Imágenes de páginas

Are left me, work's my ware, and what's it worth?


I'll pay my fancy. Only let me sit

The gray remainder of the evening out,

Idle, you call it, and muse perfectly

How I could paint, were I but back in France,

One picture, just one more—the Virgin's face,


Not yours this time! I want you at my side
To hear them-that is, Michel Agnolo-
Judge all I do and tell you of its worth.
Will you? To-morrow, satisfy your friend.
I take the subjects for his corridor,

Finish the portrait out of hand-there, there,
And throw him in another thing or two
If he demurs; the whole should prove enough
To pay for this same cousin's freak.



What's better and what's all I care about,


Get you the thirteen scudi for the ruff!

Love, does that please you? Ah, but what does he,

The cousin! what does he to please you more?

I am grown peaceful as old age to-night.

I regret little, I would change still less.


Since there my past life lies, why alter it?

The very wrong to Francis !—it is true

I took his coin, was tempted and complied,

And built this house and sinned, and all is said.

My father and my mother died of want.


Well, had I riches of my own? you see

How one gets rich! Let each one bear his lot.

They were born poor, lived poor, and poor they died:

And I have labored somewhat in my time

And not been paid profusely. Some good son


Paint my two hundred pictures-let him try!

No doubt, there's something strikes a balance. Yes,
You love me quite enough, it seems to-night.

This must suffice me here. What would one have?

In heaven, perhaps, new chances, one more chance-
Four great walls in the New Jerusalem,
Meted on each side by the angel's reed,
For Leonard, Rafael, Agnolo, and me
To cover the three first without a wife,
While I have mine! So-still they overcome
Because there's still Lucrezia,-as I choose.



Again the cousin's whistle! Go, my Love.

"How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix." [16-.]

The "good news" of this stirring ballad is intended for that of the Pacification of Ghent, a treaty of union entered into by Holland, Zealand, and the southern Netherlands against the tyrannical Philip II., in 1576. The incident of the poem is not historical. "I wrote it," says Mr. Browning, “under the bulwark of a vessel off the African coast, after I had been at sea long enough to appreciate even the fancy of a gallop on the back of a certain good horse 'York' then in my stable at home."

I SPRANG to the stirrup, and Joris, and he;

I galloped, Dirck galloped, we galloped all three;

"Good speed!" cried the watch, as the gate-bolts undrew ; "Speed!" echoed the wall to us galloping through;

Behind shut the postern, the lights sank to rest,

And into the midnight we galloped abreast.

Not a word to each other; we kept the great pace
Neck by neck, stride by stride, never changing our place;
I turned in my saddle and made its girths tight,
Then shortened each stirrup, and set the pique right,
Rebuckled the cheek-strap, chained slacker the bit,
Nor galloped less steadily Roland a whit.

263. Leonard.-Leonardo da Vinci.
10. Pique. The pommel of the saddle.



'Twas moonset at starting; but while we drew near
Lokeren, the cocks crew and twilight dawned clear;
At Boom, a great yellow star came out to see;
At Düffeld, 'twas morning as plain as could be ;
And from Mecheln church-steeple we heard the half chime,
So Joris broke silence with, "Yet there is time!"

At Aershot, up leaped of a sudden the sun,
And against him the cattle stood black every one,
To stare through the mist at us galloping past,
And I saw my stout galloper Roland at last,
With resolute shoulders, each butting away

The haze, as some bluff river headland its spray:



And his low head and crest, just one sharp ear bent back 25
For my voice, and the other pricked out on his track;

And one eye's black intelligence,- -ever that glance
O'er its white edge at me, his own master, askance!
And the thick heavy spume-flakes which aye and anon
His fierce lips shook upwards in galloping on.

By Hasselt, Dirck groaned; and cried Joris, "Stay spur!"
Your Roos galloped bravely, the fault's not in her,
We'll remember at Aix"--for one heard the quick wheeze
Of her chest, saw the stretched neck and staggering knees,
And sunk tail, and horrible heave of the flank,

As down on her haunches she shuddered and sank.

So we were left galloping, Joris and I,

Past Looz and past Tongres, no cloud in the sky;

The broad sun above laughed a pitiless laugh,



'Neath our feet broke the brittle bright stubble like chaff; 40

14. Lokeren.-This town and the others mentioned in the poem will be found upon any good map, in a general line from Ghent to Aix-la-Chapelle. The whole distance is about ninety miles.

17. Mecheln.-The Flemish form of the more common French Malines.

Till over by Dalhem a dome-spire sprang white,
And "Gallop," gasped Joris, "for Aix is in sight!"

"How they'll greet us!"—and all in a moment his roan
Rolled neck and croup over, lay dead as a stone;
And there was my Roland to bear the whole weight
Of the news which alone could save Aix from her fate,
With his nostrils like pits full of blood to the brim,
And circles of red for his eye-sockets' rim.


Then I cast loose my buff-coat, each holster let fall,
Shook off both my jack-boots, let go belt and all,
Stood up in the stirrup, leaned, patted his ear,


Called my Roland his pet-name, my horse without peer; Clapped my hands, laughed and sang, any noise, bad or good, Till at length into Aix Roland galloped and stood.

And all I remember is, friends flocking round
As I sat with his head 'twixt my knees on the ground;
And no voice but was praising this Roland of mine,
As I poured down his throat our last measure of wine,
Which (the burgesses voted by common consent)


Was no more than his due who brought good news from Ghent.

The Boy and the Angel.

MORNING, evening, noon and night,
"Praise God!" sang Theocrite.

Then to his poor trade he turned,
Whereby the daily meal was earned.


41. Dalhem.-Probably Dalheim, a town about midway between Tongres and Aix.

16. Save Aix from her fate.-The reader is to imagine that Aix has resolved upon self-destruction, rather than yield to the Spaniards,

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Said Blaise, the listening monk, "Well done;
I doubt not thou art heard, my son:

"As well as if thy voice to-day

Were praising God the Pope's great way.

"This Easter Day, the Pope at Rome

Praises God from Peter's dome."

Said Theocrite, "Would God that I

Might praise him, that great way, and die!"

Night passed, day shone,




And Theocrite was gone.

With God a day endures alway,

A thousand years are but a day.

God said in heaven, "Nor day nor night
Now brings the voice of my delight."


Then Gabriel, like a rainbow's birth,
Spread his wings and sank to earth;


Entered, in flesh, the empty cell,

Lived there, and played the craftsman well;

And morning, evening, noon and night,

Praised God in place of Theocrite.


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