Imatges de pÓgina
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It is! His back the pig-skin strides
And flaps his lank rheumatic sides;
With look of mingled scorn and mirth
They buckle round the saddle-girth;
With horsey wink and saucy toss
A youngster throws his leg across.
And so, his rider on his back,
They lead him, limping, to the track,
Far up behind the starting-point,
To limber out each stiffened joint.
As through the jeering crowd he passed,
One pitying look old Hiram cast;

Go it, ye cripple, while ye can!”
Cried out unsentimental Dan;
“A fast-day dinner for the crows!"
Budd Doble’s scoffing shout arose.
Slowly, as when the walking-beam
First feels the gathering head of steam,
With warning cough and threatening wheeze
The stiff old charger crooks his knees;
At first with cautious step sedate,
As if he dragged a coach of state:
He's not a colt; he knows full well
That time is weight and sure to tell:
No horse so sturdy but he fears
The handicap of twenty years.
As through the throng on either hand
The old horse nears the judges' stand,
Beneath his jockey's feather-weight
He warms a little to his gait,
And now and then a step is tried
That hints of something like a stride.
“Go!”—Through his ear the summons stung.
As if a battle-trump had rung;
The slumbering instincts long unstirred
Start at the old familiar word;
It thrills like flame through every limb-
What mean his twenty years to him?
The savage blow his rider dealt
Fell on his hollow flanks un felt;
The spur that pricked his staring hide
Unheeded tore his bleeding side;
Alike to him are spur and rein-
He steps a five-year-old again!
Before the quarter pole was passed,
Old Hiram said, “He's going fast."

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Long ere the quarter was a half,
The chuckling crowd had ceased to laugh;
Tighter his frightened jockey clung
As in a mighty stride he swung,
The gravel flying in his track,
His neck stretched out, his ears laid back,
His tail extended all the while
Behind him like a rat-tail file !
Off went a shoe-away it spun,
Shot like a bullet from a gun;
The quaking jockey shapes a prayer
From scraps of oaths he used to swear;
He drops his whip, he drops his rein,
He clutches fiercely for a mane;
He'll lose his hold-he sways and reels-
He'll slide beneath those trampling heels!
The knees of many a horseman quake,
The flowers on many a

onnet shake,
And shouts arise from left and right,
“Stick on! stick on!” “Hould tight! hould tight pas
“Cling round his neck, and don't let go,
That pace can't hold-there! steady! whoa !"
But like the sable steed that bore
The spectral lover of Lenore,
His nostrils snorting foam and fire,
No stretch his bony limbs can tire;
And now the stand he rushes by,
And “Stop him! stop him ?” is the cry.
Stand back! he's only just begun-
He's having out three heats in one!
"Don't rush in front! he'll smash your brains;
But follow up and grab the reins !"
Old Hiram spoke. Dan Pfeiffer heard,
And sprang, impatient, at the word;
Budd Doble started on his bay,
Old Hiram followed on his gray,
And off they spring, and round they go,
The fast ones doing“ all they know."
Look! twice they follow at his heels,
As round the circling course he wheels,
And whirls with him that clinging boy
Like Hector round the walls of Troy;
Still on, and on, the third time round!
They're tailing off! they're losing ground!
Budd Doble's nag begins to fail!
Dan Pfeiffer's sorrel whisks his tail!
And see! in spite of whip and shout,
Old Hiram's mare is giving out!
Now for the finish! At the turn,
The old horse-all the rest astern-

Comes swinging in, with easy trot;
By Jove! he's distanced all the lot!
That trot no mortal could explain;
Some said, “Old Dutchman come again!"
Some took his time-at least, they tried,
But what it was could none decide;
One said he couldn't understand
What happened to his second-hand;
One said 2:10; that couldn't be-
More like two twenty-two or three;
Old Hiram settled it at last :
“The time was two-too mighty fast 1"
The parson's horse had won the bet;
It cost him something of a sweat;
Back in the one-horse shay he went.
The parson wondered what it meant,
And murmured, with a mild surprise
And pleasant twinkle of the eyes,
“That funeral must have been a trick,
Or corpses drive at double-quick;
I shouldn't wonder, I declare,
If Brother Murray made the prayer!"
And this is all I have to say
About the parson's poor old bay,
The same that drew the one-horse shay.
Moral for which this tale is told :
A horse can trot, for all he's old.

6

ONE HUNDRED YEARS FROM NOW.-Chas, ROWLANA

A CENTENNIAL HYMN.
When cannons peal their booming sounds,

Re-echoing o'er the land,
And waving flags on every breeze,

From lake to ocean strand,
Proclaim with one united voice

The nation's freedom vow,
O patriots, think ye of your land

One hundred years from now!
Shall despots tear those sacred stars,

From out that emblem bright?
Shall bigots with their hellish hates,

Enwrap our land in fight?
Shall rulers with satanic lust,

The seeds of discord sowi

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And into fragments rend our land,

One hundred years from now?
Methinks ere this, from Vernon's shade,

And Monticello's wood,
A rallying shout again might ring

For those who once had stood
At Bunker Hill, and Guilford, too,

With stern, heroic brow,
To save that land they once had saved,

One hundred years from now.
O God, who rules eternal years,

'Tis Thou alone canst save!
Oh! to our coming people grant

That they be wise and brave;
And as we love that starry flag,

And to Thy goodness bow,
Oh! bless our land, as freedom's land,

One hundred years from now.

THE OLD THIRTEEN. -CHARLES Timothy BROOKS

The curtain rises on a hundred years, –
A pageant of the olden time appears.
Let the historic muse her aid supply,
To note and name each form that passes by.
Here come the old original Thirteen!
Sir Walter ushers in the Virgin Queen;
Catholic Mary follows her, whose land
Smiles on sofi Chesapeake from either strand;
Then Georgia, with the sisters Caroline,-
One the palmetto wears, and one the pine;
Next, she who ascertained the rights of men
Not by the sword but by the word of Penn, -
The friendly language hers, of “thee” and “thou";
Then, she whose mother was a thrifty vrouw,-
Mother herself of princely children now;
And, sitting at her feet, the sisters twain,-
Two smaller links in the Atlantic chain,
They, through those long dark winters, drear and dire,
Watched with our Fabius round the bivouac fire;
Comes the free mountain maid, in white and green;
One guards the Charter Oak with lofty mien;
And lo! in the plain beanty once she wore,
The pilgrim mother from the Bay State shore;
And last, not least, is Little Rhody seen,
With face turned heavenward, steadfast and serene,-
She on her anchor, Hope, leans, and will ever lean.

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JIM WOLFE AND TIIE CATS.—MARK TWAIN. As related by old Simon Wheeler of Angel's Camp, Calaveras, County Cal. We was all boys, then, and didn't care for nothin' only heow to shirk school, an' keep up a revivin' state o' mis chief all the time. This yer Jim Wolfe I was talkin' about. was the 'prentice, an' he was the best-hearted feller, he was, an' the most forgivin' an' onselfish, I ever see-well, there couldn't be a more bullier boy than what Jim was, take him heow you would; and sorry enough I was when I see him for the last time.

Me an' Henry was allers pesterin' him, an' plasterin' hoss bills on his back, an' puttin' bumble-bees in his bed, and so on, an' sometimes we'd jist creowd in an'bunk with him, not’standin' his growlin', and then we'd let on to git mad an' fight acrost him, so as to keep him stirred up like. He was nineteen, he was, an’ long, an' lank, an' bashful, an'

was fifteen an’ sixteen, an' pretty tolerabul lazy an' wuthless.

So, that night, you know, that my sister Mary gin the candy pullin', they started us off to bed airly, so as the comp’ny could have full swing, and we rung in on Jim tew have some fun.

Wall, our winder looked out onter the ruff of the ell, an' about ten o'clock a couple of old tomcats got to rairin'an chargin' reound on it, an' carryin' on jist like sin.

There was four inches o snow on the ruff, and it froze so that there was a right smart crust of ice on it, an' the moon was shinin' bright, an' we could see them cats jist like daylight.

Fust they'd stand off, e-yow-yow-yow, jist the same as if they was a cussin' one another, you know, an' bow up their backs, an' bush up their tails, an' swell around, an' spit, an’then all of a suddin the gray cat he'd snatch a handful of fur off the yaller cat’s back, an' spin him around jist like a button on a barn-door. But the yaller cat was game, and he'd come an' clinch, an' the way they'd gouge, an' bite, an’ howl, an' the way they'd make the fur fly, was peowerful.

Wall, Jim he jist got disgusted with the row, and 'lowed

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