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A sound which seemed of all sad things to tell,
As of a lost soul crying out of hell.

Thereat the Abbot paused: the chain whereby 1
His thoughts went upward broken by that cry;
And, looking from the casement, saw below
A wretched woman, with gray hair a-flow,
And withered hands held up to him, who cried
For alms as one who might not be denied.

She cried, “For the dear love of Him who gave
His life for ours, my child from bondage save, —
My beautiful, brave first-born, chained with slaves
In the Moor's galley, where the sun-smit waves
Lap the white walls of Tunis!”? – “What I can,
I give," Tritemius said, —“ my prayers.”—“O man
Of God!" she cried, for grief had made her bold,
“Mock me not thus; I ask not prayers, but gold.
Words will not serve me, alms alone suffice:
Even while I speak, perchance, my first-born dies.”

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“ Woman!” Tritemius answered, “from our door
None go unfed; hence are we always poor:
A single soldo 3 is our only store.
Thou hast our prayers: what can we give thee more ?

1 the chain whereby, etc. Ex-making captives of Christians at plain.

sea, and reducing them to slavery. 2 Moors . .. Tunis. The Moors Recall some incidents in United of the Barbary States were for States history relating to this fact. many centuries in the habit of 3 soldo, a small coin,

“Give me,” she said, "the silver candlesticks
On either side of the great crucifix.
God well may spare them on his errands sped,
Or he can give you golden ones instead.”

Then spake Tritemius: “Even as thy word,
Woman, so be it! (Our most gracious Lord,
Who loveth mercy more than sacrifice,
Pardon me if a human soul I prize
Above the gifts upon his altar piled !)
Take what thou askest, and redeem thy child.”

But his hand trembled as the holy alms2
He placed within the beggar's eager palms;
And as she vanished down the linden shade, 3
He bowed his head, and for forgiveness prayed.

So the day passed ; and when the twilight came
He woke to find the chapel all aflame,
And, dumb with grateful wonder, to behold
Upon the altar candlesticks of gold!

4. – ABRAHAM DAVENPORT.

In the old days (a custom laid aside
With breeches 4 and cocked hats) the people sent
Their wisest men to make the public laws."

1 sped, sent quickly forth. 2 holy alms. Explain.

8 the linden shade: that is, the walk shaded by linden trees.

4 breeches: that is, kneebreeches.

5 In the old days . . laws. Es. plain this quiet piece of satire.

And so, from a brown homestead, where the Sound 1
Drinks the small tribute of the Mianas,
Waved over by the woods of Rippowams,
And hallowed by pure lives and tranquil deaths,
Stamford sent up to the councils of the State
Wisdom and grace in Abraham Davenport.

'Twas on a May-day of the far old year
Seventeen hundred eighty, that there fell
Over the bloom and sweet life of the spring,
Over the fresh earth and the heaven of noon,
A horror of great darkness, like the night
In day of which the Norland sagas tell, —
The Twilight of the Gods: The low-hung sky

1 Sound: that is, Long Island changed, rejoiced in the sunshine, Sound.

and looked calmly over the night. 2 'Twas ... eighty. The exact But at last, during one sunrise, a date was the 12th of May, 1780. / wolf cane, and began to howl at “On that day," say the historians, the sun. The sun did not seem to “a remarkable darkness overspread heed him, but walked majestically all New England. In some sec- up the sky to her midday point; tions persons could not read com- then the wolf began to run after mon printed matter in the open her, and chased her down the sky air; barn-yard fowls went to roost, again to the low west. There the and cattle sought their accustomed sun opened her bright eye wide evening resorts; houses were lighted and turned round at bay; but the with candles, and nearly all out-of-wolf came close up to her, and doors work was suspended. The opened his mouth, and swallowed cause of the darkness has never her up. The earth shuddered, and been ascertained.”

the moon rose. Another wolf was 3 Norland sagas ...

Gods. By waiting for the moon, with wide Northern sagas are meant the prose jaws open; and while yet pale and poetic lore of the Northmen and young he too was devoured. (Norsemen), and in one of these The earth shuddered again; it occurs the following legend re was covered with cold and darkspecting the Twilight of the Gods: ness. Confusion rioted in the “Odin watched the seasons as they darkness."

Was black with ominous clouds, save where its rim
Was fringed with a dull glow, like that which climbs
The crater's sides from the red hell below.
Birds ceased to sing, and all the barn-yard fowls
Roosted; the cattle at the pasture bars
Lowed, and looked homeward; bats on leathern wings
Flitted abroad; the sounds of labor died;
Men prayed, and women wept; all ears grew sharp
To hear the doom-blast of the trumpet shatter
The black sky, that the dreadful face of Christ
Might look from the rent clouds, not as he looked
A loving guest at Bethany, but stern
As Justice and inexorable Law.

Meanwhile in the old State House,2 dim as ghosts,
Sat the lawgivers of Connecticut,
Trembling beneath their legislative robes.
“It is the Lord's Great Day!3 Let us adjourn,” 4
Some said ; and then, as if with one accord,
All eyes were turned to Abraham Davenport.
He rose, slow cleaving with his steady voice
The intolerable hush. “This well may be
The Day of Judgment which the world awaits;
But, be it so or not, I only know
My present duty, and my Lord's command
To occupy till he come. So at the post

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5

1 guest at Bethany. What is jour, day), to postpone till another the reference?

day. 2 State House. At Hartford.

occupy, etc. In what part of 8 Lord's Great Day. Explain the New Testament does there the expression.

occur the injunction, “Occupy till 4 adjourn (ud, to, and French I comie"'?

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Where he hath sent me in his providence,
I choose, for one, to meet him face to face, -
No faithless servant frightened from my task,
But ready when the Lord of the harvest calls;
And therefore, with all reverence, I would say,
Let God do his work, we will see to ours.
Bring in the candles.” And they brought them in.

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Then by the flaring lights the Speaker read,
Albeit with husky voice and shaking hands,
An act to amend an act to regulate
The shad and alewivel fisheries. Whereupon
Wisely and well spake Abraham Davenport,
Straight to the question, with no figures of speech
Save the 'ten Arab signs, yet not without
The shrewd dry humor natural to the man;
His awe-struck colleagues listening all the while,
Between the pauses of his argument,
To hear the thunder of the wrath of God
Break from the hollow trumpet of the cloud.

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And there he stands 3 in memory to this day,
Erect, self-poised, a rugged face, half seen
Against the background of unnatural dark,
A witness to the ages as they pass,
That simple duty hath no place for fear.

1 alewive (a corruption of the 3 And there he stands, etc. A Indian name aloof), a species of very striking picture. What is the herring.

moral that the poet draws? Of 2 the ten Arab signs. Give the what is Avraham Davenport signification.

witness”?

a

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