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But Mary took offense at this.
“ You have no soul," said she,
“For art, and do not know the bliss
The sacred fire' they talk about
Lights all the way before me;.
It's quite my duty to come out,
And all my friends implore me. “Three months of Thunder I have found
A thorough course,” she said ; “I'll clear Parnassus with a bound."
(Tom softly shook his head.) “I cannot fail to be the rage.”.
(Tom looked a thousand pities.) “And so I'm going on the stage
To star in Western cities."
And Mary went; but Mary came
To grief within a week;
And in a month she came to Tom,
Quite gentle, sweet, and meek.
Tom was rejoiced: his heart was none
The hardest or the sternest. “Oh, Tom,” she sobbed, “It looked like fun,
But art is dreadful earnest. “Why, art means work, and slave, and bear
All sorts of scandal, too;
To dread the critics so you dare
Not look a paper through;
Oh, 'art is long and hard."' "And
Are short and-soft, my darling.”
My money, Tom, is gone-it flew."
“That's natural with a starling.” “I love you more than words can say,
Dear Tom." He gave a start. “ Mary, is that from any play ?” “No, Tom; it's from
heart." He took the tired, sunny head,
With all its spent ambitions,
So gently to his breast, she said
No word but sweet permissions.
Can you forgive me, Tom, for—" “Lifo,"
He finished out the phrase.
“My love, you're patterned for a wife.
The crowded public ways
Are hard for even the strongest heart;
Yours beats too softly human.
However woman choose her art,
Yet art must choose its woman."
CAMBYSES AND THE MACROBIAN BOW.
Paul H. HAYNE. One morn, hard by a slumberous streamlet's wave, The plane-trees stirless in the unbreathing calm, And all the lush-red roses drooped in dream, Lay King Cambyses, idle as a cloud That waits the wind,-aimless of thought and will, But with vague evil, like the lightning's bolt Ere yet the electric death be forged to smite, Seething at heart. His courtiers ringed him round, Whereof was one who to his comrades' ears, With bated breath and wonder-archéd brows, Extolled a certain Bactrian's matchless skill Displayed in bow-craft: at whose marvelous feats, Eagerly vaunted, the King's soul grew hot With envy, for himself erewhile had been Rated the mightiest archer in his realm. Slowly he rose, and pointing southward, said, “Seest thou, Prexaspes, yonder slender palm, A mere wan shadow quivering in the light, Topped by a ghostly leaf-crown? Prithee, now, Can this, thy famous Bactrian, standing here, Cleave with his shaft a hand's-breadth marked thereon." To which Prexaspes answered, “ Nay, my lord; I spake of feats compassed by mortal skill, Not of gods' prowess." Unto whom, the king :"And if myself, Prexaspes, made essay, Think'st thou, wise counselor, I too should fail ?” “Needs must I, sire,”-albeit the courtier's voice Trembled, and some dark prescience bade him pause," Needs must I hold such cunning more than man's; And for the rest, I pray thy pardon, King, But yester-eve, amid the feast and dance, Thou tarriedst with the beakers over-long." The thick, wild, treacherous eyebrows of the King, That looked a sheltering ambush for ill thoughts Waxing to manhood of malignant acts,These treacherous eyebrows, pent-house fashion, closed O'er the black orbits of his fiery eyes, -, Which, clouded thus, but flashed a deadlier gleam On all before him: suddenly as fire Half-choked and smouldering in its own dense smoke, Bursts into roaring radiance and swift flame, Touched by keen breaths of liberating wind, So now Cambyses' eyes a story joy Stormily filled; for on Prexaspes' son, His first-born son, they lingered, -a fair boy
(Midmost his fellow-pages flushed with sport),
Who, in his office of King's cup-bearer,-
So gracious and so sweet were all his ways,-
Had even the captious sovereign seemed to please;
While for the court, the reckless, reveling court,
They loved him one and all:
Go,” said Cambyses now, his voice a hiss,
Poisonous and low, “go, bind my dainty page
To yonder palm-tree; bind him fast and sure,
So that no finger stirreth; which being done,
Fetch me, Prexaspes, the Macrobian bow.”
Thus ordered, thus accomplished:-fast they bound
The innocent child, the while that mammoth bow,
Brought by the spies from Ethiopian camps,
Lay in the King's hand; slowly, sternly up,
He reared it to the level of his sight,
Reared, and bent back its oaken massiveness
Till the vast muscles, tough as grapevines, bulged
From naked arm and shoulder, and the horns
Of the fierce weapon groaning, almost met,
When, with one lowering glance askance at him,
His doubting satrap,--the King cooily said,
“ Prexaspes, look, my aim is at the heart !"
Then came the sharp twang, and the deadly whirr
Of the loosed arrow, followed by the dull,
Drear echo of a bolt that smites its mark;
And those of keenest vision shook to see
The fair child fallen forward across his bonds,
With all his limbs a-quivering. Quoth the King,
Clapping Prexaspes' shoulder, as in glee,
Go thou, and tell me how that shaft hath sped !" Forward the wretched father, step by step, Crept, as one creeps whom black Hadéan dreams, Visions of fate and fear unutterable, Draw, trar.ced and rigid, towards some detinite goal Of horror; thus he went, and thus he saw What never in the noontide or the night, Awake or sleeping, idle or in toil, 'Neath the wild forest or the perfumed lamps Of palaces, shall leave his stricken sight Unblasted, or his spirit purged of woe. Prexaspes saw, yet lived; saw, and returned Where still environed by his dissolute court, Cambyses leaned, half-scornful, on his bow: The old man's face was riven, and white as death; But making meek obeisance to his King, He smiled (ah, such a smile!) and feebly said, * What am I, mighty master, what am I,
That I durst question my lord's strength and skill?
His arrows are like arrows of the god,
Egyptian Horus -and for proof, but now,
I felt a child's heart (once the child was mine,
'Tis my lord's now, and Death's), all mute and still,
Pierced by his shaft, and cloven, ye gods! in twain.”
Then laughed the great King loudly, till his beard
Quivered, and all his stalwart body shook
With merriment; but when his mirth was calmed,
“Thou art forgiven,” said he, “ forgiven, old man;
Only when next these Persian dogs shall call
Cambyses drunkard, rise, Prexaspes, rise !
And tell them how, and to what purpose, once,–
Once, on a morn which followed hot and wan
A night of monstrous revel and debauch, -
Cambyses bent this huge Macrobian bow.”
THE WIDOW'S LIGHT.-Augusta MOORE.
Over the ribs of the salt sea sand,
Far, far out from the sheltered land,
Feet uncovered and free of limb,
Danced she into the sea-mist dim;
Angela Rainor, the widow's light,
The lone, bright star in a heavy night.
Over the sands, with a wild, sweet song,
Light as a beach-bird, she skimmed along,
Seeking for shells that were left behind
When the tide went out; and in hope to find
Scallops and crabs, and some razor-fish,
To make for her mother a savory dish.
"I'm a long way out," said the little maid;
"But then I'm never the least afraid;
At any time I can hurry back,
I can find the shore by my own plain track,
Oh! but 'tis nice to be out by the sea!
A mermaid how I would love to be ;
To dart, with the fishes, up and down,
To frolic and caper, but never drown."
“Hillo! small messmate," called Uncle Jim,
The whaler, just from a glorious swim
Out by the breakers not far away,
“What luck, Sand Piper, in fishing to-day ?
“ Basket briunful, sir, and there it stands,"
She pointed back o'er the misty sands;
Dimly he saw it, safe and high,
On a lofty rock that was always dry.
“Good ! little messmate. But don't stay long,
The tide will be turning and setting in strong.
I heard the sea-witches out there in the spray
Tell how they were brewing a tough storm to-day.”
“I'm going soon, sir.” Her brown hand she kissed
With the grace of a princess, and vanished in mist.
He heard in the waters the splash of her feet,
And as he went shoreward her voice, faintly sweet,
Came back on the wind that blew inland the foam,
“Yes, yes, I am going, I'm soon going home.
But not just this minute,” thus low to herself,
Playing “ catch” with the waves, sang the beautiful elf.
Go home, Captain Jim, but be sure you don't tell
That you found me so near where the loud breakers swell."
The tiny waves rolled as in play o'er her feet,
And upward they leaped as if trying to meet
The touch of her hand. Then they broke on the strand,
Each one just a little way nearer the land.
How happy the child! how intent on her play!
Till a sudden rough wave dashed her over with spray.
Then startled, she listened. None reared on the shore
That knows not too wel! what is meant by that roar.
“I must run for my basket and hurry to land.”
Oh! where was the rock? where the tracks in the sand!
Fast over her gathered the mists more and more,
And louder and nearer that terrible roar;
The breakers were booming and bellowing near,
And blinded by spray, she was fainting with fear.
“Oh, mother!" she cried in her anguish and pain,
My mother! I never shall see you again.
My basket, all filled for your sake, will be found;
But, O my dear mother, your child will be drowned.”
Wide on the waves spread her long locks of gold, -
To sad widow Rainor a treasure untold,-
Ind the hungry salt billows that swayed her hair,
Dashed foam on the lovely face lifted in prayer,
As Angela, standing breast-high in the flood,
Stretching out her small arms raised her cry unto God:
"Mother says that you love me, Lord Jesus, 0 come!
And over the stormy waves carry me home.”
Now brave Captain Jim, when he heard the waves roar,
Crowded all sail, so he said, for the shore,