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FIRST APPEARANCE AT THE ODEON.
"I Am Nicholas Tacchlnardi,— hunchbacked, look you, and a fright;
Caliban himself might never interpose so foul a sight.
Granted; but I come not, masters, to exhibit form or size.
Gaze not on my limbs, good people; lend your ears, and not your eyes.
I'm a singer, not a dancer,— spare me for a while your din;
Let me try my voice to-night here,— keep your jests till I begin.
Have the kindness but to listen,— this is all I dare to ask.
See, I stand beside the footlights, waiting to begin my task,
If I fail to please you, curse me,— not before my voice you hear,
Thrust me not from the Odeon. Hearken, and I've naught to fear."
Then the crowd in pit and boxes jeered the dwarf, and mocked his shape;
Bowing low, pale Tacchinardi, long accustomed to such threats,
LISTENING FOR GOD.
I Hear it often in the dark,
I hear it in the light,—
With such a quiet might?
And yet beyond the stars;
And yet the planet jars.
Oh, may it he that far within
My inmost soul there lies
Those voices of surprise?
That firmament serene
The Father, dwells unseen?
Oh, God within, so close to me
Be judge, be friend, be Father still,
Thy heaven is mine, — my very soul!
Thy words are sweet and strong; They fill my inward silences With music and with song.
They send me challenges to right.
And loud rebuke my ill; They ring my bells of victory,
They breathe my "Peace, be still 1" They ever seem to say, "My child;
Why seek me so all day? Now journey inward to thyself,
And listen by the way."
William Lloyd Garrison.
TOE FREE MIND.
High walls and huge the body may confine,
And iron gates obstruct the prisoner's gaze,
And massive bolts may baffle his design,
And vigilant keepers watch his devious ways;
But scorns the immortal mind such base control;
No chains can bind it and no cell enclose.
Swifter than light it flies from pole to pole,
And in a flash from earth to heaven it goes.
It leaps from mount to mount, from
vale to vale It wanders plucking honeyed fruits
and flowers; It visits home to hear the fireside tale And in sweet converse pass the joyous hours; 'Tis up before the sun, roaming afar, And in its watches wearies every star.
'twas the last fight at Fredericks-
Kept Early's men in check. Just where Wade Hampton boomed away
The fight went neck and neck.
All day the weaker wing we held,
And held it with a will. Five several stubborn times we charged
The battery on the hill, And five times beaten back, re-formed,
And kept our column still.
At last from out the centre fight.
Spurred up a general's aid. "That battery must silenced be!"
He cried, as past he sped. Our colonel simply touched his cap,
And then, with measured tread,
To lead the crouching line once more The grand old fellow came.
No wounded man but raised his head And strove to gasp his name,
And those who could not speak nor stir,
"God blessed him" just the same.
For he was all the world to us.
That hero gray and grim. Right well we knew that fearful slope
We'd climb with none but him, Though while his white head led the way
We'd charge helps portals in.
This time we were not half-way up, When, midst the storm of shell,
Our leader, with his sword upraised, Beneath our bayonets fell.
And, as we bore him back, the foe Set up a joyous yell.
Our hearts went with him. Back
we swept, And when the bugle said "Up, charge, again!" no man was
But hung his dogged head.
Just then before the laggard line
Bay Billy with his trappings on,
As though still on his gallant back
Right royally he took the place
And with a neigh that seemed to say,
"How can the Twenty-Second charge if I am not in front?"
Like statues rooted there we stood,
And gazed a little space.
The dear familiar face,
And it gave us heart of grace.
No bugle-call could rouse us all
Down all the battered line we felt
Up! up the hill we followed Bill,
And when upon the conquered height
Vainly mid living and the dead
It seemed as if a spectre steed
And then the dusk and dew of night
Fell softly o'er the plain, As though o'er man's dread work of death
The angels wept again, And drew night's curtain gently round
A thousand beds of pain.
All night the surgeons' torches went,
All night with solemn step I paced
But who that fought in the big war
At last the morning broke. The lark Sang in the merry skies,
As if to e'en the sleepers there
It bade awake, and rise! Though naught but that last trump of all
Could ope their heavy eyes.
And then once more with banners gay.
Stretched out the long brigade. Trimly upon the furrowed field
The troops stood on parade, And bravely mid the ranks were closed
The gaps the fight had made.
Not half the Twenty-Second's men Were in their place that morn;
And Corporal Dick, who yester-noon stood six brave fellows on,
Now touched my elbow in the ranks,
Ah! who forgets that dreary hour
To call the old familiar roll
One feels that thumping of the heart
And as in faltering tone and slow
Across the field some missing horse
It caught the sergeant's eye, and quick
Bay Billy's name he read.
Yes! there the old bay hero stood.
And ere an order could be heard.
Down all the front, from end to end,
Not all the shoulder-straps on earth
And ever from that famous day,
Bay Billy's name was read, and then
The whole line answered, "Here!"
Richard Watson Gilder.
THERE IS NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN.
There is nothing new under the sun;
There is no new hope or despair; The agony just begun
Is as old as the earth and the air. My secret soul of bliss
Is one with the singing star's, And the ancient mountains miss
No hurt that my being mars.
I know as I know my life,
I know as I know my pain, That there is no lonely strife,
That he is mad who would gain A separate balm for his woe,
A single pity and cover: The one great God I know
Hears the same prayer over and over.
I know it because at the portal
Of heaven I bowed and cried, And I said, " Was ever a mortal
Thus crowned and crucified 1 My praise thou hast made my blame;
My best thou hast made my worst; My good thou hast turned to shame;
My drink is a flaming thirst."
But scarce my prayer was said
Ere from that place I turned; I trembled, I hung my head,
My cheek, shame-smitten, burned; For there where I bowed down
In my boastful agony, I thought of thy cross and crown,—
O Christ! I remembered thee.
A Sower went forth to sow,
By iron, and to heaven laid bare:
Thus did that sower sow;
It was an autumn day
When next I went that way.
And what, think you, did I see?
What was it that I heard?
The song of a sweet-voiced bird?
Nay — but the songs of many,
Thrilled through with praise and
prayer. Of all those voices not any Were sad of memory: And a sea of sunlight flowed, And a golden harvest glowed! On my face I fell down there; And I said: Thou only art wise — God of the earth and skies! And I thank thee, again and again, For the sower whose name is Pain.
WEAL AND WOE.
O Highest, strongest, sweetest woman-soul!
Thou boldest in the compass of
thy grace All the strange fate and passion of
thy race; Of the old, primal curse thou
knowest the whole: Thine eyes, too wise, are heavy with
The doubt, the dread of alt this human maze;