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Came labors manifold and trials sore;

And as his toils increased his food grew less, Until at last the great consoler, Death, Ended his many sufferings with his breath.

Great was the lamentation when he died ;

And mainly that he died impenitent; Dame Cicely bewailed, the children cried,

The old man still remembered the event In the French war, and Gilbert magnified

His many virtues, as he came and went, And said : “ Heaven pardon Brother Timothy, And keep us from the sin of gluttony.”


“ SIGNOR LUIGI," said the Jew,

When the Sicilian's tale was told,
“ The were-wolf is a legend old,

But the were-ass is something new,
And yet for one I think it true.
The days of wonder have not ceased ;
If there are beasts in forms of men,
As sure it happens now and then,
Why may not man become a beast,
In way of punishment at least ?

46 But this I will not now discuss ;

I leave the theme, that we may thus
Remain within the realm of song.
The story that I told before,
Though not acceptable to all,
At least you did not find too long.
I beg you, let me try again,

With something in a different vein,
Before you bid the curtain fall.
Meanwhile keep watch upon the door,
Nor let the Landlord leave his chair,
Lest he should vanish into air,
And so elude our search once more.'

Thus saying, from his lips he blew
A little cloud of perfumed breath,
And then, as if it were a clew
To lead his footsteps safely through,
Began his tale as followeth.



Written February 4, 1873.

The battle is fought and won
By King Ladislaus, the Hun,
In fire of hell and death's frost,
On the day of Pentecost.
And in rout before his path
From the field of battle red
Flee all that are not dead
Of the army of Amurath. .

In the darkness of the night
Iskander, the pride and boast
Of that mighty Othman host,
With his routed Turks, takes flight
From the battle fought and lost
On the day of Pentecost ;

Leaving behind him dead
The army of Amurath,
The vanguard as it led,
The rearguard as it fled,
Mown down in the bloody swath
Of the battle's aftermath.

But he cared not for Hospodars,
Nor for Baron or Voivode,
As on through the night he rode
And gazed at the fateful stars,
That were shining overhead;
But smote his steed with his staff,

And smiled to himself, and said: 6 This is the time to laugh.”

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In the middle of the night,
In a halt of the hurrying flight,

a There came a Scribe of the King Wearing his signet ring,

And said in a voice severe : 66 This is the first dark blot

On thy name, George Castriot!
Alas ! why art thou here,
And the army of Amuratk slain,
And left on the battle plain ? ”

And Iskander answered and said: 66 They lie on the bloody sod

By the hoofs of horses trod;
But this was the decree
Of the watchers overhead ;
For the war belongeth to God,

And in battle who are we,
Who are we, that shall withstand
The wind of his lifted hand?"

Then he bade them bind with chains
This man of books and brains ;
And the Scribe said : “ What misdeed
Have I done, that, without need,
Thou doest to me this thing ?
And Iskander answering
Said unto him :
Misdeed to me hast thou done;
But for fear that thou shouldst run
And hide thyself from me,
Have I done this unto thee.

«Not one

66 Now write me a writing, O Scribe,

And a blessing be on thy tribe !
A writing sealed with thy ring,
To King Amurath's Pasha
In the city of Croia,
The city moated and walled,
That he surrender the same
In the name of my master, the King;
For what is writ in his name
Can never be recalled.”

And the Scribe bowed low in dread,

And unto Iskander said: 66 Allah is great and just,

But we are as ashes and dust ;
How shall I do this thing,
When I know that my guilty head
Will be forfeit to the King ?”

Then swift as a shooting star
The curved and shining blade
Of Iskander's scimetar
From its sheath, with jewels brighty
Shot, as he thundered : “ Write!
And the trembling Scribe obeyed,
And wrote in the fitful glare
Of the bivouac fire apart,
With the chill of the midnight air
On his forehead white and bare,
And the chill of death in his heart.

Then again Iskander cried : 66 Now follow whither I ride,

For here thou must not stay.
Thou shalt be as my dearest friend,
And honors without end
Shall surround thee on every side,
And attend thee night and day.”

But the sullen Scribe replied : 66 Our pathways here divide;

Mine leadeth not thy way."

And even as he spoke
Fell a sudden scimetar stroke,
When no one else was near;
And the Scribe sank to the ground,
As a stone, pushed from the brink
Of a black pool, might sink
With a sob and disappear ;
And no one saw the deed ;
And in the stillness around
No sound was heard but the sound


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