ePub 版

extravagant degree, so that the num- antiques. Of the common kind, again, ber of rings possessed by a family of there are those which, cut with a great wealth must have been almost in- certain conventionalism in design and estimable. At every irruption of the a facility in execution which incessant barbarians, the villas that covered the repetition only can produce, cannot be Campagna for miles around Rome imitated except at a cost utterly bemust have felt the first fury of their yond their market value. Like the ravages; and as the stones contained designs on the Etruscan vases, their in the ornaments were of no use to the main excellence is, that, being so good, plunderers, they were broken out and they should be done so facilely. An thrown away, many of them to be un- imitator loses the rapidity and spirit covered, more than a thousand years of execution. The mass of imitations later, by the spade of the trencher in are of things only tolerably good, and the vineyards. One of a number of of things whose characteristics are in peasants playing at bowls in one of the the execution merely, as in the Roman roads near Rome struck with his ball and conventional Etruscan work. a point of hardened mud, which flew in I will close with one bit of advice to pieces, disclosing an exquisite intaglio my readers. If your fancy finds any head of Nero in carnelian, in perfect satisfaction in Scarabæi ed altri, let condition, for which the finder received your acquisition stop with the first exten scudi.

ample, — take a sample brick from anThe laborers in the fields have so tiquity. If you once commence colfar learned the value of the stones they lecting them in ever so small a way, find, that it becomes almost impossible or with any excuse to your own pockanywhere in the vicinity of Rome to et, you will find yourself subject to a buy them of the finders, even at the fascination more irresistible than the most extravagant prices. Unable to

love of money,

more absorbing than distinguish in quality, and knowing that the search for the philosopher's stone. certain stones have brought such and While you are in Rome, you will find such prices, they refuse to sell any for a yourself unable to keep your feet from smaller price, but retain them until the ways that lead to the antiquaries, or next festa, when they carry them in suc- your money out of the hands of a class cession to all the mercanti di pietre in (with two or three exceptions) of cheats. Rome, to see which will offer the high- You will find the extravagances of one est price, - a kind of vendue which day coming to be the niggardness of evinces greater trade-cleverness than the next; and feverish anxieties lest the Italians get credit for, and which you should not succeed in getting this has the effect of bringing the dealers gem, and irritating regrets that you too at once to their best terms. No matter soon bought that, will divide your torwhat price you offer, they never accept tured soul. And when you finally it until they have tried the value it has leave Rome, as you must some day, for others. It is only when a stone has you will always harbor a small cankersuch great value that it justifies paying worm of immitigable grief, that you did a price passing the imagination of the not purchase one stone you saw and peasant, that the buyer can profit by thought too high-priced; and will pass buying from the first hand.

thenceforward no curiosity-shop withOf the finer kind of intaglii, there out looking in the windows a moment, is little danger of buying counterfeits, in the hope of finding some gem strayed since the art of gem-cutting is too low away into parts where no man knows now to permit of such counterfeits its value. If you feel in you the caas might be mistaken for first-rate pacity of loving them, let them alone.

[blocks in formation]

In the pine-forest, Guarded by shadows, Lieth the haunted Pond of the Red Men. Ringed by the emerald Mountains, it lies there Like an untarnished Buckler of silver, Dropped in that valley By the Great Spirit ! Weird are the figures Traced on its margins, Viite-work and leaf-work, Knots of sword-grasses, Moonlight and starlight, Clouds scudding northward ! Sometimes an eagle Flutters across it; Sometimes a single Star on its bosom Nestles till morning.

Far in the ages,
Rose of the Hurons,
Came to these waters.

Where the dank greensward
Slopes to the pebbles,
Sat in her anguish.
Ice to her maidens,
Ice to the chieftains,
Fire to her lover!
Here he had won her,
Here they had parted,
Here could her tears flow.

With unwet eyelash,
Nursed her old father,
Oldest of Hurons,
Soothed his complainings,
Smiled when he chid her
Vaguely for nothing, -
He was so weak now,
Like a shrunk cedar
White with the hoar-frost.
Sometimes she gently
Linked arms with maidens,
Joined in their dances :
Not with her people,
Not in the wigwam,
Wept for her lover.

Ah! who was like him?
Fleet as an arrow,
Strong as a bison,
Lithe as a panther,
Soft as the south-wind,
Who was like Wawah ?
There is one other
Stronger and fleeter,
Bearing no wampum,
Wearing no war-paint,
Ruler of councils,
Chief of the war-path,
Who can gainsay him,
Who can defy him ?
His is the lightning,
His is the whirlwind.
Let us be humble,
We are but ashes,
'T is the Great Spirit !

Ever at nightfall
Strayed from the lodges,
Passed through the shadows

Into the forest:
There by the pond-side
Spread her black tresses
Over her forehead.
Sad is the loon's cry
Heard in the twilight;
Sad is the night-wind,
Moaning and moaning;
Sadder the stified
Sob of a widow !

Low on the pebbles
Murmured the water :
Often she fancied
It was young Wawah
Playing the reed-flute.
Sometimes a dry branch
Snapped in the forest :
Then she rose, startled,
Ruddy as sunrise,
Warm for his coming!
But when he came not,
Back through the darkness,
Half broken-hearted,
Went to her people.

When an old oak dies,
First 't is the tree-tops,
Then the low branches,
Then the gaunt stem goes:
So fell Tawanda,
Oldest of Hurons,
Chief of the chieftains.

Miantowona Wept not, but softly Closed the sad eyelids ; With her own fingers Fastened the deer-skin Over his shoulders ; Then laid beside him Ash-bow and arrow's, Pipe-bowl and wampum, Dried corn and bear-meat,All that was needful On the long journey. Thus old Tawanda Went to the hunting Grounds of the Red Man.

Then, as the dirges
Rose from the village,

Stole from the mourners,
Stole through the cornfields,
Passed like a phantom
Into the shadows
Through the pine-forest.

One who had watched her
It was Nahoho,
Loving her vainly –
Saw, as she passed him,
That in her features
Made his stout heart quail.
He could but follow.
Quick were her footsteps,
Light as a snow-flake,
Leaving no traces
On the white clover.

Like a trained runner,
Winner of prizes,
Into the woodlands
Plunged the young chieftain.
Once he abruptly
Halted, and listened ;
Then he sped forward
Faster and faster
Toward the bright water.
Breathless he reached it.
Why did he crouch then,
Stark as a statue ?
What did he see there
Could so appall him ?
Only a circle
Swiftly expanding,
Fading before him ;
But, as he watched it,
Up from the centre,
Slowly, superbly
Rose a Pond-Lily.

[blocks in formation]
« 上一頁繼續 »