Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

SAINT R. L. S.

BY SARAH N. CLEGHORN

SULTRY and brazen was the August day

When Sister Stanislaus came down to see
The little boy with the tuberculous knee.

And as she thought to find him, so he lay:

Still staring, through the dizzy waves of heat,
At the tall tenement across the street.

But did he see that dreary picture? Nay,

In his mind's eye a sunlit harbor showed,
Where a tall pirate ship at anchor rode.

Yes, he was full ten thousand miles away.

(The Sister, when she turned his pillow over, Kissed “Treasure Island” on its well-worn cover.)

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

KING KALAKAUA AND ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, THE AUTHOR

OF “TREASURE ISLAND"

THE YELLOW BOWL

BY LILY A. LONG

WHEN first the Manchu came to power,

A potter made this yellow bowl,

With quiet curve and border scroll, And here inlaid the imperial flower.

The peace of art was in his soul. Had not the Manchu come to power?

Upon the flaky yellow base

That now is dull and now is bright,

A flowering branch, a bird alight, Expressed his thought in formal grace.

Had not disorder taken flight And left for art a quiet place?

And then, the artist sense alight,

He drew upon the yellow bowl

The symbol of the restless soul
A butterfly, in poisèd flight.

For though the Manchu was in power,
The soul must wake when strikes the hour.

OUT OF THE WILDERNESS

BY JOHN MUIR

FATHER's strict rule was, straight to bed immediately after family worship, which in winter was usually over by eight o'clock. I was in the habit of lingering in the kitchen with a book and candle after the rest of the family had retired, and considered myself fortunate if I got five minutes reading before father noticed the light and ordered me to bed; an order which, of course, I immediately obeyed. But night after night I tried to steal minutes in the same lingering way; and how keenly precious those minutes were, few nowadays can know. Father failed, perhaps, two or three times in a whole winter to notice my light for nearly ten minutes, magnificent golden blocks of time, long to be remembered like holidays or geological periods. One evening when I was reading Church History father was particularly irritable and called out with hope-killing emphasis:

* John, go to bed! Must I give you a separate order every night to get you to go to bed? Now, I will have no irregularity in the family; you must go when the rest go, and without my having to tell you. Then, as an afterthought, as if judging that his words and tone of voice were too severe for so pardonable an offense, he unwarily added, “If you will read, get up in the morning. You may get up as early as you like.”

That night I went to bed wishing with all my heart and soul that somebody or something might call me out of sleep to avail myself of this wonderful indulgence; and next morning, to my joyful surprise, I awoke before father called me. A boy sleeps soundly after working all day in the snowy woods, but that frosty morning I sprang out of bed as if called by a trumpet blast, rushed downstairs scarce feeling my chilblains, enormously eager to see how much time I had won; and, when I held up my candle to a little clock that stood on a bracket in the kitchen, I found that it was only one o'clock. I had gained five hours, almost half a day! “Five hours to myself!” I said, “five huge, solid hours!” I can hardly think of any other event in my life, any discovery I ever made that gave birth to joy so transportingly glorious as the possession of these five frosty hours.

In the glad tumultuous excitement of so much suddenly acquired time-wealth I hardly knew what to do with it. I first thought of going on with my reading, but the zero weather would make a fire necessary, and it occurred to me that father might object to the cost of firewood that took time to chop. Therefore I prudently decided to go down cellar, where I at least would find a tolerable temperature very little below the freezing-point, for the walls were banked up in the fall to keep the potatoes from freezing. There were a few tools in a corner of the cellar, a vise, a few files, a hammer, and so forth, that father had brought from Scotland, but no saw excepting a coarse, crooked one that was unfit for sawing dry hickory or oak. So I made a fine tooth saw suitable for my work out of a strip of steel that had

« ElőzőTovább »