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Up! let us to the fields away,
Men reared a column of surpassing height
And on the top, that dwindled to the sight,
Seeking in faultless work immortal youth,
Making the wintry marble glow with truth, Should gain the prize. Two sculptors sought the fame: The prize they craved was an enduring name. Alcamenes soon carved his little best;
But Phidias, beneath a dazzling thought
Lit up his wide, great soul, with pure love wrought
But at the marble thought, that by degrees
"The lines are coarse; the form too large,” said these; “And he who sends this rough result of haste Sends scorn, and offers insult to our taste." Alcamenes' praised work was lifted high
Upon the capital where it might stand;
Had no proportion from the uplooking land;
And changed them as a sudden breeze may change A field of fickle grass, and long and loud
Their mingled shouts, to see a sight so strange.
So bold, great actions, that are seen too near,
Look 'rash and foolish to unthinking eyes; They need the past for distance, to appear
In their true grandeur. Let us yet be wise, And not too soon our neighbor's deed malign, For what seems coarse is often good and fine.
84.-OLD TUBAL CAIN.
In the days when the earth was young;
The strokes of his hammer rung;
On the iron glowing clear,
As he fashioned the sword and spear :
Hurrah for the spear and sword !
For he shall be king and lord !”
As he wrought by his roaring fire: And each one prayed for a strong steel blade,
As the crown of his heart's desire. And he made them weapons sharp and strong,
Till they shouted aloud for glee,
And spoils of the forest tree;
Who has given us strength anew!
And hurrah for the metal true!”
But a sudden change came o'er his heart
Ere the setting of the sun :
For the evil he had done.
Made war upon their kind
And their lust for carnage blind;
Or that skill of mine should plan,
Is to slay his fellow-man."
And for many a day old Tubal Cain
Sat brooding o'er his woe;
And his furnace smouldered low;
And a bright, courageous eye,
While the quick flames mounted high ;
And the fire sparks lit the air ; “Not alone for the blade was the bright steel made!"
And he fashioned the first ploughshare ! And men, taught wisdom from the past,
In friendship joined their hands; Hung the sword in the hall, and the spear on the wall,
And ploughed the willing lands;
Our staunch good friend is he;
To him our prize shall be !
Or a tyrant would be lord,
We'll not forget the sword !"
R. B. LYTTON.
At Paris it was, at the opera there;
And she looked like a queen in a book that night, With the wreath of pearl in her raven hair,
And the brooch on her breast so bright. Of all the operas that Verdi wrote,
The best, to my taste, is the Trovatore;
The souls in purgatory.
And who was not thrilled in the strangest way,
“Non ti scordar di me!”
(“Remember me alway.") The emperor there, in his box of state,
Looked grave; as if he had just then seen The red flag wave from the city gate,
Where his eagles in bronze had been.
The empress, too, had a tear in her eye
You'd have said that her fancy had gone back again,
To the old glad life in Spain.
Together, my bride betrothed and I ;
And hers on the stage hard by.
Like a queen she leaned on her full white arm,
So confident of her charm!
Of her former lord, good soul that he was,
The Marquis of Carabas.
Through a needle's eye he had not to pass ;
To my lady of Carabas.
As I had not been thinking of aught for years;
Something that felt like tears.
When we stood 'neath the cypress-trees together,
In the crimson evening weather;
And her warm white neck in its golden chain;
And falling loose again;
(O the faint, sweet smell of that jasmine flower!) And the one bird singing alone to his nest;
And the one star over the tower. i thought of our little quarrels and strife,
And the letter that brought me back my ring ;
Such a very little thing !
Which the sentinel cypress-tree stands over:
How I could forgive her, and love her!"
And I swear, as I thought of her thus, in that hour,
And of how, after all, old things are best, That I smelt the smell of that jasmine flower
Which she used to wear in her breast. It smelt so faint, and it smelt so sweet,
It made me creep, and it made me cold!
Where a mummy is half unrolled.
In a dim box over the stage; and drest
And that jasmine in her breast. I was here, and she was there:
And the glittering horse-shoe curved between :From my bride betrothed, with her raven hair
And her sumptuous scornful mien,
And over her primrose face the shade,
There was but a step to be made.
One moment I looked. Then I stole to the door, I traversed the passage; and down at her side
I was sitting, a moment more.
Or something which never will be exprest,
With the jasmine in her breast. She is not dead, and she is not wed!
But she loves me now, and she loved me then! And the very first word that her sweet lips said,
My heart grew youthful again. The marchioness there, of Carabas,
She is wealthy, and young, and handsome still; And but for her ... well, we'll let that pass;
She may marry whomever she will. But I will marry my own first love,
With the primrose face, for old things are best; And the flower in her bosom, I prize it above
The brooch in my lady's breast. The world is filled with folly and sin,
And love must cling where it can, I say: For beauty is easy enough to win;
But one isn't loved every day.