“I greet you, noble lords and peers;
I greet you, lovely dames.
O heaven begemmed with golden spheres!
Who knows your noble names?
In hall of splendor so sublime,
Close ye, mine eyes—’tis not the time
To gaze in idle wonder.”
The gray-haired minstrel closed his eyes;
He struck his wildest air;
Brave faces glowed like sunset skies;
Cast down their eyes the fair.
The king well pleased with the minstrel’s song,
Sent the little page through the wondering throng
A chain of gold to bear him.
“O give not me the chain of gold;
Award it to thy braves,
Before whose faces fierce and bold
Quail foes when battle raves;
Or give it thy chancellor of state,
And let him wear its golden weight
With his official burdens.
“I sing, I sing as the wild birds sing
That in the forest dwell;
The songs that from my bosom spring
Alone reward me well:
But may I ask that page of thine
To bring me one good cup of wine
In golden goblet sparkling?”
He took the cup; he drank it all:
“O soothing nectar thine!
Thrice bless’d the highly favored hall
Where flows such glorious wine:
If thou farest well, then think of me,
And thank thy God, as I thank thee
For this inspiring goblet.”
[From the German of Schiller.]
Men talk and dream of better days—
Of a golden time to come;
Toward a happy and shining goal
They run with a ceaseless hum.
The world grows old and grows young again,
Still hope of the better is bright to men.
Hope leads us in at the gate of life;
She crowns the boyish head;
Her bright lamp lures the stalwart youth,
Nor burns out with the gray-haired dead;
For the grave closes over his trouble and care,
But see—on the grave—Hope is planted there!
’Tis not an empty and flattering deceit,
Begot in a foolish brain;
For the heart speaks loud with its ceaseless throbs,
“We are not born in vain”;
And the words that out of the heart-throbs roll,
They cannot deceive the hoping soul.
Misce stultitiam consiliis brevem.—Horace.
Was tall and fair;
Mrs. McNair was slim;
She had flashing black eyes and raven hair; But a very remarkably modest air; And her only care was for Mr. McNair;
She was exceedingly fond of him.
He sold “notions”
With wonderful grace,
And kept everything neatly displayed in its place:
The red, curly hair on his head and his face
He always persisted
Should be oiled and twisted;
He was the sleekest young husband that ever existed.
Precisely at four
He would leave his store;
And Mr. McNair with his modest bride
Seated snugly and lovingly by his side,
On the rural Broadway,
Every pleasant day,
In his spick-span carriage would rattle away.