Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Howbeit, she was loved, and she deserved
The love she woke, for she was good and true,
And gossip looked on her and wished she'd swerved
A little that it might know what to do.
But the Don found her out! He chanced to see
A great astrologer who beyged a few
Hairs from the head, and he would presently
kead in them all the life the wearer knew.
“lla!” quoth the Don. “My envious friends talk much
Think ill of Inez. Now they shall speak good,
Shall know her perfect life, a fair life such
As few can buast of and be understood.
All Madrid shall hear this great wise man
Expound her virtues in a public place,
Shall call her goodly after Nature's plan,
Her mind as lovely as her lovely face.”
Next time he saw fair Inez, from the wealth
Of her rich hair he cut a pretty lock.
She knew it not-he did it so by stealth,
Lest she should his vain pride in her but mock.
Armed with the ebon tress he hied him to
The wise man, saying, “ Ho! Read thou this hair!
Read it aloud !” A crowd of Dons he knew
Assembled round him. With his chin in air,
Don Pedro waited. “Caitiff,” cried he,"speak!
Read the white soul in yonder ebon tress !”
The wise man stammered, for his voice grew weak-
"Speak!” cried Don Pedro. And then, stammering less
The great astrologer spake thus: “Fond sir,
Here is a murder, here are husbands four,
Jive thefts, a robbery, arson, and a blur
That meaneth witchcraft." With a double roar
Don Pedro pinked him with his trusty sword.
“Away!” cried he. “Let me but reach the maid,
The false, false woman! "- and the louder roared
That friends would fain detain him, sore afraid
That life to Inez were a foregone tale
If he so much as found her. Don Pedro though
Sped through the streets as swift as rattling hail
Speeds from the clonds. "Oh, let me find her!” So
He cried. He reached her house. Fair Inez met
Him, smiling like a mature summer morn
When roses perfume all the air and fret
The blue-eyed viole: with their scarlet scorn.

“Why, Don,” said she, her voice as sweet as thought
Of days remembered, “is there aught amiss ?
“Amiss ! ” hissed he. “Oh, madame, I am bought
And sold by you, all false and not a miss.
I took your hair to the astrologer-
A lock I filched from its unstarry night-
And what dost think he told me? Do not stir!
I'll tell thee! After that 'twill serve thee right
If thy heart tastes my blade." "My hair!” she said
“You took a lock of it?" “ Cease!” cried he. “I
Will tell thee all. After that, be dead!
To live were sin!” “My hair!” said she, "oh, fie!”
Quoth the mad Don: “Said the astrologer
That she whose head bore that black night of hair
Was guilty-listen now, nor do thou stir
A finger till I finish. Everywhere
The story's whispered,-she whose hair he read
Was guilty of foul murder, aye, and had
Four husbands, and down swooping on her head
Were five thefts, robbery, arson, and, oh, sad,
And sadder still-_" Just then Inez, the fair,
Yawned slightly. “Pardon !” said she. “And a fig
For all this nonsense. Don, why need I care
To tell, now we're engaged--1 wear a wig."

OLD FRIENDS.-B. J. M'DERMOTT. Twas on a cold and frosty night when snow and hail fast

fell, Ind winter's chilling, wailing winds swept over hill and

dell; When people who had happy homes to blazing hearthstones

hied, And the wretched, houseless outcast in the bare street, frozen,

died, That an aged, sightless beggar trudged along a country road, With a face by sorrow furrowed and back bent with life's

load. His tattered cap and ragged coat did many patches show, And his wretched shoes, all cut and torn, let in the rain and Before him walked the faithful dog that always led the way. And was the only guide and friend he'd known for many a

day,

snow.

then go

scorn.

Who often, too, by clever tricks would food and lodging win, The while his master played upon his treasured violin, Suddenly the mastiff stopped and slowly turned around, And sunk down by his master's feet upon the frozen ground. The blind man bent in pity o'er his faithful friend in woe, And said, “Ah, Jack, you're tired; well, we'll rest awhile, To an inn where we'll get meat and drink, and place to lay

our heads; A warm spot by the fire will do, we will not ask for beds. " What could I do without you? What would my dark life

be, If your bright eyes I did not have to choose my path for me. You have, like true and faithful friend, for me ill usage

borne, And often got the savage kicks that spoke the landlord's I'll ne'er forget how e'en when sick you would not duty

shirk, Though many years ago, old friend, you were too old to

work. Why don't you lick my hand, old boy; how strange you

are to me. Your paw is stiff, your heart is still. Oh, God! it cannot be That you have died and left me~no, no, you are not dead. God sees my bruised and bleeding heart, he sees my old He would not leave me here alone in the turmoil and the

strife; He knows I could not bear alone the heavy weight of life.” He threw himself upon the corpse that now was stiff and

cold ; Such grief and sorrow as he felt can ne'er by pen be told. With fatal aim this time grim death had sent his fatal dart, He was too weak to stand the blow; it broke his poor old

heart. For when, next morning, sunshine fell upon their snowy bed, A traveler passing by the spot found dog and master dead.

[ocr errors]

gray head.

OH N0,-OF COURSE NOT.-JOSEPI Bert Smiley.

They were friends, not a bit sentimental,

Or silly or spoony, not they ;
They just talked over matters of interest

In a straightforward, business-like way;

They were friends, and that only ;--for pleasure,

And for study and mutual good;
They had settled the matter completely,

And 'twas perfectly well understood.
Then they found that the gossips pursued them,

As gossips delight to pursue,
So they met and talked over the matter

To decide what 'twas best they should do;
And they came not to any

decision
Any clearer or better'n before,
And they had to keep meeting and talking

And discussing the question some more.
They arrived at the solemn conclusion

That their paths must lie further apart;
They were not anything to each other,

And they cared not for Cupid's frail dart;
So they met for the purpose of parting,

For they cared naught about it, they said.
And they laughed at the follies of lovers,–

Then they fell in love heels over head.

AT THE STAGE DOOR.*-JAMES CLARENCE IIARVEY.

The curtain had fallen, the lights were dim,

The rain came down with a steady pour;
A white-haired man, with a kindly face,

Peered through the panes of the old stage door. “I'm getting too old to be drenched like that,”

He muttered and turning, met, face to face,
The woman whose genius, an hour before,

Like a mighty power, had filled the place.
“Yes, much too old,” with a smile, she said,

And she laid her hand on his silver hair;
" You shall ride with me to your home to-night,

For that is my carriage, standing there."
The old door-tender stood, doffing his hat

And holding the door, but she would not stir
Though he said it was not for the "likes o' him,

To ride in a kerridge with such as her.”
Come, put out your lights,” she said to him,

“I've something important I wish to say, •From “Lines and Rhymes," by permission of the Author.

And I can't stand here in the draught, you know.

I can tell you much better while on the way.”
So, into the carriage, the old man crept,

Thanking her gratefully, o'er and o'er,
Till she bade him listen, while she would tell

A story, concerning that old stage door,
“It was raining in torrents, ten years ago

This very night, and a friendless child
stood, shivering there, by that old stage door,

Dreading her walk, in a night so wild.
She was only one of the "extra" girls,

But you gave her a nickel to take the car,
And said 'Heaven bless ye, my little one!

Ye can pay me back, ef ye ever star.'
"So you cast your bread on the waters then,

And I pay you back, as my heart demands,
And we're even now-no! not quite,” she said,

As she emptied her purse in his trembling hands "And if ever you're needy and want a friend,

You know where to come, for your little mite
Put hope in my heart and made me strive

To gain the success you have seen to-night.”
Then the carriage stopped at the old man's door,

And the gas-light shone on him, standing there;
And he stepped to the curb, as she rolled away,

While his thin lips murmured a fervent prayer.
He looked at the silver and bills and gold,

And he said: “She gives all this to me?
My bread has come back a thousand-fold;

God bless her! God bless all such as she!”

A MOTHER'S TINDER FALIN'S.*

S. JENNIE SMITH. So poor Mrs. Mulligan's gone, rist her sowl! It's a tremingus clamity for the neighborhood, Mrs. Jones, but the poor

dear is betther off out of this wicked wurruld. I'd say that if it was mesilf, indade I would, and you know that for the truth, sure as my name's Biddy Reilly.

*Written expressly for this Collection. “Mrs. Murphy's Recipe for Cako, Mary Ann's Escape " &c., in other Numbers, are by the same author.

« AnteriorContinuar »