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The oracles

are dumb;

No voice or hideous hum

Runs through the arched 1 roof in words deceiving.
Apollo from his shrine 15

Can nomōre divine,

With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos 16 leaving.
No nightly trance, or breathed spell,
Inspires the pale-eyed priest from the prophetic cell.

The lonely mountains o'er

And the resounding 17 shore,

A voice of weeping heard and loud lament;
From haunted spring and dale

Edged with poplar pale,

The parting genius 18 is with sighing sent;"
With flower-inwoven tresses torn

The nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets mourn.

CAUTIONS: a. Care must be taken to sound the last syllable of the words marked like armed. Ocean is always a trissyllable with Milton. b. This verse must be read with great slowness. c. This is the most difficult stanza of them all to read. The voice should be slow and full in the first two lines; the next five should be read, more rapidly, and then the last line should be read with a certain slow pomp. d. Take care not to let the accent touch the the before prophetic.

MEANINGS: 1. Idle, that is, no longer of use. 2. Hostile blood, a Latin idiom for the blood of enemies. 3. Awful, in the old sense of filled with awe. 4. Whist, hushed. 5. Simply chatting, chatting in their usual simple-hearted way. To give it this meaning, the first syllable of simply must be dwelt on. 6. Pan, the god of shepherds. 7. Strook, an old participial form for struck. 8. Stringed noise, the sound from the stringed instruments. 9. As all their souls took, such as took all their souls. 10. Oozy, moist. 11. Helmëd, helmeted. 12. Wings displayed, spread out. 13. Unexpressive, not to be described. 14. Arched, vaulted. 15. Shrine, inner place. 16. Delphos (in Phocis, a state in Greece) was the seat of the oracle of Phoebus Apollo, the god of the sun. 17. Resounding, echoing with the thunder of waves. 18. The genius was the guardian deity of each place, and was called the genius loci.

AMERICA.

O MOTHER of a mighty race,

Yet lovely in thy youthful grace!
The elder dames, thy haughty peers,
Admire and hate thy blooming years;
With words of shame

And taunts of scorn they join thy name.

For on thy cheeks the glow is spread
That tints thy morning hills with red:

SELF-SACRIFICE.

Thy step-the wild deer's rustling feet
Within thy woods are not more fleet;
Thy hopeful eye

Is bright as thine own sunny sky.

They know not, in their hate and pride,
What virtues with thy children bide-
How true, how good, thy graceful maids
Make bright, like flowers, the valley shades;
What generous men

Spring, like thine oaks, by hill and glen;
What cordial welcomes greet the guest
By thy lone rivers of the west;
How faith is kept, and truth revered,
And man is loved, and God is feared,
In woodland homes

And where the ocean border foams.

O fair young mother! on thy brow
Shall sit a nobler grace than now.
Deep in the brightness of thy skies,
The thronging years in glory rise,
And as they fleet,

Drop strength and riches at thy feet.

Thine eye, with every coming hour,
Shall brighten, and thy form shall tower;
And when thy sisters, elder born,
Would brand thy name with words of scorn,
Before thine eye

Upon their lips the taunt shall die.

SELF-SACRIFICE.

A WEALTH of gifts God grants the race of man,
And each gift has its own peculiar price;
Strength, courage, wisdom, love, and loveliness:
Yet one the smiles of God supremely bless;-
The heroic beauty of self-sacrifice.

187

BRYANT.

O weak, who stand in fancied strength alone!

Strong but when brothers' hands are held in brothers'!
The Fates at Fame's far-shining trophies laugh :-
What glories equal that plain epitaph,

:

Not for himself was his first thought, but others?

PALGRAVE.

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THE KING, THE ANGEL, AND THE JESTER.

THE KING, THE ANGEL, AND THE JESTER.

King Robert of Sicily was one day sitting in the cathedral of Palermo at service. The chant for the day was from the first chapter of St. Luke, ver. 52: "He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree." But the monks sang it in Latin; and King Robert asked a priest who sat near him what that Latin which they were repeating so often meant. The priest told him, and the king, with bitter contempt and disdain, replied, "It is well these monkish fellows should say what they are saying in Latin; I should like to see the power who could push me from my seat." And, soon after, the heat of the day made him fall asleep. When he awoke, it was dark, and he was alone. As soon as he crept out of the church, he rushed to the banqueting-hall of his palace, and, in his own robes, on his own throne, he saw a king who looked the exact image of himself. It was an angel. King Robert denounced him as an impostor; but the only reply was to put him in a dungeon, along with an ape, and to make him the king's jester. Other events followed, all of which went to soften the proud heart of the king,-and among others, a visit to Rome, where he was disowned by one of his brothers, and laughed at by another. All this while his throne is occupied by the angel, under whose kindly and intelligent reign the whole island prospers. At last, one day, in church, the angel asks King Robert, "Art thou the king?" to which he humbly replies, "Thou only knowest." that moment there sounded from a neighbouring chapel the chant, "He hath put down the mighty from their seats"; the angel vanished, and Robert was restored to his throne-an wand better man.

At

ROBERT Of
And Valm
Apparelled

brother of Pope Urbane emperor of Allëmaine,1 magnificent attire,

With retinue of many a knight and squire,
On St. John's eve, at vespers,3 proudly sat
And heard the priests chant the Magnificat.*
And as he listened, o'er and o'er again
Repeated, like a burden or refrain,5

" b

C

He caught the words, "Deposuit potentes
De sede, et exaltavit humiles; '
And, slowly lifting up his kingly head,
He to a learned clerk beside him said:
"What mean these words?" The clerk
"He hath put down the mighty from their seat,
And hath exalted them of low degree."
Thereat King Robert muttered scornfully,
""Tis well that such seditious words are sung
Only by priests and in the Latin tongue;
For unto priests and people be it known,
There is no power can push me from my throne!"
And leaning back he yawned and fell asleep,
Lulled by the chant monotonous? and deep.

189

made answer meet,

d

When he awoke it was already night;
The church was empty and there was nō light,
Save where the lamps that glimmered, few and faint,
Lighted a little space before some saint.

8

He started from his seat and gazed around,
But saw no living thing and heard no sound.
He groped towards the door, but it was locked;
He cried aloud and listened and then knocked,
And uttered awful threatenings and complaints,
And imprecations upon men and saints.
The sounds re-echoed from the roof and walls
As if dead priests were laughing in their stalls."
At length the sexton, hearing from without
The tumult of the knocking and the shout,
And thinking thieves were in the house of prayer,
Came with his lantern, asking, "Who is there ?'
Half-choked with rage, King Robert fiercely said,
"Open: 'tis I, the king! Art thou afraid?"
The frightened sexton muttering, with a curse,
"This is some drunken vagabond or worse!"
Turned the great key and flung the portal 10 wide;
A man rushed by him at a single stride,
Haggard," half naked, without hat or cloak,
Who neither turned, nor looked at him, nor spoke,
But leaped into the blackness of the night,
And vanished like a spectre from his sight.

Robert of Sicily, brother of Pope Urbane
And Valmond, emperor of Allëmaine,
Despoiled 12 of his magnificent attire,
Bare-headed, breathless, and besprent 13 with mire,
With sense of wrong and outrage desperate,
Strode on and thundered at the palace gate;
Rushed through the court-yard, thrusting, in his rage,
To right and left each seneschal11 and page,
And hurried up the broad and sounding stair,
His white face ghastly in the torches' glare.
From hall to hall he passed with breathless speed;
Voices and cries he heard, but did not heed,
Until at last he reached the banquet-room,
Blazing with light, and breathing with perfume.

There on the daïs 15 sat another king,
Wearing his robes,
his crown, his signet-ring,—
King Robert's self in features, form, and height,
But all transfigured 16 with angelic light!
It was an angel;—and his presence there
With a divine effulgence 17 filled the air,
An exaltation 18 piercing the disguise,
Though none the hidden angel recognise.

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