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Or by what reason, or what right divine,

Can I proclaim it mine?

Only, perhaps, by right divine of song

It may to me belong;
Only because the spreading chestnut tree

Of old was sung by me.

Well I remember it in all its prime,

When in the summer-time
The affluent 3 foliage of its branches made

A cavern of cool shade.4

There, by the blacksmith's forge, beside the street,

Its blossoms white and sweet
Enticed the bees, until it seemed alive,

And murmured like a hive.

And when the winds. of autumn, with a shout,

Tossed its great arms about, The shining chestnuts, bursting from the sheath,

Dropped to the ground beneath.

And now some fragments of its branches bare,

Shaped as a stately chair,
Have by my hearthstone found a home at last,

And whisper5 of the past.

[blocks in formation]

prime (Latin primus, first), early vigor and beauty.

3 affluent, abund nt.

cavern ... shade. What is the figure of speech?

5 whisper. What is the figure of speech?

2

The Danish king 1 could not in all his pride

Repel the ocean tide;
But seated in this chair, I can in rhyme

Roll back the tide of Time.3

I see again, as one in vision sees,

The blossoms and the bees, And hear the children's voices shout and call,

And the brown chestnuts fall.

I see the smithy with its fires aglow,

I hear the bellows blow,
And the shrill hammers on the anvil beat

The iron white with heat!

And thus, dear children, have ye made for me

This day a jubilee, And to my more than threescore years and ten 4

Brought back my youth again.

The heart hath its own memory, like the mind,

And in it are enshrined 5 The precious 6 keepsakes, into which is wrought

The giver's loving thought.

1 Danish king. The allusion is 4 threescore, etc. When was to King Cnut (see Fifth Reader, Longfellow born? Lesson 99).

5 enshrined, as though put in a 2 repel. See Glossary.

shrine, or receptacle for sacred 8 roll ... Time. Explain this relics. figurative expression.

6 precious. See Glossary.

Only your love and your remembrance could

Give life to this dead wood, And make these branches, leafless now so long,

Blossom 1 again in song.

2. – THE DAY IS DONE.

THE day is done, and the darkness

Falls from the wings of Night, As a feather is wafted 2 downward

From an eagle in his flight.

I see the lights of the village

Gleam through the rain and the mist, And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me

That my soul can not resist :

A feeling of sadness and longing,

That is not akin to pain, And resembles sorrow only

As the mist resembles the rain.4

Come, read to me some poem,

Some simple and heartfelt lay,5 That shall soothe this restless feeling,

And banish 6 the thoughts of day.

I give life ... Blossom. Literal 4 As the mist, etc. Show the apor figurative?

positeness of this beautiful sinile. 2 wafted (allied to wave), floated.

• lay, song 3 akin (a, off, and kin, race, kind), 6 banish, originally to put under literally, of the same kind; related ban, or proclamation : hence, to to, like. Note that this adjective exile, and secondarily to drive follows the noun it modifies.

away.

Not from the grand old masters,

Not from the bards sublime, Whose distant footsteps echo

Through the corridors of Time ;? For, like strains of martial music,

Their mighty thoughts suggest Life's endless toil and endeavor;

And to-night I long for rest. Read from some humbler poet,

Whose songs gushed from his heart As showers from the clouds of summer,

Or tears from the eyelids start;2
Who, through long days of labor,

And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music

Of wonderful melodies.

Such songs have power to quiet

The restless pulse of care, And come. like the benediction 3

That follows after prayer.
Then read from the treasured volume 4

The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet

The beauty of thy voice.

1 corridors of Time. What is 3 the benediction. Explain the the figure of speech?

meaning of the word here. What 2 As showers ... Or tears, etc. is the figure of speech? What are these two comparisons 4 the treasured volume. What used to illustrate?

is the thought?

And the night shall be filled with music,

And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,

And as silently steal away."

3. – THE BELL OF ATRI.

[From the Tales of « Wayside Inn.)

Ar Atria in Abruzzo, a small town
Of ancient Roman date, but scant renown, -
One of those little places that have run
Half up the hill, beneath a blazing sun,
And then sat down 4 to rest, as if to say,
“I climb no farther upward, come what may,” –
The Re Giovanni, now unknown to fame,
So many monarchs since have borne the name,
Had a great bell hung in the market-place
Beneath a roof, projecting some small space,
By way of shelter from the sun and rain.
Then rode he through the streets with all his train,
And, with the blast of trumpets loud and long,
Made proclamation, that whenever wrong

1 Shall fold ... away. A much- 3 Abruzzo (pron. Ö-broot's0), a quoted couplet. It contains a met province of Italy. aphor and a simile: point out each,

4 have run ...

sat down. What and show their appropriateness. is the figure of speech?

2 Atri (pron. ä'trē), a town of 5 Re Giovanni (pron. jo-va'nē), Italy, anciently Hadria, the birth - Italian for King John. place of the Roman Emperor Ha- projecting. See Glossary. drian.

7 train. Explain.

6

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