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“'T is clear,” cried they, “our Mayor's a By means of a secret charm, to draw
All creatures living beneath the sun,
And I chiefly use my charm
On creatures that do people harm,
And people call me the Pied Piper."
A scarf of red and yellow stripe, Or, sure as fate, we'll send you packing!” To match with his coat of the self-same check; At this the Mayor and Corporation
And at the scarf's end hung a pipe; Quaked with a mighty consternation.
And his fingers, they noticed, were ever stray
ing An hour they sat in council;
As if impatient to be playing
Upon this pipe, as low it dangled At length the Mayor broke silence:
Over his vesture so old-fangled.) “For a guilder1 I'd my ermine gown sell,
“Yet,” said he, “poor piper as I am, I wish I were a mile hence!
In Tartary I freed the Cham, It 's easy to bid one rack one's brain
Last June, from his huge swarms of gnats; 94 I'm sure my poor head aches again,
I eased in Asia the Nizam I've scratched it so, and all in vain.
Of a monstrous brood of vampire-bats:
And as for what your brain bewilders,
If I can rid your town of rats
“One? fifty thousand!!!—was the exclamation (With the Corporation as he sat,
Of the astonished Mayor and Corporation. Looking little though wondrous fat; Nor brighter was his eye, nor moister Than a too-long-opened oyster, Save when at noon his paunch grew mutinous
Into the street the Piper stept, For a plate of turtle green and glutinous)
Smiling first a little smile, “Only a scraping of shoes on the mat?
As if he knew what magic slept Anything like the sound of a rat
In his quiet pipe the while;
Then, like a musical adept,
And green and blue his sharp eyes twinkled, “Come in!”—the Mayor cried, looking bigger: Like à candle-flame where salt is sprinkled ; And in did come the strangest figure!
And ere three shrill notes the pipe uttered, His queer long coat from heel to head
You heard as if an army muttered; Was half of yellow and half of red,
And the muttering grew to a grumbling; And he himself was tall and thin,
And the grumbling grew to a mighty rumWith sharp blue eyes, each like a pin,
bling; And light loose hair, yet swarthy skin,
And out of the houses the rats came tumbling. No tuft on cheek nor beard on chin,
Great rats, small rats, lean rats, brawny rats, 111 But lips where smiles went out and in;
Brown rats, black rats, gray rats, tawny rats, There was no guessing his kith and kin:
Grave old plodders, gay young friskers, And nobody could enough admire
Fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins, The tall man and his quaint attire.
Cocking tails and pricking whiskers, Quoth one: “It 's as my great-grandsire,
Families by tens and dozens, Starting up at the Trump of Doom's tone,
Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives— Had walked this way from his painted tomb Followed the Piper for their lives. stone!")
From street to street he piped advancing,
And step for step they followed dancing. He advanced to the council-table:
70 Until they came to the river Weser, And, “' Please your honours," said he, “I'm Wherein all plunged and perished ! able,
--Save one who, stout as Julius Cæsar, 1 A Dutch coin, worth forty cents.
Swam across and lived to carry
(As he, the manuscript he cherishedı) Beside, our losses have made us thrifty. To Rat-land home his commentary:
A thousand guilders! Come, take fifty!" Which was, "At the first shrill notes of the
pipe, I heard a sound as of scraping tripe,
The Piper's face fell, and he cried, And putting apples, wondrous ripe,
“No trifling! I can't wait, beside! Into a cider-press 's gripe:
130 I 've promised to visit by dinner time And a moving away of pickle-tub-boards, Bagılad, and accept the prime And a leaving ajar of conserve-cupboards, Of the Head-Cook's pottage, all he 's rich in, And a drawing the corks of train-oil-flasks, For having left, in the Caliph's kitchen, And a breaking the hoops of butter-casks: Of a nest of scorpions no survivor: And it seemed as if a voice
With him I proved no bargain-driver, (Sweeter far than by harp or by psaltery With you, don't think I'll bate a stiver ! Is breathed) called out, 'Oh rats, rejoice! And folks who put me in a passion The world is grown to one vast dry-saltery! May find me pipe after another fashion." So munch on, crunch on, take your nuncheon," Breakfast, supper, dinner, luncheon!' And just as a bulky sugar puncheon,
“How?'' cried the Mayor, “d'ye think I brook All ready staved, like a great sun shone Being worse treated than a Cook? Glorious scarce an inch before me,
Insulted by a lazy ribald
You threaten us, fellow? Do your worst,
You should have hearıl the Hamelin people Ringing the bells till they rocked the steeple. Once more he stept into the street, “Go,' cried the Mayor, "and get long poles, And to his lips again Poke out the nests and block up the holes ! Laid his long pipe of smooth straight cane; ('onsult with carpenters and builders,
And ere he blew three notes (such sweet And leave in our town not even a trace
Soft notes as yet musician's cunning Of the rats!!!—when, suddenly, up the face Never gave the enraptured air) Of the Piper perked in the market-place, There was a rustling that seemed like a bustWith a, “First, if you please, my thousand
Of merry crowds justling at pitching and hust
ling; A thousand guilders! The Mayor looked blue; Small feet were pattering, wooden shoes clatterSo did the Corporation too.
ing, For council dinners madle rare havoc
Little hands clapping and little tongues chatWith Claret, Moselle, Vin-de-Grave, Hock;
tering, And half the money would replenish
And, like fowls in a farm-yard when barley is Their cellar's biggest butt with Rhenish.
scattering, To pay this sum to a wandering fellow
Out came the children running. With a gypsy coat of red and yellow!
All the little boys and girls, “Beside,” quoth the Mayor with a knowing With rosy cheeks and flaxen curls, wink
And sparkling eyes and teeth like pearls, “Our business was done at the river's brink; Tripping and skipping, ran merrily after We saw with our eyes the vermin sink,
The wonderful music with shouting and laugh
ter. And what's dead can't come to life, I think. So, friend, we're not the folks to shrink From the duty of giving you something for The Mayor was dumb, and the Council stood
As if they were changed into blocks of woodl. And a matter of money to put in your poke; l'nable to move a step, or cry
210 But as for the guilders, what we spoke
170 To the children merrily skipping by, Of them, as you very well know, was in joke. -Could only follow with the eye
That joyous crowd at the Piper's back. 1 This happened in Egypt, according to Plutarch, But how the Mayor was on the rack,
who tells the story. 2 Aborit the same as luncheon".
And the wretched Council's bosoms beat,
As the Piper turned from the High Street They made a decree that lawyers never
Should think their records dated duly
270 Right in the way of their sons and daughters! If, after the day of the month and year, However, he turned from South to West, These words did not as well appear, And to Koppelberg Hill his steps addressed, 220 “And so long after what happened here And after him the children pressed;
On the Twenty-second of July, Great was the joy in every breast.
Thirteen hundred and seventy-six: ' “He never can cross that mighty top! And the better in memory to fix He 's forced to let the piping drop,
The place of the children's last retreat, And we shall see our children stop!!!
They called it, the Pied Piper's Street, When, lo, as they reached the mountain-side, Where any one playing on pipe or tabour A wondrous portal opened wide,
Was sure for the future to lose his labour. 280 As if a cavern was suddenly hollowed;
Nor suffered they hostelry or tavern And the Piper advanced and the children fol- To shock witi mirth a street so solemn; lowed,
But opposite the place of the cavern
They wrote the story on a column.
The same, to make the world acquainted
How their children were stolen away, And in after years if you would blame And there it stands to this very day. His sadness, he was used to say,
And I must not omit to say “It's dull in our town since my playmates That in Transylvania there 's a tribe left!
Of alien people who ascribe I can't forget that I'm bereft
The outlandish ways and dress Of all the pleasant sights they see,
On which their neighbours lay such stress,
To their fathers and mothers having risen
Into which they were trepanned3
Out of Hamelin town in Brunswick land,
But how or why, they don't understand.
So, Willy, let me and you be wipers 300 And horses were born with eagles' wings; Of scores out with all men—especially pipers! And just as I became assured
And, whether they pipe us free from rats or My lame foot would be speedily cured,
from mice, The music stopped and I stood still,
If we've promised them aught, let us keep our And found myself outside the hill,
promise! Left alone against my will, To go now limping as before,
HOW THEY BROUGHT THE GOOD NEWS And never hear of that country more!''
FROM GHENT TO AIX*
I sprang to the stirrup, and Joris, and he;
| galloped, Dirck galloped, we galloped all Alas, alas for Hamelin!
three; There came into many a burgher's pate
“Good speed!!! cried the watch, as the gateA text which says that heaven's gate
bolts undrew; Opes to the rich at as easy rate
“Speed!' echoed the wall to us galloping As the needle's eye takes a camel in! The Mayor sent East, West, North and South, Behind shut the postern, the lights sank to rest,
through; To offer the Piper, by word of mouth,
And into the midnight we galloped abreast, Wherever it was men's lot to find him, Silver and gold to his heart's content,
3 ensnared If he'd only return the way he went,
* This poem has no historical foundation. And bring the children behind him.
gests comparison with Longfellow's Paul Re But when they saw 't was a lost endeavour,
irre's Ride, which was written later. Ghent
(g hard) is in Belgium, and Alx-la-Chapelle And Piper and dancers were gone forever,
in Prussia, about ninety miles distant.
It sug. 10
Not a word to each other; we kept the great So, we were left galloping, Joris and I, pace
Past Looz and past Tongres, no cloud in the sky; Neck by neck, stride by stride, never changing The broad sun above laughed a pitiless laugh, our place;
'Neath our feet broke the brittle bright stubble I turned in my saddle and made its girths
Till over by Dalhem a dome-spire sprang white, Then shortened each stirrup, and set the piquet And “Gallop,” gasped Joris, “ for Aix is in right,
sight!" Rebuckled the cheek-strap, chained slacker the bit,
“How they 'll greet us!”—and all in a moment
his roan Yor galloped less steadily Roland a whit.
Rolled neck and croup over, lay dead as 'T was moonset at starting; but while we drew
stone; And there was my Roland to bear the whole
weight Lokeren, the cocks crew and twilight dawned
Of the news which alone could save Aix from clear;
her fate, At Boom, a great yellow star came out to see; At Düffeld, 't was morning as plain as could With his nostrils like pits full of blood to the
brim, And from Mecheln church-steeple we heard the And with circles of red for his eye-sockets'
rim, half-chime, So Joris broke silence with, “Yet there is Then I cast loose my buffcoat, each holster time!"
Shook off both my jack-boots, let go belt and At Aershot, up leaped of a sudden the sun,
all, And against him the cattle stood black every stood up in the stirrup, leaned, patted his ear, one,
Called my Roland his pet-name, my horse with: To stare through the mist at us galloping past, And I saw my stout galloper Roland at last,
Clapped my hands, laughed and sang, any With resolute shoulders, each butting away
noise, bad or good, The haze, as some bluff river headland its till at length into Aix Roland galloped and spray:
stood. And his low head and crest, just one sharp ear And all I remember is—friends flocking round bent back
As I sat with his head 'twixt my knees on the For my voice, and the other pricked out on his
And no voice but was praising this Roland of Anil one eye's black intelligence,-ever that mine, glance
As I poured down his throat our last measure O'er its white edge at me, his own master, of wine, askance!
Which (the burgesses voted by common conAnd the thick heavy spume-flakes which aye sent) and anon
29 Was no more than his due who brought good His fierce lips shook upwards in galloping on. news from Ghent.
out peer ;
By Hasselt, Dirck groaned; and cried Joris,
THE LOST LEADER* “Stay, spur! Your Roos galloped bravely, the fault's not in Just for a handful of silver he left us, her.
Just for a riband to stick in his coatWe'll remember at Aix”—for one heard the Found the one gift of which fortune bereft us, quick wheeze
Lost all the others she lets us devote;
suggested by Wordsworth's
change from very radical views to conservagering knees,
tism and Toryism. Browning later apologized And sunk tail, and horrible heave of the flank,
for its great injustice to Wordsworth': it was
the effusion of "hasty youth," and was, moreAs down on her haunches she shuddered and
over, not intended as an exact characterizasank.
tion. Compare Browning's poem, Why I am a Liberal, below. Whittier's poem, Ichabod, on
the defection of Daniel Webster, is written 4 peak pommel
in a similar strain.
They, with the gold to give, doled him out. While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough silver,
In England-now! So much was theirs who so little allowed: How all our copper nad gonel for his service! And after April, when May follows, Rags—were they purple,2 his heart had been | And the whitethroat builds, and all the swalproud!
lows! We that had loved him so, followed him, hon. Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the oured him,
hedge Lived in his mild and magnificent eye, 10 Leans to the field and scatters on the clover Learned his great language, caught his clear Blossoms and dewdrops—at the bent spray's accents,
edgeMade him our pattern to live and to die! That's the wise thrush; he sings each song Shakespeare was of us, Milton was for us,
twice over, Burns, Shelley, were with us.--they watch Lest you should think he nerer could recapture from their graves!
The first fine careless rapture! He alone breaks from the van and the freemen, / And though the fields look rough with hoary -He alone sinks to the rear and the slaves!
dew, We shall march prospering,-not through his All will be gay when noontide wakes anew presence;
The buttercups, the little children 's dower Songs may inspirit is,-not from his lyre; -- Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower! Deeds will be done, -while he boasts his quiescence,
HOME-THOUGHTS, FROM THE SEA Still bidding crouch whom the rest bade aspire:
20 Nobly, nobly Cape Saint Vincent to the NorthBlot out his name, then, record one lost soul west died away;4 more,
Sunset ran, one glorious blood-red, reeking into One task more declined, one more footpath
Cadiz Bay; untrod,
Bluish 'mid the burning water, full in face One devils'-triumph and
Trafal lay; angels,
In the dimmest Northeast distance dawner One wrong more to man, one more insult to Gibraltar grand and gray; God!
"Here and here did England help me: hour Life's night begins: let him never come back can I help England ?!--say, to us!
Whoso turns as I, this evening, turn to God There would be doubt, hesitation and pain,
to praise and pray, Forced praise on our part-the glimmer of twi. While Jore's planet rises yonder, silent over light,
THE BOY AND THE ANGEL*
Pardoned in heaven, the first by the throne! | Then to his poor trade he turned,
Whereby the daily meal was earned. HOME-THOUGHTS, FROM ABROAD
Hard he laboured, long and well;
O’er his work the boy's curls fell.
But ever, at each period,
He stopped and sang, “Praise God!”, That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
4 The scene is that of Nelson's great victory.
* This legend is a pure invention, in the medieval Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
spirit. The moral is the same as that of the
New Year's Hymn" from Pippa Passes above. I would have gone (gladly)
Or, in the words of Emerson, 2 had they been royal robes (spoken in sarcasm)
“There is no great and no small 3 i. e., against us
To the Soul that maketh all."