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He seemed a very arctic king Throwing his furry robe aside.


My sire, awakened by the stir,

Gazed through the door with shaded eyes,
Puzzled a moment with vague surprise ;
But when he saw that giant size

And heard the voice of bluff replies,
He knew and welcomed the Wagoner.

Had you beheld him stride the floor,
You ne'er had guessed how many a score
Of years had blown their changeful air
Through those wild locks to whiten there.

We offered him this cushioned seat:

He took yon great oak chair instead,

It felt more saddle-like, he said, -
And flung him down with wide-spread feet.

“ 'Tis seventy years," he cried, " or more,

, Since first I backed a good, stout steed;

And though to-day with as fearless speed
I rode as in the days of yore,
I know that wild, free course is o'er.

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It boots not to prolong the strife:
That brave, old-fashioned, cheery life
Is ended. My contented grip

Resigns at last the guiding reins :
No more my bells o'er hills and plains

Shall ring, as once, through these domains.
And therefore I have brought my whip,
To hang it up in Berkley Hall,


grace yon antlers tall Which hold those old swords on the wall, The rusty weapons of Sir Hugh: The honor is its well-earned due."

To see

We welcomed him with hearty will,
And wished him many bright years still,
Then brought the wine-we knew the sort-
And brimmed a goblet with old port.
Through the red cup he gazed a while,
In musing, with a strange, sad smile.

“Good Uncle Ralph," my mother sighed,

Dropping the embroidery in her lap, "One question I have often tried

To solve; and yet, through some mishap, It seems conjecture wandered wide :

But you,

I think, can solve for me Poor Nora's mournful history.”

The old man looked at her a space,
Looked vaguely in her upturned face,
As if endeavoring to recall

The far scenes of the past, and said, “For her sake you should know it all,

For my sake too, when I am dead; But first, my friends, let me make clear The reason I to-night am here.

Beside the old churchyard to-day
The surly sexton crossed my way:
He glared at me with sidelong leer,

And flung his spade across the wall.
Just then a hurrying team drew near:

The horses, wagon, bells, and all
(Believe me, 'twas a marvellous sign)
Seemed like the very ghosts of mine;
The driver—for once I held my breath,

To see the flash

Of his maniac lash-
Was a rattling skeleton, grim and tall;
His shout was the hollow shout of Death!

My team, with many a plunge and rear, Went mad, then stood like frighted deer,

While I sat like a girl aghast,

Until that awful wagoner passed; And when I looked behind, 'twas gone, And we were in the road alone.

Think not that superstitious fright
Could cheat my ear or mock my sight;
Although the calendar counts me old,
My heart is as the youngest bold.
Brave Percy, when his charger stood

First on the field of Brandywine, (13)
Beheld, in clear, prophetic mood,
The spot which should receive his blood;

He saw his form's distinct outline Stretched on the sod, -his steed, in fright, Dashing riderless through the fight; Then instantly he galloped on, And sought the fate he could not shun.

It is a bitter night; the cold
For the first time now makes me old :
Another cup of this warm wine
Perchance will give the blood a start,

And thaw the chill about my heart, And clear this hazy brain of mine."

Again his vague eye scanned the glass,
As if he saw old memories pass

In many a long and wavering line;
And, as he held the glowing cup
Between him and the lamp-light up,
The color of the deep wine threw
Across his face a purple hue :
I could but shudder where I stood,
It looked so like a dash of blood.

At last he spoke in under-tone,“Those grand old times are past and gone; But, Esther,”—here his eye grew bright With something of its former light,“Do you

remember how of old
Around our cause your numbers rolled ?

I ever loved a fiery song;
But there was something in your voice
Which made the listener's heart rejoice,
His eye of courage burn more bright,
And filled him with a fierce delight

That did not to the words belong :

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