Imágenes de páginas

8. Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti,

Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an “old mustache” as I am

Is not a match for you all ?

9. I have you fast in my fortress,

And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon

In the round tower of my heart.

10. And there will I keep you forever,

Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,

And molder in dust away!


[ocr errors]

I. Write the analysis of: occupation (capere); surprise ( prehendere).

What two lines (1) mean twilight? Give synonyms of "descending (3); “grave” (3); “enter” (5). What is meant by “forever and a day"? (10)

II. Of what verb are "patter," "sound," and "voices" (2) the objects? What two adverbial phrases modify see"? (3) What three propositions are involved in stanza 6? What kind of sentence is “If I try to escape they surround me"? (6) What kind of sentence is stanza 9?

III. Copy the verse expressing the thought, “In the chamber above me I hear the patter of little feet, the sound of an opened door, and soft, sweet voices."

Note that in stanza 5 the poet begins the fine image of an assault on a castle, which is carried out in the remainder of the poem. In this image the poet uses a es of metaphors (see Definition 3, p. 30), as "castle wall," " turret,” etc. Point out other expressions used in developing this fine figure.

Express in your own words the meaning of stanza 10.

5.-Sharp Eyes.

a-lērt', quick, watchful.

ģērmş, sources, seeds. aug-měnt'ed, increased. în'fi-nite-ly, without limit. eaş'u-al, chance-like, accidental. strúe'tūre, make, mode of putting dis-cov'erş, sees, descries.

together. dis-erim'i-nāte, distinguish be- un-kempt' (lit. uncombed), rustic, tween.

unpolished. en-šet'ed, performed.

viş'ion, sight. ģē-o-loġ'ie-al, pertaining to the zē’nith, point of the heavens distructure of the earth.

rectly overhead.


“Sharp Eyes” is an extract from “Locusts and Wild Honey," by John Burroughs (b. 1837), one of the small class of poet naturalists who combine keen insight into nature with the power of clothing their impressions in forms of literary art.

(3) Gilbert White (1720-1793) was the author of a famous book called “The Natural History of Selborne" (England), in which he notes many curious and original observations on the birds and beasts of the district in which he lived. He had eminently the gift of sharp eyes. — (3) Henry David Thoreau (tho'ro), a native of Concord, Mass. (1817–1862), was a man of subtile genius, whose relations with external nature were peculiarly sympathetic. He was the author of “Walden,” “A Week on the Concord and Merrimac Rivers,” etc. Both Thoreau and Gilbert White belonged to the already named class of poet naturalists. -- (3) John James Audubon (au'du-bon) (1780–1851) was famous for his great work on the “Birds of North America.” — (8) rank and file: the common run,” the general mass.

[ocr errors]

1. I have often amused myself by wondering what the effect would be, if one could go on opening eye after eye, to the number, say, of a dozen or more.

2. What would he see? Perhaps not the invisible, - not the odors of flowers, or the fever germs in the air; not the infinitely small of the microscope, or the infinitely distant of the telescope. This would require, not more eyes so much as an eye constructed with more and different lenses; but would he not see with augmented power within the natural limits of vision?

3. At any rate, some persons seem to have opened more eyes than others, they see with such force and distinctness. How many eyes did Gilbert White open? how many did Henry Thoreau? how many did Audubon ? how many does the hunter, matching his sight against the keen and alert sense of a deer or a moose, a fox or a wolf? Not outward


but inward.

4. We open another eye whenever we see beyond the first general features or outlines of things — whenever we grasp the special details and characteristic markings that this mask covers. Science confers new powers of vision. Whenever you have learned to discriminate the birds, or the plants, or the geological features of a country, it is as if new and keener eyes were added.

5. It takes an eye to see a partridge in the woods, motionless upon the leaves: this sense needs to be as sharp as that of smell in hounds and pointers; and yet I know an unkempt youth that seldom fails to see the bird, and shoot it before it takes wing. I think he sees it as soon as it sees him, and before it suspects itself seen.


or nose.

6. A man has a sharper eye than a dog, or a fox, or than any of the wild creatures, but not so sharp an ear

But in the birds he finds his match. How quickly the old turkey discovers the hawk, a mere speck against the sky! and how quickly, the hawk discovers you, if you happen to be secreted in the bushes, or behind the fence near which he alights!

7. One advantage the bird surely has; and that is, owing to the form, structure, and position of the eye, it has a much larger field of vision — indeed, can probably see in nearly every direction at the same instant, behind as well as before. Man's field of vision embraces less than half a circle horizontally, and still less vertically; his brow and brain prevent him from seeing within many degrees of the zenith without a movement of the head: the bird, on the other hand, takes in nearly the whole sphere at a glance.

8. The habit of observation is the habit of clear and decisive gazing : not by a first casual glance, but by a steady, deliberate aim of the eye, are the rare and characteristic things discovered. You must look intently, and hold your eye firmly to the spot, to see more than do the rank and file of mankind.

9. Persons frequently describe to me some bird they have seen or heard, and ask me to name it; but in most cases the bird might be any one of a dozen, or else it is totally unlike any bird found on this continent. They have either seen falsely or else vaguely.

10. Not so the farm youth who wrote me, one winter day, that he had seen a strange bird, the color of a sparrow, that alighted on fences and buildings as well as upon the ground, and that walked. This last fact showed the youth's discriminating eye, and settled the case.

I knew it to be a species of lark, and, from the size, color, season, etc., the titlark. But how many persons would have observed that the bird walked instead of hopped ?

11. Little dramas and tragedies and comedies, little characteristic scenes, are always being enacted in nature, if our eyes are sharp enough to see them.


I. Write the analysis of: vision (videre); invisible (videre); different (ferre); confers (ferre); movement (movere); motionless (movere); describe (scribere); continent (tenere); intently (tendere); fact (facere).

II. Analyze the first sentence. In paragraph 10 select a complex sentence; a compound sentence. Point out an exclamative sentence in paragraph 6.

III. Not outward eyes, but inward” (3). Supr the words needed to make this a complete proposition. “Whenever you have learned to discriminate the birds, or the plants, or the geological features of a country, it is as if new and keener eyes were opened.” Is this a period, or a loose sentence?

Express in your own words the meaning of paragraph 11.

« AnteriorContinuar »