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Nor deeming kittens worth a poet's care.
But presently a loud and furious hiss
Caused me to stop, and to exclaim,“ What's this ? "
When,

lo!
upon

the threshold met my view,
With head erect, and eyes of fiery hue,
A viper, long as Count de Grasse’s queue.
Forth from his head his forked tongue he throws,
Darting it full against a kitten's nose ;
Who, never having seen in field or house
The like, sat still and silent as a mouse ;
Only projecting, with attention due,
Her whiskered face, she asked him, “Who are

you

?” On to the hall went I, with pace not slow, But swift as lightning, for a long Dutch hoe ; With which, well armed, I hastened to the spot, To find the viper but I found him not, And, turning up the leaves and shrubs around, Found only that he was not to be found. But still the kittens, sitting as before, Sat watching close the bottom of the door. “I hope,” said I, “ the villain I would kill Has slipt between the door and the door-sill ; And if I make dispatch, and follow hard, No doubt but I shall find him in the yard,”: For, long ere now, it should have been rehearsed, ’T was in the garden that I found him first. E’en there I found him, there the full-grown cat His head with velvet paw did gently pat, As curious as the kittens erst had been To learn what this phenomenon might mean. Filled with heroic ardor at the sight,

And fearing every moment he might bite,
And rob our household of our only cat
That was of age to combat with a rat,
With outstretched hoe I slew him at the door,
And taught him never to come there no more.

William Cowper.

MARIGOLD

SHE moved through the garden in glory, because
She had very long claws at the ends of her paws.
Her back was arched, her tail was high,
A green fire glared in her vivid eye;
And all the Toms, though never so bold,
Quailed at the martial Marigold.

Richard Garnett.

THE DUMB SOLDIER

WHEN the grass was closely mown,
Walking on the lawn alone,
In the turf a hole I found,
And hid a soldier underground.

a

Spring and daisies came apace ;
Grasses hide my hiding place;
Grasses run like a green sea
O'er the lawn up to my

knee.

Under grass alone he lies,
Looking up with leaden eyes,

Scarlet coat and pointed gun,
To the stars and to the sun.

When the grass is ripe like grain,
When the scythe is stoned again,
When the lawn is shaven clear,
Then

my

hole shall reappear.

I shall find him, never fear,
I shall find my grenadier ;
But for all that's

gone

and come, I shall find my soldier dumb.

He has lived, a little thing,
In the grassy woods of spring ;
Done, if he could tell me true,
Just as I should like to do.

He has seen the starry hours,
And the springing of the flowers ;
And the fairy things that pass
In the forests of the grass.

In the silence he has heard
Talking bee and ladybird,
And the butterfly has flown
O’er him as he lay alone.

a

Not a word will he disclose,
Not a word of all he knows.
I must lay him on the shelf,
And make up the tale myself.

Robert Louis Stevenson.

THE KING OF DENMARK'S RIDE

Word was brought to the Danish king,

(Hurry !) That the love of his heart lay suffering, And pined for the comfort his voice would bring ;

(Oh, ride as if you were flying !)
Better he loves each golden curl
On the brow of that Scandinavian girl
Than his rich crown-jewels of ruby and pearl ;

And his Rose of the Isles is dying.

Thirty nobles saddled with speed;

(Hurry!)
Each one mounted a gallant steed
Which he kept for battle and days of need;

(Oh, ride as though you were flying !)
Spurs were stuck in the foaming flank,
Worn-out chargers staggered and sank ;
Bridles were slackened and girths were burst ;
But, ride as they would, the king rode first,

For his Rose of the Isles lay dying.

His nobles are beaten, one by one ;

(Hurry !) They have fainted, and faltered, and homeward

gone;
The little fair page now follows alone,

For strength and for courage trying.
The king looked back at that faithful child,
Wan was the face that answering smiled.

They passed the drawbridge with clattering din, Then he dropped, and only the king rode in

Where his Rose of the Isles lay dying.

The king blew a blast on his bugle-horn,

(Silence!)
No answer came, but faint and forlorn
An echo returned on the cold gray morn,

Like the breath of a spirit sighing ;
The castle portal stood grimly wide ;
None welcomed the king from that weary

ride! For, dead in the light of the dawning day, The pale, sweet form of the welcomer lay,

Who had yearned for his voice while dying.

The panting steed with a drooping crest

Stood weary ;

The king returned from the chamber of rest,
The thick sobs choking in his breast,

And that dumb companion eying,
The tears gushed forth, which he strove to check;
He bowed his head on his charger's neck, -
“O steed that every nerve didst strain,
Dear steed! our ride hath been in vain
To the halls where my love lay dying."

Caroline Elizabeth Norton.

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LADY CLARE

It was the time when lilies blow,

And clouds are highest up in air,
Lord Ronald brought a lily-white doe

To give his cousin, Lady Clare.

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