austerity:

  Thick mystery, wild peril,
  Law like an iron rod:–
Yet sport they on in Spring’s attire,
  Each with his tiny fire
  Blown to a core of ardour
  By the awful breath of God.

Song of the Croaker

by Horatio Alger, Jr.

An old frog lived in a dismal swamp,
  In a dismal kind of way;
And all that he did, whatever befell,
  Was to croak the livelong day.
Croak, croak, croak,
  When darkness filled the air,
And croak, croak, croak,
  When the skies were bright and fair.

“Good Master Frog, a battle is fought,
  And the foeman’s power is broke.”
But he only turned a greener hue,
  And answered with a croak.
Croak, croak, croak,
  When the clouds are dark and dun,
And croak, croak, croak,
  In the blaze of the noontide sun.

“Good Master Frog, the forces of right
  Are driving the hosts of wrong.”
But he gave his head an ominous shake,
  And croaked out, “Nous verrons!”
Croak, croak, croak,
  Till the heart is full of gloom,
And croak, croak, croak,
  Till the world seems but a tomb.

To poison the cup of life,
  By always dreading the worst.
Is to make of the earth a dungeon damp,
  And the happiest life accursed.
Croak, croak, croak,
  When the noontide sun rides high,
And croak, croak, croak,
  Lest the night come by and by.

Farewell to the dismal frog;
  Let him croak as loud as he may,
He cannot blot the sun from heaven,
  Nor hinder the march of day,
Though he croak, croak, croak,
  Till the heart is full of gloom,
And croak, croak, croak,
  Till the world seems but a tomb.

The Dream

by Lord Byron

                        I.

    Our life is twofold: Sleep hath its own world,
    A boundary between the things misnamed
    Death and existence: Sleep hath its own world,
    And a wide realm of wild reality,
    And dreams in their developement have breath,
    And tears, and tortures, and the touch of Joy;
    They leave a weight upon our waking thoughts,
    They take a weight from off our waking toils,
    They do divide our being;they become
    A portion of ourselves as of our time,     
    And look like heralds of Eternity;
    They pass like spirits of the past,–they speak
    Like Sibyls of the future; they have power–
    The tyranny of pleasure and of pain;
    They make us what we were not–what they will,
    And shake us with the vision that’s gone by,
    The dread of vanished shadows–Are they so?
    Is not the past all shadow?–What are they?
    Creations of the mind?–The mind can make
    Substance, and people planets of its own     
    With beings brighter than have been, and give
    A breath to forms which can outlive all flesh.
    I would recall a vision which I dreamed
    Perchance in sleep–for in itself a thought,
    A slumbering thought, is capable of years,
    And curdles a long life into one hour.

                        II.

    I saw two beings in the hues of youth
    Standing upon a hill, a gentle hill,
    Green and of mild declivity, the last
    As ’twere the cape of a long ridge of such, 
    Save that there was no sea to lave its base,
    But a most living landscape, and the wave
    Of woods and cornfields, and the abodes of men
    Scattered at intervals, and wreathing smoke
    Arising from such rustic roofs;–the hill
    Was crowned with a peculiar diadem
    Of trees, in circular array, so fixed,
    Not by the sport of nature, but of man:
    These two, a maiden and a youth, were there
    Gazing–the one on all that was beneath 
    Fair as herself–but the Boy gazed on her;
    And both were young, and one was beautiful:
    And both were young–yet not alike in youth.
    As the sweet moon on the horizon’s verge,
    The Maid was on the eve of Womanhood;
    The Boy had fewer summers, but his heart
    Had far outgrown his years, and to his eye
    There was but one beloved face on earth,
    And that was shining on him: he had looked
    Upon it till it could not pass away;   
    He had no breath, no being, but in hers;
    She was his voice; he did not speak to her,
    But trembled on her words; she was his sight,     
    For his eye followed hers, and saw with hers,
    Which coloured all his objects:–he had ceased
    To live within himself; she was his life,
    The ocean to the river of his thoughts,
    Which terminated all: upon a tone,
    A touch of hers, his blood would ebb and flow,
    And his cheek change tempestuously–his heart 
    Unknowing of its cause of agony.
    But she in these fond feelings had no share:
    Her sighs were not for him; to her he was
    Even as a brother–but no more; ’twas much,
    For brotherless she was, save in the name
    Her infant friendship had bestowed on him;
    Herself the solitary scion left
    Of a time-honoured race.–It was a name
    Which pleased him, and yet pleased him not–and why?
    Time taught him a deep answer–when she loved 
    Another: even _now_ she loved another,
    And on the summit of that hill she stood
    Looking afar if yet her lover’s steed
    Kept pace with her expectancy, and flew.

                        III.

    A change came o’er the spirit of my dream.
    There was an ancient mansion, and before
    Its walls there was a steed caparisoned:
    Within an antique Oratory stood
    The Boy of whom I spake;–he was alone,
    And pale, and pacing to and fro: anon          
    He sate him down, and seized a pen, and traced
    Words which I could not guess of; then he leaned
    His bowed head on his hands, and shook as ’twere
    With a convulsion–then arose again,
    And with his teeth and quivering hands did tear
    What he had written, but he shed no tears.
    And he did calm himself, and fix his brow
    Into a kind of quiet: as he paused,
    The Lady of his love re-entered there;
    She was serene and smiling then, and yet 
    She knew she was by him beloved–she knew,
    For quickly comes such knowledge, that his heart
    Was darkened with her shadow, and she saw
    That he was wretched, but she saw not all.
    He rose, and with a cold and gentle grasp
    He took her hand; a moment o’er his face
    A tablet of unutterable thoughts
    Was traced, and then it faded, as it came;
    He dropped the hand he held, and with slow steps
    Retired, but not as bidding her adieu, 
    For they did part with mutual smiles; he passed
    From out the massy gate of that old Hall,
    And mounting on his steed he went his way;
    And ne’er repassed that hoary threshold more.

                        IV.

    A change came o’er the spirit of my dream.
    The Boy was sprung to manhood: in the wilds
    Of fiery climes he made himself a home,
    And his Soul drank their sunbeams: he was girt
    With strange and dusky aspects; he was not
    Himself like what he had been; on the sea   
    And on the shore he was a wanderer;
    There was a mass of many images
    Crowded like waves upon me, but he was
    A part of all; and in the last he lay
    Reposing from the noontide sultriness,
    Couched among fallen columns, in the shade
    Of ruined walls that had survived the names
    Of those who reared them; by his sleeping side
    Stood camels grazing, and some goodly steeds
    Were fastened near a fountain; and a man      
    Clad in a flowing garb did watch the while,
    While many of his tribe slumbered around:
    And they were canopied by the blue sky,
    So cloudless, clear, and purely beautiful,
    That God alone was to be seen in Heaven.

                        V.

    A change came o’er the spirit of my dream.
    The Lady of his love was wed with One
    Who did not love her better:–in her home,
    A thousand leagues from his,–her native home,
    She dwelt, begirt with growing Infancy,        
    Daughters and sons of Beauty,–but behold!
    Upon her face there was the tint of grief,
    The settled shadow of an inward strife,
    And an unquiet drooping of the eye,
    As if its lid were charged with unshed tears.
    What could her grief be?–she had all she loved,
    And he who had so loved her was not there
    To trouble with bad hopes, or evil wish,
    Or ill-repressed affliction, her pure thoughts.
    What could her grief be?–she had loved him not,  
    Nor given him cause to deem himself beloved,
    Nor could he be a part of that which preyed
    Upon her mind–a spectre of the past.

                        VI.

    A change came o’er the spirit of my dream.
    The Wanderer was returned.–I saw him stand
    Before an Altar–with a gentle bride;
    Her face was fair, but was not that which made
    The Starlight of his Boyhood;–as he stood
    Even at the altar, o’er his brow there came
    The self-same aspect, and the quivering shock
    That in the antique Oratory shook
    His bosom in its solitude; and then–
    As in that hour–a moment o’er his face
    The tablet of unutterable thoughts
    Was traced,–and then it faded as it came,
    And he stood calm and quiet, and he spoke
    The fitting vows, but heard not his own words,
    And all things reeled around him; he could see
    Not that which was, nor that which should have been–
    But the old mansion, and the accustomed hall,     
    And the remembered chambers, and the place,
    The day, the hour, the sunshine, and the shade,
    All things pertaining to that place and hour
    And her who was his destiny, came back
    And thrust themselves between him and the light:
    What business had they there at such a time?

                        VII.

    A change came o’er the spirit of my dream.
    The Lady of his love;–Oh! she was changed
    As by the sickness of the soul; her mind
    Had wandered from its dwelling, and her eyes
    They had not their own lustre, but the look
    Which is not of the earth; she was become
    The Queen of a fantastic realm; her thoughts
    Were combinations of disjointed things;
    And forms, impalpable and unperceived
    Of others’ sight, familiar were to hers.
    And this the world calls frenzy; but the wise
    Have a far deeper madness–and the glance
    Of melancholy is a fearful gift;
    What is it but the telescope of truth?    
    Which strips the distance of its fantasies,
    And brings life near in utter nakedness,
    Making the cold reality too real!

                        VIII.

    A change came o’er the spirit of my dream.
    The Wanderer was alone as heretofore,
    The beings which surrounded him were gone,
    Or were at war with him; he was a mark
    For blight and desolation, compassed round
    With Hatred and Contention; Pain was mixed
    In all which was served up to him, until, 
    Like to the Pontic monarch of old days,
    He fed on poisons, and they had no power,
    But were a kind of nutriment; he lived
    Through that which had been death to many men,
    And made him friends of mountains: with the stars
    And the quick Spirit of the Universe
    He held his dialogues; and they did teach
    To him the magic of their mysteries;
    To him the book of Night was opened wide,
    And voices from the deep abyss revealed
    A marvel and a secret–Be it so.

                        IX.

    My dream was past; it had no further change.
    It was of a strange order, that the doom
    Of these two creatures should be thus traced out
    Almost like a reality–the one
    To end in madness–both in misery.

Miss Billy’s Decision, CHAPTER I

by Eleanor H. Porter

CALDERWELL DOES SOME TALKING
Calderwell had met Mr. M. J. Arkwright in
London through a common friend; since then
they had tramped half over Europe together in a
comradeship that was as delightful as it was unusual.
As Calderwell put it in a letter to his sister, Belle:

“We smoke the same cigar and drink the same
tea (he’s just as much of an old woman on that
subject as I am!), and we agree beautifully on
all necessary points of living, from tipping to late
sleeping in the morning; while as for politics and
religion–we disagree in those just enough to
lend spice to an otherwise tame existence.”

Farther along in this same letter Calderwell
touched upon his new friend again.

“I admit, however, I would like to know his
name.  To find out what that mysterious `M. J.’
stands for has got to be pretty nearly an obsession
with me.  I am about ready to pick his pocket or
rifle his trunk in search of some lurking `Martin’
or `John’ that will set me at peace.  As it is, I
confess that I have ogled his incoming mail and
his outgoing baggage shamelessly, only to be
slapped in the face always and everlastingly by
that bland `M. J.’  I’ve got my revenge, now,
though.  To myself I call him `Mary Jane’–
and his broad-shouldered, brown-bearded six feet
of muscular manhood would so like to be called
`Mary Jane’!  By the way, Belle, if you ever
hear of murder and sudden death in my direction,
better set the sleuths on the trail of Arkwright.
Six to one you’ll find I called him `Mary Jane’
to his face!”

Calderwell was thinking of that letter now, as
he sat at a small table in a Paris caf<e’>.  Opposite
him was the six feet of muscular manhood, broad
shoulders, pointed brown beard, and all–and he
had just addressed it, inadvertently, as “Mary
Jane.”

During the brief, sickening moment of silence
after the name had left his lips, Calderwell was
conscious of a whimsical realization of the lights,
music, and laughter all about him.

“Well, I chose as safe a place as I could!” he
was thinking.  Then Arkwright spoke.

“How long since you’ve been in correspondence
with members of my family?”

“Eh?”

Arkwright laughed grimly.

“Perhaps you thought of it yourself, then–
I’ll admit you’re capable of it,” he nodded, reaching
for a cigar.  “But it so happens you hit upon
my family’s favorite name for me.”

“_Mary Jane!_  You mean they actually _call_
you that?”

“Yes,” bowed the big fellow, calmly, as he
struck a light.  “Appropriate!–don’t you
think?”

Calderwell did not answer.  He thought he
could not.

“Well, silence gives consent, they say,” laughed
the other.  “Anyhow, you must have had _some_
reason for calling me that.”

“Arkwright, what _does_ `M. J.’ stand for?”
demanded Calderwell.

“Oh, is that it?” smiled the man opposite.
“Well, I’ll own those initials have been something
of a puzzle to people.  One man declares they’re
`Merely Jokes’; but another, not so friendly, says
they stand for `Mostly Jealousy’ of more fortunate
chaps who have real names for a handle.  My
small brothers and sisters, discovering, with the
usual perspicacity of one’s family on such matters,
that I never signed, or called myself anything but
`M. J.,’ dubbed me `Mary Jane.’  And there you
have it.”

“Mary Jane!  You!”

Arkwright smiled oddly.

“Oh, well, what’s the difference?  Would you
deprive them of their innocent amusement?  And
they do so love that `Mary Jane’!  Besides,
what’s in a name, anyway?” he went on, eyeing
the glowing tip of the cigar between his fingers.
“ `A rose by any other name–’–you’ve heard
that, probably.  Names don’t always signify, my
dear fellow.  For instance, I know a `Billy’–but
he’s a girl.”

Calderwell gave a sudden start.

“You don’t mean Billy–Neilson?”

The other turned sharply.

“Do _you_ know Billy Neilson?”

Calderwell gave his friend a glance from
scornful eyes.

“Do I know Billy Neilson?” he cried.  “Does
a fellow usually know the girl he’s proposed to
regularly once in three months?  Oh, I know I’m
telling tales out of school, of course,” he went on,
in response to the look that had come into the
brown eyes opposite.  “But what’s the use?
Everybody knows it–that knows us.  Billy herself
got so she took it as a matter of course–and
refused as a matter of course, too; just as she
would refuse a serving of apple pie at dinner, if
she hadn’t wanted it.”

“Apple pie!” scouted Arkwright.

Calderwell shrugged his shoulders.

“My dear fellow, you don’t seem to realize it,
but for the last six months you have been assisting
at the obsequies of a dead romance.”

“Indeed!  And is it–buried, yet?”

“Oh, no,” sighed Calderwell, cheerfully.  “I
shall go back one of these days, I’ll warrant, and
begin the same old game again; though I will
acknowledge that the last refusal was so very
decided that it’s been a year, almost, since I received
it.  I think I was really convinced, for a while,
that–that she didn’t want that apple pie,” he
finished with a whimsical lightness that did not
quite coincide with the stern lines that had come
to his mouth.

For a moment there was silence, then Calderwell
spoke again.

“Where did you know–Miss Billy?”

“Oh, I don’t know her at all.  I know of her–
through Aunt Hannah.”

Calderwell sat suddenly erect.

“Aunt Hannah!  Is she your aunt, too?
Jove!  This _is_ a little old world, after all; isn’t
it?”

“She isn’t my aunt.  She’s my mother’s third
cousin.  None of us have seen her for years, but
she writes to mother occasionally; and, of course,
for some time now, her letters have been running
over full of Billy.  She lives with her, I believe;
doesn’t she?”

“She does,” rejoined Calderwell, with an
unexpected chuckle.  “I wonder if you know how she
happened to live with her, at first.”

“Why, no, I reckon not.  What do you mean?”

Calderwell chuckled again.

“Well, I’ll tell you.  You, being a `Mary Jane,’
ought to appreciate it.  You see, Billy was named
for one William Henshaw, her father’s chum,
who promptly forgot all about her.  At eighteen,
Billy, being left quite alone in the world, wrote to
`Uncle William’ and asked to come and live with
him.”

“Well?”

“But it wasn’t well.  William was a forty-year-
old widower who lived with two younger brothers,
an old butler, and a Chinese cook in one of those
funny old Beacon Street houses in Boston.  `The
Strata,’ Bertram called it.  Bright boy–Bertram!”

“The Strata!”

“Yes.  I wish you could see that house,
Arkwright.  It’s a regular layer cake.  Cyril–he’s
the second brother; must be thirty-four or five
now–lives on the top floor in a rugless, curtainless,
music-mad existence–just a plain crank.
Below him comes William.  William collects things
–everything from tenpenny nails to teapots, I
should say, and they’re all there in his rooms.
Farther down somewhere comes Bertram.  He’s
_the_ Bertram Henshaw, you understand; the artist.”

“Not the `Face-of-a-Girl’ Henshaw?”

“The same; only of course four years ago he
wasn’t quite so well known as he is now.  Well, to
resume and go on.  It was into this house, this
masculine paradise ruled over by Pete and Dong
Ling in the kitchen, that Billy’s na<i:>ve request for
a home came.”

“Great Scott!” breathed Arkwright, appreciatively.

“Yes.  Well, the letter was signed `Billy.’
They took her for a boy, naturally, and after something
of a struggle they agreed to let `him’ come.
For his particular delectation they fixed up a room
next to Bertram with guns and fishing rods, and
such ladylike specialties; and William went to the
station to meet the boy.”

“With never a suspicion?”

“With never a suspicion.”

“Gorry!”

“Well, `he’ came, and `she’ conquered.  I
guess things were lively for a while, though.  Oh,
there was a kitten, too, I believe, `Spunk,’ who
added to the gayety of nations.”

“But what did the Henshaws do?”

“Well, I wasn’t there, of course; but Bertram
says they spun around like tops gone mad for a
time, but finally quieted down enough to summon
a married sister for immediate propriety, and to
establish Aunt Hannah for permanency the next
day.”

“So that’s how it happened!  Well, by
George!” cried Arkwright.

“Yes,” nodded the other.  “So you see there
are untold possibilities just in a name.  Remember
that.  Just suppose _you_, as Mary Jane, should
beg a home in a feminine household–say in
Miss Billy’s, for instance!”

“I’d like to,” retorted Arkwright, with
sudden warmth.

Calderwell stared a little.

The other laughed shamefacedly.

“Oh, it’s only that I happen to have a
devouring curiosity to meet that special young lady.
I sing her songs (you know she’s written some
dandies!), I’ve heard a lot about her, and I’ve
seen her picture.”  (He did not add that he had
also purloined that same picture from his mother’s
bureau–the picture being a gift from Aunt
Hannah.)  “So you see I would, indeed, like to
occupy a corner in the fair Miss Billy’s household.
I could write to Aunt Hannah and beg a home
with her, you know; eh?”

“Of course!  Why don’t you–`Mary Jane’?”
laughed Calderwell.  “Billy’d take you all right.
She’s had a little Miss Hawthorn, a music teacher,
there for months.  She’s always doing stunts of
that sort.  Belle writes me that she’s had a dozen
forlornites there all this last summer, two or three
at a time-tired widows, lonesome old maids,
and crippled kids–just to give them a royal
good time.  So you see she’d take you, without a
doubt.  Jove! what a pair you’d make:  Miss
Billy and Mr. Mary Jane!  You’d drive the
suffragettes into conniption fits–just by the sound
of you!”

Arkwright laughed quietly; then he frowned.

“But how about it?” he asked.  “I thought
she was keeping house with Aunt Hannah.  Didn’t
she stay at all with the Henshaws?”

“Oh, yes, a few months.  I never knew just
why she did leave, but I fancied, from something
Billy herself said once, that she discovered she
was creating rather too much of an upheaval in
the Strata.  So she took herself off.  She went to
school, and travelled considerably.  She was over
here when I met her first.  After that she was with
us all one summer on the yacht.  A couple of
years ago, or so, she went back to Boston, bought
a house and settled down with Aunt Hannah.”

“And she’s not married–or even engaged?”

“Wasn’t the last I heard.  I haven’t seen her
since December, and I’ve heard from her only
indirectly.  She corresponds with my sister, and
so do I–intermittently.  I heard a month ago
from Belle, and _she_ had a letter from Billy in
August.  But I heard nothing of any engagement.”

“How about the Henshaws?  I should think
there might be a chance there for a romance– a
charming girl, and three unattached men.”

Calderwell gave a slow shake of the head.

“I don’t think so.  William is–let me see–
nearly forty-five, I guess, by this time; and he
isn’t a marrying man.  He buried his heart with
his wife and baby years ago.  Cyril, according to
Bertram, `hates women and all other confusion,’
so that ought to let him out.  As for Bertram
himself–Bertram is `only Bertram.’  He’s always
been that.  Bertram loves girls–to paint; but
I can’t imagine him making serious love to any
one.  It would always be the tilt of a chin or the
turn of a cheek that he was admiring–to paint.

No, there’s no chance for a romance there, I’ll
warrant.”

“But there’s–yourself.”

Calderwell’s eyebrows rose the fraction of an
inch.

“Oh, of course.  I presume January or February
will find me back there,” he admitted with a
sigh and a shrug.  Then, a little bitterly, he added:
“No, Arkwright.  I shall keep away if I can.  I
_know_ there’s no chance for me–now.”

“Then you’ll leave me a clear field?” bantered
the other.

“Of course–`Mary Jane,’ ” retorted Calderwell,
with equal lightness.

“Thank you.”

“Oh, you needn’t,” laughed Calderwell.  “My
giving you the right of way doesn’t insure you a
thoroughfare for yourself–there are others, you
know.  Billy Neilson has had sighing swains about I
her, I imagine, since she could walk and talk.  She
is a wonderfully fascinating little bit of femininity,
and she has a heart of pure gold.  All is, I envy
the man who wins it–for the man who wins
that, wins her.”

There was no answer.  Arkwright sat with his
eyes on the moving throng outside the window
near them.  Perhaps he had not heard.  At all
events, when he spoke some time later, it was of a
matter far removed from Miss Billy Neilson, or
the way to her heart.  Nor was the young lady
mentioned between them again that day.

Long hours later, just before parting for the
night, Arkwright said:

“Calderwell, I’m sorry, but I believe, after all,
I can’t take that trip to the lakes with you.  I–
I’m going home next week.”

“Home!  Hang it, Arkwright!  I’d counted on
you.  Isn’t this rather sudden?”

“Yes, and no.  I’ll own I’ve been drifting about
with you contentedly enough for the last six
months to make you think mountain-climbing and
boat-paddling were the end and aim of my existence.
But they aren’t, you know, really.”

“Nonsense!  At heart you’re as much of a
vagabond as I am; and you know it.”

“Perhaps.  But unfortunately I don’t happen
to carry your pocketbook.”

“You may, if you like.  I’ll hand it over any
time,” grinned Calderwell.

“Thanks.  You know well enough what I
mean,” shrugged the other.

There was a moment’s silence; then Calderwell
queried:

“Arkwright, how old are you?”

“Twenty-four.”

“Good!  Then you’re merely travelling to
supplement your education, see?”

“Oh, yes, I see.  But something besides my
education has got to be supplemented now, I reckon.”

“What are you going to do?”

There was an almost imperceptible hesitation;
then, a little shortly, came the answer:

“Hit the trail for Grand Opera, and bring up,
probably–in vaudeville.”

Calderwell smiled appreciatively.

“You _can_ sing like the devil,” he admitted.

“Thanks,” returned his friend, with uplifted
eyebrows.  “Do you mind calling it `an angel’
–just for this occasion?”

“Oh, the matin<e’>e-girls will do that fast enough.
But, I say, Arkwright, what are you going to do
with those initials then?”

“Let ‘em alone.”

“Oh, no, you won’t.  And you won’t be `Mary
Jane,’ either.  Imagine a Mary Jane in Grand
Opera!  I know what you’ll be.  You’ll be `Se<n?>or
Martini Johnini Arkwrightino’!  By the way,
you didn’t say what that `M. J.’ really did stand
for,” hinted Calderwell, shamelessly

“ `Merely Jokes’–in your estimation,
evidently,” shrugged the other.  “But my going
isn’t a joke, Calderwell.  I’m really going.  And
I’m going to work.”

“But–how shall you manage?”

“Time will tell.”

Calderwell frowned and stirred restlessly in his
chair.

“But, honestly, now, to–to follow that trail
of yours will take money.  And–er–” a faint
red stole to his forehead–“don’t they have–
er–patrons for these young and budding geniuses?
Why can’t I have a hand in this trail, too
–or maybe you’d call it a foot, eh?  I’d be no
end glad to, Arkwright.”

“Thanks, old man.”  The red was duplicated
this time above the brown silky beard.  “That
was mighty kind of you, and I appreciate it; but
it won’t be necessary.  A generous, but perhaps
misguided bachelor uncle left me a few thousands
a year or so ago; and I’m going to put them all
down my throat–or rather, _into_ it–before I
give up.”

“Where you going to study?  New York?”

Again there was an almost imperceptible
hesitation before the answer came.

“I’m not quite prepared to say.”

“Why not try it here?”

Arkwright shook his head.

“I did plan to, when I came over but I’ve
changed my mind.  I believe I’d rather work
while longer in America.”

“Hm-m,” murmured Calderwell.

There was a brief silence, followed by other
questions and other answers; after which the
friends said good night.

In his own room, as he was dropping off to
sleep, Calderwell muttered drowsily:

“By George!  I haven’t found out yet what
that blamed `M. J.’ stands for!”

by Emily Dickinson

Belshazzar had a letter, –
He never had but one;
Belshazzar’s correspondent
Concluded and begun
In that immortal copy
The conscience of us all
Can read without its glasses
On revelation’s wall.

LITTLE CHARLIE

by Horatio Alger, Jr.

A violet grew by the river-side,
  And gladdened all hearts with its bloom;
While over the fields, on the scented air,
  It breathed a rich perfume.
But the clouds grew dark in the angry sky,
  And its portals were opened wide;
And the heavy rain beat down the flower
  That grew by the river-side.

Not far away in a pleasant home,
  There lived a little boy,
Whose cheerful face and childish grace
  Filled every heart with joy.
He wandered one day to the river’s verge,
  With no one near to save;
And the heart that we loved with a boundless love
  Was stilled in the restless wave.

The sky grew dark to our tearful eyes,
  And we bade farewell to joy;
For our hearts were bound by a sorrowful tie
  To the grave of the little boy.
The birds still sing in the leafy tree
  That shadows the open door;
We heed them not, for we think of the voice
  That we shall hear no more.

We think of him at eventide,
  And gaze on his vacant chair
With a longing heart that will scarce believe
  That Charlie is not there.
We seem to hear his ringing laugh,
  And his bounding step at the door;
But, alas! there comes the sorrowful thought,
  We shall never hear them more!                               

We shall walk sometimes to his little grave,
  In the pleasant summer hours;
We will speak his name in a softened voice,
  And cover his grave with flowers;
We will think of him in his heavenly home,–
  In his heavenly home so fair;
And we will trust with a hopeful trust
  That we shall meet him there.

Miss Billy’s Decision, CHAPTER IV

by Eleanor H. Porter

FOR MARY JANE
“I have a letter here from Mary Jane, my
dear,” announced Aunt Hannah at the luncheon
table one day.

“Have you?” Billy raised interested eyes
from her own letters.  “What does she say?”

“She will be here Thursday.  Her train is
due at the South Station at four-thirty.  She
seems to be very grateful to you for your offer to
let her come right here for a month; but she says
she’s afraid you don’t realize, perhaps, just what
you are doing–to take her in like that, with her
singing, and all.”

“Nonsense!  She doesn’t refuse, does she?”

“Oh, no; she doesn’t refuse–but she doesn’t
accept either, exactly, as I can see.  I’ve read the
letter over twice, too.  I’ll let you judge for yourself
by and by, when you have time to read it.”

Billy laughed.

“Never mind.  I don’t want to read it.  She’s
just a little shy about coming, that’s all.  She’ll
stay all right, when we come to meet her.  What
time did you say it was, Thursday?”

“Half past four, South Station.”

“Thursday, at half past four.  Let me see–
that’s the day of the Carletons’ `At Home,’
isn’t it?”

“Oh, my grief and conscience, yes!  But I had
forgotten it.  What shall we do?”

“Oh, that will be easy.  We’ll just go to the
Carletons’ early and have John wait, then take
us from there to the South Station.  Meanwhile
we’ll make sure that the little blue room is all ready
for her.  I put in my white enamel work-basket
yesterday, and that pretty little blue case for
hairpins and curling tongs that I bought at the
fair.  I want the room to look homey to her, you
know.”

“As if it could look any other way, if _you_ had
anything to do with it,” sighed Aunt Hannah,
admiringly.

Billy laughed.

“If we get stranded we might ask the Henshaw
boys to help us out, Aunt Hannah.  They’d
probably suggest guns and swords.  That’s the
way they fixed up _my_ room.”

Aunt Hannah raised shocked hands of protest.

“As if we would!  Mercy, what a time that
was!”

Billy laughed again.

“I never shall forget, _never_, my first glimpse of
that room when Mrs. Hartwell switched on the
lights.  Oh, Aunt Hannah, I wish you could have
seen it before they took out those guns and
spiders!”

“As if I didn’t see quite enough when I saw
William’s face that morning he came for me!”
retorted Aunt Hannah, spiritedly.

“Dear Uncle William!  What an old saint he
has been all the way through,” mused Billy aloud.
“And Cyril–who would ever have believed that
the day would come when Cyril would say to
me, as he did last night, that he felt as if Marie
had been gone a month.  It’s been just seven days,
you know.”

“I know.  She comes to-morrow, doesn’t she?”

“Yes, and I’m glad.  I shall tell Marie she
needn’t leave Cyril on _my_ hands again.  Bertram
says that at home Cyril hasn’t played a dirge
since his engagement; but I notice that up here
–where Marie might be, but isn’t–his tunes
would never be mistaken for ragtime.  By the
way,” she added, as she rose from the table,
“that’s another surprise in store for Hugh
Calderwell.  He always declared that Cyril wasn’t a
marrying man, either, any more than Bertram.
You know he said Bertram only cared for girls
to paint; but–”  She stopped and looked
inquiringly at Rosa, who had appeared at that
moment in the hall doorway.

“It’s the telephone, Miss Neilson.  Mr.
Bertram Henshaw wants you.”

A few minutes later Aunt Hannah heard Billy
at the piano.  For fifteen, twenty, thirty minutes
the brilliant scales and arpeggios rippled through
the rooms and up the stairs to Aunt Hannah, who
knew, by the very sound of them, that some
unusual nervousness was being worked off at the
finger tips that played them.  At the end of forty-
five minutes Aunt Hannah went down-stairs.

“Billy, my dear, excuse me, but have you
forgotten what time it is?  Weren’t you going out
with Bertram?”

Billy stopped playing at once, but she did not
turn her head.  Her fingers busied themselves
with some music on the piano.

“We aren’t going, Aunt Hannah,” she said.

“Bertram can’t.”

“_Can’t!_”

“Well, he didn’t want to–so of course I
said not to.  He’s been painting this morning on
a new portrait, and she said he might stay to
luncheon and keep right on for a while this
afternoon, if he liked.  And–he did like, so he
stayed.”

“Why, how–how–”  Aunt Hannah stopped
helplessly.

“Oh, no, not at all,” interposed Billy, lightly.
“He told me all about it the other night.  It’s
going to be a very wonderful portrait; and, of
course, I wouldn’t want to interfere with–his
work!”  And again a brilliant scale rippled from
Billy’s fingers after a crashing chord in the bass.

Slowly Aunt Hannah turned and went up-stairs.
Her eyes were troubled.  Not since Billy’s engagement
had she heard Billy play like that.

Bertram did not find a pensive Billy awaiting
him that evening.  He found a bright-eyed,
flushed-cheeked Billy, who let herself be kissed
–once–but who did not kiss back; a blithe,
elusive Billy, who played tripping little melodies,
and sang jolly little songs, instead of sitting
before the fire and talking; a Billy who at last
turned, and asked tranquilly:

“Well, how did the picture go?”

Bertram rose then, crossed the room, and took
Billy very gently into his arms.

“Sweetheart, you were a dear this noon to
let me off like that,” he began in a voice shaken
with emotion.  “You don’t know, perhaps,
exactly what you did.  You see, I was nearly
wild between wanting to be with you, and wanting
to go on with my work.  And I was just at that
point where one little word from you, one hint
that you wanted me to come anyway–and I
should have come.  But you didn’t say it, nor hint
it.  Like the brave little bit of inspiration that you
are, you bade me stay and go on with my work.”

The “inspiration’s” head drooped a little
lower, but this only brought a wealth of soft
bronze hair to just where Bertram could lay his
cheek against it–and Bertram promptly took
advantage of his opportunity.  “And so I stayed,
Billy, and I did good work; I know I did good
work.  Why, Billy,”–Bertram stepped back
now, and held Billy by the shoulders at arms’
length–“Billy, that’s going to be the best
work I’ve ever done.  I can see it coming even
now, under my fingers.”

Billy lifted her head and looked into her lover’s
face.  His eyes were glowing.  His cheeks were
flushed.  His whole countenance was aflame with
the soul of the artist who sees his vision taking
shape before him.  And Billy, looking at him, felt
suddenly–ashamed.

“Oh, Bertram, I’m proud, proud, _proud_ of
you!” she breathed.  “Come, let’s go over to
the fire-and talk!”

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