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Swinging and swinging, back and forth,
"Steady! I'll send you up, my child,"
"You're letting him die!" I cried, aghast, Why, where's the cat, my dear ?"
And lo, the laugh that filled the wood
Was a thing for the birds to hear.
"Why, don't you know ?" said the little maid, The sparkling, beautiful elf,
"That we call it letting the old cat die When the swing stops all by itself."
Then swinging and swinging, and looking back, With the merriest look in her eye,
She bade me good-bye, and I left her alone, "Letting the old cat die."
THE KAISER'S FEAST.
THE Kaiser feasted in his hall:
The red wine mantled high;
And many a gleam and sparkle came
As it caught the glance of the torch's flame,
Why fell there silence on the chord
And suddenly from that rich board
The strings were hushed: the knights made way For the queenly mother's tread.
As up the hall, in dark array,
Two fair-haired boys she led.
She led them e'en to the Kaiser's place,
Till, with strange wonder o'er his face,
And "Speak, my mother! speak!" he cried: "Wherefore this mourning vest?
And the clinging children by thy side
"Well may a mourning vest be mine
Though grief a while within their eyes
"And where is he, thy brother ?-where? He in thy home that grew,
And smilingly, with floating hair,
How would his arms thy neck intwine,
My son! oh, call these orphans thine!
"What! from their gentle eyes doth nought Speak of thy childhood's hours,
And smite thee with a tender thought
Kind was thy boyish heart, and true,
Through the old woods like fawns ye flew.
"Well didst thou love him then, and he Still at thy side was seen.
How is it that such things can be
As though they ne'er had been?
Evil was this world's breath, which came
"And let them, let them there be poured! Though all unfelt below,
Thine own wrung heart, to love restored,
So many an inward strife shall cease;
His eye was dimmed; the strong man shook
Up in his arms the boys he took,
And strained them to his breast.
And a shout from all in the royal hall
Burst forth to hail the sight;
And eyes were wet midst the brave that met
PASSING AWAY-A DREAM.
WAS it the chime of a tiny bell,
That came so sweet to my dreaming earLike the silvery tones of a fairy's shell,
That he winds on the beach so mellow and clear,
When the winds and the waves lie together asleep, And the Moon and the Fairy are watching the deep, She dispensing her silvery light,
And he, his notes as silvery quite, While the boatman listens and ships his oar,
To catch the music that comes from the shore-
But no; it was not a fairy's shell
Blown on the beach so mellow and clear;
Striking the hour, that filled my ear,
And she held to her bosom a budding bouquet,
O how bright were the wheels that told
Of the lapse of time, as they moved round slow! And the hands, as they swept o'er the dial of gold, Seemed to point to the girl below.
And lo! she had changed:-in a few short hours Her bouquet had become a garland of flowers,