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"So, Spirit-let this hour, then, be but ours,
For with sunrise
I will come
From far clouds clustered close in joyousness!
And mutely on the lifting breezes borne
From flowering mead to mead
Past many a slumbering town
In silence still
We meet our marriage morn!
"Then haply will the roses stand so still
That all the other flowers will pause to see
"Slowly-swift and swiftly-slow
As we wedded by them go
And watching with a whisper low
Poor mortal spirits! Let them go!'
“And yet is this not something, O, my Love...
"Ah, Spirit-Thou austere chaste Maiden-soul
Who keep'st my heart and wilt not let it go,
"And yet live on, O, chaste within my heart, unwed... O, live on! O, live on!
But in the pauses of thy silent tread
Be ever Thou that Maid, who, moving in the dawn,
With dear uplifted eyes and yearning mute...
To death than all the dead!
Be as Thy broken heart and say
As we have said,
'Beauty is born but lives not long on earth!
Despite the horror of the great earth's roll
Oscar Fulton Davisson.
Lafcadio Hearn—and a squint in your eye!
Lafcadio Hearn! The music of words
Was the music of things when your heart was ablaze,
And to-day in the murmur of evening again
J. A. Thomas.
It was snowing hard when I reached Neuvillier and I shook the white flakes from my great-coat as I stamped up to Madame Trévour's doorstep. A welcome gleam of light shone from the little window, set low in the wall of the old home. I could see madame sitting by the fire with her little grandchildren. Their father had been killed at Roulers in the last month of the war and their mother captured by the Germans. Madame had never heard from her since.
"Ah, c'est toi, mon ami," she said, as I opened the door. There was no expression of pleasure in that stern old face, but her words themselves were a welcome.
"You always look so cozy in here, madame, I cannot resist dropping in to chat for a while. My fire is never as bright as yours."
"I try to have a bright one always," she said. "It brings the old friends back. I seem to see their faces in the red coals.”
I sat down near the children and lighted my pipe. Madame liked pipes. She had a lot of Henri's old ones about the house. "I thought you would come," she said. "You see, it is very
cold and bleak and lonely to-night. At such times the memories come, eh, Jaques ?”
I nodded and puffed thoughtfully at my pipe.
"Yes, Jaques, the memories come," she said. "I have many more than you, my dear, because I am older-much older. Yet as far back as I can think I am still in this little town. It seems strange, doesn't it, with all the big world outside which I have never seen? And my little cottage-it has been here always, too."
She sighed and took up her sewing, bending low over it. I watched her silently for a while. She had endured much and yet I had never heard her complain. Lucille went over to her and climbed on her lap.
"Please, granny, tell me again how papa led his men against the Boches at Roulers."
"No, not to-night, darling. Papa would much rather have his little girl go to bed so she will be strong and brave like mama. Don't you think so?”
The child looked wonderingly at her grandmother.
"Yes, granny, I think he would," she said. "Come, Henri, it is time for bed."
After they had gone we were silent for a while.
"You have heard nothing, madame?"
"Ah no, Jaques, I have not heard. I shall never hear until the good Lord shall wish it. I have my memories, though, my dear. Memories are from God."
I could make no reply. It was hard to comprehend—this faith and simplicity of hers. Finally she looked up and seemed to smile.
"You are troubled to-night," she said. "Tell me."
"It is nothing," I replied. "Memories, madame, like yours." "Just the same as mine are, Jaques ?”
"No," I said, "for yours are beautiful to you, madame Mine are not like yours. I do not understand them and do not make them beautiful. I become unhappy."
"I know. It is because you are young yet. I too was the same way-once."
There was a long silence.
"Ah, it is hard-all that. I know because I have seen. Listen, Jaques, and I will tell you. I think you will understand."
"There was once a girl who lived in a little town in Lorraine. She was pretty and everybody loved her. She had hard hair and great dark eyes and a pretty mouth with dimples. She was vain, I think, and liked to dress herself in her native costume of many colors.
"If you had ever been a young person in Lorraine in those days, you would know how happy she was. There were joyous dances when the boys had finished their work in the fields and would pretend to make love to the girls-who laughed and liked it all. Then there were many walks by the canal on summer nights and skating in winter. Ah, the young people; they are always happy."
For a time, she gazed at the fire.
"Among all the boys, there was one who was very quiet and thoughtful. He was tall and good-looking and his father was the richest man in town. He was the best dancer and the best skater of them all. The others always chose him as their leader because they had great confidence in him.
"They grew very fond of each other-the girl and the boyand many a night they sat and talked about the world and other things they knew nothing of. At the dances, she always saved the last one for him and once when there was a carnival at the village, they skated together before the whole town and won a prize for being the best. Sometimes they would climb the highest hills to see the country and breathe the fresh air. They planned and hoped for the future and it was the girl who finally persuaded the boy to go away and be educated.
"The night before he left was perfect, with little silver stars and a bright moon just peeping over the hilltops. They were standing on a knoll, looking down at the village, and he was telling her all his heart. A long while they stood there in a little heaven of their own and then he gave her the very first kiss she had ever had. Then he went away and for many years she never heard from him again. Once a newspaper came giving his name as having been drowned on his voyage.