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Ser Federigo listens, and replies,
With tears of love and pity in his eyes :

Alas, dear lady! there can be no task
So sweet to me, as giving when you ask.
One little hour ago, if I had known
This wish of yours, it would have been my own.
But thinking in what manner I could best
Do honor to the presence of my guest,
I deemed that nothing worthier could be
Than what most dear and precious was to me;
And so my gallant falcon breathed his last
To furnish forth this morning our repast.”


In mute contrition, mingled with dismay,
The gentle lady turned her eyes away,
Grieving that he such sacrifice should make
And kill his falcon for a woman's sake,
Yet feeling in her heart a woman's pride,
That nothing she could ask for was denied ;
Then took her leave, and passed out at the gate
With footstep slow and soul disconsolate.

Three days went by, and lo! a passing-bell
Tolled from the little chapel in the dell;
Ten strokes Ser Federigo heard, and said,
Breathing a prayer, “ Alas! her child is dead ! ”


! Three months went by; and lo! a merrier chime Rang from the chapel bells at Christmas-time; The cottage was deserted, and no more Ser Federigo sat beside its door, But now, with servitors to do his will, In the grand villa, half-way up the hill, Sat at the Christmas feast, and at his side

Monna Giovanna, his beloved bride,
Never so beautiful, so kind, so fair,
Enthroned once more in the old rustic chair,
High-perched upon the back of which there stood
The image of a falcon carved in wood,
And underneath the inscription, with a date,
" All things come round to him who will but wait.“



Soon as the story reached its end,
One, over eager to commend,
Crowned it with injudicious praise ;
And then the voice of blame found vent,
And fanned the embers of dissent
Into a somewhat lively blaze.

The Theologian shook his head 1;
“ These old Italian tales,” he said,
“ From the much-praised Decameron down
Through all the rabble of the rest,
Are either trifling, dull, or lewd ;
The gossip of a neighborhood
In some remote provincial town,
A scandalous chronicle at best!
They seem to me a stagnant fen,
Grown rank with rushes and with reeds,
Where a white lily, now and then,
Blooms in the midst of noxious weeds
And deadly nightshade on its banks!”

To this the Student straight replied, “For the white lily, many thanks!

One should not say, with too much pride,
Fountain, I will not drink of thee !
Nor were it grateful to forget
That from these reservoirs and tanks
Even imperial Shakespeare drew
His Moor of Venice, and the Jew,
And Romeo and Juliet,
And many a famous comedy.”

Then a long pause; till some one said,
“ An Angel is flying overhead !”
At these words spake the Spanish Jew,

And murmured with an inward breath:
“ God grant, if what you say be true,

It may not be the Angel of Death!”
And then another pause ; and then,

Stroking his beard, he said again :
“ This brings back to my memory
A story in the Talmud told,
That book of gems, that book of gold,
Of wonders many and manifold,
A tale that often comes to me,
And fills my heart, and haunts my brain,
And never wearies nor grows old.”



RABBI BEN LEVI, on the Sabbath, read
A volume of the Law, in which it said,
“ No man shall look upon my face and live.”
And as he read, he prayed that God would give
His faithful servant grace with mortal eye
To look upon His face and yet not die.

Then fell a sudden shadow on the

page, And, lifting up his eyes, grown dim with age,

, He saw the Angel of Death before him stand, Holding a naked sword in his right hand. Rabbi Ben Levi was a righteous man, Yet through his veins a chill of terror ran. With trembling voice he said, " What wilt thou

here?The angel answered, “ Lol the time draws near When thou must die; yet first, by God's de

Whate'er thou askest shall be granted thee."
Replied the Rabbi, “ Let these living eyes
First look upon my place in Paradise.”

Then said the Angel, “Come with me and look.'

“ . Rabbi Ben Levi closed the sacred book, And rising, and uplifting his gray head, “Give me thy sword,” he to the Angel said, “ Lest thou shouldst fall upon me by the way." The angel smiled and hastened to obey, Then led him forth to the Celestial Town, And set him on the wall, whence, gazing down, Rabbi Ben Levi, with his living eyes, Might look upon his place in Paradise.

Then straight into the city of the Lord
The Rabbi leaped with the Death-Angel's sword,
And through the streets there swept a sudden


Of something there unknown, which men call

death. Meanwhile the Angel stayed without, and cried, " Come back!” To which the Rabbi's voice re

plied, “No! in the name of God, whom I adore, I swear that hence I will depart no more !”

Then all the Angels cried, “O Holy One,
See what the son of Levi here hath done'
The kingdom of Heaven he takes by violence,
And in Thy name refuses to go hence!”
The Lord replied, “My Angels, be not wroth;
Did e'er the son of Levi break his oath ?
Let him remain; for he with mortal eye
Shall look upon my face and yet not die.”

Beyond the outer wall the Angel of Death
Heard the great voice, and said, with panting

breath, “Give back the sword, and let me go my way. Whereat the Rabbi paused, and answered, “ Nay! Anguish enough already hath it caused Among the sons of men." And while he paused He heard the awful mandate of the Lord Resounding through the air, “Give back the


The Rabbi bowed his head in silent prayer ;
Then said he to the dreadful Angel, “ Swear
No human eye shall look on it again;
But when thou takest away the souls of men,
Thyself unseen, and with an unseen sword,

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