Page images
PDF
EPUB

Hereafter ?-And do you think to look
On the terrible pages of that Book

To find her failings, faults, and errors ?
Ah, you will then have other cares,
In your own short-comings and despairs,
In

your own secret sins and terrors !

THE EMPEROR'S BIRD'S NEST.

ONCE the Emperor Charles of Spain,

With his swarthy, grave commanders,
I forget in what campaign,
Long besieged, in mud and rain,

Some old frontier town of Flanders.

Up and down the dreary camp,

In great boots of Spanish leather, Striding with a measured tramp, These Hidalgos, dull and damp,

Cursed the Frenchmen, cursed the weather.

Thus as to and fro they went,

Over upland and through hollow,

[blocks in formation]

6 Golondrina is my guest,

”T is the wife of some deserter !

Swift as bowstring speeds a shaft,

Through the camp was spread the rumor, And the soldiers, as they quaffed Flemish beer at dinner, laughed

At the Emperor's pleasant humor.

So unharmed and unafraid

Sat the swallow still and brooded,

Till the constant cannonade

Through the walls a breach had made,

And the siege was thus concluded.

Then the army, elsewhere bent,

Struck its tents as if disbanding,
Only not the Emperor's tent,
For he ordered, ere he went,

Very curtly, “ Leave it standing !”

So it stood there all alone,

Loosely flapping, torn and tattered, Till the brood was fledged and flown, Singing o'er those walls of stone

Which the cannon-shot had shattered.

THE GOLDEN MILE-STONE.

LEAFLESS are the trees; their purple branches Spread themselves abroad, like reefs of coral,

Rising silent

In the Red Sea of the Winter sunset.

From the hundred chimneys of the village,
Like the Afreet in the Arabian story,

Smoky columns

Tower aloft into the air of amber

At the window winks the flickering fire-light ; Here and there the lamps of evening glimmer,

Social watch-fires

Answering one another through the darkness.

On the hearth the lighted logs are glowing,
And like Ariel in the cloven pine-tree

For its freedom Groans and sighs the air imprisoned in them.

[graphic][merged small][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »