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Over the brush and boulders I stumbled and pushed ahead ;
Keeping the star afore me, I went wherever it led;
It might hev been for an hour, when suddent, and peart, and nigh,
Out of the yearth afore me thar riz up a baby's cry.

Listen! thar's the same music; but her lungs, they are stronger now Than the day I packed her and her mother-I'm derned if I jest

know how. But the doctor kem the next minit, and the joke o' the whole thing is, That Cis never knew what happened from that very night to this!

But Cicely says you're a poet, and maybe you might, some day, Jest sling her a rhyme 'bout a baby that was born in a curious wayAnd see what she says. And, old fellow, when you speak of the star,

don't tell As how the doctor's lantern-for maybe 'twon't sound so well.

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It was Summer-it was June;

Slept the sun in western bowers; Up had risen the round moon:

Fainting with the breath of flowers, Hushed the air its leafy tune.

Faint gray clouds upon the sky,

Where the failing zephyrs blew them, Here and there hung, far and high ;

And the stars were winking through them With a dim and sleepy eye.

Everywhere, on every side,

Quiet breathing, rest of Summer, And luxurious peace, denied

Unto Spring, the riotous comer, Rashly wooing his coy bride.

Helen, sitting on the grass,

Just within a grove of beeches (Like a Fairy kingdom 'twas),

Gazed adown the sylvan reaches, Where the Fairy Queen may pass.

Mystic hollows, shadows gray,

And a play of silvery shimmer; Rock and tree-trunk, leaf and spray,

Seemed, in that uncertain glimmer, Ghosts of what they were by day.

By the great trees over-boughed,

Flecked with shadows and moon-glances, Sat she, still and thoughtful-browed,

Dreaming a whole world of fanciesNot a word of them aloud!

In the shadow of the boughs

Thus ran on her dim-eyed fancy (For the goddess of sweet vows

With the subtlest necromancy Every lover's brain endows) :

“Fie, ye Fairies! So remiss !

Forty minutes have I waited For those graceful courtesies

Done to straying folk, belated In old time, beneath the trees.

“Have ye fled away from earth,

From our mountains and our valleys, From the castle, from the hearth,

From the winding forest alleys, Taking all your tricksy mirth?

" Where is all the frolic crowd

Footed meadows in times olden, When the air breathed not aloud,

And the moon, full-faced and golden, Walked through heaven without a cloud ?

“ Whereto have


fed and gone, Since King Arthur's time, I wonder ? To the top of mountains flown?

To the dismal regions under, Where the sunlight never shone ?

“Whereto have ye disappeared ?

Round the planets hiding, seeking? Plucking comets by the beard ?

Down yon pathway dancing, freaking, Where no human step is feared ?

“Wherefore have ye left our brooks,

Glens, and groves, and meadows, friendless ? Sigh ye not for those old nooks ?

Have ye found, in regions endless, Haunts with half so lovely looks?

“Answer none! Ah! nevermore

In the woodlands shall we view them, Nor on grassy meadow-floor;

Nor by falling waters woo them To us, as in days of yore.

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“Nevermore, in lonely wood,

Maids shall hear dim strains alluring, Strains that cannot be withstood;

Something that's divine assuring Nothing shall be met but good.

Could we turn earth back again,

And those olden days recover! Some high lady were I then,

And a glorious knight my lover, Noblest, famousest of men ;

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* Through the wide world nobly famed

For his gentleness and valour;
By the poor down-trodden claimed ;

Wrong's dark cheek would turn to pallor But to hear his scutcheon named !

“But his noble heart would be

Mine, though we were realms asunder; And, when victory left him free,

He would come back, to sit under The old oak-tree boughs with me.

“For a castle should be ours,

Many-towered, high-walled, deep-moated Ringed with groves, and lawns, and flowers;

Founts from marble basins spouted, Falling back in silvery showers.

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