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On the fairest time of June
You may go, with sun or moon,
Or the seven stars, to light you,
Or the polar ray to right you;
But you never may behold
Little John or Robin bold.
So it is : yet let us sing
Honor to the old bow-string !
Honor to the bugle-horn !
Honor to the woods unshorn !
Honor to the Lincoln green !
Honor to the archer keen !
Honor to light Little John,
And the horse he rode upon !
Honor to bold Robin Hood,
Sleeping in the underwood!
Honor to Maid Marian,
And to all the Sherwood clan !
Though their days have hurried by,
Let us two a chorus try.

46.—LAS CASAS DISSUADING FROM BATTLE.

R. B. SHERIDAN.

Is then the dreadful measure of your cruelty not yet complete? Battle! Gracious Heaven! against whom? Against à king, in whose mild bosom your atrocious injuries, even yet, have not excited hate! but who, insulted or victorious, still sues for peace. Against a people who never wronged the living being their Creator formed; a people who received you as cherished guests, with eager hospitality and confiding kindness. Generously and freely did they share with you their comforts, their treasures, and their homes: you repaid them by fraud, oppression, and dishonor.

Pizarro, hear me ! Hear me, chieftains! And Thou, Allpowerful! whose thunder can shiver into sand the adamantine rock, whose lightnings can pierce the core of the riven and quaking earth, -oh! let Thy power give effect to Thy servant's words, as Thy spirit gives courage to his will! Do not, I implore you, chieftains, -do not, I implore you,-renew the foul barbarities your insatiate avarice has inflicted on this wretched, unoffending race! But hush, my sighs ! fall not, ye drops of useless sorrow! heart-breaking anguish, choke not mine utterance! Oh God! Thou hast anointed Thy servant not to curse, but to bless my countrymen: yet now my blessing on their force were blasphemy against Thy goodness. No! I curse your purpose, homicides! I curse the bond of blood, by which you are united. May fell division, infamy and rout, defeat your projects and rebuke your hopes! On you, and on your children, be the peril of the innocent blood, which shall be shed this day! I leave you, and for ever! No longer shall these aged eyes be seared by the horrors they have witnessed. In caves, in forests will I hide myself; with tigers and with savage beasts will I commune; and when at length we meet again, before the blessed tribunal of that Deity whose mild doctrines and whose mercies ye have this day renounced, then shall you feel the agony and grief of soul which now tear the busom of your weak accuser !

47.—THE LEGEND OF ST. CHRISTOPHER.

ANONYMOUS.
“I serve the strongest !" So spake Offerus,
A mighty giant of the olden time,
Who, striding forth from out the savage wilds
Of Scythia, gazed down with scorn upon
The puny Southrons. Seven full feet in height,
With brawny shoulders, limbs of rugged strength,
His arms with muscles knotted like tough steel,
In one huge hand he bore a sapling pine,
Which, with a dextrous twist, he had uptorn
From out its native earth in unknown wilds
Where Volga's flood distils from Ural's snows.
He used it half as weapon, half as staff,
Or swung it, careless, with an idle touch,
Or sent it groaning through the air to crush
An iron helmet like a paper cap.

Who is the strongest?” So asked Offerus;
And each one pointed to the Emperor,
Who, with a single nod, controlled a world,
Who gathered treasures from a hundred lands,
Who held within his grasp a myriad lives.
He seemed the strongest; so great Offerus
Bowed at his throne and followed him to war.

Full well he pleased his master; gruff, but gay,
With frank good-nature beaming on his face,
His massive features lighted with a smile,
Grim, hard, but kindly. Full of merry jest,
But ever ready for the serious work

Of war that was no playing. East and West
His name was feared ; at banquet, as at fight,
Others, compared with him, were weakly boys.

One eve the Emperor pitched his tent beside
A mighty forest; one whose ancient pines
Made midnight of the noonday, night itself
Palpable darkness. But within the tent,
Where, canopied with crimson, couched on silk,
The monarch and his giant quaffed their wine,
Rang out coarse laughter, interspersed at times
With merry music, which a harper drew
From out his harp, and joined to it his voice
In bacchanalian song. But, as he sang,
It chanced, 'mid oaths and jests, that he let fall
The Devil's name, at which his half-drunk lord,
Muttering low words, with trembling finger drew
A cross upon his forehead. “How?" said Offerus,
Unto his comrades, "what new jest is this
The Prince is making now?” But he replied,
"Good giant, this I did because of one-
An Evil One-who haunts this darksome wood
With rage and fury.” · Ha!" cried Offerus,
"I have a fancy for wild things, you know;
Come, let us hunt this forest." “Nay,”
In horror cried the Prince, lowering his voice
To a hoarse whisper, “Thou might'st truly fill
Thy larder, but meanwhile destroy thy soul!"
The giant's mighty laugh rang out full loud
And echoed 'mid the pine-trees; bitter scorn
Was in each note. “Ha! say you so, my lord ?
Thou fearest, then! Then I at last have found
A stronger master; him I henceforth serve,
No other. Fare thee well !"

Forth at the word The giant strode, swinging his pine-tree staff And humming cheerily. He sought not far, For in a desolate spot where, long before, A thunder-bolt had cleared a little space, Leaving but blackened stumps to mark the spot Where once reigned forest kings, an altar stood, Built of black cinders, plastered on each side With noisome pitch and brimstone. On it lay A heap. of polished skulls and whitened bone, Glistening in horrid contrast as the moon Threw a pale glance upon the weirdsome sight. The giant knew no fear; he strode along Close to the altar, then drew slowly in A mighty breath, and sent it forth again In one long echoing call, at the same time Brandishing high his ponderous staff in air,

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He brought it down upon the blackened earth
Until it quaked again. A second time
He called upon the fiend, and yet once more
The horrid echoes rang among the pines.
Then sitting down, his back against a tree,
He slept. At midnight came the One he called,
Black as the night, and riding on a steed
Moulded of night and fire. Full gaily joined
The twain together, and went forth to seek
Adventure.

Well great Offerus pleased
His master, well the fiend the man.
But so it chanced, upon a certain day,
That on the high road they three crosses spied.
The Devil shrank and trembled. Come, my friend,'
Quoth he to Offerus, “Come, let us take
This little by-path, and so pass round;"
But the strong giant, knowing naught of fear,
Drew at full length his bow and straightway shot
A yard-long arrow through the centre cross.
"How !" quoth the fiend, “know you not, bold man,
That yonder Mary's Son hath power great
To save or to destroy ?” “If that be so,"
Replied the giant, “here I quit thy side:
I serve the strongest only." With a laugh
Of mocking rage, the Devil fled. On rode
The giant, asking every one he met
For Christ, the Son of Mary. But, alas!
The answer came from young and aged lips-
“We know him not: seek further."

So he sought Still patiently, until a hermit came, A holy man of God, and he with voice Trembling with age but full of heavenly love, Expounded to the giant Christian faith. Low bowed he to the hermit, filled with awe, For he at last had found the perfect strength He had so blindly worshiped. 'Good my lord," He spake right humbly—"tell me what to do To gain this Heaven and find this mighty King Who conquered Death and Hell. Him will I serve, No other.' “Go then and pray, my son; Fast, weep, wear sack oth; so shalt thou attain Unto this favor." Sad the giant sighed, “I cannot do it. Sir, I know'no prayers; I soon should lose my mighty strength in fasts; If there's no other way to serve this Christ And gain yon Heaven, I needs must lose it all." “Then, foolish man!" replied the hermit, "yet There is one other way. Go, give thyself

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To do with all thy heart some holy work.
Behold yon river! Deep the flood, and wide,
Without or bridge or ford. Go, thou art strong,
Bear weary pilgrims o'er from bank to bank;
So shalt thou serve the Master.” At the word
Up rose good Offerus in his giant strength.
“Good: that shall be my labor; willingly
I'll please the Saviour thus.”

So Offerus
Built for himself upon the sedgy bank
A hut of rushes. Year by year he bore
Patiently pilgrims, like some mighty beast
Of burden. But if any traveler wished
To give him money—“Nay, my friend," he said,
“No earthly gold care I to take for wage;
I labor for eternal life!"

When weary years
Had passed, and on the aged giant's head
Rested but snow-white locks, and few of those,
What time the winter blast drove snow and ice
Before it, and the raging, swollen flood
Roared past his humble dwelling, Offerus
Heard in the night a little, plaintive voice,
Call from the other side: "Oh, good, tall Offerus,
Come, carry me across !” So forth he went,
Though wearied with his toil, and wading through
He reached the other side, but none was there
That needed. Then, thinking he must have dreamt,
He slept again; but once more came the voice,
So sad and touching: “Come, good Offerus,
Dear, good, great Offerus, take me across!"
With a strong effort casting sleep aside
He crossed again, but still no pilgrim saw.
His errand bootless, he lay down and slept,
But heard again the voice—imploring, sad-
“Good giant Offerus, carry me across !".
The patient giant thought upon his Lord,
Who did so much to save a thankless world,
And, without one low murmur, grasping fast
His pine-tree staff, he plunged into the flood.
There, on the other brink, there stood a child,
A sweet, fair boy, with bowing golden curls,
In his left hand the standard of the Lamb,
And in his right a globe. Right easily
The giant placed him on his shoulder, but
Once entered in the river, that fair child
Weighed on him strangely. Fiercer grew the storm,
The ice-cold water chilled him to the heart,
And ever heavier grew the wondrous child.
Great drops of sweat stood on the giant's brow
When on the shore he gently placed the boy,

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