Quiero un amor feroz de garra y diente
Que me asalte a traición a pleno día
Y que sofoque esta soberbia mía
este orgullo de ser todo pudiente.

Quiero un amor feroz de garra y diente
Que en carne viva inicie mi sangría
A ver si acaba esta melancolía
Que me corrompe el alma lentamente.

Quiero un amor que sea una tormenta
Que todo rompe y lo renueva todo
Porque vigor profundo lo alimenta.

Que pueda reanimarse allí mi lodo,
Mi pobre lodo de animal cansado
Por viejas sendas de rodar hastiado.

by Alfonsina Storni.

Did any bird come flying
After Adam and Eve,
When the door was shut against them
And they sat down to grieve?

I think not Eve's peacock
Splendid to see,
And I think not Adam's eagle;
But a dove may be.

Did any beast come pushing
Through the thorny hedge
Into the thorny thistly world,
Out from Eden's edge?

I think not a lion,
Though his strength is such;
But an innocent loving lamb
May have done as much.

If the dove preached from her bough
and the lamb from his sod,
The lamb and dove
Were preachers sent from God.

by Christina Georgina Rossetti.

Animal Tranquillity And Decay

The little hedgerow birds,
That peck along the roads, regard him not.
He travels on, and in his face, his step,
His gait, is one expression: every limb,
His look and bending figure, all bespeak
A man who does not move with pain, but moves
With thought.--He is insensibly subdued
To settled quiet: he is one by whom
All effort seems forgotten; one to whom
Long patience hath such mild composure given,
That patience now doth seem a thing of which
He hath no need. He is by nature led
To peace so perfect that the young behold
With envy, what the Old Man hardly feels.

by William Wordsworth.

Sonnet Xxxiii: Yes, Call Me By My Pet-Name!

Yes, call me by my pet-name! let me hear
The name I used to run at, when a child,
From innocent play, and leave the cowslips piled,
To glance up in some face that proved me dear
With the look of its eyes. I miss the clear
Fond voices which, being drawn and reconciled
Into the music of Heaven's undefiled,
Call me no longer. Silence on the bier,
While I call God--call God!--So let thy mouth
Be heir to those who are now exanimate.
Gather the north flowers to complete the south,
And catch the early love up in the late.
Yes, call me by that name,--and I, in truth,
With the same heart, will answer and not wait.

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Here is a tale for sportsmen when at table:
There was a boar, like that Atalanta hunted,
Who gorged and snored and, unmolested, grunted,
His fat way through the world as such able.
Huge-jowled and paunched and porcine-limbed and marrowed,
King of his kind, deep in his lair he squatted,
And round him fames of many maidens rotted
Where Licence whelped and Lust her monsters farrowed.
There came a damsel, like the one in Spenser,
A Britomart, as sorcerous as Circe,
Who pierced him with a tract, her spear, and ended
The beast's career. Made him a man; a censor
Of public morals; arbiter of mercy;
And led him by the nose and called him splendid.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

The Book Of Paradise - The Favoured Beast

Or beasts there have been chosen four

To come to Paradise,
And there with saints for evermore

They dwell in happy wise.

Amongst them all the Ass stands first;

He comes with joyous stride,
For to the Prophet-City erst

Did Jesus on him ride.

Half timid next a Wolf doth creep,

To whom Mahomet spake
'Spoil not the poor man of his sheep,

The rich man's thou mayst take.'

And then the brave and faithful Hound,

Who by his master kept,
And slept with him the slumbers sound

The seven sleepers slept.

Abuherrira's Cat, too, here,

Purrs round his master blest,
For holy must the beast appear

The Prophet hath caress'd.

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Modern Love Ix: He Felt The Wild Beast

He felt the wild beast in him betweenwhiles
So masterfully rude, that he would grieve
To see the helpless delicate thing receive
His guardianship through certain dark defiles.
Had he not teeth to rend, and hunger too?
But still he spared her. Once: 'Have you no fear ?'
He said: 'twas dusk; she in his grasp; none near.
She laughed: 'No, surely; am I not with you?'
And uttering that soft starry 'you,' she leaned
Her gentle body near him, looking up;
And from her eyes, as from a poison-cup,
He drank until the flittering eyelids screened.
Devilish malignant witch and oh, young beam
Of heaven's circle-glory! Here thy shape
To squeeze like an intoxicating grape
I might, and yet thou goest safe, supreme.

by George Meredith.

To The Superior Animal

To sum up all, I'm old -- and that's
A fact the years decide;
It is a common thing with cats
And not a thing to hide.

But to feel what it is -- how kind
How true to love and law
For this you must be quite resigned
And not avoid its paw.

It does not come as reckless foe
A shrinking prey to take,
But with soft footstep that we know
By comfort in its wake.

Though it spoils something -- that is true,
Which we must learn to lack
And takes alike from me and you
What never does come back.

It caters for our failing strength
In many a dainty scrap,
And gently lays us at our length
In some secluded lap.

It may bless you -- (I think it should)
Beyond what I make out,
With things perhaps too great and good
For cats to talk about.

Since I find in it blessing free
From all it can destroy,
And so its progress is to me
A miracle of joy.

But my look out to occupy
And make the most of that.
You must be quite as old as I,
If not yourself a Cat!

by Anna Laetitia Waring.

That Bright Chimeric Beast

That bright chimeric beast
Conceived yet never born,
Save in the poet's breast,
The white-flanked unicorn,
Never may be shaken
From his solitude;
Never may be taken
In any earthly wood.

That bird forever feathered,
Of its new self the sire,
After aeons weathered,
Reincarnate by fire,
Falcon may not nor eagle
Swerve from his eyrie,
Nor any crumb inveigle
Down to an earthly tree.

That fish of the dread regime
Invented to become
The fable and the dream
Of the Lord's aquarium,
Leviathan, the jointed
Harpoon was never wrought
By which the Lord's anointed
Will suffer to be caught.

Bird of the deathless breast,
Fish of the frantic fin,
That bright chimeric beast
Flashing the argent skin,--
If beasts like these you'd harry,
Plumb then the poet's dream;
Make it your aviary,
Make it your wood and stream.

There only shall the swish
Be heard of the regal fish;
There like a golden knife
Dart the feet of the unicorn,
And there, death brought to life,
The dead bird be reborn.

by Countee Cullen.

Noey Bixler ketched him, and fetched him in to me
When he's ist a little teenty-weenty baby-coon
'Bout as big as little pups, an' tied him to a tree;
An' Pa gived Noey fifty cents, when he come home at noon.
Nen he buyed a chain fer him, an' little collar, too,
An' sawed a hole in a' old tub an' turnt it upside-down;
An' little feller'd stay in there and won't come out fer you--
'Tendin' like he's kindo' skeered o' boys 'at lives in town.

_Now_ he aint afeard a bit! he's ist so fat an' tame,
We on'y chain him up at night, to save the little chicks.
Holler 'Greedy! Greedy!' to him, an' he knows his name,
An' here he'll come a-waddle-un, up fer any tricks!
He'll climb up my leg, he will, an' waller in my lap,
An' poke his little black paws 'way in my pockets where
They's beechnuts, er chinkypins, er any little scrap
Of anything, 'at's good to eat--an' _he_ don't care!

An' he's as spunky as you please, an' don't like dogs at all.--
Billy Miller's black-an'-tan tackled him one day,
An' 'Greedy' he ist kindo' doubled all up like a ball,
An' Billy's dog he gived a yelp er two an' runned away!
An' nen when Billy fighted me, an' hit me with a bone,
An' Ma she purt'nigh ketched him as he dodged an' skooted thro'
The fence, she says, 'You better let my little boy alone,
Er 'Greedy,' next he whips yer dog, shall whip you, too!'

by James Whitcomb Riley.

Tonight I get down from my horse,
before the door of the house, where
I said farewell with the cock's crowing.
It is shut and no one responds.

The stone bench on which mama gave birth
to my older brother, so he could saddle
backs I had ridden bare,
through lanes, past hedges, a village boy;
the bench on which I left my heartsick childhood
yellowing in the sun ... And this mourning
that frames the portal?

God in alien peace,
the beast sneezes, as if calling too;
noses about, prodding the cobbles. Then doubts,
whinnies,
his ears all ears.

Papa must be up praying, and perhaps
he will think I am late.
My sisters, humming their simple,
bubblish illusions,
preparing for the approaching holy day,
and now it's almost here.
I wait, I wait, my heart
an egg at its moment, that gets blocked.

Large family that we left
not long ago, no one awake now, and not even a candle
placed on the altar so that we might return.

I call again, and nothing.
We fall silent and begin to sob, and the animal
whinnies, keeps on whinnying.

They're all sleeping forever,
and so nicely, that at last
my horse dead-tired starts nodding
in his turn, and half-asleep, with each pardon, says
it's all right, everything is quite all right.

by Cesar Vallejo.

One spring as I went walking
By budding leaf and thorn
To see the sun a-shining
Upon an Easter morn;
My hound she gambolled by me,
Oft hunting in her play
Some small thing in the hedges
She found upon her way,
How splendid was her going
How happy was her joy,
I felt I could not chide her
Nor dared her play destroy.

Yet oft I called 'Come hither,
I fear lest thou displace
Some hidden beast or reptile
All savage for the chase.'
I scarce had spoken to her
And turned again for town
When we were in the shadows
And fog and mist came down.
When from the gloom and darkness
Some lion voice did roar;
He sprung upon our pathway
To stand our road before.
I cried in vain contention,
'O, let us go way,'
But to our further progress
The red cat stood at bay.
My hound would not obey me
So brave and fine was she
But sprang upon the wild beast
To fight for liberty.

Oh, how my heart was beating
So full of grief and fear
At thunder of the battle
That fell upon my ear.
Oh, great and splendid fighting
Like to the times of Fionn,
Alas! uneven chances,
My dear one could not win;
And sudden to a silence
I opened eyes of pain,
With face towards her foe still
My faithful hound was slain.

But she has left behind her
A pup of splendid race,
And he shall bound before me
And take the other's place.
So I can go a-walking
'Mid budding leaf and thorn
To see the sun a-rising
Upon an Easter morn.

by Dora Sigerson Shorter.

Demon And Beast

FOR certain minutes at the least
That crafty demon and that loud beast
That plague me day and night
Ran out of my sight;
Though I had long perned in the gyre,
Between my hatred and desire.
I saw my freedom won
And all laugh in the sun.
The glittering eyes in a death's head
Of old Luke Wadding's portrait said
Welcome, and the Ormondes all
Nodded upon the wall,
And even Strafford smiled as though
It made him happier to know
I understood his plan.
Now that the loud beast ran
There was no portrait in the Gallery
But beckoned to sweet company,
For all men's thoughts grew clear
Being dear as mine are dear.
But soon a tear-drop started up,
For aimless joy had made me stop
Beside the little lake
To watch a white gull take
A bit of bread thrown up into the air;
Now gyring down and perning there
He splashed where an absurd
Portly green-pated bird
Shook off the water from his back;
Being no more demoniac
A stupid happy creature
Could rouse my whole nature.
Yet I am certain as can be
That every natural victory
Belongs to beast or demon,
That never yet had freeman
Right mastery of natural things,
And that mere growing old, that brings
Chilled blood, this sweetness brought;
Yet have no dearer thought
Than that I may find out a way
To make it linger half a day.
O what a sweetness strayed
Through barren Thebaid,
Or by the Mareotic sea
When that exultant Anthony
And twice a thousand more
Starved upon the shore
And withered to a bag of bones!
What had the Caesars but their thrones?

by William Butler Yeats.

The time to labour, for every animal

‘A qualunque animale alberga in terra,' (Sestina)

The time to labour, for every animal
that inhabits earth, is when it is still day,
except for those to whom the sun is hateful:
but then when heaven sets fire to its stars,
some turn for home and some nestle in the woods
to find some rest before the dawn.
And I may not cease to sigh with the sun,
from when dawn begins to scatter
the shadows from around the Earth,
waking the animals in every woodland:
yet when I see the flaming of the stars
I go weeping, and desire the day.
When the evening drives out daylight's clarity,
and our shadow makes another's dawn,
I gaze pensively at cruel stars,
that have created me of sentient earth:
and I curse the day I saw the sun,
that makes me in aspect like a wild man of the woods.
I do not think that any creature so harsh
grazed the woods, either by night or day,
as she, through whom I weep in sun or shade:
and I am not wearied by first sleep or dawn:
for though I am mortal body of this earth,
my fixed desire comes from the stars.
Might I see pity in her, for one day,
before I return to you, bright stars,
or turning back into cherished woodland,
leave my body changed to dry earth,
it would restore many years, and before dawn
enrich me at the setting of the sun.
May I be with her when the sun departs,
and seen by no one but the stars,
for one sole night, and may there be no dawn:
and may she not be changed to green woodland,
issuing from my arms, as on the day
when Apollo pursued her down here on earth.
But I will be beneath the wood's dry earth,
and daylight will be full of little stars,
before the sun achieves so sweet a dawn.
Note. Apollo pursued Daphne who was transformed
into a laurel bough, a play on Laura's name.

Translated by: A. S. Kline

by Francesco Petrarch.

Beast And Man In India

They killed a Child to please the Gods
In Earth's young penitence,
And I have bled in that Babe's stead
Because of innocence.

I bear the sins of sinful men
That have no sin of my own,
They drive me forth to Heaven's wrath
Unpastured and alone.

I am the meat of sacrifice,
The ransom of man's guilt,
For they give my life to the altar-knife
Wherever shrine is built.

The Goat.


Between the waving tufts of jungle-grass,
Up from the river as the twilight falls,
Across the dust-beclouded plain they pass
On to the village walls.

Great is the sword and mighty is the pen,
But over all the labouring ploughman's blade--
For on its oxen and its husbandmen
An Empire's strength is laid.

The Oxen.


The torn boughs trailing o'er the tusks aslant,
The saplings reeling in the path he trod,
Declare his might--our lord the Elephant,
Chief of the ways of God.

The black bulk heaving where the oxen pant,
The bowed head toiling where the guns careen,
Declare our might--our slave the Elephant,
And servant of the Queen.

The Elephant.


Dark children of the mere and marsh,
Wallow and waste and lea,
Outcaste they wait at the village gate
With folk of low degree.

Their pasture is in no man's land,
Their food the cattle's scorn;
Their rest is mire and their desire
The thicket and the thorn.

But woe to those that break their sleep,
And woe to those that dare
To rouse the herd-bull from his keep,
The wild boar from his lair!

Pigs and Buffaloes.


The beasts are very wise,
Their mouths are clean of lies,
They talk one to the other,
Bullock to bullock's brother
Resting after their labours,
Each in stall with his neighbours.
But man with goad and whip,
Breaks up their fellowship,
Shouts in their silky ears
Filling their soul with fears.
When he has ploughed the land,
He says: "They understand."
But the beasts in stall together,
Freed from the yoke and tether,
Say as the torn flanks smoke:
"Nay, 'twas the whip that spoke."

by Rudyard Kipling.

How Beauty Contrived To Get Square With The Beast

Miss Guinevere Platt
Was so beautiful that
She couldn't remember the day
When one of her swains
Hadn't taken the pains
To send her a mammoth bouquet.
And the postman had found,
On the whole of his round,
That no one received such a lot
Of bulky epistles
As, waiting his whistles,
The beautiful Guinevere got!

A significant sign
That her charm was divine
Was seen in society, when
The chaperons sniffed
With their eyebrows alift:
'Whatever's got into the men?'
There was always a man
Who was holding her fan,
And twenty that danced in details,
And a couple of mourners,
Who brooded in corners,
And gnawed their mustaches and nails.

John Jeremy Platt
Wouldn't stay in the flat,
For his beautiful daughter he missed:
When he'd taken his tub,
He would hie to his club,
And dally with poker or whist.
At the end of a year
It was perfectly clear
That he'd never computed the cost,
For he hadn't a penny
To settle the many
Ten thousands of dollars he'd lost!

F. Ferdinand Fife
Was a student of life:
He was coarse, and excessively fat,
With a beard like a goat's,
But he held all the notes
Of ruined John Jeremy Platt!
With an adamant smile
That was brimming with guile,
He said: 'I am took with the face
Of your beautiful daughter,
And wed me she ought ter,
To save you from utter disgrace!'

Miss Guinevere Platt
Didn't hesitate at
Her duty's imperative call.
When they looked at the bride
All the chaperons cried:
'She isn't so bad, after all!'
Of the desolate men
There were something like ten
Who took up political lives,
And the flower of the flock
Went and fell off a dock,
And the rest married hideous wives!

But the beautiful wife
Of F. Ferdinand Fife
Was the wildest that ever was known:
She'd grumble and glare,
Till the man didn't dare
To say that his soul was his own.
She sneered at his ills,
And quadrupled his bills,
And spent nearly twice what he earned;
Her husband deserted,
And frivoled, and flirted,
Till Ferdinand's reason was turned.

He repented too late,
And his terrible fate
Upon him so heavily sat,
That he swore at the day
When he sat down to play
At cards with John Jeremy Platt.
He was dead in a year,
And the fair Guinevere
In society sparkled again,
While the chaperons fluttered
Their fans, as they muttered:
'She's getting exceedingly plain!'
The Moral: Predicaments often are found
That beautiful duty is apt to get round:
But greedy extortioners better beware
For dutiful beauty is apt to get square!

by Guy Wetmore Carryl.

The Death And Dying Words Of Poor Mailie

The Author's Only Pet Yowe

An Unco Mournfu' Tale

As Mailie, an' her lambs thegither,
Was ae day nibbling on the tether,
Upon her cloot she coost a hitch,
An owre she warsl'd in the ditch:
There, groaning, dying, she did lie,
When Hughoc he cam doytin by.

Wi' glowrin een, and lifted han's
Poor Hughoc like a statue stan's;
He saw her days were near-hand ended,
But, wae's my heart! he could na mend it!
He gaped wide, but naething spak,
At length poor Mailie silence brak.

"O thou, whase lamentable face
Appears to mourn my woefu' case!
My dying words attentive hear,
An' bear them to my Master dear.

"Tell him, if e'er again he keep
As muckle gear as buy a sheep -
O, bid him never tie them mair,
Wi' wicked strings o' hemp or hair!
But ca' them out to park or hill,
An' let them wander at their will:
So may his flock increase, an' grow
To scores o' lambs, an' packs o' woo'!

"Tell him, he was a Master kin',
An' aye was guid to me an' mine;
An now my dying charge I gie him,
My helpless lambs, I trust them wi' him.

"O, bid him save their harmless lives,
Frae dogs, an' tods, an' butchers' knives!
But gie them guid cow-milk their fill,
Till they be fit to fend themsel';
An' tent them duly, e'en an' morn,
Wi' taets o' hay an' ripps o' corn.

"An' may they never learn the gates,
Of ither vile, wanrestfu' pets -
To slink thro' slaps, an' reave an' steal
At stacks o' pease, or stocks o' kail!
So may they, like their great forbears,
For mony a year come thro' the shears:
So wives will gie them bits o' bread,
An bairns greet for them when they're dead.

"My poor toop-lamb, my son an' heir,
O, bid him breed him up wi' care!
An' if he live to be a beast,
To pit some havins in his breast!
An' warn him - what I winna name -
To stay content wi' yowes at hame;
An' no to rin an' wear his cloots,
Like ither meseless, graceless brutes.

"An' neist, my yowie, silly thing,
Gude keep thee frae a tether string!
O, may thou ne'er forgather up,
Wi' ony blastit, moorland toop;
But aye keep mind to moop an' mell,
Wi' sheep o' credit like thysel'!

"And now, my bairns, wi' my last breath,
I lea'e my blessin wi' you baith:
An' when you think upo' your mither,
Mind to be kind to ane anither.

"Now, honest Hughoc, dinna fail,
To tell my master a' my tale;
An' bid him burn this cursed tether,
An' for thy pains thou'se get my blather."

This said, poor Mailie turn'd her head,
An' closed her een amang the dead!

by Robert Burns.

Death And Dying Words Of Poor Mailie, The

The Author's Only Pet Yowe

An Unco Mournfu' Tale

As Mailie, an' her lambs thegither,
Was ae day nibbling on the tether,
Upon her cloot she coost a hitch,
An owre she warsl'd in the ditch:
There, groaning, dying, she did lie,
When Hughoc he cam doytin by.

Wi' glowrin een, and lifted han's
Poor Hughoc like a statue stan's;
He saw her days were near-hand ended,
But, wae's my heart! he could na mend it!
He gaped wide, but naething spak,
At length poor Mailie silence brak.

"O thou, whase lamentable face
Appears to mourn my woefu' case!
My dying words attentive hear,
An' bear them to my Master dear.

"Tell him, if e'er again he keep
As muckle gear as buy a sheep -
O, bid him never tie them mair,
Wi' wicked strings o' hemp or hair!
But ca' them out to park or hill,
An' let them wander at their will:
So may his flock increase, an' grow
To scores o' lambs, an' packs o' woo'!

"Tell him, he was a Master kin',
An' aye was guid to me an' mine;
An now my dying charge I gie him,
My helpless lambs, I trust them wi' him.

"O, bid him save their harmless lives,
Frae dogs, an' tods, an' butchers' knives!
But gie them guid cow-milk their fill,
Till they be fit to fend themsel';
An' tent them duly, e'en an' morn,
Wi' taets o' hay an' ripps o' corn.

"An' may they never learn the gates,
Of ither vile, wanrestfu' pets -
To slink thro' slaps, an' reave an' steal
At stacks o' pease, or stocks o' kail!
So may they, like their great forbears,
For mony a year come thro' the shears:
So wives will gie them bits o' bread,
An bairns greet for them when they're dead.

"My poor toop-lamb, my son an' heir,
O, bid him breed him up wi' care!
An' if he live to be a beast,
To pit some havins in his breast!
An' warn him - what I winna name -
To stay content wi' yowes at hame;
An' no to rin an' wear his cloots,
Like ither meseless, graceless brutes.

"An' neist, my yowie, silly thing,
Gude keep thee frae a tether string!
O, may thou ne'er forgather up,
Wi' ony blastit, moorland toop;
But aye keep mind to moop an' mell,
Wi' sheep o' credit like thysel'!

"And now, my bairns, wi' my last breath,
I lea'e my blessin wi' you baith:
An' when you think upo' your mither,
Mind to be kind to ane anither.

"Now, honest Hughoc, dinna fail,
To tell my master a' my tale;
An' bid him burn this cursed tether,
An' for thy pains thou'se get my blather."

This said, poor Mailie turn'd her head,
An' closed her een amang the dead!

by Robert Burns.

The Angel In The House. Book Ii. The Prologue.

I Her sons pursue the butterflies,
Her baby daughter mocks the doves
With throbbing coo; in his fond eyes
She's Venus with her little Loves;
Her footfall dignifies the earth,
Her form's the native-land of grace,
And, lo, his coming lights with mirth
Its court and capital her face!
Full proud her favour makes her lord,
And that her flatter'd bosom knows.
She takes his arm without a word,
In lanes of laurel and of rose.
Ten years to-day has she been his.
He but begins to understand,
He says, the dignity and bliss
She gave him when she gave her hand.
She, answering, says, he disenchants
The past, though that was perfect; he
Rejoins, the present nothing wants
But briefness to be ecstasy.
He lauds her charms; her beauty's glow
Wins from the spoiler Time new rays;
Bright looks reply, approving so
Beauty's elixir vitæ, praise.
Upon a beech he bids her mark
Where, ten years since, he carved her name;
It grows there with the growing bark,
And in his heart it grows the same.
For that her soft arm presses his
Close to her fond, maternal breast;
He tells her, each new kindness is
The effectual sum of all the rest!
And, whilst the cushat, mocking, coo'd,
They blest the days they had been wed,
At cost of those in which he woo'd,
Till everything was three times said;
And words were growing vain, when Briggs,
Factotum, Footman, Butler, Groom,
Who press'd the cyder, fed the pigs,
Preserv'd the rabbits, drove the brougham,
And help'd, at need, to mow the lawns,
And sweep the paths and thatch the hay,
Here brought the Post down, Mrs. Vaughan's
Sole rival, but, for once, to-day,
Scarce look'd at; for the ‘Second Book,’
Till this tenth festival kept close,
Was thus commenced, while o'er them shook
The laurel married with the rose.

II
‘The pulse of War, whose bloody heats
‘Sane purposes insanely work,
‘Now with fraternal frenzy beats,
‘And binds the Christian to the Turk,
‘And shrieking fifes’—


III
But, with a roar,
In rush'd the Loves; the tallest roll'd
A hedgehog from his pinafore,
Which saved his fingers; Baby, bold,
Touch'd it, and stared, and scream'd for life,
And stretch'd her hand for Vaughan to kiss,
Who hugg'd his Pet, and ask'd his wife,
‘Is this for love, or love for this?’
But she turn'd pale, for, lo, the beast,
Found stock-still in the rabbit-trap,
And feigning so to be deceased,
And laid by Frank upon her lap,
Unglobed himself, and show'd his snout,
And fell, scatt'ring the Loves amain,
With shriek, with laughter, and with shout;
And, peace at last restored again,
The Bard, who this untimely hitch
Bore with a calm magnanimous,
(The hedgehog roll'd into a ditch,
And Venus sooth'd), proceeded thus:

by Coventry Patmore.

Jab Aadamii Ke Pet Me.N Aatii Hai.N Rotiyaa.N

jab aadamii ke peT me.n aatii hai.n roTiyaa.N
phuulii nahii.n badan me.n samaaatii hai.n roTiyaa.N
aa.Nkhe.n parii_ruKho.n se la.Daatii hai.n roTiyaa.N
siine uupar bhii haath chalaatii hai.n roTiyaa.N

jitane maze hai.n sab ye dikhaatii hai.n roTiyaa.N

roTii se jis kaa naak talak peT hai bharaa
karataa phire hai kyaa vo uchhal kuud jaa ba jaa
diivaar phaa.Nd kar ko_ii koThaa uchhal gayaa
ThaaThTha ha.Nsii sharaab sanam saaqii is sivaa

sau sau tarah kii dhuum machaatii hai.n roTiyaa.N

jis jaa pe haa.NDii chuulhaa tavaa aur tanuur hai
Khaaliq ke qudarato.n kaa usii jaa zahuur hai
chuulhe ke aage aa.Nch jo jalatii hazuur hai
jitane hai.n nuur sab me.n yahii Khaas nuur hai

is nuur ke sabab nazar aatii hai.n roTiyaa.N

aave tave tanuur kaa jis jaa zabaa.N pe naam
yaa chakkii chuulhe kaa jahaa.N gul_zaar ho tamaam
vaa.N sar jhukaa ke kiijiye DanDavat aur salaam
is vaaste ke Khaas ye roTii ke hai.n muqaam

pahale inhii.n makaano.n me.n aatii hai.n roTiyaa.N

in roTiyo.n ke nuur se sab dil hai.n puur puur
aaTaa nahii.n hai chhalanii se chhan chhan gire hai nuur
pe.Daa har ek us kaa hai barfii-o-motii chuur
har_giz kisii tarah na bujhe peT kaa tanuur

is aag ko magar ye bujhaatii hai.n roTiyaa.N

puuchhaa kisii ne ye kisii kaamil faqiir se
ye mehr-o-maah haq ne banaaye hai.n kaahe ke
vo sun ke bolaa baabaa Khudaa tujh ko Khair de
ham to na chaa.Nd samajhe na suuraj hai.n jaanate

baabaa hame.n to ye nazar aatii hai.n roTiyaa.N

phir puuchhaa us ne kahiye ye hai dil kaa nuur kyaa
is ke mushaahide me.n hai khulataa zahuur kyaa
vo bolaa sun ke teraa gayaa hai sha_uur kyaa
kashf-ul-quluub aur ye kashf-ul-qubuur kyaa

jitane hai.n kashf sab ye dikhaatii hai.n roTiyaa.N

roTii jab aa_ii peT me.n sau qand ghul gaye
gul_zaar phuule aa.Nkho.n me.n aur aish tul gaye
do tar nivaale peT me.n jab aa ke dhul gaye
chaudaa tabaq ke jitane the sab bhed khul gaye

ye kashf ye kamaal dikhaatii hai.n roTiyaa.N

roTii na peT me.n ho to phir kuchh jatan na ho
mele kii sair Khvaahish-e-baaG-o-chaman na ho
bhuuke Gariib dil kii Khudaa se lagan na ho
sach hai kahaa kisii ne ke bhuuke bhajan na ho

allaah kii bhii yaad dilaatii hai.n roTiyaa.N

ab jin ke aage maal_puye bhar ke thaal hai.n
puurii bhagat unhii.n kii vo saahab ke laal hai.n
aur jin ke aage rauGanii aur shiir_maal hai
aarif vohii hai.n aur vohii saahab kamaal hai.n

pakii pakaa_ii ab jinhe.n aatii hai.n roTiyaa.N

kapa.De kisii ke laal hai.n roTii ke vaaste
lambe kisii ke baal hai.n roTii ke vaaste
baa.Ndhe ko_ii rumaal hai rotii ke vaaste
sab kashf aur kamaal hai.n rotii ke vaaste

jitane hai.n ruup sab ye dikhaatii hai.n roTiyaa.N

roTii se naache piyaadaa qavaayad dikhaa dikhaa
asavaar naache gho.De ko kaavaa lagaa lagaa
ghungharuu ko baa.Ndhe paik bhii phirataa hai naachataa
aur is ke sivaa Gaur se dekho to jaa ba jaa

sau sau tarah ke naach dikhaatii hai.n roTiyaa.N

duniyaa me.n ab badii na kahii.n aur niko_ii hai
na dushman

by Nazeer Akbarabadi.

See! There he stands; not brave, but with an air
Of sullen stupor. Mark him well! Is he
Not more like brute than man? Look in his eye!
No light is there; none, save the glint that shines
In the now glaring, and now shifting orbs
Of some wild animal caught in the hunter's trap.

How came this beast in human shape and form?
Speak, man! - We call you man because you wear
His shape-How are you thus? Are you not from
That docile, child-like, tender-hearted race
Which we have known three centuries? Not from
That more than faithful race which through three wars
Fed our dear wives and nursed our helpless babes
Without a single breach of trust? Speak out!
I am, and am not.

Then who, why are you?


I am a thing not new, I am as old
As human nature. I am that which lurks,
Ready to spring whenever a bar is loosed;
The ancient trait which fights incessantly
Against restraint, balks at the upward climb;
The weight forever seeking to obey
The law of downward pull; and I am more:
The bitter fruit am I of planted seed;
The resultant, the inevitable end
Of evil forces and the powers of wrong.

Lessons in degradation, taught and learned,
The memories of cruel sights and deeds,
The pent-up bitterness, the unspent hate
Filtered through fifteen generations have
Sprung up and found in me sporadic life.
In me the muttered curse of dying men,
On me the stain of conquered women, and
Consuming me the fearful fires of lust,
Lit long ago, by other hands than mine.
In me the down-crushed spirit, the hurled-back prayers
Of wretches now long dead, - their dire bequests, -
In me the echo of the stifled cry
Of children for their bartered mothers' breasts.

I claim no race, no race claims me; I am
No more than human dregs; degenerate;
The monstrous offspring of the monster, Sin;
I am-just what I am . . . . The race that fed
Your wives and nursed your babes would do the same
To-day, but I -
Enough, the brute must die!
Quick! Chain him to that oak! It will resist
The fire much longer than this slender pine.
Now bring the fuel! Pile it 'round him! Wait!
Pile not so fast or high! or we shall lose
The agony and terror in his face.
And now the torch! Good fuel that! the flames
Already leap head-high. Ha! hear that shriek!
And there's another! Wilder than the first.
Fetch water! Water! Pour a little on
The fire, lest it should burn too fast. Hold so!
Now let it slowly blaze again. See there!
He squirms! He groans! His eyes bulge wildly out,
Searching around in vain appeal for help!
Another shriek, the last! Watch how the flesh
Grows crisp and hangs till, turned to ash, it sifts
Down through the coils of chain that hold erect
The ghastly frame against the bark-scorched tree.

Stop! to each man no more than one man's share.
You take that bone, and you this tooth; the chain -
Let us divide its links; this skull, of course,
In fair division, to the leader comes.

And now his fiendish crime has been avenged;
Let us back to our wives and children. - Say,
What did he mean by those last muttered words,
'Brothers in spirit, brothers in deed are we'?

by James Weldon Johnson.

The Woodcutter's Hut

Far up in the wild and wintery hills in the heart of the cliff-broken
woods,
Where the mounded drifts lie soft and deep in the noiseless solitudes,
The hut of the lonely woodcutter stands, a few rough beams that show
A blunted peak and a low black line, from the glittering waste of snow.
In the frost-still dawn from his roof goes up in the windless,
motionless air,
The thin, pink curl of leisurely smoke; through the forest white and
bare
The woodcutter follows his narrow trail, and the morning rings and
cracks
With the rhythmic jet of his sharp-blown breath and the echoing shout of
his axe.
Only the waft of the wind besides, or the stir of some hardy bird--
The call of the friendly chickadee, or the pat of the nuthatch--is
heard;
Or a rustle comes from a dusky clump, where the busy siskins feed,
And scatter the dimpled sheet of the snow with the shells of the
cedar-seed.
Day after day the woodcutter toils untiring with axe and wedge,
Till the jingling teams come up from the road that runs by the valley's
edge,
With plunging of horses, and hurling of snow, and many a shouted word,
And carry away the keen-scented fruit of his cutting, cord upon cord.
Not the sound of a living foot comes else, not a moving visitant there,
Save the delicate step of some halting doe, or the sniff of a prowling
bear.
And only the stars are above him at night, and the trees that creak and
groan,
And the frozen, hard-swept mountain-crests with their silent fronts of
stone,
As he watches the sinking glow of his fire and the wavering flames
upcaught,
Cleaning his rifle or mending his moccasins, sleepy and slow of
thought.
Or when the fierce snow comes, with the rising wind, from the grey
north-east,
He lies through the leaguering hours in his bunk like a winter-hidden
beast,
Or sits on the hard-packed earth, and smokes by his draught-blown
guttering fire,
Without thought or remembrance, hardly awake, and waits for the storm
to tire.
Scarcely he hears from the rock-rimmed heights to the wild ravines
below,
Near and far-off, the limitless wings of the tempest hurl and go
In roaring gusts that plunge through the cracking forest, and lull,
and lift,
All day without stint and all night long with the sweep of the hissing
drift.
But winter shall pass ere long with its hills of snow and its fettered
dreams,
And the forest shall glimmer with living gold, and chime with the
gushing of streams;
Millions of little points of plants shall prick through its matted
floor,
And the wind-flower lift and uncurl her silken buds by the woodman's
door;
The sparrow shall see and exult; but lo! as the spring draws gaily on,
The woodcutter's hut is empty and bare, and the master that made it is
gone.
He is gone where the gathering of valley men another labour yields,
To handle the plough, and the harrow, and scythe, in the heat of the
summer fields.
He is gone with his corded arms, and his ruddy face, and his moccasined
feet,
The animal man in his warmth and vigour, sound, and hard, and complete.
And all summer long, round the lonely hut, the black earth burgeons and
breeds,
Till the spaces are filled with the tall-plumed ferns and the triumphing
forest-weeds;
The thick wild raspberries hem its walls, and, stretching on either
hand,
The red-ribbed stems and the giant-leaves of the sovereign spikenard
stand.
So lonely and silent it is, so withered and warped with the sun and
snow,
You would think it the fruit of some dead man's toil a hundred years
ago;
And he who finds it suddenly there, as he wanders far and alone,
Is touched with a sweet and beautiful sense of something tender and
gone,
The sense of a struggling life in the waste, and the mark of a soul's
command,
The going and coming of vanished feet, the touch of a human hand.

by Archibald Lampman.

A PASTORAL

THE dew was falling fast, the stars began to blink;
I heard a voice; it said, 'Drink, pretty creature, drink!'
And, looking o'er the hedge, before me I espied
A snow-white mountain-lamb with a Maiden at its side.

Nor sheep nor kine were near; the lamb was all alone,
And by a slender cord was tethered to a stone;
With one knee on the grass did the little Maiden kneel,
While to that mountain-lamb she gave its evening meal.

The lamb, while from her hand he thus his supper took,
Seemed to feast with head and ears; and his tail with pleasure shook.
'Drink, pretty creature, drink,' she said in such a tone
That I almost received her heart into my own.

'Twas little Barbara Lewthwaite, a child of beauty rare!
I watched them with delight, they were a lovely pair.
Now with her empty can the Maiden turned away:
But ere ten yards were gone her footsteps did she stay.

Right towards the lamb she looked; and from a shady place
I unobserved could see the workings of her face:
If Nature to her tongue could measured numbers bring,
Thus, thought I, to her lamb that little Maid might sing:

'What ails thee, young One? what? Why pull so at thy cord?
Is it not well with thee? well both for bed and board?
Thy plot of grass is soft, and green as grass can be;
Rest, little young One, rest; what is't that aileth thee?

'What is it thou wouldst seek? What is wanting to thy heart?
Thy limbs are they not strong? And beautiful thou art:
This grass is tender grass; these flowers they have no peers;
And that green corn all day is rustling in thy ears!

'If the sun be shining hot, do but stretch thy woollen chain,
This beech is standing by, its covert thou canst gain;
For rain and mountain-storms! the like thou need'st not fear,
The rain and storm are things that scarcely can come here.

'Rest, little young One, rest; thou hast forgot the day
When my father found thee first in places far away;
Many flocks were on the hills, but thou wert owned by none,
And thy mother from thy side for evermore was gone.

'He took thee in his arms, and in pity brought thee home:
A blessed day for thee! then whither wouldst thou roam?
A faithful nurse thou hast; the dam that did thee yean
Upon the mountain-tops no kinder could have been.

'Thou know'st that twice a day I have brought thee in this can
Fresh water from the brook, as clear as ever ran;
And twice in the day, when the ground is wet with dew,
I bring thee draughts of milk, warm milk it is and new.

'Thy limbs will shortly be twice as stout as they are now,
Then I'll yoke thee to my cart like a pony in the plough;
My playmate thou shalt be; and when the wind is cold
Our hearth shall be thy bed, our house shall be thy fold.

'It will not, will not rest!--Poor creature, can it be
That 'tis thy mother's heart which is working so in thee?
Things that I know not of belike to thee are dear,
And dreams of things which thou canst neither see nor hear.

'Alas, the mountain-tops that look so green and fair!
I've heard of fearful winds and darkness that come there;
The little brooks that seem all pastime and all play,
When they are angry, roar like lions for their prey.

'Here thou need'st not dread the raven in the sky;
Night and day thou art safe,--our cottage is hard by.
Why bleat so after me? Why pull so at thy chain?
Sleep--and at break of day I will come to thee again!'

--As homeward through the lane I went with lazy feet,
This song to myself did I oftentimes repeat;
And it seemed, as I retraced the ballad line by line,
That but half of it was hers, and one half of it was 'mine'.

Again, and once again, did I repeat the song;
'Nay,' said I, 'more than half to the damsel must belong,
For she looked with such a look and she spake with such a tone,
That I almost received her heart into my own.'

by William Wordsworth.

Jenny And Her Pet Lamb

By the side of lonely moor,
In a humble clay-built cot,
Lived a widow very poor
Who received her daily store
As the Lord's Forget-me-not.

With her lived her little girl,
Blithe and pretty blue eyed Jane;
She wore golden locks in curl,
Which showed Nature was no churl,
If it did not make her vain.

Plain but neatly was she dressed,
With her lot was quite content,
No great cares her mind oppressed,
She with cheerfulness was blessed,
While in work her time was spent.

Came there by the cot one day
Quite a numerous flock of sheep.
Lambs did by their mothers play,
One was in a sickly way,
Which called up Jane's feelings deep.

He who drove them, hard of heart,
Did that sickly lamb abuse;
This increased young Jennie's smart,
It went through her like a dart,
Wondering, 'would the man refuse

'To give her that pretty lamb
Which appeared so like to die?'
Came the thought to her like balm,
Her distress of mind to calm,
As she to the man drew nigh.

When to him she made request
Answered he in surly tones,
'She might have the little pest,
For it was at very best
But a heap of skin and bones!'

Joyfully she took the prize
In with her to that rude cot.
Pleasure filled her sparkling eyes,
For the lamb had ceased its cries
Ere it reached so safe a spot.

Like a foster mother she
Nursed it then with gentle care,
Till it grew in time to be
Large as any sheep you see,
Fed upon such scanty fare.

And its wool in one short year
For some better pasture pays
And assists the heart to cheer
Of that widow, who had fear
The coming Winter days.

Came there soon some troubles great
On this poor, small family.
He who owned the large estate
Where they lived, had sunk of late
Into greatest poverty.

Lost he all his wide domain,
Dragged to jail because of debt.
He would not of fate complain,
If that widow might remain,
But consent he could not get.

He who took their kind friend's place
Acted a most cruel part.
All might see upon his face
There was not a single trace
Of a kind or gentle heart.

And the widow was forbid
To remain another week.
Sternly he her pleadings chid,
'All such tenants he would rid,
And fresh quarters make them seek.'

Threatened if they would not go
He then all would take away.
This was such a heavy blow
Sickness laid the mother low;
The were thus obliged to stay.

Ere the time had quite expired
Down the angry landlord came
With a man whom he had hired;
Liquor strong their courage fired
Till they felt no sense of shame.

Seize they Jenny's pretty pet,
Cut its throat and leave it there;
Then the household goods they get-
Heed not how the dear ones fret
When their cot was made so bare.

Saw the Lord that wicked deed?
Did the widow's prayer avail?
See you further on may read,
What the Lord had just decreed
In the sequel of my tale.

Thunder clouds hung overhead,
While those shocking acts were done;
Forth the lightning's arrow sped,
Guided there it struck them dead,
Ceased to beat their hearts of stone.

All who heard the widow's case,
Those who saw sweet Jenny's tears,
Got for them a better place,
Bade them wear a cheerful face,
Trust in God and calm their fears.

Said the widow to her Jane,
'Saw you how your darling died?
Did it of the act complain?
Jesus as a Lamb was slain,
As a Lamb was crucified.

'This was in the sinner's stead,
This was done for you and me;
For our sins he freely bled,
Bowed to Death his sacred head
On the shameful cursed tree.'

Heard that lovely girl these things?
Yes, and did believe them too.
Faith its blessings to her brings,
And God's goodness oft she sings.
This, dear reader, you may do.

by Thomas Cowherd.

Pet-Lamb, The: A Pastoral Poem

The dew was falling fast, the stars began to blink;
I heard a voice; it said, "Drink, pretty creature, drink!"
And, looking o'er the hedge, before me I espied
A snow-white mountain-lamb with a Maiden at its side.

Nor sheep nor kine were near; the lamb was all alone,
And by a slender cord was tethered to a stone;
With one knee on the grass did the little Maiden kneel,
While to that mountain-lamb she gave its evening meal.

The lamb, while from her hand he thus his supper took,
Seemed to feast with head and ears; and his tail with pleasure
shook.
"Drink, pretty creature, drink," she said in such a tone
That I almost received her heart into my own.

'Twas little Barbara Lewthwaite, a child of beauty rare!
I watched them with delight, they were a lovely pair.
Now with her empty can the Maiden turned away:
But ere ten yards were gone her footsteps did she stay.

Right towards the lamb she looked; and from a shady place
I unobserved could see the workings of her face:
If Nature to her tongue could measured numbers bring,
Thus, thought I, to her lamb that little Maid might sing:

"What ails thee, young One? what? Why pull so at thy cord?
Is it not well with thee? well both for bed and board?
Thy plot of grass is soft, and green as grass can be;
Rest, little young One, rest; what is't that aileth thee?

"What is it thou wouldst seek? What is wanting to thy heart?
Thy limbs are they not strong? And beautiful thou art:
This grass is tender grass; these flowers they have no peers;
And that green corn all day is rustling in thy ears!

"If the sun be shining hot, do but stretch thy woollen chain,
This beech is standing by, its covert thou canst gain;
For rain and mountain-storms! the like thou need'st not fear,
The rain and storm are things that scarcely can come here.

"Rest, little young One, rest; thou hast forgot the day
When my father found thee first in places far away;
Many flocks were on the hills, but thou wert owned by none,
And thy mother from thy side for evermore was gone.

"He took thee in his arms, and in pity brought thee home:
A blessed day for thee! then whither wouldst thou roam?
A faithful nurse thou hast; the dam that did thee yean
Upon the mountain-tops no kinder could have been.

"Thou know'st that twice a day I have brought thee in this can
Fresh water from the brook, as clear as ever ran;
And twice in the day, when the ground is wet with dew,
I bring thee draughts of milk, warm milk it is and new.

"Thy limbs will shortly be twice as stout as they are now,
Then I'll yoke thee to my cart like a pony in the plough;
My playmate thou shalt be; and when the wind is cold
Our hearth shall be thy bed, our house shall be thy fold.

"It will not, will not rest!--Poor creature, can it be
That 'tis thy mother's heart which is working so in thee?
Things that I know not of belike to thee are dear,
And dreams of things which thou canst neither see nor hear.

"Alas, the mountain-tops that look so green and fair!
I've heard of fearful winds and darkness that come there;
The little brooks that seem all pastime and all play,
When they are angry, roar like lions for their prey.

"Here thou need'st not dread the raven in the sky;
Night and day thou art safe,--our cottage is hard by.
Why bleat so after me? Why pull so at thy chain?
Sleep--and at break of day I will come to thee again!"

--As homeward through the lane I went with lazy feet,
This song to myself did I oftentimes repeat;
And it seemed, as I retraced the ballad line by line,
That but half of it was hers, and one half of it was 'mine'.

Again, and once again, did I repeat the song;
"Nay," said I, "more than half to the damsel must belong,
For she looked with such a look and she spake with such a tone,
That I almost received her heart into my own."

by William Wordsworth.

Billy's Alphabetical Animal Show

A was an elegant Ape
Who tied up his ears with red tape,
And wore a long veil
Half revealing his tail
Which was trimmed with jet bugles and crape.

B was a boastful old Bear
Who used to say,--'Hoomh! I declare
I can eat--if you'll get me
The children, and let me--
Ten babies, teeth, toenails and hair!'

C was a Codfish who sighed
When snatched from the home of his pride,
But could he, embrined,
Guess this fragrance behind,
How glad he would be that he died!

D was a dandified Dog
Who said,--'Though it's raining like fog
I wear no umbrellah,
Me boy, for a fellah
Might just as well travel incog!'

E was an elderly Eel
Who would say,--'Well, I really feel--
As my grandchildren wriggle
And shout 'I should giggle'--
A trifle run down at the heel!'

F was a Fowl who conceded
_Some_ hens might hatch more eggs than _she_ did,--
But she'd children as plenty
As eighteen or twenty,
And that was quite all that she needed.

G was a gluttonous Goat
Who, dining one day, _table-d'hote,_
Ordered soup-bone, _au fait_,
And fish, _papier-mache_,
And a _filet_ of Spring overcoat.

H was a high-cultured Hound
Who could clear forty feet at a bound,
And a coon once averred
That his howl could be heard
For five miles and three-quarters around.

I was an Ibex ambitious
To dive over chasms auspicious;
He would leap down a peak
And not light for a week,
And swear that the jump was delicious.

J was a Jackass who said
He had such a bad cold in his head,
If it wasn't for leaving
The rest of us grieving,
He'd really rather be dead.

K was a profligate Kite
Who would haunt the saloons every night;
And often he ust
To reel back to his roost
Too full to set up on it right.

L was a wary old Lynx
Who would say,--'Do you know wot I thinks?--
I thinks ef you happen
To ketch me a-nappin'
I'm ready to set up the drinks!'

M was a merry old Mole,
Who would snooze all the day in his hole,
Then--all night, a-rootin'
Around and galootin'--
He'd sing 'Johnny, Fill up the Bowl!'

N was a caustical Nautilus
Who sneered, 'I suppose, when they've _caught_ all us,
Like oysters they'll serve us,
And can us, preserve us,
And barrel, and pickle, and bottle us!'

O was an autocrat Owl--
Such a wise--such a wonderful fowl!
Why, for all the night through
He would hoot and hoo-hoo,
And hoot and hoo-hooter and howl!

P was a Pelican pet,
Who gobbled up all he could get;
He could eat on until
He was full to the bill,
And there he had lodgings to let!

Q was a querulous Quail,
Who said: 'It will little avail
The efforts of those
Of my foes who propose
To attempt to put salt on my tail!'

R was a ring-tailed Raccoon,
With eyes of the tinge of the moon,
And his nose a blue-black,
And the fur on his back
A sad sort of sallow maroon.

S is a Sculpin--you'll wish
Very much to have one on your dish,
Since all his bones grow
On the outside, and so
He's a very desirable fish.

T was a Turtle, of wealth,
Who went round with particular stealth,--
'Why,' said he, 'I'm afraid
Of being waylaid
When I even walk out for my health!'

U was a Unicorn curious,
With one horn, of a growth so _luxurious_,
He could level and stab it--
If you didn't grab it--
Clean through you, he was so blamed furious!

V was a vagabond Vulture
Who said: 'I don't want to insult yer,
But when you intrude
Where in lone solitude
I'm a-preyin', you're no man o' culture!'

W was a wild _Wood_chuck,
And you can just bet that he _could_ 'chuck'
He'd eat raw potatoes,
Green corn, and tomatoes,
And tree roots, and call it all '_good_ chuck!'

X was a kind of X-cuse
Of a some-sort-o'-thing that got loose
Before we could name it,
And cage it, and tame it,
And bring it in general use.

Y is the Yellowbird,--bright
As a petrified lump of star-light,
Or a handful of lightning-
Bugs, squeezed in the tight'ning
Pink fist of a boy, at night.

Z is the Zebra, of course!--
A kind of a clown-of-a-horse,--
Each other despising,
Yet neither devising
A way to obtain a divorce!

& here is the famous--what-is-it?
Walk up, Master Billy, and quiz it:
You've seen the _rest_ of 'em--
Ain't this the _best_ of 'em,
Right at the end of your visit?

by James Whitcomb Riley.

Tu Mettrais L'Univers Entier Dans Ta Ruelle (You Would Take The Whole World To Bed With You)

Tu mettrais l'univers entier dans ta ruelle,
Femme impure! L'ennui rend ton âme cruelle.
Pour exercer tes dents à ce jeu singulier,
Il te faut chaque jour un coeur au râtelier.
Tes yeux, illuminés ainsi que des boutiques
Et des ifs flamboyants dans les fêtes publiques,
Usent insolemment d'un pouvoir emprunté,
Sans connaître jamais la loi de leur beauté.

Machine aveugle et sourde, en cruautés féconde!
Salutaire instrument, buveur du sang du monde,
Comment n'as-tu pas honte et comment n'as-tu pas
Devant tous les miroirs vu pâlir tes appas?
La grandeur de ce mal où tu te crois savante
Ne t'a donc jamais fait reculer d'épouvante,
Quand la nature, grande en ses desseins cachés
De toi se sert, ô femme, ô reine des péchés,
— De toi, vil animal, — pour pétrir un génie?

Ô fangeuse grandeur! sublime ignominie!

You Would Take the Whole World to Bed with You

You would take the whole world to bed with you,
Impure woman! Ennui makes your soul cruel;
To exercise your teeth at this singular game,
You need a new heart in the rack each day.
Your eyes, brilliant as shop windows
Or as blazing lamp-stands at public festivals,
Insolently use a borrowed power
Without ever knowing the law of their beauty.

Blind, deaf machine, fecund in cruelties!
Remedial instrument, drinker of the world's blood,
Why are you not ashamed and why have you not seen
In every looking-glass how your charms are fading?
Why have you never shrunk at the enormity
Of this evil at which you think you are expert,
When Nature, resourceful in her hidden designs,
Makes use of you, woman, O queen of sin,
Of you, vile animal, — to fashion a genius?

O foul magnificence! Sublime ignominy!


— Translated by William Aggeler

You'd Stick the World into Your Bedside Lane

You'd stick the world into your bedside lane.
It's boredom makes you callous to all pain.
To exercise your teeth for this strange task,
A heart upon a rake, each day, you'd ask.
Your eyes lit up like shopfronts, or the trees
With lanterns on the night of public sprees,
Make insolent misuse of borrowed power
And scorn the law of beauty that's their dower.

Oh deaf-and-dumb machine, harm-breeding fool
World sucking leech, yet salutary tool!
Have you not seen your beauties blanch to pass
Before their own reflection in the glass?
Before this pain, in which you think you're wise,
Does not its greatness shock you with surprise,
To think that Nature, deep in projects hidden,
Has chosen you, vile creature of the midden,
To knead a genius for succeeding time.

O sordid grandeur! Infamy sublime!


— Translated by Roy Campbell

Tyranny of Woman

Aye, you would bed with the whole universe,
Lewd woman! Ennui makes your soul perverse;
Cruel, you whet your teeth at this weird play,
You need a fresh heart in the rack each day.
Your eyes blaze like illumined shops or lights
Of serried lamps on festive public nights,
They use a borrowed puissance haughtily
Unconscious of their beauty's tyranny.

Blind, deaf machine, geared to increase man's pain,
Tool primed to suckle blood from his last vein,
Have you no shame when every looking glass
Betrays your faded beauties as you pass,
When cunning Nature's hidden plans begin
To use you, beast! woman, vile queen of sin,
To fashion genius in carnality?

O shameless might! Sublime ignominy!


— Translated by Jacques LeClercq

You'd Take the Entire Universe to Bed with You

You'd take the entire universe to bed with you,
I think, just out of boredom, you lecherous, idle shrew!
You need, to keep your teeth sound, exercise your jaws,
Daily, for dinner, some new heart between your paws!
Your eyes, all lighted up like shops, like public fairs,
How insolent they are! — as if their power were theirs
Indeed! — this borrowed power, this Beauty, you direct
And use, whose law, however, you do not suspect.

Unwholesome instrument for health, O deaf machine
And blind, fecund in tortures! — how is it you have not seen,
You drinker of the world's blood, your mirrored loveliness
Blench and recoil? how is it you feel no shame? confess:
Has never, then, this evil's very magnitude
Caused you to stagger? — you, who think yourself so shrewd
In evil? — seeing how Nature, patient and abstruse —
O Woman, Queen of Sins, Vile Animal, — has made use
Of you, to mould a genius? — employed you all this time?

O muddy grandeur! — ignominy ironic and sublime!


— Translated by Edna St. Vincent Millay

by Charles Baudelaire.

Peinture. A Panegyrick To The Best Picture Of Friendship, Mr. Pet. Lilly.

If Pliny, Lord High Treasurer of al
Natures exchequer shuffled in this our ball,
Peinture her richer rival did admire,
And cry'd she wrought with more almighty fire,
That judg'd the unnumber'd issue of her scrowl,
Infinite and various as her mother soul,
That contemplation into matter brought,
Body'd Ideas, and could form a thought.
Why do I pause to couch the cataract,
And the grosse pearls from our dull eyes abstract,
That, pow'rful Lilly, now awaken'd we
This new creation may behold by thee?

To thy victorious pencil all, that eyes
And minds call reach, do bow. The deities
Bold Poets first but feign'd, you do and make,
And from your awe they our devotion take.
Your beauteous pallet first defin'd Love's Queen,
And made her in her heav'nly colours seen;
You strung the bow of the Bandite her son,
And tipp'd his arrowes with religion.
Neptune as unknown as his fish might dwell,
But that you seat him in his throne of shell.
The thunderers artillery and brand,
You fancied Rome in his fantastick hand;
And the pale frights, the pains, and fears of hell
First from your sullen melancholy fell.
Who cleft th' infernal dog's loath'd head in three,
And spun out Hydra's fifty necks? by thee
As prepossess'd w' enjoy th' Elizian plain,
Which but before was flatter'd in our brain.
Who ere yet view'd airs child invisible,
A hollow voice, but in thy subtile skill?
Faint stamm'ring Eccho you so draw, that we
The very repercussion do see.
Cheat-HOCUS-POCUS-Nature an assay
O' th' spring affords us: praesto, and away!
You all the year do chain her and her fruits,
Roots to their beds, and flowers to their roots.
Have not mine eyes feasted i' th' frozen Zone
Upon a fresh new-grown collation
Of apples, unknown sweets, that seem'd to me
Hanging to tempt as on the fatal tree,
So delicately limn'd I vow'd to try
My appetite impos'd upon my eye?
You, sir, alone, fame, and all-conqu'ring rime,
File the set teeth of all-devouring time.
When beauty once thy vertuous paint hath on,
Age needs not call her to vermilion;
Her beams nere shed or change like th' hair of day,
She scatters fresh her everlasting ray.
Nay, from her ashes her fair virgin fire
Ascends, that doth new massacres conspire,
Whilst we wipe off the num'rous score of years,
And do behold our grandsire[s] as our peers;
With the first father of our house compare
We do the features of our new-born heir:
For though each coppied a son, they all
Meet in thy first and true original.
Sacred! luxurious! what princesse not
But comes to you to have her self begot?
As, when first man was kneaded, from his side
Is born to's hand a ready-made-up bride.
He husband to his issue then doth play,
And for more wives remove the obstructed way:
So by your art you spring up in two noons
What could not else be form'd by fifteen suns;
Thy skill doth an'mate the prolifick flood,
And thy red oyl assimilates to blood.
Where then, when all the world pays its respect,
Lies our transalpine barbarous neglect?
When the chast hands of pow'rful Titian
Had drawn the scourges of our God and man,
And now the top of th' altar did ascend
To crown the heav'nly piece with a bright end;
Whilst he, who in seven languages gave law,
And always, like the Sun, his subjects saw,
Did, in his robes imperial and gold,
The basis of the doubtful ladder hold.
O Charls! a nobler monument than that,
Which thou thine own executor wert at!
When to our huffling Henry there complain'd
A grieved earl, that thought his honor stain'd:
Away (frown'd he), for your own safeties, hast!
In one cheap hour ten coronets I'l cast;
But Holbeen's noble and prodigious worth
Onely the pangs of an whole age brings forth.
Henry! a word so princely saving said,
It might new raise the ruines thou hast made.
O sacred Peincture! that dost fairly draw,
What but in mists deep inward Poets saw;
'Twixt thee and an Intelligence no odds,
That art of privy council to the gods!
By thee unto our eyes they do prefer
A stamp of their abstracted character;
Thou, that in frames eternity dost bind,
And art a written and a body'd mind;
To thee is ope the Juncto o' th' abysse,
And its conspiracy detected is;
Whilest their cabal thou to our sense dost show,
And in thy square paint'st what they threat below.
Now, my best Lilly, let's walk hand in hand,
And smile at this un-understanding land;
Let them their own dull counterfeits adore,
Their rainbow-cloaths admire, and no more.
Within one shade of thine more substance is,
Than all their varnish'd idol-mistresses:
Whilst great Vasari and Vermander shall
Interpret the deep mystery of all,
And I unto our modern Picts shall show,
What due renown to thy fair art they owe
In the delineated lives of those,
By whom this everlasting lawrel grows.
Then, if they will not gently apprehend,
Let one great blot give to their fame an end;
Whilst no poetick flower their herse doth dresse,
But perish they and their effigies.

by Richard Lovelace.

I

On her great venture, Man,
Earth gazes while her fingers dint the breast
Which is his well of strength, his home of rest,
And fair to scan.

II

More aid than that embrace,
That nourishment, she cannot give: his heart
Involves his fate; and she who urged the start
Abides the race.

III

For he is in the lists
Contentious with the elements, whose dower
First sprang him; for swift vultures to devour
If he desists.

IV

His breath of instant thirst
Is warning of a creature matched with strife,
To meet it as a bride, or let fall life
On life's accursed.

V

No longer forth he bounds
The lusty animal, afield to roam,
But peering in Earth's entrails, where the gnome
Strange themes propounds.

VI

By hunger sharply sped
To grasp at weapons ere he learns their use,
In each new ring he bears a giant's thews,
An infant's head.

VII

And ever that old task
Of reading what he is and whence he came,
Whither to go, finds wilder letters flame
Across her mask.

VIII

She hears his wailful prayer,
When now to the Invisible he raves
To rend him from her, now of his mother craves
Her calm, her care.

IX

The thing that shudders most
Within him is the burden of his cry.
Seen of his dread, she is to his blank eye
The eyeless Ghost.

X

Or sometimes she will seem
Heavenly, but her blush, soon wearing white,
Veils like a gorsebush in a web of blight,
With gold-buds dim.

XI

Once worshipped Prime of Powers,
She still was the Implacable: as a beast,
She struck him down and dragged him from the feast
She crowned with flowers.

XII

Her pomp of glorious hues,
Her revelries of ripeness, her kind smile,
Her songs, her peeping faces, lure awhile
With symbol-clues.

XIII

The mystery she holds
For him, inveterately he strains to see,
And sight of his obtuseness is the key
Among those folds.

XIV

He may entreat, aspire,
He may despair, and she has never heed.
She drinking his warm sweat will soothe his need,
Not his desire.

XV

She prompts him to rejoice,
Yet scares him on the threshold with the shroud.
He deems her cherishing of her best-endowed
A wanton's choice.

XVI

Albeit thereof he has found
Firm roadway between lustfulness and pain;
Has half transferred the battle to his brain,
From bloody ground;

XVII

He will not read her good,
Or wise, but with the passion Self obscures;
Through that old devil of the thousand lures,
Through that dense hood:

XVIII

Through terror, through distrust;
The greed to touch, to view, to have, to live:
Through all that makes of him a sensitive
Abhorring dust.

XIX

Behold his wormy home!
And he the wind-whipped, anywhither wave
Crazily tumbled on a shingle-grave
To waste in foam.

XX

Therefore the wretch inclined
Afresh to the Invisible, who, he saith,
Can raise him high: with vows of living faith
For little signs.

XXI

Some signs he must demand,
Some proofs of slaughtered nature; some prized few,
To satisfy the senses it is true,
And in his hand,

XXII

This miracle which saves
Himself, himself doth from extinction clutch,
By virtue of his worth, contrasting much
With brutes and knaves.

XXIII

From dust, of him abhorred,
He would be snatched by Grace discovering worth.
'Sever me from the hollowness of Earth!
Me take, dear Lord!'

XXIV

She hears him. Him she owes
For half her loveliness a love well won
By work that lights the shapeless and the dun,
Their common foes.

XXV

He builds the soaring spires,
That sing his soul in stone: of her he draws,
Though blind to her, by spelling at her laws,
Her purest fires.

XXVI

Through him hath she exchanged,
For the gold harvest-robes, the mural crown,
Her haggard quarry-features and thick frown
Where monsters ranged.

XXVII

And order, high discourse,
And decency, than which is life less dear,
She has of him: the lyre of language clear,
Love's tongue and source.

XXVIII

She hears him, and can hear
With glory in his gains by work achieved:
With grief for grief that is the unperceived
In her so near.

XXIX

If he aloft for aid
Imploring storms, her essence is the spur.
His cry to heaven is a cry to her
He would evade.

XXX

Not elsewhere can he tend.
Those are her rules which bid him wash foul sins;
Those her revulsions from the skull that grins
To ape his end.

XXXI

And her desires are those
For happiness, for lastingness, for light.
'Tis she who kindles in his haunting night
The hoped dawn-rose.

XXXII

Fair fountains of the dark
Daily she waves him, that his inner dream
May clasp amid the glooms a springing beam,
A quivering lark:

XXIII

This life and her to know
For Spirit: with awakenedness of glee
To feel stern joy her origin: not he
The child of woe.

XXXIV

But that the senses still
Usurp the station of their issue mind,
He would have burst the chrysalis of the blind:
As yet he will;

XXXV

As yet he will, she prays,
Yet will when his distempered devil of Self; -
The glutton for her fruits, the wily elf
In shifting rays; -

XXXVI

That captain of the scorned;
The coveter of life in soul and shell,
The fratricide, the thief, the infidel,
The hoofed and horned; -

XXXVII

He singularly doomed
To what he execrates and writhes to shun; -
When fire has passed him vapour to the sun,
And sun relumed,

XXXVIII

Then shall the horrid pall
Be lifted, and a spirit nigh divine,
'Live in thy offspring as I live in mine,'
Will hear her call.

XXXIX

Whence looks he on a land
Whereon his labour is a carven page;
And forth from heritage to heritage
Nought writ on sand.

XL

His fables of the Above,
And his gapped readings of the crown and sword,
The hell detested and the heaven adored,
The hate, the love,

XLI

The bright wing, the black hoof,
He shall peruse, from Reason not disjoined,
And never unfaith clamouring to be coined
To faith by proof.

XLII

She her just Lord may view,
Not he, her creature, till his soul has yearned
With all her gifts to reach the light discerned
Her spirit through.

XLIIII

Then in him time shall run
As in the hour that to young sunlight crows;
And--'If thou hast good faith it can repose,'
She tells her son.

XLIV

Meanwhile on him, her chief
Expression, her great word of life, looks she;
Twi-minded of him, as the waxing tree,
Or dated leaf.

by George Meredith.

George Mullen's Confession

For the sake of guilty conscience, and the heart that ticks the
time
Of the clockworks of my nature, I desire to say that I'm
A weak and sinful creature, as regards my daily walk
The last five years and better. It ain't worth while to talk--

I've been too mean to tell it! I've been so hard, you see,
And full of pride, and--onry--now there's the word for me--
Just onry--and to show you, I'll give my history
With vital points in question, and I think you'll all agree.

I was always stiff and stubborn since I could recollect,
And had an awful temper, and never would reflect;
And always into trouble--I remember once at school
The teacher tried to flog me, and I reversed that rule.

O I was bad I tell you! And it's a funny move
That a fellow wild as I was could ever fall in love;
And it's a funny notion that an animal like me,
Under a girl's weak fingers was as tame as tame could be!

But it's so, and sets me thinking of the easy way she had
Of cooling down my temper--though I'd be fighting mad.
'My Lion Queen' I called her--when a spell of mine occurred
She'd come in a den of feelings and quell them with a word.

I'll tell you how she loved me--and what her people thought:
When I asked to marry Annie they said 'they reckoned not--
That I cut too many didoes and monkey-shines to suit
Their idea of a son-in-law, and I could go, to boot!'

I tell you that thing riled me! Why, I felt my face turn white,
And my teeth shut like a steel trap, and the fingers of my right
Hand pained me with their pressure--all the rest's a mystery
Till I heard my Annie saying--'I'm going, too, you see.'

We were coming through the gateway, and she wavered for a spell
When she heard her mother crying and her raving father yell
That she wa'n't no child of his'n--like an actor in a play
We saw at Independence, coming through the other day.

Well! that's the way we started. And for days and weeks and
months
And even years we journeyed on, regretting never once
Of starting out together upon the path of life--
Akind o' sort o' husband, but a mighty loving wife,--

And the cutest little baby--little Grace--I see her now
A-standin' on the pig-pen as her mother milked the cow--
And I can hear her shouting--as I stood unloading straw,--
'I'm ain't as big as papa, but I'm biggerest'n ma.'

Now folks that never married don't seem to understand
That a little baby's language is the sweetest ever planned--
Why, I tell you it's pure music, and I'll just go on to say
That I sometimes have a notion that the angels talk that way!

There's a chapter in this story I'd be happy to destroy;
I could burn it up before you with a mighty sight of joy;
But I'll go ahead and give it--not in detail, no, my friend,
For it takes five years of reading before you find the end.

My Annie's folks relented--at least, in some degree;
They sent one time for Annie, but they didn't send for me.
The old man wrote the message with a heart as hot and dry
As a furnace--'Annie Mullen, come and see your mother die.'

I saw the slur intended--why I fancied I could see
The old man shoot the insult like a poison dart at me;
And in that heat of passion I swore an inward oath
That if Annie pleased her father she could never please us both.

I watched her--dark and sullen--as she hurried on her shawl;
I watched her--calm and cruel, though I saw her tear-drops fall;
I watched her--cold and heartless, though I heard her moaning,
call
For mercy from high Heaven--and I smiled throughout it all.

Why even when she kissed me, and her tears were on my brow,
As she murmured, 'George, forgive me--I must go to mother now!'
Such hate there was within me that I answered not at all,
But calm, and cold and cruel, I smiled throughout it all.

But a shadow in the doorway caught my eye, and then the face
Full of innocence and sunshine of little baby Grace.
And I snatched her up and kissed her, and I softened through and
through
For a minute when she told me 'I must kiss her muvver too.'

I remember, at the starting, how I tried to freeze again
As I watched them slowly driving down the little crooked lane--
When Annie shouted something that ended in a cry,
And how I tried to whistle and it fizzled in a sigh.

I remember running after, with a glimmer in my sight--
Pretending I'd discovered that the traces wasn't right;
And the last that I remember, as they disappeared from view,
Was little Grace a-calling, 'I see papa! Howdy-do!'

And left alone to ponder, I again took up my hate
For the old man who would chuckle that I was desolate;
And I mouthed my wrongs in mutters till my pride called up the
pain
His last insult had given me--until I smiled again

Till the wild beast in my nature was raging in the den--
With no one now to quell it, and I wrote a letter then
Full of hissing things, and heated with so hot a heat of hate
That my pen flashed out black lightning at a most terrific rate.

I wrote that 'she had wronged me when she went away from me--
Though to see her dying mother 'twas her father's victory,
And a woman that could waver when her husband's pride was rent
Was no longer worthy of it.' And I shut the house and went.

To tell of my long exile would be of little good--
Though I couldn't half-way tell it, and I wouldn't if I could!
I could tell of California--of a wild and vicious life;
Of trackless plains, and mountains, and the Indian's
scalping-knife.

I could tell of gloomy forests howling wild with threats of
death;
I could tell of fiery deserts that have scorched me with their
breath;
I could tell of wretched outcasts by the hundreds, great and
small,
And could claim the nasty honor of the greatest of them all.

I could tell of toil and hardship; and of sickness and disease,
And hollow-eyed starvation, but I tell you, friend, that these
Are trifles in comparison with what a fellow feels
With that bloodhound, Remorsefulness, forever at his heels.

I remember--worn and weary of the long, long years of care,
When the frost of time was making early harvest of my hair--
I remember, wrecked and hopeless of a rest beneath the sky,
My resolve to quit the country, and to seek the East, and die.

I remember my long journey, like a dull, oppressive dream,
Across the empty prairies till I caught the distant gleam
Of a city in the beauty of its broad and shining stream
On whose bosom, flocked together, float the mighty swans of
steam.

I remember drifting with them till I found myself again
In the rush and roar and rattle of the engine and the train;
And when from my surroundings something spoke of child and wife,
It seemed the train was rumbling through a tunnel in my life.

Then I remember something--like a sudden burst of light--
That don't exactly tell it, but I couldn't tell it right--
A something clinging to me with its arms around my neck--
A little girl, for instance--or an angel, I expect--

For she kissed me, cried and called me 'her dear papa,' and I
felt
My heart was pure virgin gold, and just about to melt--
And so it did--it melted in a mist of gleaming rain
When she took my hand and whispered, 'My mama's on the train.'

There's some things I can dwell on, and get off pretty well,
But the balance of this story I know I couldn't tell;
So I ain't going to try it, for to tell the reason why--
I'm so chicken-hearted lately I'd be certain 'most to cry.

by James Whitcomb Riley.

The Doe: A Fragment (From Wandering Willie)

And-'Yonder look! yoho! yoho!
Nancy is off!' the farmer cried,
Advancing by the river side,
Red-kerchieft and brown-coated;-'So,
My girl, who else could leap like that?
So neatly! like a lady! 'Zounds!
Look at her how she leads the hounds!'
And waving his dusty beaver hat,
He cheered across the chase-filled water,
And clapt his arm about his daughter,
And gave to Joan a courteous hug,
And kiss that, like a stubborn plug
From generous vats in vastness rounded,
The inner wealth and spirit sounded:
Eagerly pointing South, where, lo,
The daintiest, fleetest-footed doe
Led o'er the fields and thro' the furze
Beyond: her lively delicate ears
Prickt up erect, and in her track
A dappled lengthy-striding pack.

Scarce had they cast eyes upon her,
When every heart was wagered on her,
And half in dread, and half delight,
They watched her lovely bounding flight;
As now across the flashing green,
And now beneath the stately trees,
And now far distant in the dene,
She headed on with graceful ease:
Hanging aloft with doubled knees,
At times athwart some hedge or gate;
And slackening pace by slow degrees,
As for the foremost foe to wait.
Renewing her outstripping rate
Whene'er the hot pursuers neared,
By garden wall and paled estate,
Where clambering gazers whooped and cheered.
Here winding under elm and oak,
And slanting up the sunny hill:
Splashing the water here like smoke
Among the mill-holms round the mill.

And-'Let her go; she shows her game,
My Nancy girl, my pet and treasure!'
The farmer sighed: his eyes with pleasure
Brimming: ''Tis my daughter's name,
My second daughter lying yonder.'
And Willie's eye in search did wander,
And caught at once, with moist regard,
The white gleams of a grey churchyard.
'Three weeks before my girl had gone,
And while upon her pillows propped,
She lay at eve; the weakling fawn -
For still it seems a fawn just dropt
A se'nnight-to my Nancy's bed
I brought to make my girl a gift:
The mothers of them both were dead:
And both to bless it was my drift,
By giving each a friend; not thinking
How rapidly my girl was sinking.
And I remember how, to pat
Its neck, she stretched her hand so weak,
And its cold nose against her cheek
Pressed fondly: and I fetched the mat
To make it up a couch just by her,
Where in the lone dark hours to lie:
For neither dear old nurse nor I
Would any single wish deny her.
And there unto the last it lay;
And in the pastures cared to play
Little or nothing: there its meals
And milk I brought: and even now
The creature such affection feels
For that old room that, when and how,
'Tis strange to mark, it slinks and steals
To get there, and all day conceals.
And once when nurse who, since that time,
Keeps house for me, was very sick,
Waking upon the midnight chime,
And listening to the stair-clock's click,
I heard a rustling, half uncertain,
Close against the dark bed-curtain:
And while I thrust my leg to kick,
And feel the phantom with my feet,
A loving tongue began to lick
My left hand lying on the sheet;
And warm sweet breath upon me blew,
And that 'twas Nancy then I knew.
So, for her love, I had good cause
To have the creature 'Nancy' christened.'

He paused, and in the moment's pause,
His eyes and Willie's strangely glistened.
Nearer came Joan, and Bessy hung
With face averted, near enough
To hear, and sob unheard; the young
And careless ones had scampered off
Meantime, and sought the loftiest place
To beacon the approaching chase.

'Daily upon the meads to browse,
Goes Nancy with those dairy cows
You see behind the clematis:
And such a favourite she is,
That when fatigued, and helter skelter,
Among them from her foes to shelter,
She dashes when the chase is over,
They'll close her in and give her cover,
And bend their horns against the hounds,
And low, and keep them out of bounds!
From the house dogs she dreads no harm,
And is good friends with all the farm,
Man, and bird, and beast, howbeit
Their natures seem so opposite.
And she is known for many a mile,
And noted for her splendid style,
For her clear leap and quick slight hoof;
Welcome she is in many a roof.
And if I say, I love her, man!
I say but little: her fine eyes full
Of memories of my girl, at Yule
And May-time, make her dearer than
Dumb brute to men has been, I think.
So dear I do not find her dumb.
I know her ways, her slightest wink,
So well; and to my hand she'll come,
Sidelong, for food or a caress,
Just like a loving human thing.
Nor can I help, I do confess,
Some touch of human sorrowing
To think there may be such a doubt
That from the next world she'll be shut out,
And parted from me! And well I mind
How, when my girl's last moments came,
Her soft eyes very soft and kind,
She joined her hands and prayed the same,
That she 'might meet her father, mother,
Sister Bess, and each dear brother,
And with them, if it might be, one
Who was her last companion.'
Meaning the fawn-the doe you mark -
For my bay mare was then a foal,
And time has passed since then:- but hark!'

For like the shrieking of a soul
Shut in a tomb, a darkened cry
Of inward-wailing agony
Surprised them, and all eyes on each
Fixed in the mute-appealing speech
Of self-reproachful apprehension:
Knowing not what to think or do:
But Joan, recovering first, broke through
The instantaneous suspension,
And knelt upon the ground, and guessed
The bitterness at a glance, and pressed
Into the comfort of her breast
The deep-throed quaking shape that drooped
In misery's wilful aggravation,
Before the farmer as he stooped,
Touched with accusing consternation:
Soothing her as she sobbed aloud:-
'Not me! not me! Oh, no, no, no!
Not me! God will not take me in!
Nothing can wipe away my sin!
I shall not see her: you will go;
You and all that she loves so:
Not me! not me! Oh, no, no, no!'
Colourless, her long black hair,
Like seaweed in a tempest tossed
Tangling astray, to Joan's care
She yielded like a creature lost:
Yielded, drooping toward the ground,
As doth a shape one half-hour drowned,
And heaved from sea with mast and spar,
All dark of its immortal star.
And on that tender heart, inured
To flatter basest grief, and fight
Despair upon the brink of night,
She suffered herself to sink, assured
Of refuge; and her ear inclined
To comfort; and her thoughts resigned
To counsel; her wild hair let brush
From off her weeping brows; and shook
With many little sobs that took
Deeper-drawn breaths, till into sighs,
Long sighs, they sank; and to the 'hush!'
Of Joan's gentle chide, she sought
Childlike to check them as she ought,
Looking up at her infantwise.
And Willie, gazing on them both,
Shivered with bliss through blood and brain,
To see the darling of his troth
Like a maternal angel strain
The sinful and the sinless child
At once on either breast, and there
In peace and promise reconciled
Unite them: nor could Nature's care
With subtler sweet beneficence
Have fed the springs of penitence,
Still keeping true, though harshly tried,
The vital prop of human pride.

by George Meredith.

How The Old Horse Won The Bet

DEDICATED BY A CONTRIBUTOR TO THE COLLEGIAN,
1830, TO THE EDITORS OF THE HARVARD ADVOCATE, 1876.

'T WAS on the famous trotting-ground,
The betting men were gathered round
From far and near; the 'cracks' were there
Whose deeds the sporting prints declare
The swift g. m., Old Hiram's nag,
The fleet s. h., Dan Pfeiffer's brag,
With these a third--and who is he
That stands beside his fast b. g.?
Budd Doble, whose catarrhal name
So fills the nasal trump of fame.
There too stood many a noted steed
Of Messenger and Morgan breed;
Green horses also, not a few;
Unknown as yet what they could do;
And all the hacks that know so well
The scourgings of the Sunday swell.

Blue are the skies of opening day;
The bordering turf is green with May;
The sunshine's golden gleam is thrown
On sorrel, chestnut, bay, and roan;
The horses paw and prance and neigh,
Fillies and colts like kittens play,
And dance and toss their rippled manes
Shining and soft as silken skeins;
Wagons and gigs are ranged about,
And fashion flaunts her gay turn-out;
Here stands--each youthful Jehu's dream
The jointed tandem, ticklish team!
And there in ampler breadth expand
The splendors of the four-in-hand;
On faultless ties and glossy tiles
The lovely bonnets beam their smiles;
(The style's the man, so books avow;
The style's the woman, anyhow);
From flounces frothed with creamy lace
Peeps out the pug-dog's smutty face,
Or spaniel rolls his liquid eye,
Or stares the wiry pet of Skye,--
O woman, in your hours of ease
So shy with us, so free with these!

'Come on! I 'll bet you two to one
I 'll make him do it!' 'Will you? Done!'

What was it who was bound to do?
I did not hear and can't tell you,--
Pray listen till my story's through.

Scarce noticed, back behind the rest,
By cart and wagon rudely prest,
The parson's lean and bony bay
Stood harnessed in his one-horse shay--
Lent to his sexton for the day;
(A funeral--so the sexton said;
His mother's uncle's wife was dead.)

Like Lazarus bid to Dives' feast,
So looked the poor forlorn old beast;
His coat was rough, his tail was bare,
The gray was sprinkled in his hair;
Sportsmen and jockeys knew him not,
And yet they say he once could trot
Among the fleetest of the town,
Till something cracked and broke him down,--
The steed's, the statesman's, common lot!
'And are we then so soon forgot?'
Ah me! I doubt if one of you
Has ever heard the name 'Old Blue,'
Whose fame through all this region rung
In those old days when I was young!

'Bring forth the horse!' Alas! he showed
Not like the one Mazeppa rode;
Scant-maned, sharp-backed, and shaky-kneed,
The wreck of what was once a steed,
Lips thin, eyes hollow, stiff in joints;
Yet not without his knowing points.
The sexton laughing in his sleeve,
As if 't were all a make-believe,
Led forth the horse, and as he laughed
Unhitched the breeching from a shaft,
Unclasped the rusty belt beneath,
Drew forth the snaffle from his teeth,
Slipped off his head-stall, set him free
From strap and rein,--a sight to see!

So worn, so lean in every limb,
It can't be they are saddling him!
It is! his back the pig-skin strides
And flaps his lank, rheumatic sides;
With look of mingled scorn and mirth
They buckle round the saddle-girth;
With horsey wink and saucy toss
A youngster throws his leg across,
And so, his rider on his back,
They lead him, limping, to the track,
Far up behind the starting-point,
To limber out each stiffened joint.

As through the jeering crowd he past,
One pitying look Old Hiram cast;
'Go it, ye cripple, while ye can!'
Cried out unsentimental Dan;
'A Fast-Day dinner for the crows!'
Budd Doble's scoffing shout arose.

Slowly, as when the walking-beam
First feels the gathering head of steam,
With warning cough and threatening wheeze
The stiff old charger crooks his knees;
At first with cautious step sedate,
As if he dragged a coach of state
He's not a colt; he knows full well
That time is weight and sure to tell;
No horse so sturdy but he fears
The handicap of twenty years.

As through the throng on either hand
The old horse nears the judges' stand,
Beneath his jockey's feather-weight
He warms a little to his gait,
And now and then a step is tried
That hints of something like a stride.

'Go!'--Through his ear the summons stung
As if a battle-trump had rung;
The slumbering instincts long unstirred
Start at the old familiar word;
It thrills like flame through every limb,--
What mean his twenty years to him?
The savage blow his rider dealt
Fell on his hollow flanks unfelt;
The spur that pricked his staring hide
Unheeded tore his bleeding side;
Alike to him are spur and rein,--
He steps a five-year-old again!

Before the quarter pole was past,
Old Hiram said, 'He's going fast.'
Long ere the quarter was a half,
The chuckling crowd had ceased to laugh;
Tighter his frightened jockey clung
As in a mighty stride he swung,
The gravel flying in his track,
His neck stretched out, his ears laid back,
His tail extended all the while
Behind him like a rat-tail file!
Off went a shoe,--away it spun,
Shot like a bullet from a gun;

The quaking jockey shapes a prayer
From scraps of oaths he used to swear;
He drops his whip, he drops his rein,
He clutches fiercely for a mane;
He'll lose his hold--he sways and reels--
He'll slide beneath those trampling heels!
The knees of many a horseman quake,
The flowers on many a bonnet shake,
And shouts arise from left and right,
'Stick on! Stick on!' 'Hould tight! Hould tight!'
'Cling round his neck and don't let go--'
'That pace can't hold--there! steady! whoa!'
But like the sable steed that bore
The spectral lover of Lenore,
His nostrils snorting foam and fire,
No stretch his bony limbs can tire;
And now the stand he rushes by,
And 'Stop him!--stop him!' is the cry.
Stand back! he 's only just begun--
He's having out three heats in one!

'Don't rush in front! he'll smash your brains;
But follow up and grab the reins!'
Old Hiram spoke. Dan Pfeiffer heard,
And sprang impatient at the word;
Budd Doble started on his bay,
Old Hiram followed on his gray,
And off they spring, and round they go,
The fast ones doing 'all they know.'
Look! twice they follow at his heels,
As round the circling course he wheels,
And whirls with him that clinging boy
Like Hector round the walls of Troy;
Still on, and on, the third time round
They're tailing off! they're losing ground!
Budd Doble's nag begins to fail!
Dan Pfeiffer's sorrel whisks his tail!
And see! in spite of whip and shout,
Old Hiram's mare is giving out!
Now for the finish! at the turn,
The old horse--all the rest astern--
Comes swinging in, with easy trot;
By Jove! he's distanced all the lot!

That trot no mortal could explain;
Some said, 'Old Dutchman come again!'
Some took his time,--at least they tried,
But what it was could none decide;
One said he couldn't understand
What happened to his second hand;
One said 2.10; that could n't be--
More like two twenty-two or three;
Old Hiram settled it at last;
'The time was two--too dee-vel-ish fast!'

The parson's horse had won the bet;
It cost him something of a sweat;
Back in the one-horse shay he went;
The parson wondered what it meant,
And murmured, with a mild surprise
And pleasant twinkle of the eyes,
That funeral must have been a trick,
Or corpses drive at double-quick;
I should n't wonder, I declare,
If brother--Jehu--made the prayer!

And this is all I have to say
About that tough old trotting bay,
Huddup! Huddup! G'lang! Good day!
Moral for which this tale is told
A horse can trot, for all he 's old.

by Oliver Wendell Holmes.

We have all of us read how the Israelites fled
From Egypt with Pharaoh in eager pursuit of 'em,
And Pharaoh's fierce troop were all put "in the soup"
When the waters rolled softly o'er every galoot of 'em.
The Jews were so glad when old Pharaoh was "had"
That they sounded their timbrels and capered like mad.
You see he was hated from Jordan to Cairo --
Whence comes the expression "to buck against faro".
For forty long years, 'midst perils and fears
In deserts with never a famine to follow by,
The Israelite horde went roaming abroad
Like so many sundowners "out on the wallaby".
When Moses, who led 'em, and taught 'em, and fed 'em,
Was dying, he murmured, "A rorty old hoss you are:
I give you command of the whole of the band" --
And handed the Government over to Joshua.

But Moses told 'em before he died,
"Wherever you are, whatever betide,
Every year as the time draws near
By lot or by rote choose you a goat,
And let the high priest confess on the beast
The sins of the people the worst and the least,
Lay your sins on the goat! Sure the plan ought to suit yer.
Because all your sins are 'his troubles' in future.
Then lead him away to the wilderness black
To die with the weight of your sins on his back:
Of thirst let him perish alone and unshriven,
For thus shall your sins be absolved and forgiven!"

'Tis needless to say, though it reeked of barbarity
This scapegoat arrangement gained great popularity.
By this means a Jew, whate'er he might do,
Though he burgled, or murdered, or cheated at loo,
Or meat on Good Friday (a sin most terrific) ate,
Could get his discharge, like a bankrupt's certificate;
Just here let us note -- Did they choose their best goat?
It's food for conjecture, to judge from the picture
By Hunt in the Gallery close to our door, a
Man well might suppose that the scapegoat they chose
Was a long way from being their choicest Angora.

In fact I should think he was one of their weediest:
'Tis a rule that obtains, no matter who reigns,
When making a sacrifice, offer the seediest;
Which accounts for a theory known to my hearers
Who live in the wild by the wattle beguiled,
That a "stag" makes quite good enough mutton for shearers.
Be that as it may, as each year passed away,
a scapegoat was led to the desert and freighted
With sin (the poor brute must have been overweighted)
And left there -- to die as his fancy dictated.

The day it has come, with trumpet and drum.
With pomp and solemnity fit for the tomb
They lead the old billy-goat off to his doom:
On every hand a reverend band,
Prophets and preachers and elders stand
And the oldest rabbi, with a tear in his eye,
Delivers a sermon to all standing by.
(We haven't his name -- whether Cohen or Harris, he
No doubt was the "poisonest" kind of Pharisee.)
The sermon was marked by a deal of humility
And pointed the fact, with no end of ability.
That being a Gentile's no mark of gentility,
And, according to Samuel, would certainly d--n you well.
Then, shedding his coat, he approaches the goat
And, while a red fillet he carefully pins on him,
Confesses the whole of the Israelites' sins on him.
With this eloquent burst he exhorts the accurst --
"Go forth in the desert and perish in woe,
The sins of the people are whiter than snow!"
Then signs to his pal "for to let the brute go".
(That "pal" as I've heard, is an elegant word,
Derived from the Persian "Palaykhur" or "Pallaghur"),
As the scapegoat strains and tugs at the reins
The Rabbi yells rapidly, "Let her go, Gallagher!"

The animal, freed from all restraint
Lowered his head, made a kind of feint,
And charged straight at that elderly saint.
So fierce his attack and so very severe, it
Quite floored the Rabbi, who, ere he could fly,
Was rammed on the -- no, not the back -- but just near it.
The scapegoat he snorted, and wildly cavorted,
A light-hearted antelope "out on the ramp",
Then stopped, looked around, got the "lay of the ground",
And made a beeline back again to the camp.
The elderly priest, as he noticed the beast
So gallantly making his way to the east,
Says he, "From the tents may I never more roam again
If that there old billy-goat ain't going home again.
He's hurrying, too! This never will do.
Can't somebody stop him? I'm all of a stew.
After all our confessions, so openly granted,
He's taking our sins back to where they're not wanted.
We've come all this distance salvation to win agog,
If he takes home our sins, it'll burst up the Synagogue!"

He turned to an Acolyte who was making his bacca light,
A fleet-footed youth who could run like a crack o' light.
"Run, Abraham, run! Hunt him over the plain,
And drive back the brute to the desert again.
The Sphinx is a-watching, the Pyramids will frown on you,
From those granite tops forty cent'ries look down on you --
Run, Abraham, run! I'll bet half-a-crown on you."
So Abraham ran, like a man did he go for him,
But the goat made it clear each time he drew near
That he had what the racing men call "too much toe" for him.

The crowd with great eagerness studied the race --
"Great Scott! isn't Abraham forcing the pace --
And don't the goat spiel? It is hard to keep sight on him,
The sins of the Israelites ride mighty light on him.
The scapegoat is leading a furlong or more,
And Abraham's tiring -- I'll lay six to four!
He rolls in his stride; he's done, there's no question!"
But here the old Rabbi brought up a suggestion.
('Twas strange that in racing he showed so much cunning),
"It's a hard race," said he, "and I think it would be
A good thing for someone to take up the running."
As soon said as done, they started to run --
The priests and the deacons, strong runners and weak 'uns
All reckoned ere long to come up with the brute,
And so the whole boiling set off in pursuit.
And then it came out, as the rabble and rout
Streamed over the desert with many a shout --
The Rabbi so elderly, grave, and patrician,
Had been in his youth a bold metallician,
And offered, in gasps, as they merrily spieled,
"Any price Abraham! Evens the field!"
Alas! the whole clan, they raced and they ran,
And Abraham proved him an "even time" man,
But the goat -- now a speck they could scarce keep their eyes on --
Stretched out in his stride in a style most surprisin'
And vanished ere long o'er the distant horizon.

Away in the camp the bill-sticker's tramp
Is heard as he wanders with paste, brush, and notices,
And paling and wall he plasters them all,
"I wonder how's things gettin' on with the goat," he says,
The pulls out his bills, "Use Solomon's Pills"
"Great Stoning of Christians! To all devout Jews! you all
Must each bring a stone -- Great sport will be shown;
Enormous Attractions! And prices as usual!
Roll up to the Hall!! Wives, children and all,
For naught the most delicate feelings to hurt is meant!!"
Here his eyes opened wide, for close by his side
Was the scapegoat: And eating his latest advertisement!
One shriek from him burst -- "You creature accurst!"
And he ran from the spot like one fearing the worst.
His language was chaste, as he fled in his haste,
But the goat stayed behind him -- and "scoffed up" the paste.

With downcast head, and sorrowful tread,
The people came back from the desert in dread.
"The goat -- was he back there? Had anyone heard of him?"
In very short order they got plenty word of him.
In fact as they wandered by street, lane and hall,
"The trail of the serpent was over them all."
A poor little child knocked out stiff in the gutter
Proclaimed that the scapegoat was bred for a "butter".
The bill-sticker's pail told a sorrowful tale,
The scapegoat had licked it as dry as a nail;
He raced through their houses, and frightened their spouses,
But his latest achievement most anger arouses,
For while they were searching, and scratching their craniums,
One little Ben Ourbed, who looked in the flow'r-bed,
Discovered him eating the Rabbi's geraniums.


Moral
The moral is patent to all the beholders --
Don't shift your own sins on to other folks' shoulders;
Be kind to dumb creatures and never abuse them,
Nor curse them nor kick them, nor spitefully use them:
Take their lives if needs must -- when it comes to the worst,
But don't let them perish of hunger or thirst.
Remember, no matter how far you may roam
That dogs, goats, and chickens, it's simply the dickens,
Their talent stupendous for "getting back home".
Your sins, without doubt, will aye find you out,
And so will a scapegoat, he's bound to achieve it,
But, die in the wilderness! Don't you believe it!

by Banjo Paterson.

Youth In Memory

Days, when the ball of our vision
Had eagles that flew unabashed to sun;
When the grasp on the bow was decision,
And arrow and hand and eye were one;
When the Pleasures, like waves to a swimmer,
Came heaving for rapture ahead! -
Invoke them, they dwindle, they glimmer
As lights over mounds of the dead.

Behold the winged Olympus, off the mead,
With thunder of wide pinions, lightning speed,
Wafting the shepherd-boy through ether clear,
To bear the golden nectar-cup.
So flies desire at view of its delight,
When the young heart is tiptoe perched on sight.
We meanwhile who in hues of the sick year
The Spring-time paint to prick us for our lost,
Mount but the fatal half way up -
Whereon shut eyes! This is decreed,
For Age that would to youthful heavens ascend,
By passion for the arms' possession tossed,
It falls the way of sighs and hath their end;
A spark gone out to more sepulchral night.
Good if the arrowy eagle of the height
Be then the little bird that hops to feed.

Lame falls the cry to kindle days
Of radiant orb and daring gaze.
It does but clank our mortal chain.
For Earth reads through her felon old
The many-numbered of her fold,
Who forward tottering backward strain,
And would be thieves of treasure spent,
With their grey season soured.
She could write out their history in their thirst
To have again the much devoured,
And be the bud at burst;
In honey fancy join the flow,
Where Youth swims on as once they went,
All choiric for spontaneous glee
Of active eager lungs and thews;
They now bared roots beside the river bent;
Whose privilege themselves to see;
Their place in yonder tideway know;
The current glass peruse;
The depths intently sound;
And sapped by each returning flood
Accept for monitory nourishment
Those worn roped features under crust of mud,
Reflected in the silvery smooth around:
Not less the branching and high singing tree,
A home of nests, a landmark and a tent,
Until their hour for losing hold on ground.
Even such good harvest of the things that flee
Earth offers her subjected, and they choose
Rather of Bacchic Youth one beam to drink,
And warm slow marrow with the sensual wink.
So block they at her source the Mother of the Muse.

Who cheerfully the little bird becomes,
Without a fall, and pipes for peck at crumbs,
May have her dolings to the lightest touch;
As where some cripple muses by his crutch,
Unwitting that the spirit in him sings:
'When I had legs, then had I wings,
As good as any born of eggs,
To feed on all aerial things,
When I had legs!'
And if not to embrace he sighs,
She gives him breath of Youth awhile,
Perspective of a breezy mile,
Companionable hedgeways, lifting skies;
Scenes where his nested dreams upon their hoard
Brooded, or up to empyrean soared:
Enough to link him with a dotted line.
But cravings for an eagle's flight,
To top white peaks and serve wild wine
Among the rosy undecayed,
Bring only flash of shade
From her full throbbing breast of day in night.
By what they crave are they betrayed:
And cavernous is that young dragon's jaw,
Crimson for all the fiery reptile saw
In time now coveted, for teeth to flay,
Once more consume, were Life recurrent May.
They to their moment of drawn breath,
Which is the life that makes the death,
The death that makes ethereal life would bind:
The death that breeds the spectre do they find.
Darkness is wedded and the waste regrets
Beating as dead leaves on a fitful gust,
By souls no longer dowered to climb
Beneath their pack of dust,
Whom envy of a lustrous prime,
Eclipsed while yet invoked, besets,
And dooms to sink and water sable flowers,
That never gladdened eye or loaded bee.
Strain we the arms for Memory's hours,
We are the seized Persephone.
Responsive never to the soft desire
For one prized tune is this our chord of life.
'Tis clipped to deadness with a wanton knife,
In wishes that for ecstasies aspire.
Yet have we glad companionship of Youth,
Elysian meadows for the mind,
Dare we to face deeds done, and in our tomb
Filled with the parti-coloured bloom
Of loved and hated, grasp all human truth
Sowed by us down the mazy paths behind.
To feel that heaven must we that hell sound through:
Whence comes a line of continuity,
That brings our middle station into view,
Between those poles; a novel Earth we see,
In likeness of us, made of banned and blest;
The sower's bed, but not the reaper's rest:
An Earth alive with meanings, wherein meet
Buried, and breathing, and to be.
Then of the junction of the three,
Even as a heart in brain, full sweet
May sense of soul, the sum of music, beat.

Only the soul can walk the dusty track
Where hangs our flowering under vapours black,
And bear to see how these pervade, obscure,
Quench recollection of a spacious pure.
They take phantasmal forms, divide, convolve,
Hard at each other point and gape,
Horrible ghosts! in agony dissolve,
To reappear with one they drape
For criminal, and, Father! shrieking name,
Who such distorted issue did beget.
Accept them, them and him, though hiss thy sweat
Off brow on breast, whose furnace flame
Has eaten, and old Self consumes.
Out of the purification will they leap,
Thee renovating while new light illumes
The dusky web of evil, known as pain,
That heavily up healthward mounts the steep;
Our fleshly road to beacon-fire of brain:
Midway the tameless oceanic brute
Below, whose heave is topped with foam for fruit,
And the fair heaven reflecting inner peace
On righteous warfare, that asks not to cease.

Forth of such passage through black fire we win
Clear hearing of the simple lute,
Whereon, and not on other, Memory plays
For them who can in quietness receive
Her restorative airs: a ditty thin
As note of hedgerow bird in ear of eve,
Or wave at ebb, the shallow catching rays
On a transparent sheet, where curves a glass
To truer heavens than when the breaker neighs
Loud at the plunge for bubbly wreck in roar.
Solidity and bulk and martial brass,
Once tyrants of the senses, faintly score
A mark on pebbled sand or fluid slime,
While present in the spirit, vital there,
Are things that seemed the phantoms of their time;
Eternal as the recurrent cloud, as air
Imperative, refreshful as dawn-dew.
Some evanescent hand on vapour scrawled
Historic of the soul, and heats anew
Its coloured lines where deeds of flesh stand bald.
True of the man, and of mankind 'tis true,
Did we stout battle with the Shade, Despair,
Our cowardice, it blooms; or haply warred
Against the primal beast in us, and flung;
Or cleaving mists of Sorrow, left it starred
Above self-pity slain: or it was Prayer
First taken for Life's cleanser; or the tongue
Spake for the world against this heart; or rings
Old laughter, from the founts of wisdom sprung;
Or clap of wing of joy, that was a throb
From breast of Earth, and did no creature rob:
These quickening live. But deepest at her springs,
Most filial, is an eye to love her young.
And had we it, to see with it, alive
Is our lost garden, flower, bird and hive.
Blood of her blood, aim of her aim, are then
The green-robed and grey-crested sons of men:
She tributary to her aged restores
The living in the dead; she will inspire
Faith homelier than on the Yonder shores,
Abhorring these as mire,
Uncertain steps, in dimness gropes,
With mortal tremours pricking hopes,
And, by the final Bacchic of the lusts
Propelled, the Bacchic of the spirit trusts:
A fervour drunk from mystic hierophants;
Not utterly misled, though blindly led,
Led round fermenting eddies. Faith she plants
In her own firmness as our midway road:
Which rightly Youth has read, though blindly read;
Her essence reading in her toothsome goad;
Spur of bright dreams experience disenchants.
But love we well the young, her road midway
The darknesses runs consecrated clay.
Despite our feeble hold on this green home,
And the vast outer strangeness void of dome,
Shall we be with them, of them, taught to feel,
Up to the moment of our prostrate fall,
The life they deem voluptuously real
Is more than empty echo of a call,
Or shadow of a shade, or swing of tides;
As brooding upon age, when veins congeal,
Grey palsy nods to think. With us for guides,
Another step above the animal,
To views in Alpine thought are they helped on.
Good if so far we live in them when gone!

And there the arrowy eagle of the height
Becomes the little bird that hops to feed,
Glad of a crumb, for tempered appetite
To make it wholesome blood and fruitful seed.
Then Memory strikes on no slack string,
Nor sectional will varied Life appear:
Perforce of soul discerned in mind, we hear
Earth with her Onward chime, with Winter Spring.
And ours the mellow note, while sharing joys
No more subjecting mortals who have learnt
To build for happiness on equipoise,
The Pleasures read in sparks of substance burnt;
Know in our seasons an integral wheel,
That rolls us to a mark may yet be willed.
This, the truistic rubbish under heel
Of all the world, we peck at and are filled.

by George Meredith.

Book V - Part 05 - Origins Of Vegetable And Animal Life

And now to what remains!- Since I've resolved
By what arrangements all things come to pass
Through the blue regions of the mighty world,-
How we can know what energy and cause
Started the various courses of the sun
And the moon's goings, and by what far means
They can succumb, the while with thwarted light,
And veil with shade the unsuspecting lands,
When, as it were, they blink, and then again
With open eye survey all regions wide,
Resplendent with white radiance- I do now
Return unto the world's primeval age
And tell what first the soft young fields of earth
With earliest parturition had decreed
To raise in air unto the shores of light
And to entrust unto the wayward winds.

In the beginning, earth gave forth, around
The hills and over all the length of plains,
The race of grasses and the shining green;
The flowery meadows sparkled all aglow
With greening colour, and thereafter, lo,
Unto the divers kinds of trees was given
An emulous impulse mightily to shoot,
With a free rein, aloft into the air.
As feathers and hairs and bristles are begot
The first on members of the four-foot breeds
And on the bodies of the strong-y-winged,
Thus then the new Earth first of all put forth
Grasses and shrubs, and afterward begat
The mortal generations, there upsprung-
Innumerable in modes innumerable-
After diverging fashions. For from sky
These breathing-creatures never can have dropped,
Nor the land-dwellers ever have come up
Out of sea-pools of salt. How true remains,
How merited is that adopted name
Of earth- "The Mother!"- since from out the earth
Are all begotten. And even now arise
From out the loams how many living things-
Concreted by the rains and heat of the sun.
Wherefore 'tis less a marvel, if they sprang
In Long Ago more many, and more big,
Matured of those days in the fresh young years
Of earth and ether. First of all, the race
Of the winged ones and parti-coloured birds,
Hatched out in spring-time, left their eggs behind;
As now-a-days in summer tree-crickets
Do leave their shiny husks of own accord,
Seeking their food and living. Then it was
This earth of thine first gave unto the day
The mortal generations; for prevailed
Among the fields abounding hot and wet.
And hence, where any fitting spot was given,
There 'gan to grow womb-cavities, by roots
Affixed to earth. And when in ripened time
The age of the young within (that sought the air
And fled earth's damps) had burst these wombs, O then
Would Nature thither turn the pores of earth
And make her spurt from open veins a juice
Like unto milk; even as a woman now
Is filled, at child-bearing, with the sweet milk,
Because all that swift stream of aliment
Is thither turned unto the mother-breasts.
There earth would furnish to the children food;
Warmth was their swaddling cloth, the grass their bed
Abounding in soft down. Earth's newness then
Would rouse no dour spells of the bitter cold,
Nor extreme heats nor winds of mighty powers-
For all things grow and gather strength through time
In like proportions; and then earth was young.

Wherefore, again, again, how merited
Is that adopted name of Earth- The Mother!-
Since she herself begat the human race,
And at one well-nigh fixed time brought forth
Each breast that ranges raving round about
Upon the mighty mountains and all birds
Aerial with many a varied shape.
But, lo, because her bearing years must end,
She ceased, like to a woman worn by eld.
For lapsing aeons change the nature of
The whole wide world, and all things needs must take
One status after other, nor aught persists
Forever like itself. All things depart;
Nature she changeth all, compelleth all
To transformation. Lo, this moulders down,
A-slack with weary eld, and that, again,
Prospers in glory, issuing from contempt.
In suchwise, then, the lapsing aeons change
The nature of the whole wide world, and earth
Taketh one status after other. And what
She bore of old, she now can bear no longer,
And what she never bore, she can to-day.

In those days also the telluric world
Strove to beget the monsters that upsprung
With their astounding visages and limbs-
The Man-woman- a thing betwixt the twain,
Yet neither, and from either sex remote-
Some gruesome Boggles orphaned of the feet,
Some widowed of the hands, dumb Horrors too
Without a mouth, or blind Ones of no eye,
Or Bulks all shackled by their legs and arms
Cleaving unto the body fore and aft,
Thuswise, that never could they do or go,
Nor shun disaster, nor take the good they would.
And other prodigies and monsters earth
Was then begetting of this sort- in vain,
Since Nature banned with horror their increase,
And powerless were they to reach unto
The coveted flower of fair maturity,
Or to find aliment, or to intertwine
In works of Venus. For we see there must
Concur in life conditions manifold,
If life is ever by begetting life
To forge the generations one by one:
First, foods must be; and, next, a path whereby
The seeds of impregnation in the frame
May ooze, released from the members all;
Last, the possession of those instruments
Whereby the male with female can unite,
The one with other in mutual ravishments.

And in the ages after monsters died,
Perforce there perished many a stock, unable
By propagation to forge a progeny.
For whatsoever creatures thou beholdest
Breathing the breath of life, the same have been
Even from their earliest age preserved alive
By cunning, or by valour, or at least
By speed of foot or wing. And many a stock
Remaineth yet, because of use to man,
And so committed to man's guardianship.
Valour hath saved alive fierce lion-breeds
And many another terrorizing race,
Cunning the foxes, flight the antlered stags.
Light-sleeping dogs with faithful heart in breast,
However, and every kind begot from seed
Of beasts of draft, as, too, the woolly flocks
And horned cattle, all, my Memmius,
Have been committed to guardianship of men.
For anxiously they fled the savage beasts,
And peace they sought and their abundant foods,
Obtained with never labours of their own,
Which we secure to them as fit rewards
For their good service. But those beasts to whom
Nature has granted naught of these same things-
Beasts quite unfit by own free will to thrive
And vain for any service unto us
In thanks for which we should permit their kind
To feed and be in our protection safe-
Those, of a truth, were wont to be exposed,
Enshackled in the gruesome bonds of doom,
As prey and booty for the rest, until
Nature reduced that stock to utter death.

But Centaurs ne'er have been, nor can there be
Creatures of twofold stock and double frame,
Compact of members alien in kind,
Yet formed with equal function, equal force
In every bodily part- a fact thou mayst,
However dull thy wits, well learn from this:
The horse, when his three years have rolled away,
Flowers in his prime of vigour; but the boy
Not so, for oft even then he gropes in sleep
After the milky nipples of the breasts,
An infant still. And later, when at last
The lusty powers of horses and stout limbs,
Now weak through lapsing life, do fail with age,
Lo, only then doth youth with flowering years
Begin for boys, and clothe their ruddy cheeks
With the soft down. So never deem, percase,
That from a man and from the seed of horse,
The beast of draft, can Centaurs be composed
Or e'er exist alive, nor Scyllas be-
The half-fish bodies girdled with mad dogs-
Nor others of this sort, in whom we mark
Members discordant each with each; for ne'er
At one same time they reach their flower of age
Or gain and lose full vigour of their frame,
And never burn with one same lust of love,
And never in their habits they agree,
Nor find the same foods equally delightsome-
Sooth, as one oft may see the bearded goats
Batten upon the hemlock which to man
Is violent poison. Once again, since flame
Is wont to scorch and burn the tawny bulks
Of the great lions as much as other kinds
Of flesh and blood existing in the lands,
How could it be that she, Chimaera lone,
With triple body- fore, a lion she;
And aft, a dragon; and betwixt, a goat-
Might at the mouth from out the body belch
Infuriate flame? Wherefore, the man who feigns
Such beings could have been engendered
When earth was new and the young sky was fresh
(Basing his empty argument on new)
May babble with like reason many whims
Into our ears: he'll say, perhaps, that then
Rivers of gold through every landscape flowed,
That trees were wont with precious stones to flower,
Or that in those far aeons man was born
With such gigantic length and lift of limbs
As to be able, based upon his feet,
Deep oceans to bestride; or with his hands
To whirl the firmament around his head.
For though in earth were many seeds of things
In the old time when this telluric world
First poured the breeds of animals abroad,
Still that is nothing of a sign that then
Such hybrid creatures could have been begot
And limbs of all beasts heterogeneous
Have been together knit; because, indeed,
The divers kinds of grasses and the grains
And the delightsome trees- which even now
Spring up abounding from within the earth-
Can still ne'er be begotten with their stems
Begrafted into one; but each sole thing
Proceeds according to its proper wont
And all conserve their own distinctions based
In Nature's fixed decree.

by Lucretius.

A Satyre Against Mankind

Were I - who to my cost already am
One of those strange, prodigious creatures, man -
A spirit free to choose for my own share
What sort of flesh and blood I pleased to wear,
I'd be a dog, a monkey, or a bear,
Or anything but that vain animal,
Who is so proud of being rational.

His senses are too gross; and he'll contrive
A sixth, to contradict the other five;
And before certain instinct will prefer
Reason, which fifty times for one does err.
Reason, an ignis fatuus of the mind,
Which leaving light of nature, sense, behind,
Pathless and dangerous wand'ring ways it takes,
Through Error's fenny bogs and thorny brakes;
Whilst the misguided follower climbs with pain
Mountains of whimseys, heaped in his own brain;
Stumbling from thought to thought, falls headlong down,
Into Doubt's boundless sea where, like to drown,
Books bear him up awhile, and make him try
To swim with bladders of Philosophy;
In hopes still to o'ertake the escaping light;
The vapour dances, in his dancing sight,
Till spent, it leaves him to eternal night.
Then old age and experience, hand in hand,
Lead him to death, make him to understand,
After a search so painful, and so long,
That all his life he has been in the wrong:

Huddled In dirt the reasoning engine lies,
Who was so proud, so witty, and so wise.
Pride drew him in, as cheats their bubbles catch,
And made him venture; to be made a wretch.
His wisdom did has happiness destroy,
Aiming to know that world he should enjoy;
And Wit was his vain, frivolous pretence
Of pleasing others, at his own expense.
For wits are treated just like common whores,
First they're enjoyed, and then kicked out of doors;
The pleasure past, a threatening doubt remains,
That frights th' enjoyer with succeeding pains:
Women and men of wit are dangerous tools,
And ever fatal to admiring fools.
Pleasure allures, and when the fops escape,
'Tis not that they're beloved, but fortunate,
And therefore what they fear, at heart they hate:

But now, methinks some formal band and beard
Takes me to task; come on sir, I'm prepared:

"Then by your Favour, anything that's writ
Against this jibing, jingling knack called Wit
Likes me abundantly: but you take care
Upon this point not to be too severe.
Perhaps my Muse were fitter for this part,
For I profess I can be very smart
On Wit, which I abhor with all my heart;
I long to lash it in some sharp essay,
But your grand indiscretion bids me stay,
And turns my tide of ink another way.
What rage Torments in your degenerate mind,
To make you rail at reason, and mankind
Blessed glorious man! To whom alone kind heaven
An everlasting soul hath freely given;
Whom his great maker took such care to make,
That from himself he did the image take;
And this fair frame in shining reason dressed,
To dignify his nature above beast.
Reason, by whose aspiring influence
We take a flight beyond material sense,
Dive into mysteries, then soaring pierce
The flaming limits of the universe,
Search heaven and hell, Find out what's acted there,
And give the world true grounds of hope and fear."

Hold mighty man, I cry, all this we know,
From the pathetic pen of Ingelo;
From Patrlck's Pilgrim, Sibbes' Soliloquies,
And 'tis this very reason I despise,
This supernatural gift that makes a mite
Think he's an image of the infinite;
Comparing his short life, void of all rest,
To the eternal, and the ever-blessed.
This busy, pushing stirrer-up of doubt,
That frames deep mysteries, then finds them out;
Filling with frantic crowds of thinking fools
The reverend bedlam's, colleges and schools;
Borne on whose wings each heavy sot can pierce
The limits of the boundless universe;
So charming ointments make an old witch fly,
And bear a crippled carcass through the sky.
'Tis the exalted power whose business lies
In nonsense and impossibilities.
This made a whimsical philosopher
Before the spacious world his tub prefer,
And we have modern cloistered coxcombs, who
Retire to think 'cause they have nought to do.
But thoughts are given for action's government;
Where action ceases, thought's impertinent:
Our sphere of action is life's happiness,
And he that thinks beyond thinks like an ass.

Thus, whilst against false reasoning I inveigh.
I own right reason, which I would obey:
That reason which distinguishes by sense,
And gives us rules of good and ill from thence;
That bounds desires. with a reforming will
To keep 'em more in vigour, not to kill. -
Your reason hinders, mine helps to enjoy,
Renewing appetites yours would destroy.
My reason is my friend, yours is a cheat,
Hunger calls out, my reason bids me eat;
Perversely. yours your appetite does mock:
This asks for food, that answers, 'what's o'clock'
This plain distinction, sir, your doubt secures,
'Tis not true reason I despise, but yours.
Thus I think reason righted, but for man,
I'll ne'er recant, defend him if you can:
For all his pride, and his philosophy,
'Tis evident: beasts are in their own degree
As wise at least, and better far than he.

Those creatures are the wisest who attain. -
By surest means. the ends at which they aim.
If therefore Jowler finds and kills the hares,
Better than Meres supplies committee chairs;
Though one's a statesman, th' other but a hound,
Jowler in justice would be wiser found.
You see how far man's wisdom here extends.
Look next if human nature makes amends;
Whose principles are most generous and just,
- And to whose morals you would sooner trust:

Be judge yourself, I'll bring it to the test,
Which is the basest creature, man or beast
Birds feed on birds, beasts on each other prey,
But savage man alone does man betray:
Pressed by necessity; they kill for food,
Man undoes man, to do himself no good.
With teeth and claws, by nature armed, they hunt
Nature's allowance, to supply their want.
But man, with smiles, embraces. friendships. Praise,
Inhumanely his fellow's life betrays;
With voluntary pains works his distress,
Not through necessity, but wantonness.
For hunger or for love they bite, or tear,
Whilst wretched man is still in arms for fear.
For fear he arms, and is of arms afraid:
From fear, to fear, successively betrayed.
Base fear, the source whence his best passions came.
His boasted honour, and his dear-bought fame.
The lust of power, to whom he's such a slave,
And for the which alone he dares be brave;
To which his various projects are designed,
Which makes him generous, affable, and kind.
For which he takes such pains to be thought wise,
And screws his actions, in a forced disguise;
Leads a most tedious life in misery,
Under laborious, mean hypocrisy.
Look to the bottom of his vast design,
Wherein man's wisdom, power, and glory join:
The good he acts. the ill he does endure.
'Tis all from fear, to make himself secure.
Merely for safety after fame they thirst,
For all men would be cowards if they durst.
And honesty's against all common sense,
Men must be knaves, 'tis in their own defence.
Mankind's dishonest: if you think it fair
Among known cheats to play upon the square,
You'll be undone.
Nor can weak truth your reputation save,
The knaves will all agree to call you knave.
Wronged shall he live, insulted o'er, oppressed,
Who dares be less a villain than the rest.

Thus sir, you see what human nature craves,
Most men are cowards, all men should be knaves;
The difference lies, as far as I can see.
Not in the thing itself, but the degree;
And all the subject matter of debate
Is only, who's a knave of the first rate

All this with indignation have I hurled
At the pretending part of the proud world,
Who, swollen with selfish vanity, devise,
False freedoms, holy cheats, and formal lies,
Over their fellow slaves to tyrannise.

But if in Court so just a man there be,
(In Court, a just man - yet unknown to me)
Who does his needful flattery direct
Not to oppress and ruin, but protect:
Since flattery, which way soever laid,
Is still a tax: on that unhappy trade.
If so upright a statesman you can find,
Whose passions bend to his unbiased mind,
Who does his arts and policies apply
To raise his country, not his family;
Nor while his pride owned avarice withstands,
Receives close bribes, from friends corrupted hands.

Is there a churchman who on God relies
Whose life, his faith and doctrine justifies
Not one blown up, with vain prelatic pride,
Who for reproofs of sins does man deride;
Whose envious heart makes preaching a pretence
With his obstreperous, saucy eloquence,
To chide at kings, and rail at men of sense;
Who from his pulpit vents more peevlsh lies,
More bitter railings, scandals, calumnies,
Than at a gossiping are thrown about
When the good wives get drunk, and then fall out.
None of that sensual tribe, whose talents lie
In avarice, pride, sloth, and gluttony.
Who hunt good livings; but abhor good lives,
Whose lust exalted, to that height arrives,
They act adultery with their own wives.
And ere a score of years completed be,
Can from the loftiest pulpit proudly see,
Half a large parish their own progeny.
Nor doting bishop, who would be adored
For domineering at the Council board;

A greater fop, in business at fourscore,
Fonder of serious toys, affected more,
Than the gay, glittering fool at twenty proves,
With all his noise, his tawdry clothes and loves.
But a meek, humble man, of honest sense,
Who preaching peace does practise continence;
Whose pious life's a proof he does believe
Mysterious truths which no man can conceive.

If upon Earth there dwell such god-like men,
I'll here recant my paradox to them,
Adores those shrines of virtue, homage pay,
And with the rabble world their laws obey.

If such there are, yet grant me this at least,
Man differs more from man than man from beast.

by Lord John Wilmot.

Were I (who to my cost already am
One of those strange prodigious Creatures Man)
A Spirit free, to choose for my own share,
What Case of Flesh, and Blood, I pleas'd to weare,
I'd be a Dog, a Monkey, or a Bear,
Or any thing but that vain Animal,
Who is so proud of being rational.
The senses are too gross, and he'll contrive
A Sixth, to contradict the other Five;
And before certain instinct, will preferr
Reason, which Fifty times for one does err.
Reason, an Ignis fatuus, in the Mind,
Which leaving light of Nature, sense behind;
Pathless and dang'rous wandring ways it takes,
Through errors Fenny -- Boggs, and Thorny Brakes;
Whilst the misguided follower, climbs with pain,
Mountains of Whimseys, heap'd in his own Brain:
Stumbling from thought to thought, falls headlong down,
Into doubts boundless Sea, where like to drown,
Books bear him up awhile, and make him try,
To swim with Bladders of Philosophy;
In hopes still t'oretake th'escaping light,
The Vapour dances in his dazling sight,
Till spent, it leaves him to eternal Night.
Then Old Age, and experience, hand in hand,
Lead him to death, and make him understand,
After a search so painful, and so long,
That all his Life he has been in the wrong;
Hudled in dirt, the reas'ning Engine lyes,
Who was so proud, so witty, and so wise.
Pride drew him in, as Cheats, their Bubbles catch,
And makes him venture, to be made a Wretch.
His wisdom did his happiness destroy,
Aiming to know that World he shou'd enjoy;
And Wit, was his vain frivolous pretence,
Of pleasing others, at his own expence.
For Witts are treated just like common Whores,
First they're enjoy'd, and then kickt out of Doores:
The pleasure past, a threatning doubt remains,
That frights th'enjoyer, with succeeding pains:
Women and Men of Wit, are dang'rous Tools,
And ever fatal to admiring Fools.
Pleasure allures, and when the Fopps escape,
'Tis not that they're belov'd, but fortunate,
And therefore what they fear, at heart they hate.
But now methinks some formal Band, and Beard,
Takes me to task, come on Sir I'm prepar'd.
Then by your favour, any thing that's writ
Against this gibeing jingling knack call'd Wit,
Likes me abundantly, but you take care,
Upon this point, not to be too severe.
Perhaps my Muse, were fitter for this part,
For I profess, I can be very smart
On Wit, which I abhor with all my heart:
I long to lash it in some sharp Essay,
But your grand indiscretion bids me stay,
And turns my Tide of Ink another way.
What rage ferments in your degen'rate mind,
To make you rail at Reason, and Mankind?
Blest glorious Man! to whom alone kind Heav'n,
An everlasting Soul has freely giv'n;
Whom his great Maker took such care to make,
That from himself he did the Image take;
And this fair frame, in shining Reason drest,
To dignifie his Nature, above Beast.
Reason, by whose aspiring influence,
We take a flight beyond material sense,
Dive into Mysteries, then soaring pierce,
The flaming limits of the Universe,
Search Heav'n and Hell, find out what's acted there,
And give the World true grounds of hope and fear.
Hold mighty Man, I cry, all this we know,
From the Pathetique Pen of Ingello;
From Patricks Pilgrim, Stilling fleets replyes,
And 'tis this very reason I despise.
This supernatural gift, that makes a Myte -- ,
Think he's the Image of the Infinite:
Comparing his short life, void of all rest,
To the Eternal, and the ever blest.
This busie, puzling, stirrer up of doubt,
That frames deep Mysteries, then finds 'em out;
Filling with Frantick Crowds of thinking Fools,
Those Reverend Bedlams, Colledges, and Schools;
Borne on whose Wings, each heavy Sot can pierce,
The limits of the boundless Universe.
So charming Oyntments, make an Old Witch flie,
And bear a Crippled Carcass through the Skie.
'Tis this exalted Pow'r, whose bus'ness lies,
In Nonsense, and impossibilities.
This made a Whimsical Philosopher,
Before the spacious World, his Tub prefer,
And we have modern Cloysterd Coxcombs, who
Retire to think, cause they have naught to do.
But thoughts, are giv'n, for Actions government,
Where Action ceases, thoughts impertinent:
Our Sphere of Action, is lifes happiness,
And he who thinks Beyond, thinks like an Ass.
Thus, whilst against false reas'ning I inveigh,
I own right Reason, which I wou'd obey:
That Reason that distinguishes by sense,
And gives us Rules, of good, and ill from thence:
That bounds desires, with a reforming Will,
To keep 'em more in vigour, not to kill.
Your Reason hinders, mine helps t'enjoy,
Renewing Appetites, yours wou'd destroy.
My Reason is my Friend, yours is a Cheat,
Hunger call's out, my Reason bids me eat;
Perversly yours, your Appetite does mock,
This asks for Food, that answers what's a Clock?
This plain distinction Sir your doubt secures,
'Tis not true Reason I despise but yours.
Thus I think Reason righted, but for Man,
I'le nere recant defend him if you can.
For all his Pride, and his Philosophy,
'Tis evident, Beasts are in their degree,
As wise at least, and better far than he.
Those Creatures, are the wisest who attain,
By surest means, the ends at which they aim.
If therefore Jowler, finds, and Kills his Hares,
Better than Meres, supplyes Committee Chairs;
Though one's a States-man, th'other but a Hound,
Jowler, in Justice, wou'd be wiser found.
You see how far Mans wisedom here extends,
Look next, if humane Nature makes amends;
Whose Principles, most gen'rous are, and just,
And to whose Moralls, you wou'd sooner trust.
Be judge your self, I'le bring it to the test,
Which is the basest Creature Man, or Beast?
Birds, feed on Birds, Beasts, on each other prey,
But Savage Man alone, does Man, betray:
Prest by necessity, they Kill for Food,
Man, undoes Man, to do himself no good.
With Teeth, and Claws, by Nature arm'd they hunt,
Natures allowance, to supply their want.
But Man, with smiles, embraces, Friendships, praise,
Unhumanely his Fellows life betrays;
With voluntary pains, works his distress,
Not through necessity, but wantonness.
For hunger, or for Love, they fight, or tear,
Whilst wretched Man, is still in Arms for fear;
For fear he armes, and is of Armes afraid,
By fear, to fear, successively betray'd.
Base fear, the source whence his best passion came,
His boasted Honor, and his dear bought Fame.
That lust of Pow'r, to which he's such a Slave,
And for the which alone he dares be brave:
To which his various Projects are design'd,
Which makes him gen'rous, affable, and kind.
For which he takes such pains to be thought wise,
And screws his actions, in a forc'd disguise:
Leading a tedious life in Misery,
Under laborious, mean Hypocrisie.
Look to the bottom, of his vast design,
Wherein Mans Wisdom, Pow'r, and Glory joyn;
The good he acts, the ill he does endure,
'Tis all for fear, to make himself secure.
Meerly for safety, after Fame we thirst,
For all Men, wou'd be Cowards if they durst.
And honesty's against all common sense,
Men must be Knaves, 'tis in their own defence.
Mankind's dishonest, if you think it fair,
Amongst known Cheats, to play upon the square,
You'le be undone --
Nor can weak truth, your reputation save,
The Knaves, will all agree to call you Knave.
Wrong'd shall he live, insulted o're, opprest,
Who dares be less a Villain, than the rest.
Thus Sir you see what humane Nature craves,
Most Men are Cowards, all Men shou'd be Knaves:
The diff'rence lyes (as far as I can see)
Not in the thing it self, but the degree;
And all the subject matter of debate,
Is only who's a Knave, of the first Rate?
All this with indignation have I hurl'd,
At the pretending part of the proud World,
Who swolne with selfish vanity, devise,
False freedomes, holy Cheats, and formal Lyes
Over their fellow Slaves to tyrannize.
But if in Court, so just a Man there be,
(In Court, a just Man, yet unknown to me)
Who does his needful flattery direct,
Not to oppress, and ruine, but protect;
Since flattery, which way so ever laid,
Is still a Tax on that unhappy Trade.
If so upright a States-Man, you can find,
Whose passions bend to his unbyass'd Mind;
Who does his Arts, and Pollicies apply,
To raise his Country, not his Family;
Nor while his Pride own'd Avarice withstands,
Receives close Bribes, from Friends corrupted hands.
Is there a Church-Man who on God relyes?
Whose Life, his Faith, and Doctrine Justifies?
Not one blown up, with vain Prelatique Pride,
Who for reproof of Sins, does Man deride:
Whose envious heart makes preaching a pretence
With his obstrep'rous sawcy Eloquence,
To chide at Kings, and raile at Men of sense.
Who from his Pulpit, vents more peevish Lyes,
More bitter railings, scandals, Calumnies,
Than at a Gossipping, are thrown about,
When the good Wives, get drunk, and then fall out.
None of that sensual Tribe, whose Tallents lye,
In Avarice, Pride, Sloth, and Gluttony.
Who hunt good Livings, but abhor good Lives,
Whose Lust exalted, to that height arrives,
They act Adultery with their own Wives.
And e're a score of Years compleated be,
Can from the lofty Pulpit proudly see,
Half a large Parish, their own Progeny.
Nor doating Bishop who wou'd be ador'd,
For domineering at the Councel Board;
A greater Fop, in business at Fourscore,
Fonder of serious Toyes, affected more,
Than the gay glitt'ring Fool, at Twenty proves,
With all his noise, his tawdrey Cloths, and Loves.
But a meek humble Man, of honest sense,
Who Preaching peace, does practice continence;
Whose pious life's a proof he does believe,
Misterious truths, which no Man can conceive.
If upon Earth there dwell such God-like Men,
I'le here recant my Paradox to them,
Adore those Shrines of Virtue, Homage pay,
And with the Rabble World, their Laws obey.
If such there are, yet grant me this at least,
Man differs more from Man, than Man from Beast.

by Lord John Wilmot.

Custer: Book Third

I

As in the long dead days marauding hosts
Of Indians came from far Siberian coasts,
And drove the peaceful Aztecs from their grounds,
Despoiled their homes (but left their tell-tale mounds),
So has the white man with the Indians done.
Now with their backs against the setting sun
The remnants of a dying nation stand
And view the lost domain, once their beloved land.

II

Upon the vast Atlantic's leagues of shore
The happy red man's tent is seen no more;
And from the deep blue lakes which mirror heaven
His bounding bark canoe was long since driven.
The mighty woods, those temples where his God
Spoke to his soul, are leveled to the sod;
And in their place tall church spires point above,
While priests proclaim the law of Christ, the King of Love.

III

The avaricious and encroaching rail
Seized the wide fields which knew the Indians' trail.
Back to the reservations in the West
The native owners of the land were pressed,
And selfish cities, harbingers of want,
Shut from their vision each accustomed haunt.
Yet hungry Progress, never satisfied,
Gazed on the western plains, and gazing, longed and sighed.

IV

As some strange bullock in a pasture field
Compels the herds to fear him, and to yield
The juicy grass plots and the cooling shade
Until, despite their greater strength, afraid,
They huddle in some corner spot and cower
Before the monarch's all controlling power,
So has the white man driven from its place
By his aggressive greed, Columbia's native race.

V

Yet when the bull pursues the herds at bay,
Incensed they turn, and dare dispute his sway.
And so the Indians turned, when men forgot
Their sacred word, and trespassed on the spot,
The lonely little spot of all their lands,
The reservation of the peaceful bands.
But lust for gold all conscience kills in man,
'Gold in the Black Hills, gold!' the cry arose and ran

VI

From lip to lip, as flames from tree to tree
Leap till the forest is one fiery sea,
And through the country surged that hot unrest
Which thirst for riches wakens in the breast.
In mighty throngs the fortune hunters came,
Despoiled the red man's lands and slew his game,
Broke solemn treaties and defied the law.
And all these ruthless acts the Nation knew and saw.

VII

Man is the only animal that kills
Just for the wanton love of slaughter; spills
The blood of lesser things to see it flow;
Lures like a friend, to murder like a foe
The trusting bird and beast; and, coward like,
Deals covert blows he dare not boldly strike.
The brutes have finer souls, and only slay
When torn by hunger's pangs, or when to fear a prey.

VIII

The pale-faced hunter, insolent and bold,
Pursued the bison while he sought for gold.
And on the hungry red man's own domains
He left the rotting and unused remains
To foul with sickening stench each passing wind
And rouse the demon in the savage mind,
Save in the heart where virtues dominate
Injustice always breeds its natural offspring-hate.

IX

The chieftain of the Sioux, great Sitting Bull,
Mused o'er their wrongs, and felt his heart swell full
Of bitter vengeance. Torn with hate's unrest
He called a council and his braves addressed.
'From fair Wisconsin's shimmering lakes of blue
Long years ago the white man drove the Sioux.
Made bold by conquest, and inflamed by greed,
He still pursues our tribes, and still our ranks recede.

X

'Fair are the White Chief's promises and words,
But dark his deeds who robs us of our herds.
He talks of treaties, asks the right to buy,
Then takes by force, not waiting our reply.
He grants us lands for pastures and abodes
To devastate them by his iron roads.
But now from happy Spirit Lands, a friend
Draws near the hunted Sioux, to strengthen and defend.

XI

'While walking in the fields I saw a star;
Unconsciously I followed it afar-
It led me on to valleys filled with light,
Where danced our noble chieftains slain in fight.
Black Kettle, first of all that host I knew,
He whom the strong armed Custer foully slew.
And then a spirit took me by the hand,
The Great Messiah King who comes to free the land.

XII

'Suns were his eyes, a speaking tear his voice,
Whose rainbow sounds made listening hearts rejoice
And thus he spake: 'The red man's hour draws near
When all his lost domains shall reappear.
The elk, the deer, the bounding antelope,
Shall here return to grace each grassy slope.'
He waved his hand above the fields, and lo!
Down through the valleys came a herd of buffalo.

XIII

'The wondrous vision vanished, but I knew
That Sitting Bull must make the promise true.
Great Spirits plan what mortal man achieves,
The hand works magic when the heart believes.
Arouse, ye braves! let not the foe advance.
Arm for the battle and begin the dance-
The sacred dance in honor of our slain,
Who will return to earth, ere many moons shall wane.'

XIV

Thus Sitting Bull, the chief of wily knaves,
Worked on the superstitions of his braves.
Mixed truth with lies; and stirred to mad unrest
The warlike instinct in each savage breast.
A curious product of unhappy times,
The natural offspring of unnumbered crimes,
He used low cunning and dramatic arts
To startle and surprise those crude untutored hearts.

XV

Out from the lodges pour a motley throng,
Slow measures chanting of a dirge-like song.
In one great circle dizzily they swing,
A squaw and chief alternate in the ring.
Coarse raven locks stream over robes of white,
Their deep set orbs emit a lurid light,
And as through pine trees moan the winds refrains,
So swells and dies away, the ghostly graveyard strains.

XVI

Like worded wine is music to the ear,
And long indulged makes mad the hearts that hear.
The dancers, drunken with the monotone
Of oft repeated notes, now shriek and groan
And pierce their ruddy flesh with sharpened spears;
Still more excited when the blood appears,
With warlike yells, high in the air they bound,
Then in a deathlike trance fall prostrate on the ground.

XVII

They wake to tell weird stories of the dead,
While fresh performers to the ring are led.
The sacred nature of the dance is lost,
War is their cry, red war, at any cost.
Insane for blood they wait for no command,
But plunge marauding through the frightened land.
Their demon hearts on devils' pleasures bent,
For each new foe surprised, new torturing deaths invent.

XVIII

Staked to the earth one helpless creature lies,
Flames at his feet and splinters in his eyes.
Another groans with coals upon his breast,
While 'round the pyre the Indians dance and jest.
A crying child is brained upon a tree,
The swooning mother saved from death, to be
The slave and plaything of a filthy knave,
Whose sins would startle hell, whose clay defile a grave.

XIX

Their cause was right, their methods all were wrong.
Pity and censure both to them belong.
Their woes were many, but their crimes were more.
The soulless Satan holds not in his store
Such awful tortures as the Indians' wrath
Keeps for the hapless victim in his path.
And if the last lone remnants of that race
Were by the white man swept from off the earth's fair face,

XX

Were every red man slaughtered in a day,
Still would that sacrifice but poorly pay
For one insulted woman captive's woes.

Again great Custer in his strength arose,
More daring, more intrepid than of old.
The passing years had touched and turned to gold
The ever widening aureole of fame
That shone upon his brow, and glorified his name.

XXI

Wise men make laws, then turn their eyes away,
While fools and knaves ignore them day by day;
And unmolested, fools and knaves at length
Induce long wars which sap a country's strength.
The sloth of leaders, ruling but in name,
Has dragged full many a nation down to shame.
A word unspoken by the rightful lips
Has dyed the land with blood, and blocked the sea with ships.

XXII

The word withheld, when Indians asked for aid,
Came when the red man started on his raid.
What Justice with a gesture might have done
Was left for noisy war with bellowing gun.
And who save Custer and his gallant men
Could calm the tempest into peace again?
What other hero in the land could hope
With Sitting Bull, the fierce and lawless one to cope?

XXIII

What other warrior skilled enough to dare
Surprise that human tiger in his lair?
Sure of his strength, unconscious of his fame
Out from the quiet of the camp he came;
And stately as Diana at his side
Elizabeth, his wife and alway bride,
And Margaret, his sister, rode apace;
Love's clinging arms he left to meet death's cold embrace.

XXIV

As the bright column wound along its course,
The smiling leader turned upon his horse
To gaze with pride on that superb command.
Twelve hundred men, the picked of all the land,
Innured to hardship and made strong by strife
Their lithe limbed bodies breathed of out-door life;
While on their faces, resolute and brave,
Hope stamped its shining seal, although their thoughts were grave.

XXV

The sad eyed women halted in the dawn,
And waved farewell to dear ones riding on.
The modest mist picked up her robes and ran
Before the Sun god's swift pursuing van.
And suddenly there burst on startled eyes,
The sight of soldiers, marching in the skies;
That phantom host, a phantom Custer led;
Mirage of dire portent, forecasting days ahead.

XXVI

The soldiers' children, flaunting mimic flags,
Played by the roadside, striding sticks for nags.
Their mothers wept, indifferent to the crowd
Who saw their tears and heard them sob aloud.
Old Indian men and squaws crooned forth a rhyme
Sung by their tribes from immemorial time;
And over all the drums' incessant beat
Mixed with the scout's weird rune, and tramp of myriad feet.

XXVII

So flawless was the union of each part
The mighty column (moved as by one heart)
Pulsed through the air, like some sad song well sung,
Which gives delight, although the soul is wrung.
Farther and fainter to the sight and sound
The beautiful embodied poem wound;
Till like a ribbon, stretched across the land
Seemed the long narrow line of that receding band.

XXVIII

The lot of those who in the silence wait
Is harder than the fighting soldiers' fate.
Back to the lonely post two women passed,
With unaccustomed sorrow overcast.
Two sad for sighs, too desolate for tears,
The dark forebodings of long widowed years
In preparation for the awful blow
Hung on the door of hope the sable badge of woe.

XXIX

Unhappy Muse! for thee no song remains,
Save the sad miséréré of the plains.
Yet though defeat, not triumph, ends the tale,
Great victors sometimes are the souls that fail.
All glory lies not in the goals we reach,
But in the lessons which our actions teach.
And he who, conquered, to the end believes
In God and in himself, though vanquished, still achieves.

XXX

Ah, grand as rash was that last fatal raid
The little group of daring heroes made.
Two hundred and two score intrepid men
Rode out to war; not one came back again.
Like fiends incarnate from the depths of hell
Five thousand foemen rose with deafening yell,
And swept that vale as with a simoon's breath,
But like the gods of old, each martyr met his death.

XXXI

Like gods they battled and like gods they died.
Hour following hour that little band defied
The hordes of red men swarming o'er the plain,
Till scarce a score stood upright 'mid the slain.
Then in the lull of battle, creeping near,
A scout breathed low in Custer's listening ear:

'Death lies before, dear life remains behind
Mount thy sure-footed steed, and hasten with the wind.'


XXXII

A second's silence. Custer dropped his head,
His lips slow moving as when prayers are said-
Two words he breathed-'God and Elizabeth,'
Then shook his long locks in the face of death,
And with a final gesture turned away
To join that fated few who stood at bay.
Ah! deeds like that the Christ in man reveal
Let Fame descend her throne at Custer's shrine to kneel.

XXXIII

Too late to rescue, but in time to weep,
His tardy comrades came. As if asleep
He lay, so fair, that even hellish hate
Withheld its hand and dared not mutilate.
By fiends who knew not honor, honored still,
He smiled and slept on that far western hill.
Cast down thy lyre, oh Muse! thy song is done!
Let tears complete the tale of him who failed, yet won.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

Jubilate Agno: Fragment B, Part 4

For God has given us a language of monosyllables to prevent our clipping.

For a toad enjoys a finer prospect than another creature to compensate his lack.

Tho' toad I am the object of man's hate.
Yet better am I than a reprobate. who has the worst of prospects.
For there are stones, whose constituent particles are little toads.

For the spiritual musick is as follows.

For there is the thunder-stop, which is the voice of God direct.

For the rest of the stops are by their rhimes.

For the trumpet rhimes are sound bound, soar more and the like.

For the Shawm rhimes are lawn fawn moon boon and the like.

For the harp rhimes are sing ring string and the like.

For the cymbal rhimes are bell well toll soul and the like.

For the flute rhimes are tooth youth suit mute and the like.

For the dulcimer rhimes are grace place beat heat and the like.

For the Clarinet rhimes are clean seen and the like.

For the Bassoon rhimes are pass, class and the like. God be gracious to Baumgarden.

For the dulcimer are rather van fan and the like and grace place &c are of the bassoon.

For beat heat, weep peep &c are of the pipe.

For every word has its marrow in the English tongue for order and for delight.

For the dissyllables such as able table &c are the fiddle rhimes.

For all dissyllables and some trissyllables are fiddle rhimes.

For the relations of words are in pairs first.

For the relations of words are sometimes in oppositions.

For the relations of words are according to their distances from the pair.

For there be twelve cardinal virtues the gifts of the twelve sons of Jacob.

For Reuben is Great. God be gracious to Lord Falmouth.

For Simeon is Valiant. God be gracious to the Duke of Somerset.

For Levi is Pious. God be gracious to the Bishop of London.

For Judah is Good. God be gracious to Lord Granville.

For Dan is Clean -- neat, dextrous, apt, active, compact. God be gracious to Draper.

For Naphtali is sublime -- God be gracious to Chesterfield.

For Gad is Contemplative -- God be gracious to Lord Northampton.

For Ashur is Happy -- God be gracious to George Bowes.

For Issachar is strong -- God be gracious to the Duke of Dorsett.

For Zabulon is Constant -- God be gracious to Lord Bath.

For Joseph is Pleasant -- God be gracious to Lord Bolingbroke.

For Benjamin is Wise -- God be gracious to Honeywood.

For all Foundation is from God depending.

For the two Universities are the Eyes of England.

For Cambridge is the right and the brightest.

For Pembroke Hall was founded more in the Lord than any College in Cambridge.

For mustard is the proper food of birds and men are bound to cultivate it for their use.

For they that study the works of God are peculiarly assisted by his Spirit.

For all the creatures mentiond by Pliny are somewhere or other extant to the glory of God.

For Rye is food rather for fowls than men.

For Rye-bread is not taken with thankfulness.

For the lack of Rye may be supplied by Spelt.

For languages work into one another by their bearings.

For the power of some animal is predominant in every language.

For the power and spirit of a CAT is in the Greek.

For the sound of a cat is in the most useful preposition êáô' åõ÷çí .

For the pleasantry of a cat at pranks is in the language ten thousand times over.

For JACK UPON PRANCK is in the performance of gåñé together or seperate.

For Clapperclaw is in the grappling of the words upon one another in all the modes of versification.

For the sleekness of a Cat is in his áãëáéçöé .

For the Greek is thrown from heaven and falls upon its feet.

For the Greek when distracted from the line is sooner restored to rank and rallied into some form than any other.

For the purring of a Cat is his ôñõæåé .

For his cry is in ïõáé , which I am sorry for.

For the Mouse (Mus) prevails in the Latin.

For Edi-mus, bibi-mus, vivi-mus -- ore-mus.

For the Mouse is a creature of great personal valour.

For -- this is a true case -- Cat takes female mouse from the company of male -- male mouse will not depart, but stands threatning and daring.

For this is as much as to challenge, if you will let her go, I will engage you, as prodigious a creature as you are.

For the Mouse is of an hospitable disposition.

For bravery and hospitality were said and done by the Romans rather than others.

For two creatures the Bull and the Dog prevail in the English.

For all the words ending in ble are in the creature. Invisi-ble, Incomprehensi-ble, ineffa-ble, A-ble.

For the Greek and Latin are not dead languages, but taken up and accepted for the sake of him that spake them.

For can is (canis) is cause and effect a dog.

For the English is concise and strong. Dog and Bull again.

For Newton's notion of colours is áëïãïò unphilosophical.

For the colours are spiritual.

For WHITE is the first and the best.

For there are many intermediate colours, before you come to SILVER.

For the next colour is a lively GREY.

For the next colour is BLUE.

For the next is GREEN of which there are ten thousand distinct sorts.

For the next is YELLOW which is more excellent than red, tho Newton makes red the prime. God be gracious to John Delap.

For RED is the next working round the Orange.

For Red is of sundry sorts till it deepens to BLACK.

For black blooms and it is PURPLE.

For purple works off to BROWN which is of ten thousand acceptable shades.

For the next is PALE. God be gracious to William Whitehead.

For pale works about to White again.

NOW that colour is spiritual appears inasmuch as the blessing of God upon all things descends in colour.

For the blessing of health upon the human face is in colour.

For the blessing of God upon purity is in the Virgin's blushes.

For the blessing of God in colour is on him that keeps his virgin.

For I saw a blush in Staindrop Church, which was of God's own colouring.

For it was the benevolence of a virgin shewn to me before the whole congregation.

For the blessing of God upon the grass is in shades of Green visible to a nice observer as they light upon the surface of the earth.

For the blessing of God unto perfection in all bloom and fruit is by colouring.

For from hence something in the spirit may be taken off by painters.

For Painting is a species of idolatry, tho' not so gross as statuary.

For it is not good to look with earning upon any dead work.

For by so doing something is lost in the spirit and given from life to death.

For BULL in the first place is the word of Almighty God.

For he is a creature of infinite magnitude in the height.

For there is the model of every beast of the field in the height.

For they are blessed intelligences and all angels of the living God.

For there are many words under Bull.

For Bul the Month is under it.

For Sea is under Bull.

For Brook is under Bull. God be gracious to Lord Bolingbroke.

For Rock is under Bull.

For Bullfinch is under Bull. God be gracious to the Duke of Cleveland.

For God, which always keeps his work in view has paited a Bullfinch in the heart of a stone. God be gracious to Gosling and Canterbury.

For the Bluecap is under Bull.

For the Humming Bird is under Bull.

For Beetle is under Bull.

For Toad is under bull.

For Frog is under Bull, which he has a delight to look at.

For the Pheasant-eyed Pink is under Bull. Blessed Jesus R4NK EL.

For Bugloss is under Bull.

For Bugle is under Bull.

For Oxeye is under Bull.

For Fire is under Bull.

For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.

For he is the servant of the Living God duly and daily serving him.

For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.

For is this done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.

For then he leaps up to catch the musk, which is the blessing of God upon his prayer.

For he rolls upon prank to work it in.

For having done duty and received blessing he begins to consider himself.

For this he performs in ten degrees.

For first he looks upon his fore-paws to see if they are clean.

For secondly he kicks up behind to clear away there.

For thirdly he works it upon stretch with the fore paws extended.

For fourthly he sharpens his paws by wood.

For fifthly he washes himself.

For Sixthly he rolls upon wash.

For Seventhly he fleas himself, that he may not be interrupted upon the beat.

For Eighthly he rubs himself against a post.

For Ninthly he looks up for his instructions.

For Tenthly he goes in quest of food.

For having consider'd God and himself he will consider his neighbour.

For if he meets another cat he will kiss her in kindness.

For when he takes his prey he plays with it to give it chance.

For one mouse in seven escapes by his dallying.

For when his day's work is done his business more properly begins.

For he keeps the Lord's watch in the night against the adversary.

For he counteracts the powers of darkness by his electrical skin and glaring eyes.

For he counteracts the Devil, who is death, by brisking about the life

For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him.

For he is of the tribe of Tiger.

For the Cherub Cat is a term of the Angel Tiger.

For he has the subtlety and hissing of a serpent, which in goodness he suppresses.

For he will not do destruction, if he is well-fed, neither will he spit without provocation.

For he purrs in thankfulness, when God tells him he's a good Cat.

For he is an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon.

For every house is incompleat without him and a blessing is lacking in the spirit.

For the Lord commanded Moses concerning the cats at the departure of the Children of Israel from Egypt.

For every family had one cat at least in the bag.

For the English Cats are the best in Europe.

For he is the cleanest in the use of his fore-paws of any quadrupede.

For the dexterity of his defence is an instance of the love of God to him exceedingly.

For he is the quickest to his mark of any creature.

For he is tenacious of his point.

For he is a mixture of gravity and waggery.

For he knows that God is his Saviour.

For there is nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest.

For there is nothing brisker than his life when in motion.

For he is of the Lord's poor and so indeed is he called by benevolence perpetually -- Poor Jeoffry! poor Jeoffry! the rat has bit thy throat.

For I bless the name of the Lord Jesus that Jeoffry is better.

For the divine spirit comes about his body to sustain it in compleat cat.

For his tongue is exceeding pure so that it has in purity what it wants in musick.

For he is docile and can learn certain things.

For he can set up with gravity which is patience upon approbation.

For he can fetch and carry, which is patience in employment.

For he can jump over a stick which is patience upon proof positive.

For he can spraggle upon waggle at the word of command.

For he can jump from an eminence into his master's bosom.

For he can catch the cork and toss it again.

For he is hated by the hypocrite and miser.

For the former is affraid of detection.

For the latter refuses the charge.

For he camels his back to bear the first notion of business.

For he is good to think on, if a man would express himself neatly.

For he made a great figure in Egypt for his signal services.

For he killed the Icneumon-rat very pernicious by land.

For his ears are so acute that they sting again.

For from this proceeds the passing quickness of his attention.

For by stroaking of him I have found out electricity.

For I perceived God's light about him both wax and fire.

For the Electrical fire is the spiritual substance, which God sends from heaven to sustain the bodies both of man and beast.

For God has blessed him in the variety of his movements.

For, tho he cannot fly, he is an excellent clamberer.

For his motions upon the face of the earth are more than any other quadrupede.

For he can tread to all the measures upon the musick.

For he can swim for life.

For he can creep.

by Christopher Smart.

Tales Of A Wayside Inn : Part 3. The Sicilian's Tale; The Monk Of Casal-Maggiore

Once on a time, some centuries ago,
In the hot sunshine two Franciscan friars
Wended their weary way, with footsteps slow
Back to their convent, whose white walls and spires
Gleamed on the hillside like a patch of snow;
Covered with dust they were, and torn by briers,
And bore like sumpter-mules upon their backs
The badge of poverty, their beggar's sacks.

The first was Brother Anthony, a spare
And silent man, with pallid cheeks and thin,
Much given to vigils, penance, fasting, prayer,
Solemn and gray, and worn with discipline,
As if his body but white ashes were,
Heaped on the living coals that glowed within;
A simple monk, like many of his day,
Whose instinct was to listen and obey.

A different man was Brother Timothy,
Of larger mould and of a coarser paste;
A rubicund and stalwart monk was he,
Broad in the shoulders, broader in the waist,
Who often filled the dull refectory
With noise by which the convent was disgraced,
But to the mass-book gave but little heed,
By reason he had never learned to read.

Now, as they passed the outskirts of a wood,
They saw, with mingled pleasure and surprise,
Fast tethered to a tree an ass, that stood
Lazily winking his large, limpid eyes.
The farmer Gilbert of that neighborhood
His owner was, who, looking for supplies
Of fagots, deeper in the wood had strayed,
Leaving his beast to ponder in the shade.

As soon as Brother Timothy espied
The patient animal, he said: 'Good-lack!
Thus for our needs doth Providence provide;
We'll lay our wallets on the creature's back.'
This being done, he leisurely untied
From head and neck the halter of the jack,
And put it round his own, and to the tree
Stood tethered fast as if the ass were he.

And, bursting forth into a merry laugh,
He cried to Brother Anthony: 'Away!
And drive the ass before you with your staff;
And when you reach the convent you may say
You left me at a farm, half tired and half
Ill with a fever, for a night and day,
And that the farmer lent this ass to bear
Our wallets, that are heavy with good fare.'

Now Brother Anthony, who knew the pranks
Of Brother Timothy, would not persuade
Or reason with him on his quirks and cranks,
But, being obedient, silently obeyed;
And, smiting with his staff the ass's flanks,
Drove him before him over hill and glade,
Safe with his provend to the convent gate,
Leaving poor Brother Timothy to his fate.

Then Gilbert, laden with fagots for his fire,
Forth issued from the wood, and stood aghast
To see the ponderous body of the friar
Standing where he had left his donkey last.
Trembling he stood, and dared not venture nigher,
But stared, and gaped, and crossed himself full fast;
For, being credulous and of little wit,
He thought it was some demon from the pit.
While speechless and bewildered thus he gazed,
And dropped his load of fagots on the ground,
Quoth Brother Timothy: 'Be not amazed
That where you left a donkey should be found
A poor Franciscan friar, half-starved and crazed,
Standing demure and with a halter bound;
But set me free, and hear the piteous story
Of Brother Timothy of Casal-Maggiore.

'I am a sinful man, although you see
I wear the consecrated cowl and cape;
You never owned an ass, but you owned me,
Changed and transformed from my own natural shape
All for the deadly sin of gluttony,
From which I could not otherwise escape,
Than by this penance, dieting on grass,
And being worked and beaten as an ass.

'Think of the ignominy I endured;
Think of the miserable life I led,
The toil and blows to which I was inured,
My wretched lodging in a windy shed,
My scanty fare so grudgingly procured,
The damp and musty straw that formed my bed!
But, having done this penance for my sins,
My life as man and monk again begins.'

The simple Gilbert, hearing words like these,
Was conscience-stricken, and fell down apace
Before the friar upon his bended knees,
And with a suppliant voice implored his grace;
And the good monk, now very much at ease,
Granted him pardon with a smiling face,
Nor could refuse to be that night his guest,
It being late, and he in need of rest.

Upon a hillside, where the olive thrives,
With figures painted on its white-washed walls,
The cottage stood; and near the humming hives
Made murmurs as of far-off waterfalls;
A place where those who love secluded lives
Might live content, and, free from noise and brawls,
Like Claudian's Old Man of Verona here
Measure by fruits the slow-revolving year.

And, coming to this cottage of content
They found his children, and the buxom wench
His wife, Dame Cicely, and his father, bent
With years and labor, seated on a bench,
Repeating over some obscure event
In the old wars of Milanese and French;
All welcomed the Franciscan, with a sense
Of sacred awe and humble reverence.

When Gilbert told them what had come to pass,
How beyond question, cavil, or surmise,
Good Brother Timothy had been their ass,
You should have seen the wonder in their eyes;
You should have heard them cry, 'Alas! alas!
Have heard their lamentations and their sighs!
For all believed the story, and began
To see a saint in this afflicted man.

Forthwith there was prepared a grand repast,
To satisfy the craving of the friar
After so rigid and prolonged a fast;
The bustling housewife stirred the kitchen fire;
Then her two barn-yard fowls, her best and last,
Were put to death, at her express desire,
And served up with a salad in a bowl,
And flasks of country wine to crown the whole.

It would not be believed should I repeat
How hungry Brother Timothy appeared;
It was a pleasure but to see him eat,
His white teeth flashing through his russet beard,
His face aglow and flushed with wine and meat,
His roguish eyes that rolled and laughed and leered!
Lord! how he drank the blood-red country wine
As if the village vintage were divine!
And all the while he talked without surcease,
And told his merry tales with jovial glee
That never flagged, but rather did increase,
And laughed aloud as if insane were he,
And wagged his red beard, matted like a fleece,
And cast such glances at Dame Cicely
That Gilbert now grew angry with his guest,
And thus in words his rising wrath expressed.

'Good father,' said he, 'easily we see
How needful in some persons, and how right,
Mortification of the flesh may be.
The indulgence you have given it to-night,
After long penance, clearly proves to me
Your strength against temptation is but slight,
And shows the dreadful peril you are in
Of a relapse into your deadly sin.

'To-morrow morning, with the rising sun,
Go back unto your convent, nor refrain
From fasting and from scourging, for you run
Great danger to become an ass again,
Since monkish flesh and asinine are one;
Therefore be wise, nor longer here remain,
Unless you wish the scourge should be applied
By other hands, that will not spare your hide.'

When this the monk had heard, his color fled
And then returned, like lightning in the air,
Till he was all one blush from foot to head,
And even the bald spot in his russet hair
Turned from its usual pallor to bright red!
The old man was asleep upon his chair.
Then all retired, and sank into the deep
And helpless imbecility of sleep.

They slept until the dawn of day drew near,
Till the cock should have crowed, but did not crow,
For they had slain the shining chanticleer
And eaten him for supper, as you know.
The monk was up betimes and of good cheer,
And, having breakfasted, made haste to go,
As if he heard the distant matin bell,
And had but little time to say farewell.

Fresh was the morning as the breath of kine;
Odors of herbs commingled with the sweet
Balsamic exhalations of the pine;
A haze was in the air presaging heat;
Uprose the sun above the Apennine,
And all the misty valleys at its feet
Were full of the delirious song of birds,
Voices of men, and bells, and low of herds.

All this to Brother Timothy was naught;
He did not care for scenery, nor here
His busy fancy found the thing it sought;
But when he saw the convent walls appear,
And smoke from kitchen chimneys upward caught
And whirled aloft into the atmosphere,
He quickened his slow footsteps, like a beast
That scents the stable a league off at least.

And as he entered through the convent gate
He saw there in the court the ass, who stood
Twirling his ears about, and seemed to wait,
Just as he found him waiting in the wood;
And told the Prior that, to alleviate
The daily labors of the brotherhood,
The owner, being a man of means and thrift,
Bestowed him on the convent as a gift.

And thereupon the Prior for many days
Revolved this serious matter in his mind,
And turned it over many different ways,
Hoping that some safe issue he might find;
But stood in fear of what the world would say,
If he accepted presents of this kind,
Employing beasts of burden for the packs,
That lazy monks should carry on their backs.
Then, to avoid all scandal of the sort,
And stop the mouth of cavil, he decreed
That he would cut the tedious matter short,
And sell the ass with all convenient speed,
Thus saving the expense of his support,
And hoarding something for a time of need.
So he despatched him to the neighboring Fair,
And freed himself from cumber and from care.

It happened now by chance, as some might say,
Others perhaps would call it destiny,
Gilbert was at the Fair; and heard a bray,
And nearer came, and saw that it was he,
And whispered in his ear, 'Ah, lackaday!
Good father, the rebellious flesh, I see,
Has changed you back into an ass again,
And all my admonitions were in vain.'

The ass, who felt this breathing in his ear,
Did not turn round to look, but shook his head,
As if he were not pleased these words to hear,
And contradicted all that had been said.
And this made Gilbert cry in voice more clear,
'I know you well; your hair is russet-red;
Do not deny it; for you are the same
Franciscan friar, and Timothy by name.'

The ass, though now the secret had come out,
Was obstinate, and shook his head again;
Until a crowd was gathered round about
To hear this dialogue between the twain;
And raised their voices in a noisy shout
When Gilbert tried to make the matter plain,
And flouted him and mocked him all day long
With laughter and with jibes and scraps of song.
'If this be Brother Timothy,' they cried,
'Buy him, and feed him on the tenderest grass;
Thou canst not do too much for one so tried
As to be twice transformed into an ass.'
So simple Gilbert bought him, and untied
His halter, and o'er mountain and morass
He led him homeward, talking as he went
Of good behavior and a mind content.

The children saw them coming, and advanced,
Shouting with joy, and hung about his neck,--
Not Gilbert's, but the ass's,--round him danced,
And wove green garlands where-withal to deck
His sacred person; for again it chanced
Their childish feelings, without rein or check,
Could not discriminate in any way
A donkey from a friar of Orders Gray.

'O Brother Timothy,' the children said,
'You have come back to us just as before;
We were afraid, and thought that you were dead,
And we should never see you any more.'
And then they kissed the white star on his head,
That like a birth-mark or a badge he wore,
And patted him upon the neck and face,
And said a thousand things with childish grace.

Thenceforward and forever he was known
As Brother Timothy, and led always
A life of luxury, till he had grown
Ungrateful being stuffed with corn and hay,
And very vicious. Then in angry tone,
Rousing himself, poor Gilbert said one day
'When simple kindness is misunderstood
A little flagellation may do good.'

His many vices need not here be told;
Among them was a habit that he had
Of flinging up his heels at young and old,
Breaking his halter, running off like mad
O'er pasture-lands and meadow, wood and wold,
And other misdemeanors quite as bad;
But worst of all was breaking from his shed
At night, and ravaging the cabbage-bed.

So Brother Timothy went back once more
To his old life of labor and distress;
Was beaten worse than he had been before.
And now, instead of comfort and caress,
Came labors manifold and trials sore;
And as his toils increased his food grew less,
Until at last the great consoler, Death,
Ended his many sufferings with his breath.

Great was the lamentation when he died;
And mainly that he died impenitent;
Dame Cicely bewailed, the children cried,
The old man still remembered the event
In the French war, and Gilbert magnified
His many virtues, as he came and went,
And said: 'Heaven pardon Brother Timothy,
And keep us from the sin of gluttony.'

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.