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202

THE GRASSHOPPER.

Armed cap-a-pie,
Full fair to see;
Unknowing fear,
Undreading loss.
A gallant cavalier,

"Sans peur et sans reproche," *
In sunlight and in shadow,
The Bayard of the meadow.
I would dwell with thee,
Merry grasshopper,
Thou art so glad and free,
And as light as air;

Thou hast no sorrow or tears,
Thou hast no compt of years,
No withered immortality,

But a short youth, sunny and free.
Carol clearly, bound along,

Soon thy joy is over.

A summer of loud song,

And slumbers in the clover,
What hast thou to do with evil
In thine hour of love and revel,
In thy heat of summer pride
Pushing the thick roots aside
Of the singing, flowered grasses,

That brush thee with their silken tresses?

What hast thou to do with evil,

Shooting, singing, ever springing

In and out the emerald glooms;
Ever leaping, ever singing,

Lighting on the golden blooms?

*Without fear and without reproach; an epithet applied to Bayard, a French knight distinguished for his courage and his integrity. He died in 1524.

A GRECIAN ANECDOTE.-Milnes.

How Sparta thirsted after orient gold,

And bartered faith for wealth she dared not use, Is as severe a tale as e'er was told

The pride of man to conquer and confuse.

Therefore forget not what that nature was,
That once availed the base desire to foil,
When sought the Ionian Aristagoras

To mingle Sparta in his distant broil.

How thick the perils of that far emprise,
How dim the vista cunningly displayed,
The king discerned, with clear and practised eyes,
And bade the stranger court Athenian aid.

To people as to prince, appeal was vain,-
Vain the dark menace, vain the shadowy gibe, —
But the wise envoy would not bend again

-

His homeward steps till failed the wonted bribe.

A suppliant at the regal hearth he stood,
Nor ever thought that proffer to withhold
Because about them, in her careless mood,

Played the king's child,-a girl some nine years old.

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Ten-twenty-forty talents rose the bait;
Strange feeling glistened in those infant eyes,
That gazed attentive on the grave debate,
And seemed to search its meaning in surprise.

Yet fifty now had well secured the prey,
Had not a little hand tight clasped his arm,
And a quick spirit uttered, "Come away,
Father, that man is there to do
you harm."

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204

THE DEATH OF THE FLOWERS.

Not unaccepted such pure omen came;

That gentle voice the present God revealed, And back the Ionian chief returned in shame, Checked by the virtue of that simple shield.

THE DEATH OF THE FLOWERS.- Bryant.

THE melancholy days have come, the saddest of the year,

Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and sear.

Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the withered leaves lie dead;

They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbit's tread.

The robin and the wren are flown, and from the shrubs the jay,

And from the wood-top calls the crow, through all the gloomy day.

Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers, that lately sprang and stood

In brighter light and softer airs, a beauteous sisterhood?

Alas! they all are in their graves; the gentle race of flowers

Are lying in their lowly beds, with the fair and good of ours.

The rain is falling where they lie, but the cold November rain

Calls not, from out the gloomy earth, the lovely ones again.

The wind flower and the violet, they perished long ago, And the brier-rose and the orchis died amid the summer glow;

But on the hill the golden-rod, and the aster in the wood,

And the yellow sunflower by the brook, in autumn beauty stood,

Till fell the frost from the clear, cold heaven, as falls the plague on men,

And the brightness of their smile was gone, from upland, glade, and glen.

And now, when comes the calm, mild day, as still such days will come,

To call the squirrel and the bee from out their winter

home,

When the sound of dropping nuts is heard, though all the trees are still,

And twinkle in the smoky light the waters of the rill, The south wind searches for the flowers whose fragrance late he bore,

And sighs to find them in the wood and by the stream

no more.

And then I think of one who in her youthful beauty died,

The fair, meek blossom that grew up and faded by my side:

In the cold, moist earth we laid her, when the forest cast the leaf,

And we wept that one so lovely should have a life so brief;

Yet not unmeet it was that one, like that young friend of ours,

So gentle, and so beautiful, should perish with the flowers.

206

THE CORAL GROVE.

THE CORAL GROVE. - Percival.

DEEP in the wave is a coral grove,
Where the purple mullet and gold-fish rove;
Where the sea-flower spreads its leaves of blue,
That never are wet with falling dew,
But in bright and changeful beauty shine,
Far down in the green and grassy brine.
The floor is of sand, like the mountain drift,
And the pearl-shells spangle the flinty snow;
From coral rocks the sea-plants lift

Their boughs, where the tides and billows flow;
The water is calm and still below,

For the winds and the waves are absent there,
And the sands are bright as the stars that glow
In the motionless fields of upper air;
There, with its waving blade of green,

The sea-flag streams through the silent water,
And the crimson leaf of the dulse is seen
To blush like a banner bathed in slaughter;
There, with a light and easy motion,

The fan-coral sweeps through the clear, deep sea;
And the yellow and scarlet tufts of ocean
Are bending like corn on the upland lea :
And life, in rare and beautiful forms,
Is sporting amid those bowers of stone,
And is safe, when the wrathful spirit of storms
Has made the top of the waves his own.
And when the ship from his fury flies,
When the myriad voices of ocean roar,
When the wind-god frowns in the murky skies,
And demons are waiting the wreck on the shore;
Then, far below, in the peaceful sea,

The purple mullet and gold-fish rove
Where the waters murmur tranquilly

Through the bending twigs of the coral grove.

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