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batants; that it was not a duellum, but a bellum,a war between two races of ants, the red always pitted against the black, and frequently two red ones to one black. The legions of these Myrmidons covered all the hills and vales in my woodyard, and the ground was already strewn with the dead and the dying, both red and black.

I watched a couple that were fast locked in each other's embraces, in a little sunny valley amid the chips, now at noonday prepared to fight till the sun went down, or life went out. The smaller red champion had fastened himself like a vise to his adversary's front, and through all the tumbling on that field never for an instant ceased to gnaw at one of his feelers near the root, having already caused the other to go by the board; while the stronger black one dashed him from side to side, and, as I saw on looking nearer, had already divested him of several of his members. They fought with more pertinacity than bulldogs. Neither manifested the least disposition to retreat. It was evident that their battle cry was “Conquer or die.”

In the meanwhile there came along a single red ant on the hillside of this valley, evidently full of excitement, who either had dispatched his foe, or had not yet taken part in the battle — probably the latter, for he had lost none of his limbs — whose mother had charged him to return with his shield or upon it. Or, perchance, he was some Achilles, who had nourished his wrath apart, and had now come to avenge or rescue his Patroclus.

He saw this unequal combat afar — for the blacks were nearly twice the size of the reds — he drew near with rapid pace till he stood on his guard within half an inch of the combatants; then, watching his opportunity, he sprang upon the black warrior and commenced his operations near the root of his right fore leg, leaving the foe to select among his own members; and so there were three united for life, as if a new kind of attraction had been invented which put all other locks and cements to shame.

Certainly there is not the fight recorded in Concord history at least, if in the history of America, that will bear a moment's comparison with this, whether for the numbers engaged in it, or for the patriotism and heroism displayed. I never learned which party was victorious, nor the cause of the war; but I felt for the rest of that day as if I had had my feelings excited and harrowed by witnessing the struggle, the ferocity and carnage, of a human battle before my door.

- HENRY D. THOREAU. From Walden.

SEPTEMBER DAYS

In flickering light and shade the broad stream goes, With cool, dark nooks and checkered, rippling

shallows; Through reedy fens its sluggish current flows,

Where lilies grow and purple-blossomed mallows.

The aster blooms above its eddies shine,

With pollened bees about them humming slowly, And in the meadow lands the drowsy kine

Make music with their sweet bells, tinkling lowly.

The shrill cicala, on the hillside tree,

Sounds to its mate a note of love or warning; And turtle doves reëcho, plaintively,

From upland fields, a soft, melodious mourning.

A golden haze conceals the horizon,

A golden sunshine slants across the meadows; The pride and prime of summer time is gone,

But beauty lingers in these autumn shadows.

O sweet September! thy first breezes bring

The dry leaf's rustle and the squirrel's laughter, The cool, fresh air, whence health and vigor spring,

And promise of exceeding joy hereafter.

- GEORGE ARNOLD.

AUTUMN'S MIRTH

'Tis all a myth that autumn grieves,
For, watch the rain among the leaves;
With silver fingers dimly seen,
It makes each leaf a tambourine,
And swings and leaps with elfin mirth
To kiss the brow of mother earth;
Or, laughing 'mid the trembling grass,
It nods a greeting as you pass.
Oh! hear the rain amid the leaves,
'Tis all a myth that autumn grieves !

'Tis all a myth that autumn grieves,
For, list the wind among the sheaves;
Far sweeter than the breath of May,
Or storied scents of old Cathay,
It blends the perfumes rare and good
Of spicy pine and hickory wood,
And with a voice in gayest chime,
It prates of rifled mint and thyme.
Oh! scent the wind among the sheaves,
'Tis all a myth that autumn grieves !

'Tis all a myth that autumn grieves,
Behold the wondrous web she weaves !
By viewless hands her thread is spun
Of evening vapors shyly won.

Across the grass, from side to side,
A myriad unseen shuttles glide
Throughout the night, till on the height
Aurora leads the laggard light.
Behold the wondrous web she weaves,
'Tis all a myth that autumn grieves !

- SAMUEL MINTURN PECK.

UNDER THE GREENWOOD TREE

UNDER the greenwood tree,
Who loves to lie with me,
And tune his merry note

Unto the sweet bird's throat,
Come hither, come hither, come hither!

Here shall he see

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Who doth ambition shun,
And loves to live i' the sun,
Seeking the food he eats,

And pleased with what he gets,
Come hither, come hither, come hither!

Here shall he see

No enemy

But winter and rough weather.

- WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE.

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