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days in removing his residence from an ornamental pile of stones in a neighbor's yard to warmer quarters he had discovered under the house. He had evidently collected a quantity of stores of some sort. No doubt as soon as spring opened he would vary his diet with fresh eggs, but as I left the vicinity I did not have opportunity to observe whether the sparrow family suffered from him.

14. Next to the sparrow's mobbing propensity is his impudence. Not only will he insist on sharing the food of chickens and domestic animals, but he is a common guest at the table of the great bald eagles in the parks, and does not disdain the crumbs. that fall from the repast of the polar bear, one touch of whose paw would flatten him like a wafer.

15. Perhaps the most saucy thing reported of a sparrow was witnessed in Brooklyn by a well-known artist. He was watching a robin hard at work on the lawn, gathering food for his family, when he noticed a sparrow who also seemed interested in the operation. The sparrow looked on, evidently with growing excitement, while one bit after another was uncovered, till at last a particularly large and attractive grub was brought to light. This was too much for sparrow philosophy. He made one dash, snatched the tempting morsel from the very bill of the robin, and disappeared before the astounded bird recovered from his surprise.

With this unparalleled act of impertinence to a bird big enough to eat him, this true chronicle of the most unattractive fellow that wears feathers shall close.

OLIVE THORNE MILLER. The man that hath no music in himself” (1) is a quotation from Shakespeare's “Merchant of Venice,” Act v. Scene 1. “ Bells jangled out of tune” (3) is also from Shakespeare, see Hamlet,” Act iii. Scene 1.


Explain in your own words the expressions : “harmonizes perfectly with the jarring sounds of man's contriving” (3); changing remarks in the amiable manner of some of the human race at the ways of a foreigner” (11).

What kind of a “glass” is meant in the expression “close watching with a glass” (8) ?


2. blīthe; a. joyous.

10. ġěn' der; v. to cause. 4. ělf; n. an imaginary diminu- 10. păģ'eant rý; n. show.

tive spirit, supposed to haunt 11. häqnts; n. places which one wild places and take pleasure frequently visits. in mischievous tricks.

13. mo n¥ tion; n. warning.

The Yellow-hammer.
1. A yellow-hammer in the rain !

And that on this Carinthian plain,
So far, so far from home!
It fills me with old childish years:
And then these happy, happy tears,
Do what I will they come!

2. Behold him now: he never stops,

Among the pattering raindrops
A blithe disturbance making,
Beating forever on one key,
Pleased with his own monotony,
And his wet feathers shaking.

3. What tender memories are bound

To this familiar hedge-row sound!
The creature's homely glee
Associates me with the hours
When, so pure childhood willed, all showers
Were sunshine showers to me.

4. Away he goes, and hammers still

Without a rule but his free will,
A little gaudy Elf!
And there he is within the rain,
And beats and beats his tune again,
Quite happy in himself.

5. Within the heart of this great shower

He sits, as in a secret bower,
With curtains drawn about him:
And, part in duty, part in mirth,
He beats, as if upon the earth
Rain could not fall without him.

6. Ah, homely bird ! thou canst not know

How far into my heart doth go
That melancholy key,
How from thy little straining throat
Each separate, successive note
Beats like a pulse in me.

7. Through blinding tears meek fancy weaves

Far other fields, far other leaves,
Than those by Drava's side ;
For now the looks of long-lost faces,
And the calm features of old places,
Like magic, round me glide.

8. Thou art a power of other days,

A voice from old deserted ways
Obscured by trackless flowers,
An echo of the childish past,
Thus touchingly and strangely cast
Into these foreign bowers.

9. O it was right and well with me

When I could love a single tree
As a green sanctuary,
When I could in the meadow lie
And look into the silky sky
For hours, and not be weary !

10. Now over sea and over earth

I pass with hollow, heated mirth
Which doth but gender sadness,
And with uneasy heart I range
Through all the pageantry of change
To gather moods of gladness.

11. Time flies, and life; and many thought,

Into unsunny currents wrought,
Is in hoarse eddies wheeling :
I am a man of growing wants,
And I have many wayward haunts,
Haunts both of thought and feeling.

12. When joys were simple, days were long,

All woven into one bright throng,
Like golden bees at play,
One with another softly blending,
As though they could not have an ending,
And all were but one day.

13. I thank thee, gentle bird ! for this ;

Thou hast awakened childish bliss,
A sweet monition given ;
And willing tears for youthful sin
Are fragrant rituals, that may win
The old light back from Heaven.

14. And sure I am that summer day

Ne'er shone on a more grand array
Or gorgeous pomp of mountains;
And o'er the plain in shining rings
The Drave with blithest murmurings
Comes from his Alpine fountains :

15. And seen through this bright, dazzling rain

How fair is yon Carinthian plain,
A richly wooded park,
Where groups of birch with silver stems
Rise up, like scepters of white gems,
Among the fire-clumps dark.

16. Yet am I cast upon lost years ;

The Present is dissolved in tears ;
So is this bird empowered ;
An oracle upon the bough
He sits, through him the Present now
Is by the Past deflowered.



Rev. Frederick William Faber was born in England in 1814 and died in 1863. He was a minister of the Church of England until his conversion to Catholicity in 1845. Two years later he was ordained a priest and entered the Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri. He was a poet of no mean ability and wrote exquisite prose.

The Yellow-hammer is a European bird, but the name is often applied in the United States to a species of woodpecker. The “ Carinthian plain ” (1 and 15) means a field in Carinthia, a duchy of Austria ; the “ Drave," poetically called “Drava" (7), is a river in Germany.

Explain the expressions : “ an echo of the childish past” (8) ; “ into unsunny currents wrought” (11).

Let the pupils, with the aid of the teacher, give in simple language the meaning of stanza 16.

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