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So we were left galloping, Ioris and.I,
Past Loos and past Tongres, no cloud in the sky;
The broad sun above laughed a pitiless laugh,
'Neath our feet broke the brittle bright stubble like chaff;
Till over by Dalhem a dome-spire sprang white,
And “Gallop,” gasped Ioris, “for Aix is in sight!

“How they'll greet us !”—and all in a moment his roan
Rolled neck and crop over, lay dead as a stone;
And there was my Roland to bear the whole weight
Of the news, which alone could save Aix from her fate,
With his nostrils like pits full of blood to the brim,
And with circles of red for his eye-sockets' rim.

Then I cast loose my buff-coat, each holster let fall,
Shook off both my jack-boots, let go belt and all,
Stood up in the stirrup, leaned, patted his ear,

my Roland his pet-name, my horse without peer; Clapped my hands, laughed and sang, any noise bad or good, Till at length into Aix Roland galloped and stood.

And all I remember is friends flocking round,
As I sate with his head twixt my knees on the ground,
And no voice but was praising this Roland of mine,
As I poured down his throat one last measure of wine,
Which (the burgesses voted by common consent)
Was no more than his due who brought good news from


Although we have cause to hope that the good steed recovered, yet his trial of speed and strength is too painful to conclude with. I add a few lines from the “Englishman in Italy,” a long poem so

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pulpy, so juicy, so full of bright colour and of rich detail, that it is just like a picture by Rubens. Selection is difficult-but I choose the passage in question because its exceeding truth was first pointed out to me by Mr. Ruskin.

But to-day not a boat reached Salerno,

So back to a man
Came our friends with whose help in the vineyards

Grape-harvest began :
In the vat half-way up on our house-side

Like blood the juice spins,
While your brother all bare-legged is dancing

Till breathless he grins
Dead beaten in effort on effort

To keep the grapes under,
Since still when he seems all but master

In pours the fresh plunder
From girls who keep coming and going

With basket on shoulder


Meanwhile see the grape-bunch they've brought you,

The rain-water slips
O’er the heavy blue bloom on each globe,

Which the wasp to your lips
Still follows with fretful persistence-

Nay taste while awake
This half of a curd-white smooth cheese-ball,

That peels flake by flake
Like an onion's each smoother and whiter;

Next sip this weak wine

From the thin green glass flask with its stopper

A leaf of the vine-
And end with the prickly pear's red flesh,

That leaves through its juice
The stony black secus on your pearl teeth-

and so on.







DURING this warm summer, and above all during this dry burning harvest weather, which makes my poor little roadside cottage (the cottage which for that reason amongst others I am about to leave) so insupportable from glare, and heat, and dust in the fine season, I have the frequent, almost daily habit of sallying forth into the charming green lane,

grassy, turfy, shady lane of which I have before made mention, and of which I share the use and the enjoyment with the gipsies. Last summer I was able to walk thither, but in the winter I was visited by rheumatism and cannot walk so far without much heat and fatigue; so my

old pony-phaeton convey's me and my little maid, and my pet-dog Fanchon, and my little maid's needle-work of flounces and fineries, and my books and writing-case, as far

as the road leads, and sometimes a little farther; and we proceed to a certain green hillock under down-hanging elms, close shut in between a bend in the lane on our own side, and an amphitheatre of oak and ash and beech trees opposite ; where we have partly found and partly scooped out for ourselves a turfy seat and turfy table redolent of wild-thyme and a thousand fairy flowers, delicious in its coolness, its fragrance, and its repose.

Behind the thick hedge on the one hand stretch fresh water-meadows, where the clear brook wanders in strange meanders between clumps of alder-bushes and willow-pollards ; fringed by the blue forget-menot, the yellow loosestrife, the purple willow-herb, and the creamy tufts of the queen of the meadow; on the other hand we catch a glimpse over gates of large tracts of arable land, wheat, oat, clover, and bean fields, sloping upward to the sun; and hear, not too closely, the creaking waggon and the sharpening scythe, the whistle, the halloo, and the laugh, all that forms the pleasant sound of harvest labour. Just beyond the bend in the lane too, are two fires, belonging to two distinct encampments of gipsies ; and the children, dogs, and donkeys of these wandering tribes are nearly the only living things that come into sight, exciting Fanchon now to pretty defiance, now to prettier fear.

This is my constant resort on summer afternoons; and there I have the habit of remaining engaged

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