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QUESTIONS FOR STUDY

What is the meaning of the first six lines? Of line 7?

Point out all the figures of speech applied to the bee in the first sixteen lines.

Line 53. Why yellow breeched? Why philosopher ? Explain :

“animated torrid zone,” line 6;
“All without is martyrdom,” line 19;

Syrian peace, ,” line 38; lines 62, 63.

THE SNOWSTORM

This description of a snowstorm is as true to nature as the author's Humblebee.

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Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,
And veils the farm-house at the garden's end.
The sled and traveler stopped, the courier's' feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, inclosed
In a tumultuous ? privacy of storm.

1 Courier, messenger, mail carrier. 2 Tumultuous, noisy.

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15

Come see the north wind's masonry.
Out of an unseen quarry evermore
Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer 1
Curves his white bastions 2 with projected roof
Round every windward stake, or tree, or door
Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work
So fanciful, so savage, naught cares he
For number or proportion. Mockingly,
On coop or kennel he hangs Parian 4 wreaths;
A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn;
Fills up the farmer's lane from wall to wall,
Maugre 5 the farmer's sighs; and at the gate,
A tapering turret overtops the work.
And when his hours are numbered, and the world
Is all his own, retiring, as he were not,
Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art 6
To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone,
Built in an age, the mad wind's night-work,
The frolic architecture of the snow.

RALPH WALDO EMERSON.

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25

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1 Art-if-i-cer, builder.
2 Bastions, a part of a fortification.

Myriad-handed, having ten thousand hands.
4 Parian, marble from the isle of Paros.
5 Maugre, regardless of, in spite of.

6 Art, here used for the work of man as distinguished from nature.

QUESTIONS FOR STUDY

What are the "trumpets of the sky”? (Line 1.)
What is the meaning of line 9?
Does this poem describe accurately a snowstorm ?

Point out pictures in the verses that describe something you have seen.

Why “astonished art"? (Line 25.) What is astonished art” left to do? (Lines 26–28.)

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James Lane Allen, one of the most popular writers of the day, is a native of Kentucky, and still spends much of his time in his native state, where he is admired almost to the point of worship.

Mr. Allen writes with all the intense feeling of a poet. His style is charming, his love of nature great. There are few more graceful books in English than A Kentucky Cardinal. His earlier works, strangely enough, are his best.

The following selections are taken from various chapters of Mr. Allen's most famous work, A Kentucky Cardinal. They express his feelings as affected by the changes of the seasons in his loved Kentucky.

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THE MONTHS

I

JANUARY

All this New Year's Day of 1850 the sun shone cloudless but wrought no thaw. Even the landscapes of frost on the windowpanes did not melt a flower, and the little trees still keep their silvery 5 boughs arched high above the jeweled avenues, During the afternoon a lean hare limped twice across the lawn, and there was not a creature stirring to chase it. Now the night is bitter cold, with no sounds

outside but the cracking of the porches as they freeze 10 tighter. Even the north wind seems grown too numb to move.

I hear but the comfortable roar and snap of hickory logs, at long intervals a deeper breath from the dog stretched on his side at my feet, and the

crickets under the hearthstones. They have to 15 thank me for that nook. One chill afternoon I came

upon a whole company of them on the western slope of a woodland mound, so lethargic 1 that I thumped them repeatedly before they could so much as get their senses.

With an ear for winter minstrelsy, 20 I brought two home in a handkerchief, and assigned

them an elegant suite of apartments under a loose brick. Towards dark, having seen to the comfort of a

1 Lethargic, dull, sleepy.

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