The happy maiden smiled with joy as Apollo kissed her long and often. He took the turquoise from the skies, an emblem of unfaltering faith. It and a lock of shining hair he gave her. That hid she in her rocky bed where it became gold of the mint; the filthy lucre of unworthiness and avarice, a blessing when in charity bestowed; a boon as the reward of honest labor!
With lengthening shadows Luna, night’s gentle goddess came, a full mile nearer to Arizona than to other lands beaming her softest rays over the sleeping child. Under the lunar kisses woke Arizona and stored the moonshine in her gown. That nature has transformed to silver; serving the poor man as his needed coin.
In sadness waned the moon, for caught between the horns of a dilemma she had no wealth left to endow the infant with. Intemperate habits had the goddess always, was often full and now reduced to her last quarter, but that was waning fast and her man’s shadow also growing less. Her semi-transparent stone, alas! had given she long since to California, but this proudest of all daughters of the seas did not appreciate the kindly gift. She cast it on the white sands of her beaches where it is gathered by the thankful tourist who shouts exultantly, delighted with his find:
The moonstone, climate, atmosphere,
The only things free-gratis here-
I have found!
A village on the coast of northern Germany, where the Elbe flows into the North Sea, was my birthplace, its parsonage, my childhood’s home.
Two great earth-dikes which sheltered our village from fierce southwesterly gales were the only barrier standing between untold thousands of lives and watery graves, for the coasts of Holland and northern Germany are below the level of high tides.
It is known that through inundations caused by breaks in these levees, occurring as late as the tenth and eleventh centuries of our era more than three hundred thousand persons with all their domestic cattle were drowned over night.
These dikes which extend for many miles along the banks of the river were erected by the systematic herculean toil of generations of our ancestors.
According to a popular tradition it was Rolof, the dwarf, a thrall of Vulcan, who taught my forefathers the art of forging tools from iron ore, enabling them to battle successfully against the might of Neptune.
They blunted the angry sea-god’s trident with their plows and shovels and repulsed him at the very threshold of his element, stemming the inroads of hungry seas with their stupendous handiwork which still stands intact, an imposing monument to the memory of my forebears, being their children’s children’s most precious inheritance.
On the soil which my ancestors reclaimed from the sea they founded their homes and sowed grasses and cereals.