Puslapio vaizdai



(Georges Chavez, after crossing the Alps in his aëroplane, fell and was killed Sept. 23, 1910.)

And so lies down, in slumber lapped for aye.
Diana, passing, found his youth too fair,

His soul too fleet and willing to obey.

She swung her golden moon before his eyes-
Dreaming he rose to follow-and ran-and was away.

His foot was wingèd as the mounting sun.

Earth he disdained-the dusty ways of men
Not yet had learned. His spirit longed to run

With the bright clouds, his brothers, to answer when
The airs were fleetest and could give him hand

Into the starry fields beyond our plodding ken.

All wittingly that glorious way he chose,

And loved the peril when it was most bright.

He tried anew the long forbidden snows

And like an eagle topped the dropping height
Of Nagenhorn, and still toward Italy

Past peak and cliff pressed on, in glad, unerring flight.

Oh when the bird lies low with golden wing
Bruised past healing by some bitter chance,
Still must its tireless spirit mount and sing

Of meadows green with morning, of the dance
On windy trees, the darting flight away,

And of that last, most blue, triumphant downward glance.

So murmuring of the snow: "The snow, and more,
O God, more snow!" on that last field he lay.
Despair and wonder spent their passionate store
In his great heart, through heaven gone astray,
And early lost. Too far the golden moon

Had swung upon that bright, that long, untraversed way.

Now to lie ended on the murmuring plain

Ah, this for his bold heart was not the loss,

But that those windy fields he ne'er again.

Might try, nor fleet and shimmering mountains cross,
Unfollowed, by a path none other knew:

His bitter woe had here its deep and piteous cause.

Dear toils of youth unfinished! And songs unwritten left
By young and passionate hearts! O melodies

Unheard, whereof we ever stand bereft!

Clear-singing Schubert, boyish Keats-with these
He roams henceforth, one with the starry band,
Still paying to fairy call and far command

His spirit heed, still winged with golden prophecies.

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Author of "Heart's Desire," "The Singing Mouse Stories," etc.


"Is Mary Alice. She paused

S thee ready, Cousin Mar' Ellen?"

for a moment at the door of a little house the brick front of which was well-nigh covered with morning-glories, and the short, straight walk of which gave directly upon the single street of Warrenford. "It is almost time, thee knows."

A gentle voice replied from somewhere among the morning-glories. A small bird chirped sweetly in its cage at the window, and a big bee buzzed almost as loudly among the phlox which grew along the brick walk. Such always were almost the only sounds on the single street of Warrenford on a day like this. The summits of the Blue Ridge seemed more than ever softened to-day, the wavering light of the kindly summer day tempered by some quality which left the landscape more than usually tender. All the world was gentle and quiet here. Rather, the world itself had passed by long ago, and left this little spot to tell, to such few as chanced or cared to see it, of another and different day, albeit also one of rest and quiet. Nothing but peace and calm had been known here from the old times of Lord Fairfax up to the days of the Civil War. Since that upheaval, some of the younger men of Warrenford had passed away beyond the mountains in search of other homes; but Warrenford itself, quaint and wholly old-fashioned, remained but little changed. Its one winding street still crawled at the edge of the hills; its bright and shallow stream still crossed the street as of old, unbridged; the old mill-wheel

hung silent, as it had for years. The names
on the chance signs here and there were
those known for a century or more. The
garb of the two old ladies who now passed
down Cousin Mary Ellen's brick walk to
the little front gate was one that had re-
mained unchanged in cut or color for a
century or more. It was that once most
commonly seen hereabout, the dull-col-
ored habit of the Society of Friends,
shaped as their mothers and grandmothers
had worn it.

They made a quaint and unworldly picture, these two, as they stepped out upon the shaded street. They walked slowly, gently, fitting perfectly into the quiet picture which lay about them. At the postoffice, far behind them up the street, there might have been half a dozen village loiterers, but on the street itself there was no commerce. If a slow figure passed here or there, it was that of an old man or old woman. Youth had almost wholly departed from the place.

"I hope that Lucy Maxwell will be ready, as thee always is, Cousin Mar' Ellen," commented Aunt Mary Alice, presently. "Tch! tch! It is not seemly to be late at the meeting-house. Does it seem to thee, Cousin Mar' Ellen, that it is harder to be prompt now than once it was?"

"But Lucy Maxwell is younger than we are, Aunt Mar' Alice," rejoined her companion, "and thee knows she is mostly very punctual."

When they arrived at the home of Miss Lucy Maxwell, the latter was dis

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closed to be not unlike that of Cousin Mary Ellen. It also was of brick, with creeping and flowering vines. A short brick walk also led up from a little gate which opened upon the street. There was also a little bird in a cage at the screened window, and there were big bees among the quaint, old-fashioned flowers along the walk. As to Miss Lucy Maxwell herself, she fully bore out the reputation accorded her by Cousin Mary Ellen. Even as they touched the gate-latch she appeared at the door and greeted them. A quaint yet not unlovely picture she made as she stood there drawing on her mitts. Younger than either of the others, she was clad in the same colorless costume, cut with small grace of line. There remained in her face, pale though it was, something more of the color of life itself, and life beamed from her gentle brown eyes; yet naught of sprightliness remained in any word or gesture, and she blended perfectly

in the group which now passed down the shady street of Warrenford.

Like her two friends, Miss Lucy Maxwell dwelt alone in this abandoned old town. None might say how Warrenford itself existed, still less how its lonely women got on in life. From some place back in the encircling hills the ravens of the Lord came down. Some said that Warrenford lived on its pension money, derived from the Civil War; for certainly not even these unwarlike Quaker folk had escaped the compelling militarism of the generation just gone by. Warrenford itself had lain directly in the path of the contending armies, and first one, then the other, again and again had swept it clean and bare. Its few public buildings still bore the marks of shot and shell, its surviving population also bore scars, losses, griefs, handed down from the great contest. There were pensions, yes.

As to Miss Lucy Maxwell, however, quiet rumor accorded her certain means inherited from some ancestor who, though his house and barns were open to all the Society of Friends at the times of the quarterly meetings, nevertheless had been worldly enough to accumulate property in farming-lands. Miss Lucy Maxwell herself lived with two ancient negro servingpeople, and had few activities in life beyond making book-marks. In her house were such pieces of mahogany as collectors covet, but rarely see on sale. She lived on, the last one of her family left in this little valley, where acres once princely had been divided and subdivided, enriched, impoverished, increased, lost, squandered, or abandoned, as chance has these matters in the history of families. She herself remained in Warrenford, one of the very few accepted figures remaining of the Society of Friends.

"Does thee think we shall be late at the meeting-house, Miss Lucy Maxwell?" asked Aunt Mary Alice, as she always did at precisely this hour of each Wednesday morning in the year. And Miss Lucy Maxwell, as she always did on each Wednesday morning of the year, replied to her gently: "No, I do not think we shall be late, Aunt Mar' Alice. It is but a short distance now, thee knows." And then, as they always did at this time, they unhastening bent their steps up the easy slope of the village street where it turned to ascend a gentle, tree-crowned hill.

Through the green of the foliage they could now see the modest and spireless edifice of the Little Stone Church of Warrenford. We must give this name in large letters, for although in the valley it was better known as the Quaker Meetinghouse, and among the Friends themselves was called simply the meeting-house, it stands in the country's military records as the Little Stone Church of this certain county in old Virginia. No one seems to know when or by whom this little gray building was erected, except that the Friends built it some time in the far past. After the Civil War the Friends replaced the broken stones, repaired the roof, set all in order, to become gray and mossgrown again, as it had been so long. Carving or gilding it never knew. No bell ever has surmounted it to call worshipers thither. Its saints sat in the plain and un

carved pews, and did not blossom in the stained glass of any lustered windows. Decoration it knew not in any feature, and not even a pulpit reared itself for the propounding of the faith. Colorless, gray, silent, wholly plain, patient, enduring, apparently unperishing, it stood, changed as little as any proud cathedral of the Old World. As it was, so it had been. As it had been, so now it seemed fit to remain, year after year, indefinitely.

Up to the gray door of this gray building came now these three gray figures, themselves not much more changed from the fashion of days gone by. If no bell summoned them thither, any such summons had been idle. They did not look about them to see whether others also came up the winding little road. They knew no one else would come. They were the last to keep the faith, and to open the meeting-house of the Society of Friends for the midday hour of FourthDay. It had been so for years and years. They three alone had not failed in the faith.

Once perhaps there had been larger congregations, at least on Fourth-Days. These hitching-racks, built of sturdy oak in another generation, had once been gnawed by many horses; and although the grass had now grown into most of the hollows, the ground beneath had been stamped out by long rows of waiting hoofs. Now hoof-marks and tooth-marks were toned down, weathered out, themselves bitten by the tooth of Time. Grass grew even up to the weathered boards of the little stoop-sweet, strong, almost purple blue grass of the sort which crossed the Blue Ridge more than one hundred and fifty years before this time. The blue grass also grew thick and strong to the edge of the low, gray stone wall, which, beyond the hitching-racks, fenced off a green and well-shaded hillside. Out of the covering of green, which was little injured by the shade of the stately trees, there rose, on the summit and along the gentle slope of the hillside, many low gravestones of gray sandstone. They were uniform in height, none over two feet above the surface of the purple grass. There is not, even in old England itself, a calmer and more unchanged spot than the old Warrenford burying-ground of the Society of Friends. Here they lay,

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