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And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket-ball.
You know the rest. In the books you have read,
How the British Regulars fired and fled,
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the red-coats down the lane,
Then crossing the field to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.
So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,
A cry of defiance and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for everniore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.
THE Landlord ended thus his tale, | All laughed; the Landlord's face grew red
Then rising took down from its nail As his escutcheon on the wall;
Thesword that hung there, dim with dust, He could not comprehend at all
And cleaving to its sheath with rust, The drift of what the Poet said;
And said, “This sword was in the fight.” For those who had been longest dead
The Poet seized it, and exclaimed, Were always greatest in his eyes;
“ It is the sword of a good knight, And he was speechless with surprise
Though homespun was his coat-of-mail ; To see Sir William's plumed head
What matter if it be not named
Brought to a level with the rest,
Joyeuse, Colada, Durindale,
And made the subject of a jest. Excalibar, or Aroundight, Or other name the books record ? And this perceiving, to appease Your ancestor, who bore this sword The Landlord's wrath, the others' fears, As Colonel of the Volunteers,
The Student said, with careless ease, Mounted upon his old grey mare, “ The ladies and the cavaliers, Seen here and there and everywhere, The arms, the loves, the courtesies, To me a grander shape appears
The deeds of high emprise, I sing ! Than old Sir William, or what not, Thus Ariosto says, in words Clinking about in foreign lands
That bave the stately stride and ring With iron gauntlets on his hands, Of armed knights and clashing swords. And on his head an iron pot !"
Now listen to the tale I bring;
Listen! though not to me belong By Fiametta, laurel-crowned,
The flowing draperies of his song, While her companions lay around,
The words that rouse, the voice that and heard the intermingled sound
Of airs that on their errands sped, The Landlord's tale was one of arms, And wild birds gossiping overhead, Only a tale of love is mine,
And lisp of leaves and fountain's fall, Blending the human and divine, And her own voice more sweet than all, A tale of the Decameron, told
Telling the tale, whicb, wanting these, In Palmieri's garden old,
| Perchance may lose its power to please."
THE FALCON OF SER FEDERIGO.
ONE summer morning when the sun was hot,
Weary with labour in his garden plot,
On a rude bench beneath his cottage eaves,
Ser Federigo sat among the leaves
Of a huge vine, that, with its arms outspread,
Hung its delicious clusters overhead.
Below him, through the lovely valley, flowed
The river Arno, like a winding road,
And from its banks were lifted high in air
The spires and roofs of Florence called the Fair;
To him a marble tomb, that rose above
His wasted fortunes and his buried love.
For there, in banquet and in tournament,
His wealth had lavished been, his substance spent,
To woo and lose, since ill his wooing sped,
Monna Giovanna, who his rival wed,
Yet ever in his fancy reigned supreme,
The ideal woman of a young man's dream.
Then he withdrew, in poverty and pain,
To this small farm, the last of his domain,
His only comfort and his only care
To prune his vines, and plant the fig and pear;
His only forester and only guest
His falcon, faithful to him, when the rest,
Whose willing hands had found so light of yore
The brazen knocker of his palace door,
Had now no strength to lift the wooden latch,
That entrance gave beneath a roof of thatch.
Companion of his solitary ways,
Purveyor of his feasts on holidays,
On him this melancholy man bestowed
The love with which his nature overflowed.
And so the empty-handed years went round,
Vacant, though voiceful with prophetic sound;
And so, that summer morn, he sat and mused
With folded, patient hands, as he was used,
And dreamily before his half-closed sight
Floated the vision of his lost delight.
Beside him, motionless, the drowsy bird
Dreamed of the chase, and in his slumber heard
The sudden scythe-like sweep of wings, that dare
The headlong plunge through eddying gulfs of air,
Then, starting broad awake upon his perch,
Tinkled his bells, like mass-bells in a church,
And, looking at his master, seemed to say,
“Ser Federigo, shall we hunt to-day ?”
Ser Federigo thought not of the chase ;
The tender vision of her lovely face
I will not say he seems to see, he sees
In the leaf-shadows of the trellises,
Herself, yet not herself; a lovely child
With flowing tresses, and eyes wide and wild,
Coming undaunted up the garden walk,
And looking not at him, but at the hawk.
“Beautiful falcon!" said he, “would that I
Might hold thee on my wrist, or see thee fly!”
The voice was hers, and made strange echoes start
Through all the haunted chambers of his heart,
As an Æolian harp through gusty doors
Of some old ruin its wild music pours.
“ Who is thy mother, my fair boy?” he said,
His hand laid softly on that shining head.
“ Monna Giovanna. ---Will you let me stay
A little while, and with your falcon play?
We live there, just beyond your garden wall,
In the great house behind the poplars tall."
So he spake on; and Federigo heard
As from afar each softly uttered word,
And drifted onward through the golden gleams
And shadows of the misty sea of dreams,
As mariners becalmed through vapours drift,
And feel the sea beneath them sink and lift,
And hear far off the mournful breakers roar,
And voices calling faintly from the shore !
Then, waking from his painful reveries
He took the little boy upon his knees,
And told him stories of his gallant bird,
Till in their friendship he became a third.
Monna Giovanna, widowed in her prime,
Had come with friends to pass the summer time
In her grand villa, half-way up the hill,
O'erlooking Florence, but retired and still;
With iron gates, that opened through long lines
Of sacred ilex and centennial pines,
And terraced gardens, and broad steps of stone,
And sylvan deities, with moss o'ergrown,
And fountains palpitating in the heat,
And all Val d'Arno stretched beneath its feet.
Here in seclusion, as a widow may,
The lovely lady wiled the hours away,
Pacing in sable robes the statued hall,
Herself the stateliest statue among all,
And seeing more and more, with secret joy,
Her husband risen and living in her boy,
Till the lost sense of life returned again,
Not as delight, but as relief froin pain.
Meanwhile the boy, rejoicing in his strength,
Stormed down the terraces from length to length;
The screaming peacock chased in hot pursuit,
And climbed the garden trellises for fruit.
But his chief pastime was to watch the flight
Of a gerfalcon, soaring into sight,
Beyond the trees that fringed the garden wall,
Then downward stooping at some distant call;
And as he gazed full often wondered he
Who might the master of the falcon be,
Until that happy morning, when he found
Master and falcon in the cottage ground.
And now a shadow and a terror fell
On the great house, as if a passing-bell
Tolled from the tower, and filled each spacious room
With secret awe, and preternatural gloom
The petted boy grew ill, and day by day
Pined with niysterious malady away.
The mother's heart would not be comforted;
Her darling seemed to her already dead,
And often, sitting by the sufferer's side,
“What can I do to comfort thee?" she cried.
At first the silent lips made no reply,
But, moved at length by her importunate cry,
“ Give me," he answered, with imploring tone,
“Ser Federigo's falcon for my own!”
No answer could the astonished mother make;
How could she ask, e'en for her darling's sake,
Such favour at a luckless lover's hand, Well knowing that to ask was to command P Well knowing, what all falconers confessed, In all the land that falcon was the best, The master's pride and passion and delight, And the sole pursuivant of this poor knight. But yet, for her child's sake, she could no less Than give assent, to soothe his restlessness, So promised, and then promising to keep Her promise sacred, saw him fall asleep. The morrow was a bright September morn; The earth was beautiful as if new-born; There was that nameless splendour everywhere, That wild exhilaration in the air, Which makes the passers in the city street Congratulate each other as they meet. Two lovely ladies, clothed in cloak and hood, Passed through the garden gate into the wood, Under the lustrons leaves, and through the sheen Of dewy sunshine showering down between. The one, close-hooded, had the attractive grace Which sorrow sometimes lends a woman's face; Her dark eyes moistened with the mists that roll From the gulf-stream of passion in the soul; The other with her hood thrown back, her hair Making a golden glory in the air, Her cheeks suffused with an auroral blush, Her young heart singing louder than the thrush; So walked, that morn, through mingled light and shade, Each by the other's presence lovelier made, Monna Giovanna and her bosom friend, Intent upon their errand and its end. They found Ser Federigo at his toil. Like banished Adam, delving in the soil; And when he looked and these fair women spied, The garden suddenly was glorified; His long-lost Eden was restored again, And the strange river winding through the plain No longer was the Arno to his eyes, But the Euphrates watering Paradise ! Monna Giovanna raised her stately head, And with fair words of salutation said: “Ser Federigo, we come here as friends, Hoping in this to make some poor amends For past unkindness. I who ne'er before Would even cross the threshold of your door, I who in happier days such pride maintained, Refused your banquets, and your gifts disdained,