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THE ARAB'S FAREWELL TO HIS STEER

187

My mother kissed me here ;

My father pressed my hand-
Forgive this foolish tear,

But let that old oak stand!
4. My heart-strings round thee cling,

Close as thy bark, old friend!
Here shall the wild-bird sing,

And still thy branches bend.
Old tree, the storm still brave !

And, woodman, leave the spot ;
While I've a hand to save,

Thy ax shall harm it not. GEORGE P. MORRIS.

V.
68. THE ARAB'S FAREWELL TO HIS STEED.

VEY beautiful! my beautiful! that standèst meekly by,
W With thy proudly arched and glossy neck, thy dark and

fiery eyeFret not to roam the desert now with all thy winged speed, I may not mount on thee again : thou’rt sold, my Ar'ab steed!

2. Fret not with that impatient hoof, snuff not the breezy wind, The farther that thou flièst now, so far am I behind. The strānger hath thy bridle-rein, thy master hath his gold : Fleet limbed and beautiful, farewell! thou’rt sold, my steed,

thou’rt sold!

farewell master behind my wind

Farewell! those free untired limbs full many a mile must roam, To reach the chill and wintry sky which clouds the stranger's

home; Some other hand, less fond, must now thy corn and bread prepare; Thy silky mane, I braided once, must be another’s care.

4. The morning sun shall dawn again, but never more with thee Shall I gallop through the desert paths where we were wont to be

'Wont, (wủnt), used ; accustomed.

Evening shall darken on the earth, and y'er the sandy plain Some other steed, with slower step, shall bear me home again.

5. Yes! thou must go! the wild, free breeze, the brilliant sun and sky, Thy master's house, from all of these my exiled one must ly. Thy proud dark eye will grow less proud, thy step become less

fleet, And vainly shalt thou arch thy neck, thy master's hand to meet

6. Only in sleep shall I behold that dark eye glancing bright; Only in sleep shall hear again that step so firm and light; And when I raise my dreaming arm to check or cheer thy speed, Then must I, starting, wake to feel thou’rt sold, my Arab steed!

Ah, rudely then, unseen by me, some cruel hand may chide, Till foam-wreafhs lie, like crested waves, along thy panting side; And the rich blood that's in thee swells in thy indignant pain, Till careless eyes which rest on thee may count each starting vein.

8. Will they ill use thee? If I thought-but no, it can not be Thou art so swift, yèt easy curbed, so gentle, yet so free. And yět, if haply when thou’rt gone my lonely heart should yearn, Can the same hand which casts thee off command thee to return?

9. Return? Alas, my Ar'ab steed, what shall thy master do, When thou, who wert his all of joy, hast vanished from his view? When the dim distance cheats mine eye, and through the găth

ering tears, Thy bright form for a moment like the false mirage' appears.

10.

Slow and unmounted will I roam with weary foot alone, Where with fleet step and joyous bound thou oft hast borne meon; And sitting down by that green well, will pause and sadly think, 'Twas here he bowed his glossy neck, when last I saw him drink. THE OLD CLOCK ON THE STAIRS.

1 Mirage, (mé råz'), a deceptive elevated in the air, arising from an appearance, as an image of water unequal refraction in the lower por. in sandy deserts, or of a village in a tion of the atmosphere, and causing desert, built on a lake, or of objects distant objects to be seen double.

189

11. When last I saw him drink!-Away! the fevered dream is ö’er ; I could not live ă day, and know that we should meet no more: They tempted me, my beautiful! for hunger's power is strong, They tempted me, my beautiful! but I have loved too long.

12.

Who said that I had given thee up? who said that thou wert sold? 'Tis false, 'tis false! my Ar'ab steed! I fling them back their gold. Thus, thus I leap upon thy back, and scour the distant plains : Away!- Who overtakes us now shall claim thee for his pains !

Mrs. CAROLINE NORTON.

VI.
69. THE OLD CLOCK ON THE STAIRS.
COMEWHAT back from the village street
D Stands the old-fashioned country-seat.
Across its antique portico?
Tall poplar-trees their shadows throw;
And from its station in the hall
An ancient timepiece says to all,

“Forever-never!

Never—forever!”
2. Half-way up the stairs it stands,

And points and beckons with its hands
From its case of massive oak,
Like a monk, who, under his cloak,
Crosses himself, and sighs, alas!
With sorrowful voice to all who pass,

“Forever-never!

Never-forever!"
3. By day its voice is low and light;

But in the silent dead of night,
Distinct as a passing footstep’s fall,

It echoes ălõng the vacant hall, 1 Antique, (an ték), ancient ; old; *Portico, a piazza, gallery, or of old fashion.

covered walk.

Along the ceiling, along the floor,
And seems to say at each chămber door,

Forever-never!

Never-forever!”
4. Through days of sorrow and of mirth,

Through days of death and days of birth,
Through every swift vicissitude
Of changeful time, unchanged it has stood,
And as if, like God, it all things saw,
It calmly repeats those words of awe,-

“Forever-never!
Never-forever!”

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6. In that mansion used to be

Free-hearted Hospitality ::
His great fires up the chimney roared ;
The stranger feasted at his board ;
But, like the skeleton at the feast, ca
That warning timepiece never ceased,

“Forever-never!

Never-forever!"
6 There groups of měrry children plāyed,

There youths and maidens dreaming strāyed ;
O precious hours! O golden prime,
And affluence of love and time!
Even as a miser counts his gold,
Those hours the ancient timepiece told,

“Forever-never!

Never—forever!”
7. From that chamber, clothed in white,

The bride came forth on her wedding night;
There, in that silent room below,
The dead lay in his shroud of snow;

· Vi cřs' si tūde, revolution; reg. 3 "Skeleton at the feast.” It was ular change or succession.

customary among the Egyptians to 2 HỎs'pi tăl' itý, reception and seat a masked or vailed skeleton at entertainment of guests or strangers their feasts. without reward, or with kind and 4 Af flu ence, abundance of any generous liberality.

thing; wealth; plenty.

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And in the hush that followed the prayer,
Was heard the old clock on the stair,-

“Forever-never!

Never-forever!”
8. All are scattered now and fled,

Some are married, some are dead ;
And when I ask, with throbs of pain,
“Ah! when shall they all meet again ?"
As in the days long since gone by,
The ancient timepiece makes reply,

“Forever—never!

Never—forever!”
9. Never here, forever there,

Where all parting, pain, and care,
And death, and time shall disappear,
Forever there, but never here!
The horologe of Eternity
Sayèth this incessantly,-

“Forever-never!

Never—forever!"
LE HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW.

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| SECTION XVI.

I.

70. LAZY PEOPLE. V OU may see him, if you are an early riser, setting off, at

| peep of dawn, on a fishing expedition. He winds through the dreary woods, yawning portentously,' and stretching as if he were emulous“ of the height of the hickory-trees.

Horologe, (hör' o loj), an instru- ing, or attempt at some distance. ment indicating the time of day; a Por těnt' ous ly, ominously ; timepiece of any kind.

showing that something is about to . ' Expedition, (eks' pe dish' un), happen. a sending forth or setting forth for • Em' ū loňs, very desirous or the performance of some important eager to imitate, equal, or excel object; a great enterprise, undertak- another.

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