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514

THE CURE'S PROGRESS, ETC.



THE CURE'S PROGRESS.

Monsieur the Curé down the street
Comes with his kind old face, —
With his coat word bare, and his straggling hair,
And his green umbrella-case.

You may see him pass by the little "Grande-Place,"
And the tiny "Hôtel-de-Ville;"
He smiles as he goes, to the fleuriste Rose,
And the pompier Théophile.

He turns, as a rule, through the "Marché" cool,
Where the noisy fish-wives call;
And his compliment pays to the "belle Thérèse,"
As she knits in her dusky stall.

There's a letter to drop at the locksmith's shop,
And Toto, the locksmith's niece,
Has jubilant hopes, for the Curé gropes
In his tails for a pain d'epice.

There's a little dispute with a merchant of fruit,
Who is said to be heterodox,
That will ended be with a "Ma foi, oui!"
And a pinch from the Curé's box.

There is also a word that no one heard
To the furrier's daughter too;
And a pale cheek fed with a flickering red,
And a "Bon Dieu garde M'sieu!"

But a grander way for the Sous-Préfet,
And a bow for Ma'am'selle Anne;
And a mock "off-hat" to the Notary's cat,
And a nod to the Sacristan: —

For ever through life the Curé goes
With a smile on his kind old face, —
With his coat worn bare, and his straggling hair,
And his green umbrella-case.

Cornhill Magazine.Austin Dobson.




BUTTERFLIES.

Once more I pass along the flowering meadow,
Hear cushats call, and mark the fairy rings;
Till where the lych-gate casts its cool dark shadow,
I pause awhile, musing on many things;
Then raise the latch, and passing through the gate,
Stand in the quiet, where men rest and wait.

Bees in the lime-trees do not break their sleeping;
Swallows beneath church eaves disturb them not;
They heed not bitter sobs or silent weeping;
Cares, turmoil, griefs, regrets, they have forgot.
I murmur sadly: "Here, then, all life ends.
We lay you here to rest, and lose you, friends."

By no rebuke is the sweet silence broken.
No voice reproves me; yet a sign is sent;
For from the grassy mounds there comes a token
Of life immortal and I am content.
See! the soul's emblem meets my downcast eyes:
Over the graves are hovering butterflies!

Chambers' Journal.G. S.




THE GOOD GREAT MAN.

How seldom, friend, a good great man inherits
Honor or wealth, with all his worth and pains!
It sounds like stories from the world of spirits,
If any man obtain that which he merits,
Or any merit that which he obtains.
For shame, dear friend! renounce this canting strain,
What wouldst thou have a good great man obtain?
Place — titles — salary — a gilded chain —
Or throne of corses which his sword hath slain? —
Greatness and goodness are not means, but ends;
Hath he not always treasures, always friends,
The good great man? — three treasures, love and light,
And calm thoughts, regular as infant's breath;
And three firm friends, more sure than day and night —
Himself, his Maker, and the Angel Death.

1809.S. T. Coleridge.




SOME ANSWER.

Not for himself — he lives to God alone —
Do we lament that he, the good great man,
Should live unguerdoned and should die unknown:
Not for his sake we mourn, but for our own.
"A little while 'tis with you; while ye can,
Walk in the light!" So spake the living Way:
But we have chosen darkness; day by day
The light was with us, yet we dared to scorn
The beams of his pure glory; now his ray
Faints in the westward, therefore do we mourn.
Oh worse than famine, worse than sword, or pest,
When prophets cry in vain to the dull ear
Of dying lands, that murmur "Peace," and jest,
And lightly mock the visions of the seer.

1858.H. M. B.
Macmillan's Magazine.