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Then, smiling, the enchantress,
With singing low and sweet, Let fall the pearly Mayflower
Before the giant's feet. Alas! in that one moment
His conquest was complete.
With eyes that swam and melted,
With heart that throbbed and burned, A gaze of hopeless worship
Upon her face he turned.
For every look he yearned.
The wigwam sank about him,
The blue sky blazed and shone; The weeping frost-elves, fleeing,
Stayed not to hear his moan: “I die for thee, O Summer!
The world is thine alone."
Oh, in her hour of triumph,
Had Summer been less sweet, Nor viewed with sudden pity
The tyrant at her feet, Her reign had been eternal,
Our joy had been complete.
But on the humbled monarch
Dear Summer looked and sighed; Some tears let fall — the dewdrops
Were sprinkled far and wide. She smiled again a rainbow
The hilltops glorified!
BY OLIVE THORNE MILLER
The blue-jay came out of the egg with his mind made up. He always knew exactly what he wanted, and never doubted that he knew how to get it. I wrote of this bird some time ago, but he was then a comparatively new acquaintance. He lived with us many months after that, and became much more familiar; for besides being slow to feel thoroughly at home, he was very young, and he grew in wisdom with age. So I have more to say of him.
Human society was necessary to the jay; he cared for the other birds of the room only as objects on which to play tricks for his own amusement. He was peculiar, too, in never having more than one friend at a time, and was very decided in his opinions of people, having a distinctly different reception for each one of the household, as well as for strangers. His mistress was always his prime favorite; and although, during my absence from home, he adopted someone temporarily in my place, he was never so affectionate to that one as to me, and the instant I returned resumed his old relations to each of us.
To his best beloved this bird never squawked or whistled; on the contrary, he talked in low, sweet tones, hardly more than a murmur, slightly lifting and quivering his wings, sidling as near as he could get, and if I put my face down to him, touching my cheek or lips gently with his beak, in little taps, like kisses. Anyone else in
that position would receive a violent peck. Sometimes, when I was busy, and therefore silent a long time, and the jay was in his cage, where I was obliged to put him in order to work at all, he stood perfectly quiet and motionless an hour at a time; moving only when he was hungry, and apparently watching me every instant performance very uncommon in a bird, who usually has some interests of his own, however fond he may be of a person. The moment I spoke to him, his whole manner changed. He came at once as near as he could, about four feet from me, and began to talk, holding his tail on one side, and both wings spread to their fullest extent and parallel with his back. In this attitude he hopped up and down his three perches, always as near my side as possible, and evidently in great excitement. If, during this exhibition, anyone came in, his wings instantly dropped, though he did not stop talking to me. This action of the wings showed extreme affection, and must not be profaned by common eyes. When I came close and replied to him, his agitation was almost painful to see — such loving tones, such gentle kisses, such struggles to express himself. Not only did he insist on sharing his dainties with me, offering me mocking-bird food or bread and milk in the most loving way, but he wished to share mine; ice-cream he delighted in, cake he was as fond of as any child, and candy he always begged for, though, instead of eating it, he hid it somewhere about the room — under my pillow, or between the leaves of a book, all sticky as it was from his mouth
Second in the blue-jay's affections was a lady to whom at first he took a great dislike. She tried her best to win him, talking to him, treating him to various
tidbits, and offering him the hospitality of her room, - separated from the bird-room by a passage, — and, above all, dancing with him. These attentions in time secured her a warm place in his regard, though his treatment of her was very different from that reserved for me. He was always gentle with me, while in her society he exhibited all his noisy accomplishments - squawked, whistled, and screamed, stamped his feet, and jounced (the only word to describe a certain raising and violent dropping of the body without lifting the feet). He ran after her when she left the room; he pecked her hand, and flew up at herface. Gradually, as he grew to like her better, the more violent demonstrations ceased; but he was always boisterous with her, generally expected a halffight, half-frolic, and I must say never failed to enjoy it greatly.
The dance spoken of was droll. His chosen place for this indulgence was the back of a tall chair. His friend stood before this, whistled, bowed, and moved her head up and down as if dancing; and he on his perch did the same, jumping up and down in a similar way, answering her whistle for whistle, moving his feet, sidling from one side to the other, curtsying, lowering the body and flattening the head feathers, then rising, stamping his feet, and drooping his wings. This he kept up as long as she played second to him.
When this playfellow went away, the jay missed his dances and frolics. He flew into her empty room, perched on the back of the rocking-chair, where he had been wont to stand and pull her hair, and began a peculiar cry. Again and again he repeated it, louder and louder each time, till it ended in a squawk, impatient and