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This flower she stopped at, finger on lip,
Stooped over, in doubt, as settling its claim ; Till she gave me, with pride to make no slip,
Its soft meandering Spanish name. What a name! Was it love, or praise?
Speech half-asleep, or song half-awake? I must learn Spanish, one of these days,
Only for that slow, sweet name's sake.
Roses, if I live and do well,
I may bring her, one of these days, To fix you fast with as fine a spell,
Fit you each with his Spanish phrase ! But do not detain me now; for she lingers
There, like sunshine over the ground, And ever I see her soft white fingers
Searching after the bud she found.
Flower, you Spaniard, look that you grow not,
Stay as you are and be loved forever! Bud, if I kiss you 't is that you blow not,
Mind, the shut pink mouth opens never ! For while thus it pouts, her fingers wrestle,
Twinkling the audacious leaves between, Till round they turn and down they nestle, –
Is not the dear mark still to be seen ?
Where I find her not, beauties vanish;
Whither I follow her, beauties flee;
June's twice June since she breathed it with me? Come, bud, show me the least of her traces,
Treasure my lady's lightest footfall - Ah, you may flout and turn up your faces, – Roses, you are not so fair after all !
THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN.
By famous Hanover city ;
A pleasanter spot you never spied ;
Almost five hundred years ago,
From vermin, was a pity.
And bit the babies in the cradles,
And licked the soup from the cook's own ladles, Split open the kegs of salted sprats, Made nests inside men's Sunday hats, And even spoiled the women's chats,
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeaking In fifty different sharps and flats.
At last the people in a body
To the Town Hall came flocking: “'T is clear,” cried they, “our Mayor 's a noddy;
And as for our Corporation, - shocking
At this the Mayor and Corporation
An hour they sat in counsel,
At length the Mayor broke silence :
I wish I were a mile hence!
Only a scraping of shoes on the mat?
• Come in!” the Mayor cried, looking bigger: And in did come the strangest figure ! His queer long coat from heel to head Was half of yellow and half of red ; And he himself was tall and thin, - With sharp blue eyes, each like a pin, And light loose hair, yet swarthy skin, No tuft on cheek nor beard on chin, But lips where smiles went out and in, There was no guessing his kith and kin ! And nobody could enough admire The tall man and his quaint attire : Quoth one: “ It's as my great-grandsire, Starting up at the Trump of Doom's tone, Had walked this way from his painted tomb-stone!”
He advanced to the council-table :
Into the street the Piper stept,
Smiling first a little smile,
In his quiet pipe the while;