« السابقةمتابعة »
When he heard a step on the College walk,
Like the step of a ghostly walker,
Like the rap of a ghostly knocker;
“Who comes there at this time of night ?”
The Freshman queried with pale affright,
No answer: but bump
On the door came a thump, As much as to say “ No lingo!
Open your door,
Without a word more,
The Freshman reluctantly turned the key,
Smote upon his startled sight;
Stood a shape most thin and white,
On the bosom of the night:
Shone the Freshman's fluid light,
On the fear bewildered wight. “Who art thou," he faintly uttered,
Coming in this mournful plight ?" And the figure dimly muttered
What I very soon shall write, In the next verse you shall see it,
Read it slowly-read it right. "I am not the ghost of biped,
Trampling over the stones, As soon thou wilt discover,
By the hide on my bones ;
In my extremity
I come to thee;
Thou wilt see
Keep thy serenity,
"I am a college pony,
Coming from a Junior's room; The ungrateful wretch has cast me
Forth to wander in the gloom.
Saved him from the flunkey's doom,
Will not grant me e'en a tomb.
I am in a dreadful fix,
O’er the deep and muddy Styx.
Lay me low in Tutor's Lane ;
Caring not for wind and rain.”
The Freshman heard and saw his tale,
"This grave is unworthy to hide,
His hide who traveled rough roads;
Translating old Horace's Odes.
“Here he lies past the doctor's art,
Tread gently, and leave him alone ;
Although it was skin and Bohn !"
A Leaf from “ Leaves of Absence."
“ Joy, joy, freedom to-day!
OLD SONG. “Two hundred miles from N-! Two hundred miles will make my separation from the duties of College as effectual as if I were the inhabitant of another planet. Bah! speaking of planets carries me back to that Astronomy which I wished not to think of for at least three weeks." These remarks I muttered yawningly as the tedious stagecoach was descending the last bill which lay between me and the little village of L-s, and having reached the centre of the place, my first care was to find a bed whereon to lay my Junior head, and a table whereat to satisfy my Junior appetite. The door of the first house at which I knocked was opened by a stout old man, with silver hair, who, like the hospital Nestor, seated me at his family board before he asked my business. I informed him that I was a student at N--, that I had knocked myself up by too severe application, and I wished to recruit my system by a short stay in the country. I added that I had a number of letters from different members of the Faculty, which, if necessary, I would show him. To my great joy he declined this last proposal ; had he examined them he would have found a strange sameness running through them, the substance of each being, that
Whad acquired - marks, and was placed upon the stage of discipline. However, I soon became domesticated among the honest people, and was by them introduced to several young ladies who were spending a few weeks among the mountains.
They looked with great interest on the emaciated student, and thought that he must have studied very hard to be so pale and thin. Of course I had no right to contradict them, but I could not help reverting to some of those nights when we were occupied rather in practising the precepts of Horace than in muddling our brains over the mystifications of Whately, and when we were accustomed to sing the setting stars to sleep with that touching air
“We won't go home till morning.” I went to bed and slept soundly until the beams of the early sun, streaming in through the half-opened curtains, awoke me. With a frantic hand I grasped my watch, and to my consternation found that it was half-past five. Equally frantic, I hurried on one leg of my unmentionables, one stocking, one boot, and my coat, when I missed the accustomed bell. The full force of my happy condition flashed upon my mind, and sinking back I was soon where
College bell-tongues cease from troubling,
Gentle subscriber to the Lit, did you ever go trout-fishing? If you have, you can sympathize with me in every word I say; if you have not, one of the greatest joys of life is still before you. The careful approach to the bank, the skillful cast of the line, the exciting expectation for that nervous jerk, the dexterous landing, and the beautiful fish lies gasping before you on the bank. Somehow it never occurred to me that it was cruel to kill trout; it seemed a shame that they should have their beauties concealed beneath the waters, but I rather believe that with their gorgeous livery of gold and azure, they should come forth to glitter in the sunlight. A combination of such considerations impelled me the very morning after my arrival to sally forth to the nearest trout-brook, for trout-fishing is as essential a part of my visits to the Kaatskills, as falling in love with Miss Fought to be of every Yalensic student's course. My luck was good, but as I was returning to my supper, laden with a noble string of fish, I met the united population of the village coming towards me with a large drag-net and a number of long poles. It appeared that my old host, becoming anxious about me and fearing lest" the poor melancholy student had gone and got himself drowned in some hole,” had called out the inhabitants and was determined to have the melancholy satisfaction of bringing at least my unlucky carcass to light. In this most charitable wish, however, I was glad not to be able to gratify him.
I used to take frequent walks about the adjacent mountains, and selecting some secluded spot, there to sit and study and read, or more often to muse.
One of these reveries is still very fresh in my memory. How well I recollect it! I was sitting in a great pine forest, one of those
old memorials of Indian days, which are seldom found now to the eastward of the Lakes, and nowhere in greater perfection than among the lordly Kaatskills. A strangely haunted spot, those old mountains; a spot which classic Fauns and Dryads, the fairies and the elfins of more modern times, driven from their native groves by the march of civilization, might be supposed to choose as their future trysting-ground. And by some strange chance my steps had led me to the forest, which required but little imagination to people it with all the fantastic shapes of fairydom. From the edge of the wood might be seen the village, with its white-walled dwellings, peering up from the little dell like snowflakes, while nearer still murmured a trout-brook, with which I was already well acquainted. On the other hand, as if in contrast to the smiling beauty of the village, stood the pine forest. The old trees, many of them scarred by lightning, reminded me of the Giants and Titans of old, lifting their lofty arms in defiance against the heavens. Thus surrounded, I soon felt the full influence of the place, and had a troop of elves appeared on one of the green knolls, or had I been accosted by the ghostly crew of old Hendrick Hudson, I should have felt but little surprise. But while employed in such cogitations, I heard what seemed to me the distant tinkling of a clear bell. The sound approached, and now peals of laughter woke me from my reverie, while a troop of merry girls entered the wood. Soon I heard my name pronounced by several voices. 6 W where are you ?"
Oh, there he is under that great fir-tree and fast asleep. A perfect Rip Van Winkle. Mr. W—, we are going a fishing in the brook, and we want you to come and show us how to catch the pretty trout.” Immediately I was on my feet and overwhelmed with questions. “How could you go to sleep under that horrid tree?” said one, a bright-eyed girl from Hudson, her curls escaping in profusion from the straw flat which was negligently pushed back from her open forehead; “it is almost as bad as the myrtle-tree in Tassos' enchanted forest.” “Yes,” I replied, with a low bow, “and like that myrtle it seems to have disgorged a troop of fairies.” And so with laugh and jest we set off for the brook. Our attempts at catching fish were about as successful as might be imagined. Female impatience, not allowing the fish to get fairly hooked, was continually jerking up the line in a manner, as my friend T would say, "piscatorially indescribable.” Oh! shade of Izaak Walton; be not angry with thy humble follower, and look not down in displeasure upon my errings from the path of true angling, for I was in the hands of those whose word to me was law. We set off for the village with five trout, whose total length measured exactly