Reading Made Easy for Foreigners - Third Reader eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 107 pages of information about Reading Made Easy for Foreigners.

Another bird, called the Indian sparrow, makes her nest of grass-woven cloth and shaped like a bottle.  The neck of the bottle hangs downward, and the bird enters from below.  This structure, swinging from a high tree, over a river, is safe from the visits of mischievous animals.

Is it any wonder, then, that birds and their nests have always been a source of delight to thinking man?

With no tools but their tiny feet and sharp little bills, these feathered songsters build their habitat, more cunningly and artfully than any artisan could hope to do even after a long apprenticeship.

SELECTION X

THE HUNTERS

  In the bright October morning
    Savoy’s Duke had left his bride. 
  From the Castle, past the drawbridge,
    Flowed the hunters’ merry tide.

  Steeds are neighing, gallants glittering
    Gay, her smiling lord to greet,
  From her splendid chamber casement
    Smiles the Duchess Marguerite.

  From Vienna by the Danube
    Here she came, a bride, in spring,
  Now the autumn crisps the forest;
    Hunters gather, bugles ring.

  Hark! the game’s on foot; they scatter;
    Down the forest riding lone,
  Furious, single horsemen gallop. 
    Hark! a shout—­a crash—­a groan!

  Pale and breathless, came the hunters;
    On the turf, dead lies the boar,
  But the Duke lies stretched beside him,
    Senseless, weltering in his gore.

  In the dull October evening,
    Down the leaf-strewn forest road,
  To the Castle, past the drawbridge,
    Came the hunters with their load.

  In the hall, with torches blazing,
    Ladies waiting round her seat,
  Clothed in smiles, beneath the dais
    Sat the Duchess Marguerite.

  Hark! below the gates unbarring,
    Tramp of men and quick commands. 
  “’Tis my lord come back from hunting,”
    And the Duchess claps her hands.

  Slow and tired, came the hunters;
    Stopped in darkness in the court.—­
  “Ho! this way, ye laggard hunters. 
    To the hall!  What sport, what sport?”

  Slow they entered with their Master;
    In the hall they laid him down;
  On his coat were leaves and blood-stains,
    On his brow an angry frown.

  Dead her princely, youthful husband
    Lay before his youthful wife;
  Bloody ’neath the flaring torches: 
    And the sight froze all her life.

  In Vienna by the Danube
    Kings hold revel, gallants meet;
  Gay of old amid the gayest
    Was the Duchess Marguerite.

  In Vienna by the Danube
    Feast and dance her youth beguiled. 
  Till that hour she never sorrowed;
    But from then she never smiled.

  Matthew Arnold.

WISE SAYINGS

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Project Gutenberg
Reading Made Easy for Foreigners - Third Reader from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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