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They say that in his prime,
Ere the pruning-knife of Time
Cut him down,

Not a better man was found
By the crier on his round
Through the town.

But now he walks the streets,
And he looks at all he meets
Sad and wan,

And he shakes his feeble head,
That it seems as if he said,

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And the names he loved to hear Have been carved for many a year On the tomb.

My grandmamma has said

Poor old lady, she is dead

Long ago

That he had a Roman nose,

And his cheek was like a rose

In the snow.

But now his nose is thin,

And it rests upon his chin

Like a staff,

And a crook is in his back,

And a melancholy crack
In his laugh.

I know it is a sin

For me to sit and grin

At him here;

But the old three-cornered hat,
And the breeches, and all that,
Are so queer!

And if I should live to be

The last leaf upon the tree
In the spring,

Let them smile, as I do now,
At the old forsaken bough
Where I cling.

Oliver Wendell Holmes.


JENNY kissed me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief! who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!

Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,

Say that health and wealth have missed me, Say I'm growing old, but add

Jenny kissed me!

Leigh Hunt.

1 Note 13.


A Family Portrait

GRANDMOTHER's mother! her age, I guess,
Thirteen summers, or something less;
Girlish bust, but womanly air,

Smooth, square forehead with uprolled hair;
Lips that lover has never kissed,
Taper fingers and slender wrist;
Hanging sleeves of stiff brocade,-
So they painted the little maid.

On her hand a parrot green
Sits unmoving and broods serene.
Hold up the canvas full in view,

Look! there's a rent the light shines through,

Dark with a century's fringe of dust;
That was a Redcoat's rapier-thrust!
Such is the tale the lady old,
Dorothy's daughter's daughter, told.

Who the painter was none may tell,
One whose best was not over well;
Hard and dry, it must be confessed,
Flat as a rose that has long been pressed;
Yet in her cheek the hues are bright,
Dainty colors of red and white,
And in her slender shape are seen
Hint and promise of stately mien.

Look not on her with eyes of scorn,
Dorothy Q. was a lady born!

Ay! since the galloping Normans came,
England's annals have known her name;
And still to the three-hilled rebel town
Dear is that ancient name's renown,
For many a civic wreath they won,
The youthful sire and the gray-haired son.

O Damsel Dorothy! Dorothy Q.!
Strange is the gift that I owe to you;
Such a gift as never a king

Save to daughter or son might bring ; —
All my tenure of heart and hand,


my title to house and land;

Mother and sister, and child and wife,

And joy and sorrow, and death and life!

What if, a hundred years ago,

Those close-shut lips had answered No,
When forth the tremulous question came
That cost the maid her Norman name,
And under the folds that look so still
The bodice swelled with the bosom's thrill?
Should I be I, or would it be

One tenth another to nine tenths me?

Soft is the breath of a maiden's Yes;
Not the light gossamer stirs with less :
But never a cable that holds so fast
Through all the battles of wave and blast;
And never an echo of speech or song

That lives in the babbling air so long!

There were tones in the voice that whispered then
You may hear to-day in a hundred men.

Oh, lady and lover, how faint and far
Your images hover, — and here we are,
Solid and stirring in flesh and bone,
Edward's and Dorothy's, all their own,

A goodly record for time to show
Of a syllable spoken so long ago!
Shall I bless you, Dorothy, or forgive
For the tender whisper that bade me live?

It shall be a blessing, my little maid!

I will heal the stab of the Redcoat's blade,
And freshen the gold of the tarnished frame,
And gild with a rhyme your household name:
you shall smile on us brave and bright
As first you greeted the morning's light,
And live untroubled by woes and fears
Through a second youth of a hundred years.

Oliver Wendell Holmes.


CLOSE by the threshold of a door nailed fast
Three kittens sat; each kitten looked aghast.
I, passing swift and inattentive by,

At the three kittens cast a careless eye,

Not much concerned to know what they did there, 1 Note 14.

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