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and ride with the young lady. It seemed to her like forever and forever.
They turned away from
Androscoggin without speaking, and rode and rode. Daylight dimmed and dusk dropped, and see! all the town blazed with lights. They rode and rode to see the lights. Deb could not speak there were so many lights.
And still she could not speak when they rode into Brick Alley. . She was too happy to speak. She need never wonder any more. She could
ELIZABETH STUART PHELPS.
TO A WATERFOWL.
Whither, midst falling dews,
While glow the heavens with the last steps of day, Far, through their rosy depths, dost thou pursue Thy solitary way?
Vainly the fowler's eye
Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong,
Seek'st thou the plashy brink
Of weedy lake, or marge of river wide,
Or where the rocking billows rise and sink
There is a Power whose care
Teaches thy way along that pathless coast,
Lone wandering, but not lost.
All day thy wings have fanned,
And soon that toil shall end;
Soon shalt thou find a summer home, and rest, And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend, Soon, o'er thy sheltered nest.
Thou'rt gone, the abyss of heaven
He who, from zone to zone,
Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight, In the long way that I must tread alone,
Will lead my steps aright.
WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.
THE ARCTIC NIGHT.
Nothing more wonderfully beautiful can exist than the arctic night. It is dreamland, painted in the imagination's most delicate tints; it is color etherealized. One shade melts into the other, so that you cannot tell where one ends and the other begins, and yet they are all there.
Is not all life's beauty high and delicate and pure like this night? Give it the brighter colors, and it is no longer beautiful.
The sky is like an enormous cupola, blue at the zenith, shading down into green, and then into violet at the edges.
Over the ice-fields there are cold violet-blue shadows, with lighter pink tints where a ridge here and there catches the last reflection of the vanished day. Up in the blue of the cupola shine the stars, speaking peace, as they always do those unchanging friends. In the south stands a large red-yellow moon, encircled by a yellow ring and light golden clouds floating on the blue background.
Presently the aurora borealis shakes over the vault of heaven its veil of glittering silver-changing now
to yellow, now to green, now to red. It spreads, it contracts again, in restless change; next it breaks into waving, many-folded bands of shining silver, over which shoot billows of glittering rays, and then the glory vanishes.
Presently it shimmers in tongues of flame over the very zenith, and then again it shoots a bright ray right up from the horizon, until the whole melts away in the moonlight, and it is as though one heard the sigh of a departing spirit.
[From Nansen's "Farthest North." Copyright, 1897, by Harper & Brothers.]
SAVED BY A SWAN.
With my six months of pocket money, which I had saved for the purpose, I had succeeded in purchasing a full-rigged sloop, from an old fisherman, who had built her in his hours of leisure.
She was only six inches in length, by less than three inches in breadth of beam, and her tonnage would have been about half a pound avoirdupois. A small craft you will style her; but at that time, in my eyes, she was as grand as a three-decker.
I esteemed her too large for the duck-pond, and I resolved to go in search of a piece of water where she should have more room to exhibit her sailing qualities. This I soon found in the shape of a very large pond
or lake, I should rather call it — where the water was as clear as crystal, and where there was usually a light breeze playing over the surface—just strong enough to fill the sails, and drive my little sloop along like a bird on the wing-so that she often crossed the pond before I myself could get round to the other side to receive her into my hands again.
Upon this little lake there was at that time a flock of swans - six, if I remember aright - besides other waterfowl of rare kinds. The boys took great delight in feeding these pretty creatures; and it was a common thing for one or another of us to bring pieces of bread and toss them to the waterfowl.
For my part I was very fond of this little piece of extravagance; and whenever I had the opportunity, I came up to the lake with my pockets crammed.
The fowls, and especially the swans, under this treatment had grown so tame that they would eat out of our hands, without exhibiting the slightest fear of us.
There was a particular way of giving them their food in which we took great delight. On one side of the lake there was a bank that rose three feet or so above the surface of the water.