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Bloody the band on his brow, and livid the droop of
“ Art thou a Lombard, my brother? Happy art
thou!" she cried, And smiled like Italy on him: he dreamed in her
face and died.
Pale with his passing soul, she went on still to a second: He was a grave, hard man, whose years by dungeons
Wounds in his body were sore, wounds in his life
were sorer. "Art thou a Romagnole?' Her eyes drove light
nings before her.
" Austrian and priest had joined to double and tighten
the cord Able to bind thee, O strong one, — free by the stroke
of a sword.
"Now be grave for the rest of us, using the life over
cast To ripen our wine of the present (too new) in glooms
of the past."
Down she stepped to a pallet where lay a face like
a girl's, Young, and pathetic with dying, - a deep black hole in the curls.
"Art thou from Tuscany, brother? and seest thou,
dreaming in pain, Thy mother stand in the piazza, searching the list
of the slain?'
Kind as a mother herself, she, touched his cheeks
with her hands: “ Blessed is she who has borne thee, although she
should weep as she stands."
On she passed to a Frenchman, his arm carried off
by a ball: Kneeling, “O more than my brother! how shall
I thank thee for all?
Each of the heroes around us has fought for his
land and line, But thou hast fought for a stranger, in hate of a wrong
Happy are all free peoples, too strong to be dis
possessed; But blesséd are those among nations who dare to be
strong for the rest!"
Ever she passed on her way, and came to a couch
where pined One with a face from Venetia, white with a hope
out of mind.
Long she stood and gazed, and twice she tried at
But two great crystal tears were all that faltered
Only a tear for Venice? — she turned as in passion
and loss, And stooped to his forehead and kissed it, as if she
were kissing the cross.
Faint with that strain of heart, she moved on then
to another, Stern and strong in his death. “ And dost thou
Holding his hands in hers: “ Out of the Piedmont
lion Cometh the sweetness of freedom! sweetest to live
or to die on."
Holding his cold, rough hands, -"Well, 0, well
have ye done In noble, noble Piedmont, who would not be noble
Back he fell while she spoke. She rose to her feet
with a spring, “That was a Piedmontese! and this is the Court
of the King."
A WOMAN'S ANSWER
BY ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING
Do you know you have asked for the costliest thing
Ever made by the Hand above
And a woman's most wonderful love?
Do you know you have asked for this priceless thing,
As a child might ask for a toy? Demanding what others have died to win,
With a reckless dash of a boy?
You have written my lesson of duty out,
Manlike you have questioned me
Until I question thee.
You require your mutton shall always be hot,
Your socks and your shirts shall be whole;
And pure as heaven your soul.
You require a cook for your mutton and beef;
I require a far better thing:
I look for a man and a king.
A king for a beautiful realm called home,
And a man that the Maker, God, Shall look upon as he did the first, “ It is very good.”
I am fair and young, but the rose will fade
From my soft young cheek one day; Will you love me then 'mid the falling leaves,
As you did 'mid the bloom of May?
Is your heart an ocean so strong and deep
I may launch my all on its tide?
On the day she is made a bride.
I require all things that are grand and true,
All things that man should be;
To be all you demand of me.
If you cannot do this a laundress and cook
You can hire, with little to pay;
Are not to be won that way.
BY ROBERT BROWNING
Beautiful Evelyn Hope is dead!
Sit and watch by her side an hour. That is her book-shelf, this her bed;
She plucked that piece of geranium-flower, Beginning to die too, in the glass.
Little has yet been changed, I think; The shutters are shut, - no light may pass Save two long rays through the hinge's chink.