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200 ON MYSELF.
He bowed amongst them like a tree,
Swift to the breach his comrades fly;
Thus Switzerland again was free;
ON MYSELF. — Cowley.
This only grant me, that my means may lie
Some honor I would have,
Rumor can ope the grave.
Books should, not business, entertain the light,
My house a cottage more
My garden painted o'er With Nature's hand, not Art's; and pleasures yield, Horace might envy in his Sabine field.
Thus would I double my life's fading space;
And in this true delight,
But boldly say, each night,
20 JTHE GRASSHOPPER. —Tennyson,
Voice of the summer wind, Joy of the summer plain, Life of the summer hours, Carol clearly, bound along. No Tithon* thou, as poets feign, (Shame fall 'em, they are deaf and blind,) But an insect lithe and strong, Bowing the seeded summer flowers. Prove their falsehood and their quarrel, Vaulting on thy airy feet, Clap thy shielded sides and carol, Carol clearly, chirrup sweet. Thou art a mailed warrior, in youth and strength complete.
* Among the many beautiful fables of the ancient Greeks was this one. The beauty of Tithonus, son of a king of Troy, gained for him the affection of one of the goddesses. He begged her, as a favor, to make him immortal, and his request was granted. But, as he had forgotten to ask to retain the vigor and beauty of youth, he soon became infirm and decrepid; and, as life became insupportable to him, he begged the goddess to remove him from the world. As he could not die, she changed him into a grasshopper.
202 THE GRASSHOPPER.
Full fair to see;
A gallant cavalier,
"Sans peur et sans reproche," *
In sunlight and in shadow,
The Bayard of the meadow.
I would dwell with thee,
And as light as air;
Soon thy joy is over.
And slumbers in the clover,
* Without fear and without reproach; an epithet applied to Bayard, a French knight distinguished for his courage and his integrity. He died in 1524.
A GRECIAN ANECDOTE.— Mlines.
How Sparta thirsted after orient gold,
And bartered faith for wealth she dared not use.
Is as severe a tale as e'er was told The pride of man to conquer and confuse.
Therefore forget not what that nature was,
When sought the Ionian Aristagoras
How thick the perils of that far emprise,
To people as to prince, appeal was vain, — Vain the dark menace, — vain the shadowy gibe,—
But the wise envoy would not bend again His homeward steps till failed the wonted bribe.
A suppliant at the regal hearth he stood,
Because about them, in her careless mood, Played the king's child,—a girl some nine years old.
Ten — twenty —forty talents rose the bait; —
That gazed attentive on the grave debate, And seemed to search its meaning in surprise.
Yet fifty now had well secured the prey,
And a quick spirit uttered, "Come away, Father, — that man is there to do you harm."
204 THE DEATH OF THE FLOWERS.
Not unaccepted such pure omen came;
That gentle voice the present God revealed, — And back the Ionian chief returned in shame, Checked by the virtue of that simple shield.
THE DEATH OF THE FLOWERS. — Bryant
The melancholy days have come, the saddest of the
year, Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows
brown and sear. Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the withered
leaves lie dead; They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbit's
tread. The robin and the wren are flown, and from the shrubs the jay, And from the wood-top calls the crow, through all the gloomy day.
Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers, that lately sprang and stood
In brighter light and softer airs, a beauteous sisterhood?
Alas! they all are in their graves; the gentle race of flowers
Are lying in their lowly beds, with the fair and good of ours.
The rain is falling where they lie, but the cold November rain
Calls not, from out the gloomy earth, the lovely ones again,