페이지 이미지
PDF

The Roman guards keep watch and ward,
And beat s the muffled drum.

The consuls, proctors, soothsayers,
Within the Forum group around,

Young Curtius in the saddle sits,—
There yawns the severed ground.

Each pulse is stayed, he lifts his helm,
And bares his forehead to the sky,

And to the broad, blue heaven above,
Upturns his flashing eye.

"O Rome! O country best beloved,
Thou land in which I first drew breath,

I render back the life thou gav'st,
To rescue thee from death.

Then spurring on his gallant steed,
A last and brief farewell he said,

And leapt within the gaping gulf,—
Which closed above his head.

MALIBRAN AND THE YOUNG MUSICIAN.

In a humble room, in one of the poorest streets of London, little Pierre, a fatherless French boy, sat humming by the bedside of his sick mother. There was no bread in the closet; and for the whole day he had not tasted food. Yet he sat humming, to keep up his spirits. Still, at times, he thought of his loneliness and hunger; and he could scarcely keep the tears from his eyes; for he knew nothing would be so grateful to his poor invalid mother as a good sweet orange; and yet he had not a penny in the world.

The little song he was singing was his own,—one he had composed with air and words; for the child was a genius.

He went to the window, and looking out saw a man putting up a great bill with yellow letters, announcing that Madame Malibran would sing that night in public.

"Oh, if I could only go!" thought little Pierre; and then, pausing a moment, he clasped his. hands; his eyes lighted with a new hope. Running to the little stand, he smoothed down his yellow curls, and, taking from a little box some old stained paper, gave one eager glance at his mother, who slept, and ran speedily from the house.

[graphic]

*****

"Who did you say is waiting for me?" said the lady to her servant. "I am already worn out with company."

"It is only a very pretty little boy, with yellow curls, who says if he can just see you, he is sure you will not be sorry and he will not keep you a moment."

"Oh! well, let him come," said the beautiful singer, with a smile; "I can never refuse children."

Little Pierre came in, his hat under his arm ; and in his hand a little roll of paper. With manliness unusual for a child, he walked straight to the lady, and bowing said,— "I came to see you, because my mother is very sick, and we are too poor to get food and medicine. I thought that, perhaps, if you would only sing my little song at some of your grand concerts, may be some publisher would buy it, for a small sum; and so I could get food and medicine for my mother."

The beautiful woman rose from her seat; very tall and stately she was;—she took the little roll from his hand, and lightly hummed the air.

"Did you compose it?" she asked,—"you, a child! And the words?—Would you like to come to my concert?" she asked, after a few moments of thought.

"O yes! "and the boy's eyes grew bright with happiness, —" but I couldn't leave my mother."

"I will send somebody to take care of your mother, for the evening; and here is a crown, with which you may go and get food and medicine. Hero is also one of my tickets: come to-night; that will admit you to a seat near me."

Almost beside himself w ith joy, Pierre bought some oranges, and many a little luxury besides, and carried them home to the poor invalid, telling her, not without tears, of

his good fortune.

*****

When evening came, and Pierre was admitted to the concert-hall, he felt that never in his life had he been in so grand a place. The music, the myriad lights, the beauty,

[graphic]

"But didn't you nearly, mit a proomshtick on accoundt of dot, proke my arm?" Den Mrs. Schlausheimer she says:

"But dot vas his own fault, Mr. Von Boyle. J vas shoost going to rap him a little on de head, und if he didn't put up his arm it vouldn't got hurt, like a fool. Schlausheimer, efery cent he gets, he shpend him in vhisky. Und den he haf sooch a pad indisposition he comes und peats me home."

"Veil," says I, " can you not in some manner gonciliata nim?"

"I do eferytings I can found oudt," says she," to gonciliate him. I schold him, I pull his eyes, und scratch his hair, I kicks him de bedt oudt,—but he don't gonriliale."

ONE IN BLUE AND ONE IN GRAY.

Each thin hand restmg on a grave,

Her lips apart in prayer,
A mother knelt and left her tears

Upon the violets there.
O'er many a rood of vale and lawn,

Of hill and forest gloom,
The reaper death had reveled in

His fearfid harvest home.
The last red Summer's sun had shone

Upon a fruitless fray;—
From yonder forest charged the blue,

Down yonder slope the gray.

The hush of death was on the scene,

And sunset o'er the dead,
In that oppressive stillness

A pall of glory spread.
I know not, dare not question how

I met the ghastly glare
Of each upturned and stirless face

That shrunk and whitened there.
T knew my noble boys had stood

Through all that Withering day,—
I knew that Willie wore the blue,

That Harry wore the gray.

[graphic]
« 이전계속 »