Not heard upon thy trial. This brute beast
Testifies for thee, sister, whose weak breast
Death could not make ungentle. I hold rule
In Allah's stead, who is the Merciful,'
And hope for mercy; therefore, go thou free-
I dare not show less pity unto thee!”



E stood before the village store,

Unkempt and weary-eyed.

His shabby harness here and there
With bits of rope was tied.
His knees were stiff, his coat was long,

A sorry sight indeed,
The butt of many an idler's jest-

The farmer's old gray steed.

Across the hot and dusty square


the narrow street,
Arose a burst of rolling drums

And bugles loud and sweet.
He turned his head and pricked his ears

And shook his tangled mane,
As memory with its magic swelled

His withered veins again.

With every well-remembered note

A vision on him grew,
Of trumpets with their crimson cords

And lines of men in blue.
He seemed to see from far and near

The marching squadrons come,
And flung his broken harness off

To curvet to the drum.

For oft upon a battle-field

He heard the bugles blow,

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

From floor to roof a glittering maze

Of gorgeous robes and faces fair,
With lustrous laces gleaming rare,
And veils of futtering gossamer,

And fans that set the air astir,
And flowers that bloom and gems that blaze,

Filled all the ampitheatre. Below them in the sunlight space

Beneath the tranquil April skies, Two combatants stood face to face,

A milk-white bull with fiery eyes, Huge, frantic, mad with rage and pain,

His great head bowed to charge the foe; And, poising with a cool disdain

His weapon for the fatal blow,

A youth decked out in gorgeous wise.

A murmurous hush, a breathless pause

The ladies lean far out to see.
A flash of scarlet drapery-

A plunge-a bellowing roar-a cloud
Of flying dust! Then burst the applause,
With cheer on cheer of wild delight

That rolled the echoing circle round;
And while, low-fallen upon the ground,
His victim struggled hard with death,
The hero of the noble fight,
Rained on with flowers from fingers white

Mid ringing bravas, smiled and bowed.

A child sobbed softly in the crowd.
“Alas, poor bull!” below her breath

She wept. “Alas, poor pretty bull!”

With sad eyes, grieved and pitiful,
And down beside him in the sand,

One blossom, wet with tearful dew,

One little crimson rose, she threw,
And hid her sweet eyes with her hand.

And still all tongues the victor sang,
“ Huzza!” the thundering plaudits rang,

“ Huzza! the matador!”

[ocr errors]



EAR Pussy, I love you and I's your true friend,

'Cause I saved you a whippin' to-day

When cook missed her custard and everyone said It was Puss that had stealed it away; You know you are naughty sometimes, Pussy dear,

And, in course, you got blamed and all that,
And cook took a stick, and she 'clared she would beat

The thief out that mizzable cat!
But I didn't feel comf’able down in my heart,

So I saved you the whippin', you see, 'Cause I went to mamma, and telled her

I 'spect she'd better tell cook to whip me,
'Cause the custard was stealed by a bad little girl,

Who felt dreffely sorrow with shame,
And it wouldn't be fair to whip Pussy, in course,

When that bad little girl was to blame.
Was it my little girlie?” my dear mamma said.
I felt dreffely scared but I nodded my head,
And then mamma laughed. “Go find nurse, for I
There's some custard to wash off a little girl's dress.”
Well, then 'course they knew it was I and not you

Who stealed all the custard and then ran away; But it's best to be true in the things that we do,

And-that's how I saved you a spankin' to-day.


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

HOLD her hands. The lamp's soft ray
Lingers in iridescent play

Among her tresses' golden strands;

Unheeded run the hour-glass sands
With which old Time seeks to dismay.

I hold her hands.

Her gaze is pensive far away,

In silence there content to stay,
Like one who waits but for commands.
I hold her hands.

This is the picture that expands,
And memory-sprites lift up their wands.

If I let go—the truth to say

On the piano she will play
Those tunes she learned from the brass bands.

I hold her hands.


EAREST PHYLLIS,-Pray remember, when you're

Of your presents for December (unless I am to be

missed), That I've slippers, picture-brackets, smoking-sets of various

types, Half-a-dozen smoking-jackets, thirty-seven meerschaum pipes! Twenty patent“ kid glove menders,” collar boxes by the score, Of embroidered silk suspenders, forty-'leven pairs or more; That each year since I was twenty I've received a paper

weight; Have pen-wipers, inkstands plenty, paper-cutters—twenty

eight; That I've Browning and Longfellow by the hundreds—every

kind, Shakespeare—black and blue and yellow, Milton till I'm nearly


So there's just one present only that I'm wanting, in this year Of my bachelorship so lonely--that's yourself, my Phyllis dear.


[ocr errors]

T'S my brother again," said the girl with the ostrich boa,

as she sank into a chair, “but I'll get even with him,

if it takes me the rest of my natural life to do it!” The girl in the pink waist yawned.

How often must I tell you never to ask him for money unless at least one of the other girls is present?” she asked.

“ It isn't money this time. It is spoons. I-"

“ You never let Marie help him to select your birthday present, I hope. She is a nice, sweet girl as long as there is not a man within sight, but I wouldn't trust her to-to help a widower select a tombstone for his wife's grave.”

« 上一页继续 »