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“Therefore the Manichæan said
This simple prayer on breaking bread, Lest he with hasty hand or knife Might wound the incarcerated life, The soul in things that we call dead : I did not reap thee, did not bind thee, I did not thrash thee, did not grind thee, Nor did I in the oven bake thee! It was not I, it was another Did these things unto thee, O brother; I only have thee, hold thee, break thee !'"
“That birds have souls I can concede,"
The Poet cried, with glowing cheeks ; 6. The flocks that from their beds of reed Uprising north or southward fly, And flying write upon the sky The biforked letter of the Greeks, As hath been said by Rucellai ; All birds that sing or chirp or cry, Even those migratory bands, The minor poets of the air, The plover, peep, and sanderling, That hardly can be said to sing, But pipe along the barren sands, All these have souls akin to ours; So hath the lovely race of flowers : Thus much I grant, but nothing more. The rusty hinges of a door Are not alive because they creak; This chimney, with its dreary roar, These rattling windows, do not speak!” “ To me they speak,” the Jew replied ;
And in the sounds that sink and soar,
Here the Sicilian interfered: “That was your dream, then, as you dozed A moment since, with eyes half-closed, And murmured something in your beard." The Hebrew smiled, and answered, “Nay; Not that, but something very near ; Like, and yet not the same, may seem The vision of my waking dream ; Before it wholly dies away, Listen to me, and you shall hear.”
THE SPANISH JEW'S TALE.
Written May 24, 1872. KING SOLOMON, before his palace gate At evening, on the pavement tessellate Was walking with a stranger from the East, Arrayed in rich attire as for a feast, The mighty Runjeet-Sing, a learned man, And Rajah of the realms of Hindostan. And as they walked the guest became aware Of a white figure in the twilight air, Gazing intent, as one who with surprise His form and features seemed to recognize ; And in a whisper to the king he said : “What is yon shape, that, pallid as the dead, Is watching me, as if he sought to trace In the dim light the features of my face ?”
The king looked, and replied: “I know him well;
The king gazed upward at the cloudless sky,
; I was upon my way to seek him there.”
“O EDREHI, forbear to-night
Thus the Sicilian said ; then went
“ Not so," the eager Poet said ;
The story of my Azrael,
6 It is a tale of Charlemagne,
When like a thunder-cloud, that lowers
Thus heralded the tale began,
THE POET'S TALE.
Written May 12, 1872.
OLGER the Dane and Desiderio,
And still the innumerable multitude
Then came the guard that never knew repose,