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Contents with First Lines: PreludeI have gathered these stories afar,The Man from Snowy RiverThere was movement at the station, for the word had passed aroundOld Pardon, the Son of ReprieveYou never heard tell of the story?Clancy of the OverflowI had written him a letter which I had, for want of betterConroy's GapThis was the way of it, don't you know —Our New HorseThe boys had come back from the racesAn Idyll of DandalooOn Western plains,... more...

AN OLD HEART How young I am!  Ah! heaven, this curse of youth   Doth mock me from my mirror with great eyes,And pulsing veins repeat the unwelcome truth,   That I must live, though hope within me dies. So young, and yet I have had all of life.   Why, men have lived to see a hundred years,Who have not known the rapture, joy, and strife   Of my brief youth, its passion and its tears. Oh! what are... more...

KALIDASA—HIS LIFE AND WRITINGS I Kalidasa probably lived in the fifth century of the Christian era. This date, approximate as it is, must yet be given with considerable hesitation, and is by no means certain. No truly biographical data are preserved about the author, who nevertheless enjoyed a great popularity during his life, and whom the Hindus have ever regarded as the greatest of Sanskrit poets. We are thus confronted with one of... more...

THE STUDY OF POETRY. BY FRANCIS HOVEY STODDARD. Clever men of action, according to Bacon, despise studies, ignorant men too much admire them, wise men make use of them. "Yet," he says, "they teach not their own use, but that there is a wisdom without them and above them won by observation." These are the words of a man who had been taught by years of studiousness the emptiness of mere study. It does not teach its own usefulness, and gives its... more...

ARGUMENT Hrothgar, king of the Danes, lives happily and peacefully, and bethinks him to build a glorious hall called Hart. But a little after, one Grendel, of the kindred of the evil wights that are come of Cain, hears the merry noise of Hart and cannot abide it; so he enters thereinto by night, and slays and carries off and devours thirty of Hrothgar's thanes. Thereby he makes Hart waste for twelve years, and the tidings of this mishap are... more...


e have no means of knowing the history of Master "Ebenezer Cook, Gentleman," who, one hundred and forty-six years ago, produced the Sot-Weed Factor's Voyage to Maryland. He wrote, printed, published, and sold it in London for sixpence sterling, and then disappeared forever. We do not know certainly that Mr. Cook himself was the actual adventurer who suffered the ills described by him "in burlesque verse." Indeed, "Eben: Cook, Gent." may be a... more...

I Pearl that the Prince full well might prize,So surely set in shining gold!No pearl of Orient with her vies;To prove her peerless I make bold:So round, so radiant to mine eyes,smooth she seemed, so small to hold,Among all jewels judges wiseWould count her best an hundred fold.Alas! I lost my pearl of old!I pine with heart-pain unforgot;Down through my arbour grass it rolled,My own pearl, precious, without spot. Since in that spot it slipped... more...

TO read the old Nursery Rhymes brings back queer lost memories of a man's own childhood. One seems to see the loose floppy picture-books of long ago, with their boldly coloured pictures. The books were tattered and worn, and my first library consisted of a wooden box full of these volumes. And I can remember being imprisoned for some crime in the closet where the box was, and how my gaolers found me, happy and impenitent, sitting on the box, with... more...

THE NIGHTINGALE, OR THE TRANSFORMED DAMSEL I know where stands a Castellaye,   Its turrets are so fairly gilt;With silver are its gates inlaid,   Its walls of marble stone are built. Within it stands a linden tree,   With lovely leaves its boughs are hung,Therein doth dwell a nightingale,   And sweetly moves that bird its tongue. A gallant knight came riding by,   He heard its dulcet ditty... more...

Medusa How did Medusa do her hair?The question fills me with despair.It must have caused her sore distressThat head of curling snakes to dress.Whenever after endless toilShe coaxed it finally to coil,The music of a Passing BandWould cause each separate hair to standOn end and sway and writhe and spit,—She couldn't "do a thing with it."And, being woman and awareOf such disaster to her hair,What could she do but petrifyAll whom she met,... more...