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Thus would I double my life's fading space;
These unbought sports, this happy state,
THE GRASSHOPPER. - Tennyson.
VOICE of the summer wind,
Clap thy shielded sides and carol,
Thou art a mailed warrior, in youth and strength
*Among the many beautiful fables of the ancient Greeks was this one. The beauty of Tithonus, son of a king of Troy, gained for him the affection of one of the goddesses. He begged her, as a favor, to make him immortal, and his request was granted. But, as he had forgotten to ask to retain the vigor and beauty of youth, he soon became infirm and decrepid; and, as life became insupportable to him, he begged the goddess to remove him from the world. As he could not die, she changed him into a grasshopper.
"Sans peur et sans reproche," *
And as light as air;
Thou hast no sorrow or tears,
And slumbers in the clover,
In thy heat of summer pride
In and out the emerald glooms;
*Without fear and without reproach; an epithet applied to Bayard, a French knight distinguished for his courage and his integrity. He died in 1524.
A GRECIAN ANECDOTE.
A GRECIAN ANECDOTE. - Milnes.
How Sparta thirsted after orient gold,
The pride of man to conquer and confuse.
Therefore forget not what that nature was,
That once availed the base desire to foil, When sought the Ionian Aristagoras
To mingle Sparta in his distant broil.
How thick the perils of that far emprise,
To people as to prince, appeal was vain,-
Ten-twenty-forty talents rose the bait;
Strange feeling glistened in those infant eyes, That gazed attentive on the grave debate,
And seemed to search its meaning in surprise.
A suppliant at the regal hearth he stood,
Nor ever thought that proffer to withhold Because about them, in her careless mood,
Played the king's child,—a girl some nine years old.
Yet fifty now had well secured the prey,
Not unaccepted such pure omen came;
That gentle voice the present God revealed, And back the Ionian chief returned in shame, Checked by the virtue of that simple shield.
THE DEATH OF THE FLOWERS.
THE DEATH OF THE FLOWERS. - Bryant.
THE melancholy days have come, the saddest of the year,
Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and sear.
Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the withered leaves lie dead;
They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbit's tread.
The robin and the wren are flown, and from the shrubs the jay,
And from the wood-top calls the crow, through all the gloomy day.
Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers, that lately sprang and stood
In brighter light and softer airs, a beauteous sisterhood?
Alas! they all are in their graves; the gentle race of flowers
Are lying in their lowly beds, with the fair and good of ours.
The rain is falling where they lie, but the cold November rain
Calls not, from out the gloomy earth, the lovely ones again.
The wind-flower and the violet, they perished long ago, And the brier-rose and the orchis died amid the summer glow;
But on the hill the golden-rod, and the aster in the wood,
And the yellow sunflower by the brook, in autumn beauty stood,
Till fell the frost from the clear, cold heaven, as falls the plague on men,
And the brightness of their smile was gone, from upland, glade, and glen.
THE DEATH OF THE FLOWERS.
And now, when comes the calm, mild day, as still such days will come,
To call the squirrel and the bee from out their winter home,
When the sound of dropping nuts is heard, though all the trees are still,
And twinkle in the smoky light the waters of the rill, The south wind searches for the flowers whose fragrance late he bore,
And sighs to find them in the wood and by the stream
And then I think of one who in her youthful beauty died,
The fair, meek blossom that grew up and faded by my side:
In the cold, moist earth we laid her, when the forest cast the leaf,
And we wept that one so lovely should have a life so brief;
Yet not unmeet it was that one, like that young friend of ours,
So gentle, and so beautiful, should perish with the flowers.