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Admirals All

by Henry Newbolt

Effingham, Grenville, Raleigh, Drake,
Here’s to the bold and free!
Benbow, Collingwood, Byron, Blake,
Hail to the Kings of the Sea!
Admirals all, for England’s sake,
Honour be yours and fame!
And honour, as long as waves shall break,
To Nelson’s peerless name!

Admirals all, for England’s sake,
Honour be yours and fame!
And honour, as long as waves shall break,
To Nelson’s peerless name!

Essex was fretting in Cadiz Bay
With the galleons fair in sight;
Howard at last must give him his way,
And the word was passed to fight.
Never was schoolboy gayer than he,
Since holidays first began:
He tossed his bonnet to wind and sea,
And under the guns he ran.

Drake nor devil nor Spaniard feared,
Their cities he put to the sack;
He singed his Catholic Majesty’s beard,
And harried his ships to wrack.
He was playing at Plymouth a rubber of bowls
When the great Armada came;
But he said, “They must wait their turn, good souls,”
And he stooped and finished the game.

Fifteen sail were the Dutchmen bold,
Duncan he had but two;
But he anchored them fast where the Texel shoaled,
And his colours aloft he flew.
“I’ve taken the depth to a fathom,” he cried,
“And I’ll sink with a right good will:
For I know when we’re all of us under the tide
My flag will be fluttering still.”

Splinters were flying above, below,
When Nelson sailed the Sound:
“Mark you, I wouldn’t be elsewhere now,”
Said he, “for a thousand pound!”
The Admiral’s signal bade him fly
But he wickedly wagged his head:
He clapped the glass to his sightless eye,
And “I’m damned if I see it!” he said.

Admirals all, they said their say
(The echoes are ringing still).
Admirals all, they went their way
To the haven under the hill.
But they left us a kingdom none can take,
The realm of the circling sea,
To be ruled by the rightful sons of Blake,
And the Rodneys yet to be.

Admirals all, for England’s sake,
Honour be yours and fame!
And honour, as long as waves shall break,
To Nelson’s peerless name!

Miss Billy’s Decision, CHAPTER XII

by Eleanor H. Porter

SISTER KATE
At the station Mrs. Hartwell’s train was found
to be gratifyingly on time; and in due course
Billy was extending a cordial welcome to a tall,
handsome woman who carried herself with an
unmistakable air of assured competence.  Accompanying
her was a little girl with big blue eyes
and yellow curls.

“I am very glad to see you both,” smiled Billy,
holding out a friendly hand to Mrs. Hartwell,
and stooping to kiss the round cheek of the little
girl.

“Thank you, you are very kind,” murmured
the lady; “but–are you alone, Billy?  Where
are the boys?”

“Uncle William is out of town, and Cyril is
rushed to death and sent his excuses.  Bertram
did mean to come, but he telephoned this morning
that he couldn’t, after all.  I’m sorry, but I’m
afraid you’ll have to make the best of just me,”
condoled Billy.  “They’ll be out to the house this
evening, of course–all but Uncle William.  He
doesn’t return until to-morrow.”

“Oh, doesn’t he?” murmured the lady, reaching
for her daughter’s hand.

Billy looked down with a smile.

“And this is little Kate, I suppose,” she said,
“whom I haven’t seen for such a long, long time.
Let me see, you are how old now?”

“I’m eight.  I’ve been eight six weeks.”

Billy’s eyes twinkled.

“And you don’t remember me, I suppose.”

The little girl shook her head.

“No; but I know who you are,” she added,
with shy eagerness.  “You’re going to be my
Aunt Billy, and you’re going to marry my Uncle
William–I mean, my Uncle Bertram.”

Billy’s face changed color.  Mrs. Hartwell
gave a despairing gesture.

“Kate, my dear, I told you to be sure and
remember that it was your Uncle Bertram now.
You see,” she added in a discouraged aside to
Billy, “she can’t seem to forget the first one.
But then, what can you expect?” laughed Mrs.
Hartwell, a little disagreeably.  “Such abrupt
changes from one brother to another are somewhat
disconcerting, you know.”

Billy bit her lip.  For a moment she said nothing,
then, a little constrainedly, she rejoined:

“Perhaps.  Still–let us hope we have the
right one, now.”

Mrs. Hartwell raised her eyebrows.

“Well, my dear, I’m not so confident of that.
_My_ choice has been and always will be–William.”

Billy bit her lip again.  This time her brown
eyes flashed a little.

“Is that so?  But you see, after all, _you_ aren’t
making the–the choice.”  Billy spoke lightly,
gayly; and she ended with a bright little laugh, as
if to hide any intended impertinence.

It was Mrs. Hartwell’s turn to bite her lip–
and she did it.

“So it seems,” she rejoined frigidly, after the
briefest of pauses.

It was not until they were on their way to
Corey Hill some time later that Mrs. Hartwell
turned with the question:

“Cyril is to be married in church, I suppose?”

“No.  They both preferred a home wedding.”

“Oh, what a pity!  Church weddings are so
attractive!”

“To those who like them,” amended Billy in
spite of herself.

“To every one, I think,” corrected Mrs.
Hartwell, positively.

Billy laughed.  She was beginning to discern
that it did not do much harm–nor much good
–to disagree with her guest.

“It’s in the evening, then, of course?”
pursued Mrs. Hartwell.

“No; at noon.”

“Oh, how could you let them?”

“But they preferred it, Mrs. Hartwell.”

“What if they did?” retorted the lady, sharply.
“Can’t you do as you please in your own home?
Evening weddings are so much prettier!  We
can’t change now, of course, with the guests all
invited.  That is, I suppose you do have guests!”

Mrs. Hartwell’s voice was aggrievedly despairing.

“Oh, yes,” smiled Billy, demurely.  “We have
guests invited–and I’m afraid we can’t change
the time.”

“No, of course not; but it’s too bad.  I
conclude there are announcements only, as I got no
cards.

“Announcements only,” bowed Billy.

“I wish Cyril had consulted _me_, a little, about
this affair.”

Billy did not answer.  She could not trust herself
to speak just then.  Cyril’s words of two
days before were in her ears:  “Yes, and it will
give Big Kate time to try to make your breakfast
supper, and your roses pinks–or sunflowers.”

In a moment Mrs. Hartwell spoke again.

“Of course a noon wedding is quite pretty
if you darken the rooms and have lights–you’re
going to do that, I suppose?”

Billy shook her head slowly.

“I’m afraid not, Mrs. Hartwell.  That isn’t
the plan, now.”

“Not darken the rooms!” exclaimed Mrs.
Hartwell.  “Why, it won’t–”  She stopped
suddenly, and fell back in her seat.  The look of
annoyed disappointment gave way to one of
confident relief.  “But then, _that can_ be changed,”
she finished serenely.

Billy opened her lips, but she shut them without
speaking.  After a minute she opened them again.

“You might consult–Cyril–about that,”
she said in a quiet voice.

“Yes, I will,” nodded Mrs. Hartwell, brightly.
She was looking pleased and happy again.  “I
love weddings.  Don’t you?  You can _do_ so much
with them!”

“Can you?” laughed Billy, irrepressibly.

“Yes.  Cyril is happy, of course.  Still, I
can’t imagine _him_ in love with any woman.”

“I think Marie can.”

“I suppose so.  I don’t seem to remember her
much; still, I think I saw her once or twice when
I was on last June.  Music teacher, wasn’t she?”

“Yes.  She is a very sweet girl.”

“Hm-m; I suppose so.  Still, I think ‘twould
have been better if Cyril could have selected some
one that _wasn’t_ musical–say a more domestic
wife.  He’s so terribly unpractical himself about
household matters.”

Billy gave a ringing laugh and stood up.  The
car had come to a stop before her own door.

“Do you?  Just you wait till you see Marie’s
trousseau of–egg-beaters and cake tins,” she
chuckled.

Mrs. Hartwell looked blank.

“Whatever in the world do you mean, Billy?”
she demanded fretfully, as she followed her hostess
from the car.  “I declare! aren’t you ever going
to grow beyond making those absurd remarks
of yours?”

“Maybe–sometime,” laughed Billy, as she
took little Kate’s hand and led the way up the
steps.

Luncheon in the cozy dining-room at Hillside
that day was not entirely a success.  At least
there were not present exactly the harmony and
tranquillity that are conceded to be the best
sauce for one’s food.  The wedding, of course,
was the all-absorbing topic of conversation; and
Billy, between Aunt Hannah’s attempts to be
polite, Marie’s to be sweet-tempered, Mrs. Hartwell’s
to be dictatorial, and her own to be pacifying
as well as firm, had a hard time of it.  If it had
not been for two or three diversions created by
little Kate, the meal would have been, indeed, a
dismal failure.

But little Kate–most of the time the
personification of proper little-girlhood–had a
disconcerting faculty of occasionally dropping a
word here, or a question there, with startling
effect.  As, for instance, when she asked Billy
“Who’s going to boss your wedding?” and again
when she calmly informed her mother that when _she_
was married she was not going to have any wedding
at all to bother with, anyhow.  She was going to
elope, and she should choose somebody’s chauffeur,
because he’d know how to go the farthest and fastest
so her mother couldn’t catch up with her and
tell her how she ought to have done it.

After luncheon Aunt Hannah went up-stairs
for rest and recuperation.  Marie took little Kate
and went for a brisk walk–for the same
purpose.  This left Billy alone with her guest.

“Perhaps you would like a nap, too, Mrs.
Hartwell,” suggested Billy, as they passed into
the living-room.  There was a curious note of almost
hopefulness in her voice.

Mrs. Hartwell scorned naps, and she said so
very emphatically.  She said something else, too.

“Billy, why do you always call me `Mrs. Hartwell’
in that stiff, formal fashion?  You used to
call me `Aunt Kate.’ ”

“But I was very young then.”  Billy’s voice
was troubled.  Billy had been trying so hard for
the last two hours to be the graciously cordial
hostess to this woman–Bertram’s sister.

“Very true.  Then why not `Kate’ now?”

Billy hesitated.  She was wondering why it
seemed so hard to call Mrs. Hartwell “Kate.”

“Of course,” resumed the lady, “when you’re
Bertram’s wife and my sister–”

“Why, of course,” cried Billy, in a sudden
flood of understanding.  Curiously enough, she
had never before thought of Mrs. Hartwell as _her_
sister.  “I shall be glad to call you `Kate’–if
you like.”

“Thank you.  I shall like it very much, Billy,”
nodded the other cordially.  “Indeed, my dear,
I’m very fond of you, and I was delighted to hear
you were to be my sister.  If only–it could have
stayed William instead of Bertram.”

“But it couldn’t,” smiled Billy.  “It wasn’t
William–that I loved.”

“But _Bertram!_–it’s so absurd.”

“Absurd!”  The smile was gone now.

“Yes.  Forgive me, Billy, but I was about as
much surprised to hear of Bertram’s engagement
as I was of Cyril’s.”

Billy grew a little white.

“But Bertram was never an avowed–woman-
hater, like Cyril, was he?”

“ `Woman-hater’–dear me, no!  He was
a woman-lover, always.  As if his eternal `Face
of a Girl’ didn’t prove that!  Bertram has always
loved women–to paint.  But as for his ever
taking them seriously–why, Billy, what’s the
matter?”

Billy had risen suddenly.

“If you’ll excuse me, please, just a few
minutes,” Billy said very quietly.  “I want to
speak to Rosa in the kitchen.  I’ll be back–soon.”

In the kitchen Billy spoke to Rosa–she
wondered afterwards what she said.  Certainly she did
not stay in the kitchen long enough to say much.
In her own room a minute later, with the door
fast closed, she took from her table the photograph
of Bertram and held it in her two hands,
talking to it softly, but a little wildly.

“I didn’t listen!  I didn’t stay!  Do you hear?
I came to you.  She shall not say anything that
will make trouble between you and me.  I’ve
suffered enough through her already!  And she
doesn’t know–she didn’t know before, and she
doesn’t now.  She’s only imagining.  I will not
not–not believe that you love me–just to
paint.  No matter what they say–all of them!
I will not!”

Billy put the photograph back on the table
then, and went down-stairs to her guest.  She
smiled brightly, though her face was a little pale.

“I wondered if perhaps you wouldn’t like some
music,” she said pleasantly, going straight to
the piano.

“Indeed I would!” agreed Mrs. Hartwell.

Billy sat down then and played–played as
Mrs. Hartwell had never heard her play before.

“Why, Billy, you amaze me,” she cried, when
the pianist stopped and whirled about.  “I had
no idea you could play like that!”

Billy smiled enigmatically.  Billy was thinking
that Mrs. Hartwell would, indeed, have been
surprised if she had known that in that playing
were herself, the ride home, the luncheon, Bertram,
and the girl–whom Bertram did not love only
to paint!

The Raven

by Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“‘T is some visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door–
                                          Only this, and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow:–vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow–sorrow for the lost Lenore–
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore–
                                          Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me–filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“‘T is some visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door
Some late visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door;–
                                          This it is, and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”–here I opened wide the door;–
                                          Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore!”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”
                                          Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping, somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore–
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;–
                                          ‘T is the wind and nothing more!”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door–
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door–
                                          Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore,–
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
                                          Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning–little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door–
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
                                          With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered–not a feather then he fluttered–
Till I scarcely more than muttered, “Other friends have flown before–
On the morrow _he_ will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.”
                                          Then the bird said, “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore–
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
                                          Of ‘Never–nevermore.’”

But the Raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore–
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
                                          Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o’er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o’er
                                          _She_ shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee–by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite–respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!”
                                          Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!–prophet still, if bird or devil!–
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted–
On this home by Horror haunted–tell me truly, I implore–
Is there–_is_ there balm in Gilead?–tell me–tell me, I implore!”
                                          Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil–prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above, us–by that God we both adore–
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore–
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
                                          Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting–
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!–quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
                                          Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
                                          Shall be lifted–nevermore!

The Organ Grinder

by Evaleen Stein

Hark! I hear the organ-grinder
Coming down the street,
And the sudden clatter-patter
Of the children’s feet!

Come, oh, let us run to meet him!
Did you ever hear
Tunes so gay as he is playing,
Or so sweet and clear?

See the brown-faced little monkey,
Impudent and bold,
With his little scarlet jacket
Braided all in gold!

And his tiny cap and tassel
Bobbing to and fro,
Look, oh, look! he plucks it off now,
Bowing very low.

And he’s passing it politely–
Can it be for _pay_?
O dear me! I have no penny!
Let us run away!

Calidore

by John Keats
Young Calidore is paddling o’er the lake;
His healthful spirit eager and awake
To feel the beauty of a silent eve,
Which seem’d full loath this happy world to leave;
The light dwelt o’er the scene so lingeringly.
He bares his forehead to the cool blue sky,
And smiles at the far clearness all around,
Until his heart is well nigh over wound,
And turns for calmness to the pleasant green
Of easy slopes, and shadowy trees that lean
So elegantly o’er the waters’ brim
And show their blossoms trim.
Scarce can his clear and nimble eye-sight follow
The freaks, and dartings of the black-wing’d swallow,
Delighting much, to see it half at rest,
Dip so refreshingly its wings, and breast
‘Gainst the smooth surface, and to mark anon,
The widening circles into nothing gone.

And now the sharp keel of his little boat
Comes up with ripple, and with easy float,
And glides into a bed of water lillies:
Broad leav’d are they and their white canopies
Are upward turn’d to catch the heavens’ dew.
Near to a little island’s point they grew;
Whence Calidore might have the goodliest view
Of this sweet spot of earth. The bowery shore
Went off in gentle windings to the hoar
And light blue mountains: but no breathing man
With a warm heart, and eye prepared to scan
Nature’s clear beauty, could pass lightly by
Objects that look’d out so invitingly
On either side. These, gentle Calidore
Greeted, as he had known them long before.

The sidelong view of swelling leafiness,
Which the glad setting sun, in gold doth dress;
Whence ever, and anon the jay outsprings,
And scales upon the beauty of its wings.

The lonely turret, shatter’d, and outworn,
Stands venerably proud; too proud to mourn
Its long lost grandeur: fir trees grow around,
Aye dropping their hard fruit upon the ground.

The little chapel with the cross above
Upholding wreaths of ivy; the white dove,
That on the windows spreads his feathers light,
And seems from purple clouds to wing its flight.

Green tufted islands casting their soft shades
Across the lake; sequester’d leafy glades,
That through the dimness of their twilight show
Large dock leaves, spiral foxgloves, or the glow
Of the wild cat’s eyes, or the silvery stems
Of delicate birch trees, or long grass which hems
A little brook. The youth had long been viewing
These pleasant things, and heaven was bedewing
The mountain flowers, when his glad senses caught
A trumpet’s silver voice. Ah! it was fraught
With many joys for him: the warder’s ken
Had found white coursers prancing in the glen:
Friends very dear to him he soon will see;
So pushes off his boat most eagerly,
And soon upon the lake he skims along,
Deaf to the nightingale’s first under-song;
Nor minds he the white swans that dream so sweetly:
His spirit flies before him so completely.

And now he turns a jutting point of land,
Whence may be seen the castle gloomy, and grand:
Nor will a bee buzz round two swelling peaches,
Before the point of his light shallop reaches
Those marble steps that through the water dip:
Now over them he goes with hasty trip,
And scarcely stays to ope the folding doors:
Anon he leaps along the oaken floors
Of halls and corridors.

Delicious sounds! those little bright-eyed things
That float about the air on azure wings,
Had been less heartfelt by him than the clang
Of clattering hoofs; into the court he sprang,
Just as two noble steeds, and palfreys twain,
Were slanting out their necks with loosened rein;
While from beneath the threat’ning portcullis
They brought their happy burthens. What a kiss,
What gentle squeeze he gave each lady’s hand!
How tremblingly their delicate ancles spann’d!
Into how sweet a trance his soul was gone,
While whisperings of affection
Made him delay to let their tender feet
Come to the earth; with an incline so sweet
From their low palfreys o’er his neck they bent:
And whether there were tears of languishment,
Or that the evening dew had pearl’d their tresses,
He feels a moisture on his cheek, and blesses
With lips that tremble, and with glistening eye
All the soft luxury
That nestled in his arms. A dimpled hand,
Fair as some wonder out of fairy land,
Hung from his shoulder like the drooping flowers
Of whitest Cassia, fresh from summer showers:
And this he fondled with his happy cheek
As if for joy he would no further seek;
When the kind voice of good Sir Clerimond
Came to his ear, like something from beyond
His present being: so he gently drew
His warm arms, thrilling now with pulses new,
From their sweet thrall, and forward gently bending,
Thank’d heaven that his joy was never ending;
While ‘gainst his forehead he devoutly press’d
A hand heaven made to succour the distress’d;
A hand that from the world’s bleak promontory
Had lifted Calidore for deeds of glory.

Amid the pages, and the torches’ glare,
There stood a knight, patting the flowing hair
Of his proud horse’s mane: he was withal
A man of elegance, and stature tall:
So that the waving of his plumes would be
High as the berries of a wild ash tree,
Or as the winged cap of Mercury.
His armour was so dexterously wrought
In shape, that sure no living man had thought
It hard, and heavy steel: but that indeed
It was some glorious form, some splendid weed,
In which a spirit new come from the skies
Might live, and show itself to human eyes.
‘Tis the far-fam’d, the brave Sir Gondibert,
Said the good man to Calidore alert;
While the young warrior with a step of grace
Came up,–a courtly smile upon his face,
And mailed hand held out, ready to greet
The large-eyed wonder, and ambitious heat
Of the aspiring boy; who as he led
Those smiling ladies, often turned his head
To admire the visor arched so gracefully
Over a knightly brow; while they went by
The lamps that from the high-roof’d hall were pendent,
And gave the steel a shining quite transcendent.

Soon in a pleasant chamber they are seated;
The sweet-lipp’d ladies have already greeted
All the green leaves that round the window clamber,
To show their purple stars, and bells of amber.
Sir Gondibert has doff’d his shining steel,
Gladdening in the free, and airy feel
Of a light mantle; and while Clerimond
Is looking round about him with a fond,
And placid eye, young Calidore is burning
To hear of knightly deeds, and gallant spurning
Of all unworthiness; and how the strong of arm
Kept off dismay, and terror, and alarm
From lovely woman: while brimful of this,
He gave each damsel’s hand so warm a kiss,
And had such manly ardour in his eye,
That each at other look’d half staringly;
And then their features started into smiles
Sweet as blue heavens o’er enchanted isles.

Softly the breezes from the forest came,
Softly they blew aside the taper’s flame;
Clear was the song from Philomel’s far bower;
Grateful the incense from the lime-tree flower;
Mysterious, wild, the far heard trumpet’s tone;
Lovely the moon in ether, all alone:
Sweet too the converse of these happy mortals,
As that of busy spirits when the portals
Are closing in the west; or that soft humming
We hear around when Hesperus is coming.
Sweet be their sleep.

Bi-Centennial Ode

by Horatio Alger, Jr.
(June 13, 1860.)

* Sung at the bi-centennial celebration of the incorporation of Marlboro, Mass.

From the door of the homestead the mother looks forth,
  With a glance half of hope, half of fear,
For the clock in the corner now points to the hour
  When the children she loves should appear.
For have they not promised, whatever betide,
  On this their dear mother’s birthday,
To gather once more round the family board,
  Their dutiful service to pay?

From the East and the West, from the North and the South,
  In communion and intercourse sweet,
Her children have come, on this festival day,
  To sit, as of old, at her feet.
And our mother,– God bless her benevolent face!–
  How her heart thrills with motherly joys,
As she stands at the portal, with arms opened wide,
  To welcome her girls and her boys.

And yet, when the first joyful greetings are o’er,
  When the words of her welcome are said:
A shadow creeps over her motherly face,
  As she silently thinks of the dead,
Of the children whose voices once rang through her fields,
  Who shared all her hopes and alarms,
Till, tired with the burden and heat of the day,
  They have fallen asleep in her arms.

They have gone from our midst, but their labors abide
  On the fields where they prayerfully wrought;
They scattered the seed, but the harvest is ours,
  By their toil and self-sacrifice bought.
As we scan the fair scene that once greeted their eyes,
  As we tread the same paths which they trod,
Let us tenderly think of our elders by birth,
  Who have gone to their rest, and their God.

God bless the old homestead! some linger there still,
  In the haunts which their childhood has known,
While others have wandered to places remote,
  And planted new homes of their own;
But Time cannot weaken the ties Love creates,
  Nor absence, nor distance, impede
The filial devotion which thrills all our hearts,
  As we bid our old mother God-speed.

The Secret

by Emily Dickinson

Some things that fly there be, –
Birds, hours, the bumble-bee:
Of these no elegy.

Some things that stay there be, –
Grief, hills, eternity:
Nor this behooveth me.

There are, that resting, rise.
Can I expound the skies?
How still the riddle lies!

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!”

The Cooper O’ Cuddie

by Robert Burns
I.

    The cooper o’ Cuddie cam’ here awa,
    And ca’d the girrs out owre us a’–
    And our gudewife has gotten a ca’
      That anger’d the silly gude-man, O.
    We’ll hide the cooper behind the door;
    Behind the door, behind the door;
    We’ll hide the cooper behind the door,
      And cover him under a mawn, O.

II.

    He sought them out, he sought them in,
    Wi’, deil hae her! and, deil hae him!
    But the body was sae doited and blin’,
      He wist na where he was gaun, O.

III.

    They cooper’d at e’en, they cooper’d at morn,
    ‘Till our gude-man has gotten the scorn;
    On ilka brow she’s planted a horn,
      And swears that they shall stan’, O.
    We’ll hide the cooper behind the door,
    Behind the door, behind the door;
    We’ll hide the cooper behind the door,
      And cover him under a mawn, O.

by Emily Dickinson

A wounded deer leaps highest,
I’ve heard the hunter tell;
‘T is but the ecstasy of death,
And then the brake is still.

The smitten rock that gushes,
The trampled steel that springs;
A cheek is always redder
Just where the hectic stings!

Mirth is the mail of anguish,
In which it cautions arm,
Lest anybody spy the blood
And “You’re hurt” exclaim!

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