Faced the Tchircasse with the wild-beast eyes.
“Naow, what do you want?” said Mr. King.
Quoth the savage, in English, “The woman dies!”
“Waat,” said the impostor, “you’ll take your fling,
At least in the first case, along of a son
Of Columbia, daughter of Albion.”
The Tchircasse moved to the side of the bed.
A distaff was leaning against the wall,
And Mr. King, with arms at length,
Gave it a swing, with all his strength,
And crashed it full at the villain’s head,
And dropped him, pistols and daggers and all.
Then sword in hand, he raged through the door,
And there were three hundred savages more,
All hungry for murder, and loot, and worse!
Mr. King bore down with an oath and a curse,
Bore down on the chief with the slain man’s sword
He saw at a glance the state of the case;
He knew without need of a single word
That the Turk had flown and the Russ was near,
And the Tchircasse held his midday revel;
So he laid himself out to curse and swear,
And he raged like an eloquent devil.
They listen’d, in a mute surprise,
Amaz’d that any single man should dare
Harangue an armed crowd with such an air,
And such commanding anger in his eyes;
Till, thinking him at least an English lord,
The Tchircasse leader lower’d his sword,
Spoke a few words in his own tongue, and bow’d,
And slowly rode away with all his men.
Then Mr. King turn’d to his task again:
Sought a rough araba with bullocks twain;
Haled up the unwilling brutes with might and main,
Laid the poor wounded woman gently down,
And calmly drove her from the rescued town!
And Mr. King, when we heard the story,
Was a little abash’d by the hero’s glory;
And, “Look you here, you boys; you may laff
But I ain’t the man to start at chaff.
I know without any jaw from you,
’Twas a darned nonsensical thing to do;
But I tell you plain—and I mean it, too—
For all it was such a ridiculous thing,
I should do it again!” said Mr. King.
THE ART OF “POETRY.”
FROM “TOWN TOPICS.”
I ask not much! but let th’ “dank wynd”
“Shimmer th’ woold” and “rive the wanton surge;”
I ask not much; grant but an “eery drone,”
Some “wilding frondage” and a “bosky dirge;”
Grant me but these, and add a regal flush
Of “sundered hearts upreared upon a byre;”
Throw in some yearnings and a “darksome hush,”
And—asking nothing more—I’ll smite th’ lyre.
Yea, I will smite th’ falt’ring, quiv’ring
And magazines shall buy my murky stunts;
Too long I’ve held my hand to honest things,
Too long I’ve borne rejections and affronts;
Now will I be profound and recondite,
Yea, working all th’ symbols and th’ “props;”
Now will I write of “morn” and “yesternight;”
Now will I gush great gobs of soulful slops.