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But each will mourn his own (she saith),
And sweeter woman ne'er drew breath
Than my sonne's wife, Elizabeth.
I shall never hear her more
By the reedy Lindis shore,
“Cusha! Cusha ! Cusha !" calling,
Ere the early dews be falling;
I shall never hear her song,
“Cusha ! Cusha!” all along
Where the sunny Lindis floweth,
From the meads where melick groweth,
When the water winding down,
Onward floweth to the town.
I shall never see her more
Where the reeds and rushes quiver,
Stand beside the sobbing river,
Sobbing, throbbing, in its falling
To the sandy lonesome shore;
I shall never hear her calling,
“Leave your meadow grasses mellow,
Quit your cowslips, cowslips yellow;
Come uppe Whitefoot, come uppe Lightfoot;
Quit your pipes of parsley hollow,
Come uppe Lightfoot, rise and follow;
From your clovers lift the head;
Come uppe Jetty, follow, follow,
Jetty, to the milking-shed."
Did you tackle that trouble that came your way
With a resolute heart and cheerful,
Or hide your face from the light of day
With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a trouble is a ton, or a trouble is an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it,
And it isn't the fact that you're hurt that counts,
But only — how did you take it?
You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what's that?
Come up with a smiling face.
It's nothing against you to fall down flat,
But to lie there — that's disgrace.
The harder you're thrown, why, the higher you bounce;
Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isn't the fact that you're licked that counts;
It's how did you fight — and why?
And though you be done to the death, what then?
If you battled the best you could,
If you played your part in the world of men,
Why The Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
And whether he's slow, or spry,
It isn't the fact that you're dead that counts,
But only — how did you die?
By permission of Forbes & Co, publishers, and of the author.
THE INDIGO BIRD 1
Oh, late to come but long to sing,
My little finch of deep-dyed wing,
I welcome thee this day!
Thou comest with the orchard bloom,
The azure days, the sweet perfume
That fills the breath of May.
A winged gem amid the trees,
A cheery strain upon the breeze
From tree-top sifting down;
A leafy nest in covert low;
When daisies come and brambles blow,
A mate in Quaker brown.
But most I prize, past summer's prime,
When other throats have ceased to chime,
Thy faithful tree-top strain;
No brilliant bursts our ears enthrall
A prelude with a “dying fall,”
That soothes the summer's pain.
Where blackcaps sweeten in the shade,
And clematis a bower hath made,
Or, in the bushy fields,
On breezy slopes where cattle graze,
At noon on dreamy August days,
Thy strain its solace yields.
Oh, bird inured to sun and heat,
And steeped in summer languor sweet,
The tranquil days are thine.
The season's fret and urge are o’er,
Its tide is loitering on the shore;
Make thy contentment mine!
By permission of Harper & Bros., publishers, and the author.
The Jackdaw sat on the Cardinal's chair!
Bishop and abbot and prior were there;
Many a monk, and many a friar,
Many a knight, and many a squire,
With a great many more of lesser degree,
In sooth, a goodly company;
And they served the Lord Primate on bended knee.
Never, I ween, was a prouder seen,
Read of in books, or dreamt of in dreams,
Than the Cardinal Lord Archbishop of Rheims !
In and out through the motley-rout,
That little Jackdaw kept hopping about:
Here and there, like a dog in a fair,
Over comfits and cates, and dishes and plates,
Cowl and cope, and rochet and pall,
Miter and crosier! he hopped upon all.
With a saucy air, he perched on the chair
Where, in state, the great Lord Cardinal sat,
In the great Lord Cardinal's great red hat;
And he peered in the face
Of his Lordship's Grace, With a satisfied look, as if he would say, “We two are the greatest folks here to-day!”
And the priests with awe, as such freaks they saw, Said, “The deuce must be in that little Jackdaw !” The feast was over, the board was cleared, The flawns and the custards had all disappeared, And six little singing-boys - dear little souls In nice clean faces, and nice white stoles
Came, in order due, two by two, Marching that grand refectory through!
A nice little boy held a golden ewer,
Embossed and filled with water, as pure
As any that flows between Rheims and Namur,
Which a nice little boy stood ready to catch
In a fine golden hand-basin made to match.
Two nice little boys, rather more grown,
Carried lavender-water, and eau de Cologne;
And a nice little boy had a nice cake of soap,
Worthy of washing the hands of the Pope.
One little boy more a napkin bore,
Of the best white diaper, fringed with pink,
And a Cardinal's hat marked in “permanent ink.”
The great Lord Cardinal turns at the sight
Of these nice little boys dressed all in white;
From his finger he draws his costly turquoise:
And, not thinking at all about little Jackdaws,
Deposits it straight by the side of his plate, While the nice little boys on his Eminence wait; Till when nobody's dreaming of any such thing, That little Jackdaw hops off with the ring !
There's a cry and a shout, and a terrible rout, And nobody seems to know what they're about, But the monks have their pockets all turned inside out;
The friars are kneeling, and hunting and feeling The carpet, the floor, and the walls, and the ceiling.
The Cardinal drew off each plum-colored shoe, And left his red stockings exposed to the view;
He peeps, and he feels in the toes and the heels;
They turn up the dishes, they turn up the plates,
They take up the poker and poke out the grates,
They turn up the rugs, they examine the mugs;
But, no! no such thing, -- they can't find THE RING!