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When in the shadow of the ash,
In the warm, sunny weather,
They sat and watched in idle mood,
The beach the keen light smote,
Swan flocks of lilies shoreward lying,
Hardhack and virgin's bower,
With careless ears they heard the plash,
The wood-bird's plaintive cry,
And teased the while, with playful hand,
Then one, the beauty of whose eyes
Tossed back her queenly head,
“No bridegroom's hand be mine to hold, That is not lined with yellow gold;
I tread no cottage floor;
“My love must come on silken wings,
Not foul with kitchen smirch,
The other, on whose modest head'
With look for home-hearths meet,
Answered—“We will not rivals be;
Mine be the cottage small,
" I know, indeed, that wealth is good ;
With love that hath no doubt,
Behind the wild grape's tangled screen,
A young man straying near,
He saw the pride of beauty born,
And, like a silver bell,
" Why trust,” he said, “my foolish eyes ? My ear has pierced the fair disguise ;
Who seeks my gold, not me,
The supreme hours unnoted come;
And so the maids laughed on,
Nor knew the step was Destiny's,
As, with his life forecast
Ere long by lake and rivulet side,
And autumn's fingers shed
Through the long gold hazel afternoon,
The partridge in the brake,
Beneath the shadow of the ash
And earth and air made room
Soft spread the carpets of the sod,
With blushes and with smiles
The mellow light, the lake aslant,
Attempered and low-toned,
And through the dream the lovers dreamed
The sunshine seemed to bless,
Not she who lightly scoffed was there,
Her dark, disdainful eyes,
But she who could for love dispense
And trust her heart alone,
A NIGHT WITH A STORK.
William E. Wilcox. Four individuals—namely, my wife, my infant son, my maid-of-all-work, and myself-occupy one of a row of very small houses in the suburbs of London. I am a thoroughly domestic man, and notwithstanding that my occupation necessitates absence from my mansion between the hours of 9 A.M. and 5 P.M., my heart is generally at home with my diminutive household. My wife and I love regularity and quiet above all things; and although, since the arrival of my son and heir, we had not enjoyed that peace which we did during the first year of our married life, yet his juvenile, though somewhat powerful, little lungs had as yet failed in making ours a noisy house. Our regularity had, moreover, remained undisturbed, and we got up, went to bed, dined, breakfasted, and took tea at the same time, day after day.
We had been going on in this clockwork fashion for a year and a half, when one morning the postman brought to our door a letter of ominous appearance, and on looking at the direction, I found that it came from an old, rich, and very eccentric uncle of mine, with whom, for certain reasons, we wished to remain on the best of terms. "What can uncle Martin have to write about !" was our simultaneous exclamation, and I opened it with considerable curiosity.
“Martin House, Herts, Oct. 17, 1857. “ DEAR NEPHEW
“You may perhaps have heard that I am forming an aviary here. A friend in Rotterdam has written to me to say that he has sent by the boat, which will arrive in London to-morrow afternoon, a very intelligent parrot and a fine stork. As the vessel arrives too late for them to be sent on the same night, I shall be
obliged by your taking the birds home, and forwarding them to me the next morning.–With my respects to your good lady, “I remain your affectionate uncle,
“ RALPH MARTIN."
We looked at each other in silence, and then my wife said : “ They're only birds; it might have been worse."
I said nothing, but got a book on natural history, and turned to “Stork.” With trembling fingers I passed over the fact of “his hind toe being short, the middle toe long, and joined to the outer one by a large membrane, and by a smaller one to the inner toe," be cause that would not matter much for one night; but I groaned out to my wife the pleasant intelligence that “his height is four feet, his appetite extremely voracious,” and “his food—frogs, mice, worms, snails, and eels." Where were we to provide a supper and breakfast of this description for him ?
I went to my office, and passed anything but a pleasant day, my thoughts constantly reverting to our expected visitors. At four o'clock I took a cab to the docks, and on arriving there, inquired for the ship, which was pointed out to me as "the one with the crowd upon the quay.” On driving up, I discovered why there was a crowd, and the discovery did not bring comfort with it. On the deck, on one leg, stood the stork. Whether it was the sea-voyage, or the leaving his home, or, being a stork of high moral principle, he was grieving at the continual, and rather joyous and exulting swearing of the parrot, I do not know, but I never saw a more melancholy-looking object in my life.
I went down on the deck, and did not like the expression of relief that came over the captain's face when he found what I had come for. The transmission of the parrot from the ship to the cab was an easy matter, as he was in a cage, but the stork was merely tethered