網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors]

Anapestic. The first and third lines of each stanza have four

feet ; the second and fourth, three. The first foot is gener-
ally an iambus, or a spondee.
1. IF I in thy likeness, O Lord', may awake

And shine a pure image of thee,
Then I shall be satisfied when I can break'

The fetters of flesh', and be free!
2. I know the stained tablet must first be washed whité,

To let thy bright features be drawn';
I know I must suffer the darkness of night',

To welcome the coming of dawn :
3. But I shall be satisfied when I can cast

The shadows of nature all by';
When the cold', heavy world' from my vision has past',

To let the soul, open her eye.
4. I gladly shall feel the blest morn drawing near',

When time's dreamy fancy shall fadé,
If thēn' in thy likeness I māy but appear',

And rise in thy beauty arrayed.
5. To see thee in glory', O Lord'! as thou art,

From this mortal, perishing clay'
The spirit im'mortal in peace would depart',

And joyous mount up her bright way.
6. When on thine own image, in me', thou hast smiled'

Within thy blest mansion', and when'
The arms of my

Father encircle his child'-
Oh'! I shall be satisfied then!

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

LESSON LIII.

THE ADVENTURE OF A MASON.

The

THERE was once upon a time a poor mason', or brick-layer, in Granadá, who kept all the saints' days and holidays', and saint Monday into the bargain', and yet', with all his devotion', he grew poorer, and poorer, and could scarcely earn bread for his numerous family. One night he was roused from his first sleep by a knocking at his door. He opened it', and beheld

HAS

before him a tall, meager', cadaverous-looking priest.

· Hark yè, honest friend',” said the stranger, “I have observed that you are a good Christian', and one to be trusted', will

you undertake a job this very night ? " “With all my heart", Senôr Padré,* on condition that I am paid accordingly.”

“ That' you shāll bé, but you must suffer yourself to be blindfolded.”

To this' the mason made no objection"; so being hoodwinked', he was led by the priest through various rough lanes, and winding passages', until they stopped before the portal of a house. The priest then applied a key', turned a creaking lock' and opened what sounded like a ponderous door. They entered"; the door was closed and bolted', and the mason was conducted through an echoing corridor and spacious hall', to an interior part of the building. Here the bandage was removed from his eyes', and he found himself in a patio,t or court', dimly lighted by a single lamp.

In the center" was the dry basin of an old Moorish fountain', under which the priest requested him to form a small vault'; bricks and mortar being at hand for the purpose. He accordingly worked all night, but without finishing the job. Just before daybreak the priest put a piece of gold into his hand", and having again blindfolded him', conducted him back to his dwelling.

“ Are you willing',” said hé, “ to return and complete your work?

“Gladly, Senôr Padré, provided I am as well paid.”
"Well, then', to-morrow' at midnight I will call again."

He did sò and the vault was completed. Now,” said the priest',

“you must help me to bring forth the bodies that are to be buried in this vault.” The

poor mason's hair rose on his head at these words'; he followed the priest with trembling steps' into a retired chamber of the mansion', expecting to behold some ghastly spectacle of death', but was relieved', on perceiving three or four portly jars standing in one corner. They were evidently full of money`; and it was with great labor that he and the priest carried them forth and consigned them to their tomb. The vault was then closed", the pavement replaced', and all traces of the work obliterated.

The mason was again hoodwinked and led forth by a route

[ocr errors]

* Spanish title for a priest ; pronounced, nearly, Sanc-yur Pah-dra; first a as in late ; second as in father, but short.' The mark (^) over the syllable or in Senor is not a circumflex here, but a notation used in the Spanish language. † A Spanish word.

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

parted.

[ocr errors][merged small]

different from that by which he had come. After they had wandered for a long time through a perplexed maze of lanes and alleys', they halted. The priest then put two pieces of gold into his hand'. “Wait herè,” said he, “ until you hear the cathedral bell toll for matins. If you presume to uncover your eyes before that time, evil will befall you.” So saying he de

The mason waited faithfully', amusing himself by weighing the gold pieces in his hand', and clinking them against each other. The moment the cathedral rung its matin peal, he uncovered his eyes and found himself on the banks of the Xenil ;* from whence he made the best of his way home, and reveled with his family for a whole fortnight on the profits of his two nights' work'; after which he was as poor as ever.

He continued to work a littlè, and pray a good deal', and keep holidays and saints' days from year to year', while his family grew up as gaunt and ragged as a crew of gipsies.

As he was seated one morning at the door of his house, he was accosted by a rich old curmudgeon who was noted for owning many houses', and being a griping landlord.

The man of the money eyed him', for a moment', from beneath a pair of shagged eyebrows.

“ I am told, friend”, that you are very poor.".

“ There is no denying the fact, Senor' ;t it speaks for itself.”

“ I presume, then', you will be glad of a job', and will work cheap."

“ As cheap, my master', as any mason in Granada.”

“That's what I want. I have an old house fallen to decay', that costs more money than it is worth to keep it in repair', for nobody will live in it'; so I must contrive to patch it up and keep it together at as small expense as possible.”

The mason was accordingly conducted to a huge deserted house that seemed going to ruin. Passing through several empty halls and chambers', he entered an inner court where his eye was caught by an old Moorish fountain. He paused for a moment. “ It seems,” said he', “ as if I had been in this place beforé : but it is like a dream. Pray, who occupied this house formerly'?"

“ A pest upon him'!” said the landlord; “it was an old miserly priest', who cared for nobody but himself. He was said to be immensely rich', and, having no relations', it was thought he would leave all his treasure to the church. He

[blocks in formation]

died suddenly', and the priests and friars thronged to take possession of his wealth", but nothing could they find' but a few ducats in a leathern purse. The worse luck has fallen on me'; for since his death the old fellow continues to occupy my house, without paying rents', and there 's no taking the law of a dead man. The people pretend to hear the clinking of gold, all night long, in the chamber where the old priest slept', as if he were counting over his money, and sometimes a groaning and moaning about the court. Whether true or false, these stories have brought a bad name on my house, and not a tenant will remain in it.”

Enough'," said the mason sturdily—“ let me live in your house rēnt frēe', until some better tenant presents', and I will engage to put it in repair', and quiet the troubled spirits that disturb it. I am a good Christian and a poor man', and am not to be daunted by the devil himself", even though he come in the shape of a big bag of money."

The offer of the honest mason was gladly accepted'; he moved with his family into the house, and fulfilled all his engagements. By little and little he restored it to its former state. The clinking of gold was no longer heard at night in the chamber of the defunct priesť, but began to be heard by day in the pocket of the living mason. In a word', he increased rapidly in wealth', to the admiration of all his neighbors', and became one of the richest men in Granada. He gave large sums to the church by way', no doubt', of satisfying his conscience', and never revealed the secret of the wealth until on his deathbed', to his son and heir.

LESSON LIV.

THE TRUANT.

over the

SINCE writing the foregoing pages', we have had a scene of petty tribulation in the Alhambra which has thrown a cloud

sunny countenance of Dolores.* This little damsel has a female passion for pets of all kinds', from the superabundant kindness of her disposition. One of the ruined courts of the Alhambrá is thronged with her favorites.

A stately peacock and his hen seem to hold regal sway here over pompous turkeys', querulous guinea fowls', and a rabble rout of common cocks and hens. The great delight of Dolores, however', has for some time past been centered in a youthful pair of pigeons',

* Do-lo-res.

verse.

which have lately entered into the holy state of wedlock'

, and which have even supplanted a tortoise-shell cat and kitten in her affections.

As a tenement for them to commence housekeeping', she had fitted up a small chamber', adjacent to the kitchen', the window of which looked into one of the quiet Moorish courts. Here they lived in happy ignorance of any world beyond the court, and its sunny roofs. In vain they aspired to soar above the battlements', or to mount to the summit of the towers. Their virtuous union was at length crowned by two spotless and milk-white eggs', to the great joy of their cherishing little mistress. Nothing could be more praiseworthy than the conduct of the young married folks on this occasion. They took turns to sit upon the nest until the eggs were hatched”, and while their callow progeny required warmth and shelter. While one thus staid at home, the other foraged abroad for food, and brought home abundant supplies. This scene of conjugal felicity has suddenly met with a re

Early this morning', as Dolores was feeding the male pigeon', she took a fancy to give him a peep at the great world. Opening a window', therefore, which looks down upon the valley of the Darró, she launched him, at once, beyond the walls of the Alhambra. For the first time in his life, the astonished bird had to try the full vigor of his wings. He swept down into the valley', and then rising upwards with a surgé, soared almost to the clouds. Never before had he risen to such a height', or experienced such delight in flying'; and like a young spendthrift', just come to his estaté, he seemed giddy with excess of liberty', and with the boundless field of action suddenly opened to him. For the whole day he has been circling about in capricious flights', from tower to tower', and from tree

to tree. Every attempt has been made, in vain', to lure him back', by scattering grain upon the roofs'; he seems to have lost all thought of home', of his tender helpmate', and his callow young. To add to the anxiety of Dolores', he has been joined by two palomas ladrones', or robber-pigeons, whose instinct it is to entice wandering pigeons to their own dove-cotes. The fugitivé, like many other thoughtless youths on their first launching upon the world', seems quite fascinated with these knowing', but graceless companions', who have undertaken to show him lifé, and introduce him to society. He has been soaring with them over all the roofs and steeples of Granada. A thunder shower has passed over the city', but he has not sought his home; night has closed in', and still he comes not. To deepen the pathos of the affair', the female pigeon', after remaining several hours

« 上一頁繼續 »