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offer of twenty-five francs; and before noon, after a desperate engagement, I sold her, saddle and all, for five-and-thirty. The pecuniary gain is not obvious, but I had bought freedom into the bargain.

It was not until I was fairly seated by the driver and rattling through a rocky valley with dwarf olives, that I became aware of my bereavement. I had lost Modestine. Up to that moment I had thought I hated her; but now she was gone,

“And, O, The difference to me!” For twelve days we had been fast companions; we had traveled upwards of a hundred and twenty miles, crossed several respectable ridges, and jogged along with our six legs by many a rocky and many a boggy by-road. After the first day, although sometimes I was hurt and distant in manner, I still kept my patience; and as for her, poor soul! she had come to regard me as a god. She loved to eat out of my hand. She was patient, elegant in form, the colour of an ideal mouse, and inimitably small. Her faults were those of her race and sex; her virtues were her own. Farewell, and if for ever

Father Adam wept when he sold her to me; after I had sold her in my turn, I was tempted to follow his example; and being alone with a stage-driver and four or five agreeable young men I did not hesitate to yield to my emotion.

M

ROBERT OF LINCOLN

By William CULLEN BRYANT
ERRILY swinging on brier and weed,

Near to the nest of his little dame,
Over the mountain-side or mead,
Robert of Lincoln is telling his
name:

Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;
Snug and safe in this nest of ours,
Hidden among the summer flowers.

Chee, chee, chee.

[graphic]

Robert of Lincoln is gayly drest,

Wearing a bright black wedding-coat; White are his shoulders and white his crest, Hear him call in his merry note:

Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;
Look, what a nice new coat is mine,
Sure there was never a bird so fine.

Chee, chee, chee.

Robert of Lincoln's Quaker wife,

Pretty and quiet, viin plain brown wings,
Passing at home a patient life,
Broods in the grass while her husband sings:

Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;
Brood, kind creature; you need not fear

Thieves and robbers while I am here.

Chee, chee, chee.

Modest and shy as a nun is she;

One weak chirp is her only note. Braggart and prince of braggarts is he, Pouring boasts from his little throat:

Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink; Never was I afraid of man; Catch me, cowardly knaves, if you can!

Chee, chee, chee. Six white eggs on a bed of hay,

Flecked with purple, a pretty sight! There as the mother sits all day, Robert is singing with all his might:

Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;
Nice good wife, that never goes out,
Keeping house while I frolic about.

Chee, chee, chee.

Soon as the little ones chip the shell,

Six little mouths are open for food; Robert of Lincoln bestirs him well, Gathering seed for the hungry brood.

Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;
This new life is likely to be
Hard for a gay young fellow like me.

Chee, chee, chee.

Robert of Lincoln at length is made

Sober with work, and silent with care;

Off is his holiday garment laid,
Half forgotten that merry air:

Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;
Nobody knows but my mate and I
Where our nest and our nestlings lie.

Chee, chee, chee.

Summer wanes; the children are grown;

Fun and frolic no more he knows; Robert of Lincoln's a humdrum crone; Off he flies, and we sing as he goes:

Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;
When you can pipe that merry old strain,
Robert of Lincoln, come back again.

Chee, chee, chee.

I. RHYME. Make a table of the last words in the lines of every stanza. Arrange the table so that the indentations shall show clearly to the eye the words which rhyme. That you may understand what is meant, we append here a table for the first four stanzas:

[blocks in formation]

Each stanza consists of nine lines. The first four lines are descriptive and are spoken by the author. The next five lines are the bobolink's song, excepting in the last stanza, when the song is ours. The first two lines and the last line of the song are always the same. The rhymes in the descriptive quatrain alternate. Of the song, the first four lines rhyme in couplets, while the last line is unrhymed. The rhymes are also indicated to the eye at the beginning of the line as well as at the end. The first and third lines in each stanza begin at the left margin, and the second and fourth are indented. This indentation indicates the alternate rhymes. The first two lines of the bobolink's song are much more deeply indented because they are metrically shorter than the other lines; but they begin at the same point in the line, showing that they rhyme together. The same fact is true of the third and fourth lines of the song. The last line of the stanza, the shortest one in the stanza and the one that rhymes with no other, is indented beyond any other line.

All are perfect rhymes, and in very few instances has Mr. Bryant made any apparent effort to force a rhyme. The word “mead,” in the first stanza, is a poetic word for “meadow.” The word “drest,” in the second stanza, is spelled in an unusual way. Technically speaking, the bobolink has no crest, but Bryant may use the word in the second stanza in a figurative sense with prefect propriety. Perhaps those who know the bobolink's nest would object to the expression “bed of hay” (fifth stanza), as hardly doing justice to the soft bed the little birds make. We may doubt if in prose Mr. Bryant would have said that Robert of Lincoln “bestirs him well,” as we find him saying in the sixth stanza. Perhaps the word “crone” in the last stanza brings out a shade of meaning that is not altogether applicable, and yet it may be what Mr. Bryant wished to say.

II. METER. It is rather a difficult task to analyze the meter of this poem. The first line is dactylic, and by reading the poem we find that this is the prevailing foot; but every stanza and almost every line is varied by the introduction of different feet. In one place or another every foot appears, until one often grows confused if he stops to analyze. Taken as a whole, however, the poem is charming even in its irregularity. Let us consider the . first stanza:

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