[Illustration: Letter O.]
Oh! gentle story of the Indian
I loved thee in my lonely childhood well,
On the sea-shore, when day’s last purple smile
Slept on the waters, and their hollow swell
And dying cadence lent a deeper spell
Unto thine ocean pictures. ’Midst thy palms
And strange bright birds my fancy joy’d to dwell,
And watch the southern Cross through midnight calms,
And track the spicy woods. Yet more I bless’d
Thy vision of sweet love—kind, trustful, true—
Lighting the citron-groves—a heavenly guest—
With such pure smiles as Paradise once knew.
Even then my young heart wept o’er this world’s power,
To reach and blight that holiest Eden flower.
* * * * *
The Mangoustes, or Ichneumons, are natives of the hotter parts of the Old World, the species being respectively African and Indian. In their general form and habits they bear a great resemblance to the ferrets, being bold, active, and sanguinary, and unrelenting destroyers of birds, reptiles, and small animals, which they take by surprise, darting rapidly upon them. Beautiful, cleanly, and easily domesticated, they are often kept tame in the countries they naturally inhabit, for the purpose of clearing the houses of vermin, though the poultry-yard is not safe from their incursions.