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PERCHED on my city office-stool
I watched with envy, while a cool
And lucky carter handled ice. ..
And I was wandering in a trice,
Far from the gray and grimy heat,
Of that intolerable street,
O'er sapphire berg and emerald floe,
Beneath the still, cold ruby glow
Of everlasting Polar night,
Bewildered by the queer half-light,
Until I stumbled, unawares,
Upon a creek where big white bears
Plunged headlong down with flourished heels.'
And floundered after shining seals
Through shivering seas of blinding blue.
And as I watched them, ere I knew,
I'd stripped, and I was swimming, too,
Among the seal-pack, young and hale,
And thrusting on with threshing tail,
With twist and twirl and sudden leap
Through crackling ice and salty deep-
Diving and doubling with my kind,
Until, at last, we left behind
Those big white, blundering bulks of death,
And lay, at length, with panting breath
Upon a far untravelled floe,
Beneath a gentle drift of snow
Snow drifting gently, fine and white,
Out of the endless Polar night,
Falling and falling evermore
Upon that far untravelled shore.
Till I was buried fathoms deep
Beneath that cold, white drifting sleep -
Sleep drifting deep,
Deep drifting sleep. ...
The carter cracked a sudden whip:
I clutched my stool with startled grip,
Awakening to the grimy heat
Of that intolerable street.
Wilfrid Wilson GIBSON
John ANDERSON my jo, John,
When we were first acquent
Your locks were like the raven,
Your bonnie brow was brent;
But now your brow is beld, John,
Your locks are like the snow;
But blessings on your frosty pow,
John Anderson my jo.
John Anderson my jo, John,
We clamb the hill thegither,
And monie a cantie day, John,
We've had wi' ane anither:
Now we maun totter down, John,
But hand in hand we'll go,
And sleep thegither at the foot,
John Anderson my jo.
THE TEMPTATION OF SAINT ANTHONY 171
THE TEMPTATION OF SAINT ANTHONY
(Adapted from an Old French Chanson.)
Goblins came, on mischief bent,
To Saint Anthony in Lent.
“Come, ye goblins, small and big,
We will kill the hermit's pig.
“While the good monk minds his book
We the hams will cure and cook.
“While he goes down on his knees
We will fry the sausages.
“While he on his breast doth beat
We will grill the tender feet.
“While he David's Psalms doth sing
We will all to table bring."
On his knees went Anthony
To those imps of Barbary.
“Good, kind goblins, spare his life,
He to me is child and wife.
“He indeed is good and mild
As 't were any chrisom child.
“He is my felicity,
Spare, oh spare my pig to me!”
But the pig they did not spare,
Did not heed the hermit's prayer.
They the hams did cure and cook,
Still the good Saint read his book.
When they fried the sausages
Still he rose not from his knees.
When they grilled the tender feet
He ceased not his breast to beat.
They did all to table bring,
He for grace the Psalms did sing.
All at once the morning broke,
From his dream the monk awoke.
There in the kind light of day
Was the little pig at play.
R. L. GALES
Had I a golden pound to spend,
My love should mend and sew no more; And I would buy her a little quern,
Easy to turn on the kitchen floor.
And for her windows curtains white,
With birds in flight and flowers in bloom,
To face with pride the road to town
And mellow down her sunlit room.
And with the silver change we'd prove
The truth of Love to life's own end,
With hearts the years could but embolden,
Had I a golden pound to spend.
Mrs. THOMAS Willow seems very glum.
Her life, perhaps, is very lonely and hum-drum,
Digging up potatoes, cleaning out the weeds,
Doing the little for a lone woman's needs.
Who was her husband? How long ago?
What does she wonder? What does she know?
Why does she listen over the wall,
Morning and noon-time and twilight and all,
As though unforgotten were some footfall?
"Good-morning, Mrs. Willow.” “Good-morning,
sir,” Is all the conversation I can get from her. And her path-stones are white as lilies of the wood, And she washes this and that till she must be very
good. She sends no letters, and no one calls, And she does n't go whispering beyond her walls; Nothing in her garden is secret, I think — That's all sun-bright with foxglove and pink,