« ElőzőTovább »
-won't you promise to try and remember that? H'm! Johnny, how did it-ahem-which licked ?
"You licked him! Sho! Really? Well, now, I hadn't any idea you could lick that Tommy Kelly! I don't believe John Bunyan, at ten years old, could have done it. Johnny, my boy, you can't think how I hate to have you fighting every day or two. I wouldn't have had him lick you for five, no, not for ten dollars ! Now, sonny, go right in and wash up, and tell your mother to put a rag on your finger. And, Johnny, don't let me hear of you fighting again!
“I never see anybody so down on fighting as the old man was, but somehow he never could break me from it.”
ARE THE CHILDREN AT HOME?-M. E. SanGsTER.
Each day when the glow of sunset
Fades in the western sky,
And the wee ones, tired of playing,
Go tripping lightly by,
I steal away from my husband,
Asleep in his easy-chair,
And watch from the open doorway
Their faces fresh and fair.
Alone in the dear old homestead
That once was full of life,
Ringing with girlish laughter,
Echoing boyish strife,
We two are waiting together;
And oft, as the shadows come,
With tremulous voice he calls me,
“It is night! are the children home?”
“Yes, love!" I answer him gently,
* They're all home long ago ;"
And I sing, in my quivering treble,
A song so soft and loy,
Till the old man drops to slumber,
With his head upon his hand,
And I tell to myself the number,
Home in the better land,
Home, where never a sorrow
Shall dim their eyes with tears !
Where the smile of God is on them
Through all the summer years!
I know !-Yet my arms are empty
That fondly folded seven,
And the mother heart within me
Is almost starved for heaven.
Sometimes, in the dusk of evening,
I only shut my eyes,
And the children are all about me,
A vision from the skies;
The babes whose dimpled fingers
Lost the way to my breast,
And the beautiful ones, the angels,
Passed to the world of the blessed.
With never a cloud upon them,
I see their radiant brows;
My boys that I gave to freedom-
The red sword sealed their vows!
In a tangled Southern forest,
Twin brothers, bold and brave, They fell; and the Hag they died for,
Thank God! floats over their grave.
A breath, and the vision is lifted
Away on wings of light,
And again we two are together,
All alone in the night.
They tell me his mind is failing,
But I smile at idle fears;
He is only back with the children,
In the dear and peaceful years.
And, still, as the summer sunset
Fades away in the west,
And the wee ones, tired of playing,
Go trooping home to rest,
My husband calls from his corner,
“Say, love! have the children come ?"
And I answer, with eyes uplifted,
“Yes, dear! they are all at home!"
- Atlantic Monthly.
FITZ-JAMES AND RODERICK DHU.-SIR WALTER Scott.
Fitz-James, king of Scotland, while hunting, becomes separated from his companions and lost in the depths of the forest. Iu his efforts to find his way out, he falls in with Roderick Dhu, who reveals his own identity, guides the stranger as far as Coilantogle Ford, and there challenges him to mortal combat.
The chief in silence strode before,
And reached that torrent's sounding shore.
And here his course the chieftain stayed,
Threw down his target and his plaid,
And to the lowland warrior said;
“Bold Saxon! to his promise just,
Vich Alpine has discharged his trust.
This murderous chief, this ruthless man,
This head of a rebellious clan,
Hath led thee safe through watch and ward,
Far past Clan-Alpine's outmost guard.
Now, man to man, and steel to steel,
A chieftain's vengeance thou shalt feel.
See, here all vantageless I stand,
Armed, like thyself, with single brand;
For this is Coilantogle Ford,
And thou must keep thee with thy sword.”
The Saxon paused: “I ne'er delayed,
When foeman bade me draw my blade;
Nay, more, brave chief, I vowed thy death,
Yet sure thy fair and generous faith,
And my deep debt for life preserved,
A better meed have well deserved :
Can nought but blood our feud atone ?
Are there no means?” “No, stranger, none !
And hear-to fire thy flagging zeal-
The Saxon cause rests on thy steel ;
For thus spoke fate by prophet bred
Between the living and the dead ;
"Who spills the foremost foeman's life,
His party conquers in the strife.”
“Then, by my word,” the Saxon said,
“The riddle is already read:
Seek yonder brake, beneath the cliff,
There lies Red Murdock, stark and stiff;
Thus fate hath solved her prophecy,
Then yield to fate, and not to me."
Dark lightning ilashed from Roderick's eye-
“Soars thy presumption then so high,
Because a wretched kern ye slew,
Homage to name to Roderick Dhu?
He yields not, he, to man nor Fate!
Thou add'st but fuel to my hate-
My clansman's blood demands revenge.
Not yet prepared ? By heaven, I change
My thought, and hold thy valor light
As that of some vain carpet-knight,
Who ill deserved my courteous care,
And whose best boast is but to wear
A braid of his fair lady's hair."
"I thank thee, Roderick, for the word !
It nerves my heart, it steels my sword;
For I have sworn this braid to stain
In the best blood that warms thy vein.
Now, truce, farewell! and ruth, begone!
Yet think not that by thee alone,
Proud chief! can courtesy be shown.
Though not from copse, or heath, or cairn,
Start at my whistle clansmen stern,
Of this small horn one feeble blast
Would fearful odds against thee cast.
But fear not-doubt not—which thou wilt s
We try this quarrel hilt to hilt.”
Then each at once his falchion drew,
Each on the ground his scabbard threw,
Each looked to sun, and stream, and plain,
As wbat he ne'er might see again ;
Then, foot and point and eye opposed,
In dubious strife they darkly closed.
Ill fared it then with Roderick Dhu,
That on the field his targe he threw,
Whose brazen studs and tough bull-hide
Had death so often dashed aside;
For, trained abroad his arms to wield,
Fitz-James's blade was sword and shield.
He practised every pass and ward,
To thrust, to strike, to feint, to guard ;
While, less expert, though stronger far,
The Gael maintained unequal war.
Three times in closing strife they stood,
And thrice the Saxon blade drank blood;
No stinted draught, no scanty tide,
The gushing flood the tartans dyed.
Fierce Roderick felt the fatal drain,
And showered his blows like wintry rain;
And as firm rock, or castle roof,
Against the winter shower is proof,
The foe, invulnerable still,
Foiled his wild rage by steady skill,
Till at advantage ta’en, his brand
Forced Roderick's weapon from his hand;
And, backward borne upon the lea,
Brought the proud chieftain to his knee.
“Now, yield thee, or, by him who made
The world, thy heart's blood dyes my blade !"
“Thy threats, thy mercy, I defy !
Let recreant yield, who fears to die.”
Like adder darting from his coil,
Like wolf that dashes through the toil,
Like mountain-cat who guards her young,
Full at Fitz-James's throat he sprung;
Received, but recked not of a wound,
And locked his arms his foeman round.
Now, gallant Saxon, hold thine own!
No maiden's hand is round thee thrown!
That desperate grasp thy frame might feel,
Through bars of brass and triple steel !
They tug! they strain!-down, down they go,
The Gael above, Fitz-James below.
The chieftain's gripe his throat compressed,
His knee was planted in his breast;
His clotted locks he backward threw,
Across his brow his hand he drew,
From blood and mist to clear his sight,
Then gleamed aloft his dagger bright!
But hate and fury ill supplied
The stream of life's exhausted tide,
And all too late the advantage came
To turn the odds of deadly game;
For, while the diagger gleamed on high,
Reeled soul and sense, reeled brain and eye.
Down came the blow! but in the heath
The erring blade found bloodless sheath.
The struggling foe may now unclasp
The fainting chief's relaxing grasp.
Unwounded from the dreadful close,
But breathless all, Fitz-James arose.