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this century, and has been deemed comparable only to Milton's Comus. It is still unapproached by any other fairy poem of the century in the almost human interest which its characters possess, and in the delicacy of its description.
Washington Irving found in the folk-lore of colonial days in the Catskills the materials for his Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle-prose idyls, which are written in a style singularly well adapted to the delineation of the legendary and the picturesque.
Interesting accounts of the religions of the Aztecs and the ancient Peruvians are to be found in William H. Prescott's Conquest of Mexico and Conquest of Peru. A novel entitled The Fair God, by General Lew Wallace, relates the overthrow of Montezuma, the Aztec emperor, by the Spanish invader Cortes, and presents a graphic picture of the days of Mexican idolatry. The Story of Mexico, a recent work by Susan Hale, is a valuable contribution to Spanish-American history.
AN INDIAN STORY.
BY WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.
“I KNOW where the timid fawn abides
In the depths of the shaded dell,
From the eye of the hunter well.
“I know where the young May violet grows,
In its lone and lowly nook,
Far over the silent brook.
“And that timid fawn starts not with fear
When I steal to her secret bower,
To look on the lovely flower.”
Thus Maquon sings as he lightly walks
To the hunting-ground on the hills; 'Tis a song of his maid of the woods and rocks, With her bright black eyes and long black locks,
And voice like the music of rills.
He goes to the chase--but evil eyes
Are at watch in the thicker shades;
The flower of the forest maids.
The boughs in the morning wind are stirred,
And the woods their song renew,
Where the hazels trickle with dew.
And Maquon has promised his dark-haired maid,
Ere eve shall redden the sky,
At her cabin door shall lie.
The hollow woods, in the setting sun,
Ring shrill with the fire-bird's lay;
He bears on his homeward way.
He stops near his bower—his eye perceives
Strange traces along the ground;
And gains its door with a bound.
But the vines are torn on its walls that leant,
And all from the young shrubs there,
By struggling hands have the leaves been rent,
One tress of the well-known hair.
But where is she who at this calm hour
Ever watched his coming to see?
The hum of the laden bee.
It is not a time for idle grief,
Nor a time for tears to flow;
Of darts made sharp for the foe.
Where he bore the maiden away;
On the wild November day.
Was stolen away from his door;
And she smiles at his hearth once more.
Where the yellow leaf falls not,
In the deepest gloom of the spot.
Point out the ravisher's grave; “ And how soon to the bower she loved,” they say, “ Returned the maid that was borne away
From Maquon, the fond and the brave.”
THE DEATH LAMENT OF THE NADOWESSIE CHIEFTAIN.
BY JOHANN CHRISTOPH FRIEDRICH VON SCHILLER.
(TRANSLATED BY EDGAR ALFRED BOWRING.)
Sitteth there upright,
While he saw the light.
Where is now the sturdy gripe,
Where the breath sedate,
Toward the Spirit Great?
That the reindeer's tread
Thick with dewdrops spread?
Where the limbs that used to dart
Swifter through the snow
Than the mountain roe?
Bent the deadly bow?
See, it hangeth low !
Sound the death-note sad !
That can make him glad.
'Neath his head the hatchet hide,
That he boldly swung;
For the road is long;
And the knife, well sharpened,
That, with slashes three,
Tore off skillfully;
Dyes within his hand.
In the Spirit Land.
BY FANNIE A, D. DARDEN.
SWEET child of the forest and prairie,
Say, where have thy dusky tribe gone? Have they silently passed as the shadows
That flit 'neath the cloud-veiled moon ?
Have they folded their tents ’neath the greenwood
Have they gone to some far hunting-ground, Where the buffalo roameth at pleasure,
And the fleet-footed dun deer is found ?
Or on the red trail of the war-path
Do thy stern chieftains seek for the foe? And the songs of their gay plumèd warriors,
Are they breathing out vengeance and woe ?
In the mountain's rock-caverns a home
Roars loud from its white bed of foam.
As the lingering rays of the sunset
O’er woodland and prairie are thrown, As the soft, hazy Indian summer
Is a dream of the summer that's gone :