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Ringing the bells till they rocked the steeple;

Go,” cried the mayor, “and get long poles ! Poke out the nests and block-up the holes ;

Consult with carpenters and builders, And leave in our town not even a trace Of the rats !”—when suddenly up the face Of the piper perked in the market place, With a, "First, if you please, my thousand guilders.” “A thousand guilders !” the mayor looked blue; So did the corporation too. Το

pay this sum to a wandering fellow With a gipsy coat of red and yellow.

Beside," quoth the mayor with a knowing wink,
“ Our business was done at the river's brink:
We saw with our eyes the vermin sink,
And what's dead can't come to life, I think.
So, friend, we're not the folks to shrink
From the duty of giving you something to drink,
And a matter of money to put in your poke;
But, as for the guilders, what we spoke
Of them, as you very well know, was in joke;
Beside, our losses have made us thrifty.
A thousand guilders ! come, take fifty.
The piper's face fell, and he cried,
No trifling! I can't wait beside;
And folks who put me in a passion
May find me pipe to another fashion.”
How,"

,” cried the mayor, “d'ye think I'll brook
Being worse treated than a cook?
Insulted by a lazy ribald
With idle pipe and vesture piebald ?
You threaten us, fellow? Do your worst,
Blow your pipe there till you burst ! ”

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Once more he stept into the street,

And to his lips again

Laid his long pipe of smooth straight cane; And ere he blew three notes (such sweet

Soft notes as yet musician cunning
Never gave the enraptured ear)
There was a rustling, that seemed like a bustling
Of merry crowds justling, at pitching and hustling,
Small feet were pattering, wooden shoes clattering,
Little hands clapping, and little tongues chattering ;
And, like fowls in a farm yard when barley is scattering,

Out came the children running-
All the little boys and girls,
With
rosy

cheeks and flaxen curls,
And sparkling eyes, and teeth like pearls,
Tripping and skipping, ran merrily after
The wonderful music with shouting and laughter.
The mayor was dumb, and the council stood
As if they were changed into blocks of wood,
Unable to move a step, or cry
To the children merrily skipping by;
And could only follow with the eye
That joyous crowd at the piper's back.
But how the mayor was on the rack,
And the wretched council's bosoms beat,
As the piper turned from the high street
To where the Weser rolled its waters
Right in the way of their sons and daughters.
However he turned from south to west,
And to Koppelberg Hill his steps addressed,
And after him the children pressed;
Great was the joy in every

breast.
“He never can cross that mighty top!
He's forced to let the piping drop,
And we shall see our children stop."

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When lo, as they reached the mountain's side,
A wondrous portal opened wide,
As if a cavern was suddenly hollowed ;
And the piper advanced and the children followed ;
And when all were in to the

very

last, The door in the mountain side shut fast. Did I

say

all ? no ! one was lame, And could not dance the whole of the way; And in after

years,

if
you

would blame
His sadness, he was used to say-
“It's dull in our town since my playmates left;
I can't forget that I'm bereft
Of all the pleasant sights they see,
Which the piper also promised me;
For he led us, he said, to a joyous land,
Joining the town and just at hand,
Where waters gushed and fruit-trees grew,
And flowers put forth a fairer hue,
And everything was strange and new;
The sparrows were brighter than peacocks here,
And their dogs outran our fallow deer,
And honey-bees had lost their stings,
And horses were born with eagle's wings ;
And just as I became assured
My lame foot would be speedily cured,
The music stopped and I stood still,
And found myself outside the hill,
Left alone against my will,
To go now limping as before,
And never hear of that country more!"

The

mayor sent north, south, east, and west To offer the piper by word of mouth,

Wherever it was man's lot to find him, Silver and gold to his heart's content,

he went,

If he'd only return the way

And bring the children behind him.

So, Willy, let you and me be wipers
Of scores out with all men—especially pipers ;
And, whether they pipe us free from rats or from mice,
If we've promised them aught, let us keep our promise.

BROWNING.

CLASS OR HOME WORK.

Learn the spellings, and write out the first two sentences in your own words.

PERILS IN THE ARCTIC SEAS.

consideration manouvre stubborn necessary

perseverance astonishment experience mechanism

“ There was no time for thinking; action, and not consideration, was necessary. The ice was closing around us, and the squadron still several miles in advance; regain it we must. Through or over this neck the Intrepid must go. Sawing was useless-a mere waste of time; there was no alternative but to give it the 'stem.' Go a-head, full speed,' was the word of command ; 'stem on’ she goes; the concussion is terrific; the vessel trembles from head to taffrail. The stubborn element bends and cracks, but

6

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does not break. 'Stop her! Turn astern!' let us try it again. 'Go a-head with all speed you can give her!' The greater portion of the crew is upon the ice to assist in clearing away. She comes, she comes with additional force. Stand clear—the ice breakshurrah! A piece thirty feet square is adrift, other heavy masses spout from underneath the main floes, making a wonderful clearance, grapnels over the bow, hook on the pieces, take a turn on board, turn astern, stop her, unhook the grapnels : this manæuvre was repeated over and over again with a similar success until the noble craft seemed no longer a piece of mechanism, but a thing of life: some ferocious beast bounding on, and crushing the barrier that opposed it. To the spectator the scene was novel and interesting; the men-o'-war's men hurrah'd and laughed at the sport, while hoary-headed experience—those veterans who had grown grey in Arctic servicestood gaping with astonishment at the 'ice-destroyer smashing a floe six feet thick as if it had been a sheet of glass. She now makes a desperate and final effort; the barrier is broken, she is through, she is free, and the silent shores of Melville Bay echo the astounding cheers of a hundred seamen as she dashes with lightning speed towards her consort Assistance. For three days was the Intrepid adrift from her squadron; but during that period she performed feats unparalleled in the annals of Arctic navigation. No human perseverance, no degree of physical energy, no known mechanical power, save the strong arm of steam,' could have enabled us to regain our position.”From the Admiralty Records of the late Arctic Expedition.

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