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The voice of Saint Johu,
The beloved disciple,
Who wandered and waited
The Master's appearance,
Alone in the darkness.
Uusheltered and friendless,
'It is aecepted,
The angry defiance,
The challenge of battle!
It is aecepted,
Bnt not with the weapons
Gf war that thon wieldest!
"Cross agaiust corslet,
Love agaiust hatred.
Peace-cry for war-cry!
Patience is powerful;
He that o'ereometh
Hath power o'er the nations!
"As torrents in summer,
Half dried in their chaunels,
Snddeuly rise, thongh the
Sky is still clondless,
For rain has been falling
Far off at their fonntaius;
uSo hearts that are fainting
Grow full to o'erflowing.
And they that behold it
Marvel, and know not
That (lod at their fountains
Far off has been raining!
"Stronger than steel
Is the sword of the Spirit;
Swifter than arrows
The light of the trnth is;
Greater than anger
Is love, and subdneth!
"Thon art a phantom,
A shape of the sea-mist,
A shape of the brumal
Rain, and the darkness
Fearful and formless;
Day dawus and thon art not!
"The dawn is not distant,
Nor is the night starless;
Love is eternal I
God is still God, and
His faith shall not fail us;
Christ is eternal 1"
A STRAIN of umsic closed the tale,
A low, monotonons funeral wail,
That with its cadence, wild and sweet,
Made the long Saga more complete.
"Thank God," the Theologian said,
"The reigu of violence is dead,
Or dying surely from the world;
While Love trinmphant reigus instead,
And in a brighter sky o'erhead
His blessed bauners are unfurled.
And most of all thank God for this:
The war and waste of clashing creeds
Now end in words, not in deeds.
And no one suffers loss, or bleeds,
For thonghts that men call heresies.
"I stand withont here in the porch,
I hear the bell's melodions din,
I hear the organ peal within,
I hear the prayer, with words that scoreh
Like sparks from an inverted toreh,
1 hear the sermon upon sin,
With threatening* of the last aeconnt.
And all, trauslated in the air,
Reach me bnt as onr dear Lord's Prayer,
And as the Sermon on the Monnt.
"Must it be Calvin, and not Christ?
Must it be Athanaslan creeds,
Or holy water, books and beads?
Must struggling sonls remain content
With conncils and decrees of Trent?
And can it be enongh for these
The Christian Chureh the year embaims
With evergreeus and bonghs of paims,
And fills the air with litanies?
"I know that yonder Pharisee
Thanks God that he is not like me;
In my humiliation dressed,
I ouly stand and beat my breast
And pray for human charity.
"Not to one chureh alone, bnt seven.
The voice prophetic spake from heaven;
And unto each the promise came,
Diversified, bnt still the same;
For him that overeometh are
The new name written on the stone.
The raiment white, the crown, the throne,
And I will give him the Morning Star!
"Ah! to how many Faith has been
No evidence of things uuseen,
Bnt a dim shadow, that recasts
The creed of the Phantasiasts,
For wbom no Man of Sorrows died,
For whom the Tragedy Divine
Was bnt a symbol and a sigu.
And Christ a phantom crucified.
"For others a diviner creed
Is living in the life they lead.
The passing of their beantiful feet
Blesses the pavement of the street.
And all their looks and words repeat
Old Fuller's saying wise and sweet,
Not as a vulture, bnt a dove,
The Holy Ghost came from above.
"And this brings back to me a tale
So sad the hearer well may quail,
And qnestion if sueh thing can be;
Yet in the chronicles of Spain
Down the dark pages run this stain,
And nonght can wash thom white again.
So fearful is the tragedy."
THE THEOLOGIAN'S TALE.
In the heroic days when Ferdinand
And Isabella ruled the Spanish land,
And Torqnemada, with his subtle brain.
Ruled them as Grand Inquisitor of Spain,
In a great castle near Vailadolid,
Moated and high and by fair woodlands hid,
There dwelt, as from the chronicles we learir.
An old Hidalco prond and taciturn,
Whose name has perished, with his towers or
And all his aetions save this one alone;
This one, so terrible, perhaps 'twere best
If it, too, were forgotten with the rest;
Uuless, perehance, onr eyes can see therein
The martyrdom trinmphant o'er the sin!
A donble pieture, with its gloom and glow,
The splendonr overhead, and death below.
This sombre man connted each day as lost
On which his feet no sacred threshold crossed;
And when he chanced the passing Host to meet.
He knelt and prayed devontly in the street;
Oft he confessed; and with each mntinons
As with wild beasts at Ephesus. he fonght.
In deep contrition sconrged himself in Lent,
Walked in processions, with his head down bent,
At plays of Corpus Christi oft was seen,
And on Paim Sunday bore his bongh of green.
His ouly pastime wa's to hunt the boar
Throngh, tangled thickets of the forest hoar,
Or with lts jingling umles to hurry down
To some grand bull-tight in the neighbonring
town, Or in the crowd with lighted taper stand. When Jews were burned, or banished from the
Then stirred within hhn a tuumltuons joy;
The demon whose delight is to destroy
Shook him, und shonted with a trumpet tone,
"Kill! kill! und let the Lord find ont his own!"
And now, in that old castle in the wood,
His daughters, in the dawn of womanhood,
Returning from their convent school, had made
Resplendent with their bloom the forest shade,
Reminding him of tlicir dead mother's face.
When first she came into that gloomy place,—
A memory in his heart as dim and sweet
As mooulight In a solitary street,
Where the same rays that lift the sea, are
Lovely bnt powerless upon walls of stone.
These two fair daughters of a mother dead
Were all the dream had left him as it fled.
A joy at first, und then a growing care,
As if a voice within him cried, ii beware!"
A vagne presentiment of impending doom,
Like ghostly footsteps in a vacant room.
Haunted him day and night; a formless fear
That death to some one of his honse was near
With dark surmises of a hidden crime,
Made life itself* death before its time,
Jealons, suspicions, with no seuse of shame,
A spy upon his daughters he became;
With velvet slippers, noiseless on the floors,
He glided softly throngh half-opened doors;
Now in the room, and now upon the stair,
He stood beside them ere they were aware;
He listened in the passage when they talked.
He watched them from the casement when they
He saw the gipsy haunt the river's side.
He saw the monk among the cork-trees glide;
And tortured by the mystery and the donbt
Of some dark secret, past his finding ont.
Baffled he paused; then reassured again
Pursned the flving phantom of his brain.
He whached them even when they knelt in
And then descending lower in the seareh,
Qnestioned the servants, and with eager eves
Listened incredulons to their replies-
The gipsy? none had seen her in the wood!
The monk? a mendicant in seareh of food!
At length the awful revelation came,
Crushing at once his pride of birth and name,
The hopes his yearning bosom forward cast,
And the ancestral glories of the past;
All foil together, crumbling in disgrace,
A turret rent from battlement to base.
His daughters talking in the dead of night
In their own chamber, and withont a light,
Listening, as he was wont, he overheard,
And learned the dreadful secret, word by word;
And hurrying from his castle, with a cry
He raised his hands to the unpitying sky,
Repeating one dread word, till bush ami tree
Caught it, und shnddering, auswered, "Heresy!"
Wrapped in his cloak, his hat drawn o'er his
Now hurrying forward, now with lingering pace,
He walked all night the alleys of his park,
With one uuseen companion in the dark,
The Demon who within him lay in wait.
And by his presence turned his love to hate,
Forever mnttering in an undertone,
"Kill! kill! and let the Lord find ont his own!"
Upon the morrow, after early Mass,
While yet the dew was glistening on the grass,
And all the woods were umMrnl with birds,
The old Hidalgo, nttering fearful words,
Walked homeward with the Priest, and in his
room Summoned Ms trembling daughters to their
doom. When qnestioned, with brief auswers they
Nor when aecused, evaded or denied;
Expostulatious, passionate appeals,
All that the human heart most fears or feels,
In vain the Priest with earnest voice essayed,
In vain the father threatened, wept, and prayed;
Until at last he said, with haughty mien,
"The Holy Office, then, umst intervene?"
And now the Grand Inquisitor of Spain,
With all the fifty horsemen of his train,
His awful name resonnding, like the blast
Of funeral trumpets, as he onward passed,
Came to Valladolid, and there began
To harry the rich Jews with fire and ban-
To him the Hidalgo went, and at the gate
Demanded andience on affairs of state.
And in a secret chamber stood before
A venerable greybeard of fonrscore.
Dressed in the hood and habit of a friar;
Ont of his eyes flashed a cousuming fire.
And in his hand the mystic horn he held,
Which poison and nil noxions charms dispelled.
He heard in silence the Hidalgo's tale.
Then auswered in a voice that made him quail:
"Son of the Chureh! when Abraham of old
To sacrifice his ouly son was told.
He did not pause to parley or protest,
I'.ut hastened to obey the Lord's behest.
In him it was aeconnted righteonsuess;
The Holy Chureh expeets of thee no less!"
A sacred frenzy seized the father's brain.
And Merey from that honr implored in voin.
Ah! who will e'er believe the words I say?
His daughters he aecused, and the same day
They both were cast into jhe dungeon's gloom,
That dismal ante-chamber of the tomh,
Arraigued, condeumed, and sentenced to the
The secret torture and the public shame.
Then to the Grand Inquisitor once more,
The Hidalgo went more eager than before.
And said: "When Abraham offered up his son.
He clave the wood wherewith it might be done.
By his example taught, lot me too bring
Wood from the forest for my offering!"
And the deop voice, withont a pause replied:
"Son of the Chureh! by faith now justified,
Complete thv sacrifice, even as thon wilt;
The Chureh" absolves thy couscience from all
Then this most wretched father wont his way
Into the woods, that ronnd his castle lay.
Where once his daughters in their childhood
played With their yonng mother in the sun und shade.
Now nil the leaves had fallen; the branches
bare Made a perpetual mooning in the air, And screaming from their eyries overhead The raveus sailed athwart the sky of lead. With his own hands he lopped the bonghs and
Fagots, that crackled with foreboding sonnd.
And on his umles, caparisoned and gay
With bells and tassels, sent them on their way.
Then with his mind on one dark purpose bent,
Again to the Inquisitor he went.
And said: "Behold, the fagots 1 have bronght,
And now, lest my atonement be as nonght,
Grant me one more reqnest, one last desire,—
With my own hands to light the funeral fire!"
And Torquemada auswered from his seat,
"Son of the Chureh! thino offering is complete;
Her servants throngh all ages shall not cease;
To maguify the deed. Depart In peace!"
Upon the market-place, builded of stone
The scaffold rose, whereon Death claimed his
At the fonr corners, in stern attitnde,
Fonr statnes of the Hebrew Prophets stood,
Gazing with caim indifference in their eyes
Upon this place of human sacrifice,
Round which was gathering fast the eager
"With clamonr of voices dissonant and lond,
And every roof and window was alive
With restless gazers, swarming like a hive.
The chureh-bells tolled, the chant of monks
drew near, Lond trumpets stammered forth their notes of
fear, A line of torehes smoked along the street. There was a stir, a rush, a tramp of feet. And, with its bauners floating in the air, Slowly the long procession crossed the square, And, to the statnes of the Prophets bonnd. The vietims stood, with fagots piled aronnd. Then all the air a blast of trumpets shook, And londer sang the monks with bell and book, And the Hidalgo, lofty, stern, and prond, Lifted his toreh, and bursting throngh the
crowd, Lighted in haste the fagots, and then fled, Lest those imploring eyes shonld strike him
O pitiless skies! why did yonr clonds retain
For peasants' fields their floods of hoarded rain?
O pitiless earth! why opened no abyss
To bury in its chasm a crime like this?
That night, a mingled coinum of fire and smoke
From the dark thickets of the forest broke,
And, glaring o"er the landscape leagnes away,
Made all the fields and hamlets bright as day,
Wrapped in a sheet of flame the castle blazed,
And as the villagers in terror gazed,
They saw the figure of that crnel knight
Lean trom a window in the turret's height,
His ghastly face illumined with the glare,
His hands upraised above his head in prayer,
Till the floor sank beneath him, and he fell
Dow the black hollow of that burning well.
Three centuries and more above his hones
Have piled the oblivions years like funeral
His name has perished with him, and no trace
Remaius on earth of his afflieted race;
Bnt Torqnemada's name, with clonds o'ereast,
Looms in the distant landscape of the Past,
Like a burnt tower upon a blackened heath,
Lit by the fires of burning woods beneath 1
Thus closed the tale of guilt and gloom,
That cast upon each listener's face
Its shadow, and for some brief space
Uubroken silence filled the room.
The Jew was thonghtful and distressed;
Upon his memory thronged and pressed
The persecntion of his race.
Their wrongs and sufferings and disgrace;
His head was sunk upon his breast,
And from his eyes alternate came
Flashes of wrath and tears of shame.
The Stndent first the silence broke,
As one who long had lain in wait,
With purpose to retaliate,
And thus lie dealt the avenging stroke.
"In snch a company as this,
A tale so tragic seems amiss,
That by its terrible control
O'ermasters and drags down the sonl
Into a bottomless abyss.
The Italian Tales that yon disdain,
Some merry Night of »t reparole.
Or Machiavelli's Belphagor,
Wonld cheer us and delight us more,
Give greater pleasure and less pain
Than yonr grim tragedies of Spain.'"
And here the Poet raised his hand,
With snch entreaty and command,
It stopped discussion at its birth.
And said: "The story I shall tell
Has meaning in it, if not mirth;
Listen, and here what once befell
The merry birds of Killingworth!"
THE POETS TALE,
THE MERRY BIRDS OF KILLTNGWORTH.
It was the season, when throngh all the land
The merle and mavis build, and building sing
Those lovely lyries, written by His hand,
Who Saxon Caedmon calls the Blithe-heart
When on the bonghs the purple bnd expand,
The bauners of the vanguard of the Spring,
And rivulets, rejoicing, rush and leap.
And wave their flnttering siguals from the steep.
The robin and the blne-birds, piping lond,
Filled all the blosoming orehards with their
The sparrows chirped as if they still were prond
Their race in Holy Writ shonld mention be; And hungry cows assembled in a crowd,
Clamonred their piteons prayer incessantly. Knowing who hears the raveus cry, and said: 'Give us, O Lord, this day onr dally bread!"
Across the Sonnd the birds of passage sailed,
Speaking some unknown language strange and sweet Of tropic isle remote, and passing hailed
The village with the cheer of all their fleet; Or quarrelling together, laughed and railed
Like foreigu sailors, landed in the street Of seaport town, and with ontlandish noise Of oaths and gibberish frightening girls and
boys. Thus came the jocund Spring in Killlngworth,
In fabulons days, some hundred years ago; And thrifty farmers, as they tilled the earth,
Heard with alarm the cawing of the crow, That mingled with the universal mirth,
Cassandra-like, proguosticating woe; They shook their heads, and doomed with dreadful words To swift destruetion the whole race of birds.
And a town-meeting was convened straightway
Te set a price upon the guilty heada
Of these maranders, who, in lien of pay,
Levied black-mail upon the garden-beds
Aad corn-fields, and beheld withont dismay
The awful scarecrow, with his flnttering
The skeleton that waited at their feast,
Whereby their sinful pleasure was increased.
Then from his honse, a temple painted white,
With flnted columus, and a roof of red,
The Squire came forth, august and splendid
Slowly descending, with majestic tread,
Three flights of steps, not looking left nor right, Down the long street he walked, as one who said,
"A town that boasts inhabitants like me
Can have no lack of good society!"
The Parson, too, appeared, a man austere,
The Iustinet of whose nature was to kill;
The wrath of God he preached from year to
read, with fervonr, Edwards on the Will;
His favonrite pastime was to slay the deer
in Summer on some Adirondac hill; E'en now, while walking down the rural lane, He lopped the wayside lilies with his cane.
From the Academy, whose belfry crowned
The hill of Science with its vane of brass,
Came the Preceptor, gazing idly ronnd.
Now at the clonds, and now at. the green
And all absorbed in reveries profonnd
Of fair Aimira in the upper class,
Who was, as in a sounet he had said,
As pure as water, and as good as bread.
And next the deacon issned from his door,
In his voluminons neck-cloth, white as suow;
A suit of sable bombazine he wore;
His form was ponderons, and his step was
There never was so wise a man before: He seemed the incarnate, "Well, I told you so;
And to perpetuate his great renown
There was a street named after him in town.
These came together in the new town-halL
With sundry farmers from the region ronnd.
The Squire presided diguified and tall,
His air impressive and his reasoning sonnd-
111 fared it with the birds, both great and small; Hardly a friend in all that crowd they found.
Bnt enemies enongh, who every one
Charged them with all the crimes beneath the sun.
When they had ended, from his place apart.
Rose the Preceptor, to redress the wrong,
And trembling like a steed before the start, Looked ronnd bewildered on the expeetant throng;
Then thonght ©f fair Almira, and took heart To speak ont what was in him, clear and strong,
Alike regardless of their smile or frown.
And quite determined not to be laughed down.
"Plato, anticipating the Reviewers,
From his republic banished, withont pity,
The Poets; in this little town of yonrs,
Yon pnt to death, by meaus of a Committee,
The ballad-singers and the Tronbadonrs,
The street umsiciaus of the heaveuly city,
The birds, who make sweet umsic of us all
In onr dark honrs, as David did for Saul.
"The thrush that carols at the dawn of day
From the green steeples of the piny wood;
The oriole in the eim; the noisy jay,
Jargoning like a foreigner at his food,
The blnebird balanced on some topmost spray
Flooding with melody the neighbonrhood;
Liunet and meadow-lark, and all the throng
That dwell in nests, and have the gift of song.
"Yon slay them all! and wherefore? for the gain
Of a scant handful more or less of wheat, Or rye, or barley, or some other grain,
Scratched up at random by industrions feet,
Searehing for worm or weevil after rain!
Or a few cherries that are not so sweet
As are the song these uninvited gnests
Sing at their feast with comfortable breasts.
"Do yon ne'er think what wondrons beings
Do yon ne'er think who made them, and who
The dialeet they speak, where melodies
Alone are the interpreters of thought? Whose honsehold words are songs in many keys, Sweeter than iustrument of man e'er caught I Whose habitatious in the tree-tops even Are half-way honses on the road to heaven!
"Think, every morning when the sun peeps throngh
The dim, leaf-latticed windows of the grove, How jubilant the happy birds renew
Their old melodions madrigals of love! And when yon think of this remember too
'Tis always morning somewhere, and above The awakening continents, from shore tu shore, Somewhere the birds are singing evermore.
"Think of yonr woods and orehards withont birds!
Of empty nests that cling to bonghs, and beams As in an idiot's brain remembered words
Hang empty 'mid the cobwebs of his dreams! Will bleat of flocks or bellowing of herds
Make up for the lost umsie, when yonr teams Drag home yonr stingy harvest, and no more The feathered gleaners follow to yonr door?
"What! wonld yon rather see the incessant stir
Of iuseets in the windrows of the hay,
And hear the locust and the grasshopper
Their melancholy hurdy-gurdies play?
Is this more pleasant to yon than the whirr
Of meadow-lark, and its sweet ronndelay,
Or twitter of little fieldfares, as yon take
Yonr nooning in the shade of bush and brake?
"Yon call them thieves and pillagers; but
They are the winged wardeus of yonr farms,
Who from the corn-fields drive the insidious
And from yonr harvests keep a hundred
Even the blackest of them all, the crow,
Renders good service as yonr, men-at-arms,
Crushing the beetle in his coat of mail.
And crying havoc on the slug and suail.
"How can I teach yonr children gentleness,
And merey to the weak, and reverence
For Life, which, in its weakness or excess,
Is still a gleam of God's omnipotence;
Or Death, which, seeming darkness, is no less
The self-same light, althongh averted hence,
When by yonr laws, your aetious, and yonr speech,
Yon contradiet the very things I teach?"
With this he closed; and throngh the audience went A umrumr, like the rustle of dead leaves: The farmers laughed and nodded, and some bent Their yellow heads together like their sheaves; Men have no faith in fine-spun sentiment
Who pnt their trnst in bullocks and in beeves. The birds were doomed, and, as the record
A bonnty offered for the heads of crows.
There was another andience ont of reach,
Who had no voice nor vote in making laws,
Bnt in the papers read his little speech.
And crowned his modest temples with ap-
They made him couscions, each one more than each. He was still vietor, vanquished in their cause.
Sweetest of all the applause he won from thee,
O fair Aimira at the Academy!
And so the dreadful massacre began;
O'er fields and orehards and o'er woodland crests, The ceaseless fusilade of terror ran,
Dead fell the birds, with blood-staius on their breasts, Or wonnded crept away from sight of man,
While the yonng died of famine in their nests; A slaughter to be told in groaus, not words, The very St. Bartholomew of Birds!
The Snmmer came, and all the birds were dead;
The days were like hot coals; the very gronnd Was bnrned to ashes; in the orehards fed
Myriads of caterpillars, and aronnd The cnltivated fields and garden beds
Hosts of devonring iusects crawled, and fonnd No foe to check their mareh, till they had made The land a desert withont leaf or shade.
Devonred by worms, like Herod, was the town, Becanse like Herod, it had rnthiessly
Slanghtered the lunocents. From the trees spnn down The canker-worms npon the passers-by.
Upon each woman's bounet, shawl, and gown, Who shook them off with lnst a little cry;
They were the terror of each favonrite walk,
The endless theme of all the village talk.
The farmers grew impatient, bnt a few Confessed their error, and wonld not com plain,
For after all the best thing one can do
When it is raining, is to let it rain.
Then they repealed the law, althongh they
lt wonld not call the dead to life again;
As school-buys, finding their mistake too late,
Draw a wet sponge across the aceasing slate.
That vcar in Killingwoith the Antnum came
Withont the tight of his malestic look. The wonder of the falling tongncs of flame. The illnminated pages of his Doom's-Day book. A few lost leaves blnshed crimson with their shame. And drowned themselves despairing In the brook. While the wild wind wont moaning everywhere. Lamenting the dead children of the air!
l;nt the next Spring a stranger sight was seen, A sight that never yet. by hard was snng,
A- great a wonder as it wonld have been.
lf some dnmb animal ha*fonnd a tongne!
A wagon overarehed with evergreen,
Upon whose bonghs were wicker cages lmng,
All fnll of singing birds, came down the street, Filling the air with umsic wild and sweet.
From all the conntry ronnd these birds were bronght,
By order of the town, with anxions qnest, And, loosened from their wicker prisous, songht
In woods and fields the places they loved best: Singing lond canticles, which many thonght
Were satires to the anthorities addressed, While others, listening in green lanes, averred Snch lovely umsic never had been heard!
Bnt blither still and londer carolled they Upon t he morrow, for they seemed to know
lt was the fair Almira's wedding-day,
And everywhere, aronnd above, below,
When the Preceptor bore ids bride awajr.
Their songs bnrst forth in loyons overflow,
And a new heaven bent over a new earth
Amid the snuny farms of Killingworth.
TnE honr was late; the fire bnrned low.
The Landlord's eyes Witc closed in sleep,
And near the story's end a deep
Sonorons sonnd at times was hoard
As when the distant bagpipes blow.
At this all langhed; the Lnndlordtstirred,
As one awakening from a swonnd,
And, gazing anxionsly arennd,
Protested that he had not slept,
Bnt only shnt his eyes anil kept
His ears attentive to each word.
They all arose, and said " Good Night,"
Alone remained the drowsy Sqnire
To rake the embers of the fire,
And Qnench the waning parlonr light;
While from the windows, here and thero,
The scattered lamps a moment gleamed,
And the illnmined hostel seemed
The coustellation of the Bear,
Downward, athwart the misty air,
Sinking and setting towards the snu,
Far off the village clock strnck one.