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275 As of a luck not quite legitimate,
Since fortune snatched from wit the lion's part?
As one within whose memory it burned
Of traders, led by corporate sons of trade,
285 Had won the brightest laurel of all time.
'T was always thus, and will be; hand and head Are ever rivals: but, though this be swift,
290 It was from Jove the other stole his fire,
But ever the free race with front sublime,
295 Who do the feat, and lift humanity.
Let not him mourn who best entitled was,
Yea, plant the tree that bears best apples, plant,
We flee away from cities, but we bring
The best of cities with us, these learned classifiers,
305 We praise the guide, we praise the forest life; But will we sacrifice our dear-bought lore
Of books and arts and trained experiment,
Or count the Sioux a match for Agassiz?
Oh no, not we! Witness the shout that shook
The holidays were fruitful, but must end;
335 So in the gladness of the new event
We struck our camp, and left the happy hills.
Almost a smile to steal to cheer her sons,
You shall not be overbold
deal with arctic cold,
As late I found my lukewarm blood
Chilled wading in the snow-choked wood.
5 How should I fight? my foeman fine Has million arms to one of mine:
East, west, for aid I looked in vain,
East, west, north, south, are his domain.
The frost-king ties my fumbling feet,
343. The Sphinx in classical mythology was a monster having a human head, a lion's body, and sometimes fabled as winged. It used to propose a question to the Thebans and murder all who could not guess it. The riddle was,
"What goes on four feet, on two feet, and three,
Edipus gave the answer that it was man, going on four feet as a child, and when old using a staff which made the third foot. But the Sphinx's riddle in the old poetry and in the serious modern acceptation is nothing .ess than the whole problem of human life.
15 Tugs at the heart-strings, numbs the sense,
20 The winds shall sing their dead-march old, The snow is no ignoble shroud,
The moon thy mourner, and the cloud.
Softly, but this way fate was pointing, 'T was coming fast to such anointing, 25 When piped a tiny voice hard by, Gay and polite, a cheerful cry, Chic-chicadeedee! saucy note
Out of sound heart and merry throat,
This poet, though he live apart,
As fits a feathered lord of land;
Flew near, with soft wing grazed my hand, Hopped on the bough, then, darting low, 40 Prints his small impress on the snow, Shows feats of his gymnastic play, Head downward, clinging to the spray.
Here was this atom in full breath,
45 This scrap of valor just for play
Fronts the north-wind in waistcoat gray,