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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 265 pages of information about The Feast of the Virgins and Other Poems.

“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.”

HOPE

[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.

MRS. MCNAIR

Misce stultitiam consiliis brevem.—­Horace.

    Mrs. McNair
    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” and lace
    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.

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