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The poet's locks shook out reply;
Ile turned him gayly down the rill; Yet left a light which shall not die,
A sunshine on the farmer's sill.
He strewed the vale with flowers of song;
He filled the homes with lighter grace, Which rond those hearth-stones lingered long,
And still makes beautiful the place.
The country, hamlet, and the town
Grew wiser, better, for his songs; The roaring city could not drown
The voice that to the world belongs.
To beds of pain, to rooms of death,
The soft and solemn music stole, And soothed the dying with its breath,
And passed into the mourner's soul.
And yet what was the poet's meed?
Such, Bard of Alloway, was thine!
Or tend the common herds and swine.
The nation heard his patriot lays,
And rung them, like an anthem, round, Till Freedom waved her branch of bays,
Wherewith the world shall yet be crowned.
His war-songs fired the battle-host,
His mottoes on their banners burned; And when the foe had fled the coast,
Wild with his songs the troops returned.
Then at the feast's triumphal board,
His thrilling music cheered the wine ;But when the singer asked reward,
They pointed to the herds and swine.
“What! he a bard? Then bid him go
And beg,- it is the poet's trade! Dan Homer was the first to show
The rank for which the bards were made!
“A living bard! What's he to us?
A bard, to live, must first be dead! And when he dies, we may discuss
To whom belongs the poet's head !”
'Neath suns that burn, through storms that drench,
He went, an outcast from his birth,
The fire that was not born of earth.
At last, behind cold prison-bars,
By colder natures unforgiven,
His spirit found its native heaven.
Now, when a meteor-spark, forlorn,
upon its fiery wing,
Perchance, to suffer and to sing :
Its own heart a consuming pyre
Of fame, to brighten and refine :-
That will not tend the herds and swine.
THE PROFESSOR AT TIIE BREAKFAST-TABLE.
WHAT HE SAID, WHAT HE HEARD, AND WHAT HE SAW.
One of our boarders — perhaps more than one was concerned in it-sent in some questions to me, the other day, which, trivial as some of them are, I felt bound to answer.
1.- Whether a lady was ever known to write a letter covering only a single
To this I answered, that there was a case on record where a lady had but half a sheet of paper and no envelope; and being obliged to send through the post-office, she covered only one side of the paper (crosswise, lengthwise, and diagonally).
2.- What constitutes a man a gentleman ?
To this I gave several answers, adapted to particular classes of questions.
a. Not trying to be a gentleman.
c. Knowledge and observance of the fitness of things in social intercourse.
d. £. 8. d. (as many suppose.)
3.— Whether face or figure is most attractive in the female sex ?
Answered in the following epigram, by a young man about town :
Quoth Tom, “ Though fair her features be, It is her figure pleases me." “ What may her figure be?” I cried. “ One hundred thousand !" he replied.
When this was read to the boarders, the young man John said he should like a chance to " step up” to a figger of that kind, if the girl was one of the right sort.
The landlady said them that merried for money didn't deserve the blessin' of a good wife. Money was a great thing when them that had it made a good use of it. She had seen better days herself, and knew what it was never to want for anything One of her cousins merried a very rich old gentleman, and she had heerd that he said he lived ten year longer than if he'd staid by himself without anybody to take care of him. There was
nothin' like a wife for nussin' sick folks The landlady herself came to him one and them that couldn't take care of them- day, as I have found out, and tried to selves.
persuade him to hold his tongue.-— The The young man John got off a little boarders was gettin' uneasy,- she said, wink, and pointed slyly with his thumb in and some of 'em would go, she mistrusted, the direction of our diininutive friend, for if he talked any more about things that whom he seemed to think this speech was belonged to the ministers to settle. She intended.
was a poor woman, that had known betIf it was meant for him, he didn't ap- ter days, but all her livin' depended on pear to know that it was. Indeed, he her boarders, and she was sure there seems somewhat listless of late, except wasn't any of 'em she set so much by as when the conversation falls upon one of she did by him; but there was them that those larger topics that specially interest never liked to hear about such things, him, and then he grows excited, speaks except on Sundays. loud and fast, sometimes almost savage- The little gentleman looked very smilly,— and, I have noticed once or twice, ing at the landlady, who smiled even presses his left hand to his right side, as more cordially in return, and adjusted if there were something that ached, or her cap-ribbon with an unconscious moveweighed, or throbbed in that region. ment, - a reminiscence of the long-past
While he speaks in this way, the gen- pairing-time, when she had smoothed her eral conversation is interrupted, and we locks and softened her voice, and won her all listen to him. Iris looks steadily in his mate by these and other bird-like graces. face, and then he will turn as if magnet - My dear Madam, — he said, — I will ized and meet the amber eyes with his remember your interests, and speak only own melancholy gaze. I do believe that of matters to which I am totally indifferthey have some kind of understanding ent.—I don't doubt he meant this; but a together, that they meet elsewhere than day or two after, something stirred him at our table, and that there is a mystery, up, and I heard his voice uttering itself which is going to break upon us all of a aloud, thus:sudden, involving the relations of these It must be done, Sir!- he was two persons. From the very first, they saying,-it must be done! Our religion have taken to each other. The one thing has been Judaized, it has been Romanthey have in common is the heroic will. ized, it has been Orientalized, it has been In him, it shows itself in thinking his way Anglicized, and the time is at band when straightforward, in doing battle for “ free it must be AMERICANIZED! Now, Sir, trade and no right of search” on the high you see what Americanizing is in poliseas of religious controversy, and espe- tics ;-it means that a man shall have a cially in fighting the battles of his crook- vote because he is a man,- and shall vote ed old city. In her, it is standing up for for whom he pleases, without his neighher little friend with the most queenly bor's interference. If he chooses to vote disregard of the code of boarding house for the Devil, that is his lookout;-peretiquette. People may say or look what haps he thinks the Devil is better than they like, - she will have her way about the other candidates; and I don't doubt this sentiment of hers.
he's often right, Sir! Just so a man's The poor relation is in a dreadful fidg- soul has a vote in the spiritual communiet whenever the little gentleman says ty; and it doesn't do, Sir, or it won't do anything that interferes with her own in- long, to call him “schismatic” and “herefallibility. She seems to think Faith must tic” and those other wicked names that go with her face tied up, as if she had the the old murderous Inquisitors have left toothache, and that if she opens her us to help along “ peace and good-will to mouth to the quarter the wind blows from, she will catch her “death o'cold.” As long as you could catch a man and drop him into an oubliette, or pull him out every soul God sends into the world will a few inches longer by machinery, or put be good in the face of all men for just so a hot iron through his tongue, or make much of His “inspiration" as "giveth him him climb up a ladder and sit on a board understanding" !-- None of my words, at the top of a stake so that he should be Sir! none of my words ! slowly broiled by the fire kindled round If Iris does not love this little it, there was some sense in these words; gentleman, what does love look like when they led to something. But since we one sees it? She follows him with her have done with those tools, we had bet- eyes, she leans over toward him when he ter give up those worls. I should like speaks, her face changes with the changes to see a Yankee advertisement like this! of his speech, so that one might think it --(the little gentleman laughed fiercely was with her as with Christabel,as he uttered the words,-)
That all her features were resigned Patent thumb-screws, warranted To this sole image in her mind. to crush the bone in three turns.
But she never looks at him with such in· The cast-iron boot, with wedge tensity of devotion as when he says anyand mallet, - only five dollars !
thing about the soul and the soul's atmosThe celebrated extension-rack, phere, religion. warranted to stretch a man six inches in Women are twice as religious as men; twenty minutes,-money returned, if it - all the world knows that. Whether proves unsatisfactory.
they are any better, in the eyes of AbsoI should like to see such an advertise- lute Justice, might be questioned; for the ment, I say, Sir! Now, what's the use additional religious element supplied by of using the words that belonged with sex hardly seems to be a matter of praise the thumb-screws, and the Blessed Virgin or blame. But in all common aspects with the knives under her petticoats and they are so much above us that we get sleeves and bodice, and the dry pan and most of our religion from them, -- from gradual fire, if we can't have the things their teachings, from their example, themselves, Sir? What's the use of paint- above all, from their pure affections. ing the fire round a poor fellow, when Now this poor little Iris bad been talkyou think it won't do to kindle one undered to strangely in her childhood. Espehim, -as they did at Valencia or Valla- cially she had been told that she hated all dolid, or wherever it was?
good things, — which every sensible parWhat story is that?-I said. ent knows well enough is not true of a Why,- he answered, -at the last auto- great many children, to say the least. I da-fe, in 1824 or '5, or somewhere there, have sometimes questioned whether many - it's a traveller's story, but a mighty libels on human nature had not been a knowing traveller he is, — they had a natural consequence of the celibacy of “ heretic” to use up according to the the clergy, which was enforced for so statutes provided for the crime of private long a period. opinion. They couldn't quite make up The child had met this and some oththeir minds to burn him, so they only er equally encouraging statements as to hung him in a hogshead painted all over her spiritual conditions, early in life, and with flames !
fought the battle of spiritual indepenNo, Sir! when a man calls you names dence prematurely, as many children do. because you go to the ballot-box and vote If all she did was hateful to God, what for your candidate, or because you say was the meaning of the approving or else this or that is your opinion, he forgets in the disapproving conscience, when she which half of the world he was born, had done “ right” or “wrong”? No Sir! It won't be long, Sir, before we “shoulder-striker” hits out straighter than have Americanized religion as we have a child with its logic. Why, I can Americanized government; and then, Sir, member lying in my bed in the nursery
and settling questions which all that I The Church of Saint Polycarp had have heard since and got out of books very much the look of a Roman Catholic has never been able to raise again. If chapel. I do not wish to run the risk of a child does not assert itself in this way giving names to the ecclesiastical furniin good season, it becomes just what its ture which gave it such a Romish aspect; parents or teachers were, and is no bet- but there were pictures, and inscriptions ter than a plaster image.-- How old was in antiquated characters, and there were I at the time? I suppose about 5823 reading-stands, and flowers on the altar, years old, — that is, counting from Arch- and other elegant arrangements. Then bishop Usher's date of the Creation, and there were boys to sing alternately in adding the life of the race, whose accu- choirs responsive to each other, and there mulated intelligence is a part of my
in- was much bowing, with very loud reheritance, to my own. A good deal older sponding, and a long service and a short than Plato, you see, and much more ex- sermon, and a bag, such as Judas used perienced than my Lord Bacon and most to hold in the old pictures, was carried of the world's teachers. - Old books are round to receive contributions. Everybooks of the world's youth, and new thing was done not only “decently and books are fruits of its age. How many in order," but, perhaps one might say, of all these old folios round me are like with a certain air of magnifying their so many old cupels! The gold has pass- office on the part of the dignified clergycd out of them long ago, but their pores men, often two or three in number. The are full of the dross with which it was music and the free welcome were grateful mingled.
to Iris, and she forgot her prejudices at the And so Iris — having thrown off that door of the chapel. For this was a church first lasso, which not only fetters, but with open doors, with seats for all classes chokes those whom it can hold, so that and all colors alike,-- a church of zealous they give themselves up trembling and worshippers after their faith, of charitable breathless to the great soul-subduer, who and serviceable men and women, one has them by the windpipe --- had settled that took care of its children and never a brief creed for herself, in which love of forgot its poor, and whose people were the neighbor, whom we have seen, was much more occupied in looking out for the first article, and love of the Creator, their own souls than in attacking the faith whom we have not seen, grew out of this of their neighbors. In its mo'le of woras its natural development, being neces- ship there was a union of two qualities, sarily second in order of time to the first the taste and refinement, which the edunselfish emotions which we feel for the ucated require just as much in their fellow-creatures who surround us in our churches as elsewhere, and the air of early years.
stateliness, almost of pomp, which imThe child must have some place to presses the common worshipper, and is worship. What would a young girl be often not without its effect upon those who never mingled her voice with the who think they hold outward forms as of songs and prayers that rose all around little value. Under the half-Romish asher with every returning day of rest? pect of the Church of Saint Polycarp, the And Iris was free to choose. Sometimes
young girl found a devout and loving one and sometimes another would offer and singularly cheerful religious spirit. to carry her to this or that place of wor- The artistic sense, which betrayed itself ship; and when the doors were hospita- in the dramatic proprieties of its ritual, bly opened, she would often go meekly harmonized with her taste. The minin by herself. It was a curious fact, that gled murmur of the loud responses, in two churches as remote from each other those rhythmic phrases, so simple, yet so in doctrine as could well be divided her fervent, almost as if every tenth heartaffections.
beat, instead of its dull tic-tac, articulated