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Was dons to any man, he should but ring
The great bell in the square, and he, the king,
Would cause the syndic1 to decide thereon.
Such was the proclamation of King John.

How swift 2 the happy days in Atri sped,
What wrongs were righted, need not here be said.
Suffice it, that, as all things must decay,
The hempen rope at length was worn away,
Unraveled 5 at the end, and strand by strand
Loosened and wasted in the ringer's hand,
Till one, who noted this in passing by,
Mended the rope with braids of bryony,
So that the leaves and tendrils of the vine
Hung like a votive 6 garland at a shrine.

By chance it happened that in Atri dwelt
A knight, with spur on heel and sword in belt,
Who loved to hunt the wild-boar in the woods,
Who loved his falcons with their crimson hoods,
Who loved his hounds and horses, and all sports
And prodigalities 8 of camps and courts,-
Loved, or had loved them; for at last, grown old,
His only passion was the love of gold.
He sold his horses, sold his hawks and hounds,
Rented his vineyards and his garden-grounds,

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vow), given by vow, given as an offering

7 hoods: that is, the cloth blinders put on the hunting hawk in the early stages of the chase.

8 prodigalities. Givea synonym.


Kept but one steed, his favorite steed of all,
To starve and shiver in a naked stall,
And day by day sat brooding in his chair,
Devising2 plans how best to hoard and spare.?

At length he said, “What is the use or need
To keep at my own cost this lazy steed,
Eating his head off4 in my stables here,
When rents are low and provender is dear?
Let him go feed upon the public ways;
I want him only for the holidays.”
So the old steed was turned into the heat
Of the long, lonely, silent, shadeless street;
And wandered in suburban lanes forlorn,
Barked at by dogs, and torn by brier and thorn.

One afternoon, as in that sultry clime 6
It is the custom in the summer-time,
With bolted doors and window-shutters closed,
The inhabitants of Atri slept or dozed;
When suddenly upon their senses fell
The loud alarum? of the accusing bell !
The syndic started from his deep repose,
Turned on his couch, and listened, and then rose
And donned 1 his robes, and with reluctant pace
Went panting forth into the market-place,
Where the great bell upon its cross-beam swung
Reiterating with persistent tongue,
In half-articulate jargon, the old song:
“Some one hath done a wrong, hath done a wrong!”
But ere he reached the belfry's light arcade 2
He saw, or thought he saw, beneath its shade,
No shape of human form of woman born,
But a poor steed dejected and forlorn,
Who with uplifted head and eager eye
Was tugging at the vines of bryony.
Domeneddio!"3 cried the syndic straight,
“This is the Knight of Atri's steed of state!
He calls for justice, being sore 4 distressed,
And pleads his cause 5 as loudly as the best.”
Meanwhile from street and lane a noisy crowd
Had rolled together like a summer cloud,
And told the story of the wretched beast
In five-and-twenty different ways at least,
With much gesticulation ? and appeal
To heathen gods, in their excessive zeal.
The knight was called and questioned : in reply
Did not confess the fact, did not deny ;

1 steed. Of what prose word is 5 forlorn. What noun does this this the poetic equivalent ? adjective modify? 3 devising, inventing.

6 clime. Of what prose word is 3 spare (compare German sparen, this the poetic form ? to save), to economize.

7 alarum. Poetic form of what 4 Eating his head off. Explain word? this hyperbole.

8 repose. Give a synonym.

1 donned, past tense of don, a pleads his cause. Explain the contraction of do on, to put on. So metaphor. doff=do off, to put off.

6 like a summer cloud. Show 2 belfry's lightarcade. Explain. the appropriateness of the conipar3 Domeneddio, an Italian excla- ison. mation equivalent to Good Lord ! 7 gesticulation. See Webster for

sore. Explain, and name the the interesting etymology of this part of speech.


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Treated the matter as a pleasant jest,
And set at naught the syndic and the rest,
Maintaining in an angry undertone,
That he should do what pleased him with his own.
And thereupon the syndic gravely read
The proclamation of the king; then said:
“Pride goeth 1 forth on horseback grand and gay,
But cometh back on foot, and begs its way;
Fame is the fragrance of heroic deeds,
Of flowers of chivalry, and not of weeds !
These are familiar proverbs ;3 but I fear
They never yet have reached your knightly ear.
What fair renown, what honor, what repute,4
Can come to you from starving this poor brute ?
He who serves well, and speaks not, merits more
Than they who clamor loudest at the door.
Therefore the law decrees that as this steed
Served you in youth, henceforth you shall take heed
To comfort his old age, and to provide
Shelter in stall, and food and field beside."

The knight withdrew abashed ; 5 the people all
Led home the steed in triumph to his stall.
The king heard and approved, and laughed in glee,
And cried aloud: “Right well it pleaseth me!
Church-bells at best but ring us to the door;
But go not in to mass : my bell doth more:

1 Pride goeth. What is the fig- | ure? (See Def. 7.)

2 Of flowers of chivalry. What noun does this phrase modify?

3 proverbs. What is a proverb?
4 repute= reputation.
5 abashed= abased, ashamed.

mass. See Webster.


“It cometh into court, and pleads the cause

Of creatures dumb and unknown to the laws;
And this shall make, in every Christian clime,
The Bell of Atri famous for all time.”


[The following beautifully linned picture is from Longfellow's extended poem of Evangeline. The poem is based on an incident attending the forced expulsion, by the English, of the French settlers in Nova Scotia, in 1755. That province at this time belonged to the English, but contained many French farmers, a simple-minded, peaceful people, who wished to be neutral in the quarrels between the French and English in America. The English authorities, fearing they might side with the French, cruelly kidnapped some three thousand of these people, and scattered them through the various colonies. In the haste and confusion of sending them off, many families were separated, and some at least never came together again. The story of Evangeline is the story of such a separation.

The measure of Evangeline is the dactylic hexameter, that has never become very popular in English poetry; but Longfellow handles this difficult meter with great skill. The cæsural pause in the middle of the line should be carefully regarded. Says Mr. Scudder : “A little practice will enable one to acquire that habit of reading hexameter, which we may liken, roughly, to the climbing of a hill, resting a minute on the summit, and then descending the other side. The charm in reading Evangeline aloud is found in this gentle labor of the former half of the line, and gentle acceleration of the latter half.”]

a measure


Thus, at peace with God and the world, the farmer 2 of

Grand-Pré 8

1 unknown to: that is, unno- | Evangeline, the pride of the vilticed by.

lage.2 the farmer: that is, Bene 3 Grand-Pré, or Lower Horton, dict Bellefontaine, "the wealthiest a village of Nova Scotia, formerly farmer of Grand-Pré," father of called Acadia.

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