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3. löwing; v. bellowing.
8. fra' grança; n. perfume.

| 11.

11. ǎb růpt'; a. sudden; unes pected.

An April Day.

1. All day the low-hung clouds have dropped
Their garnered fullness down;

All day that soft gray mist hath wrapped
Hill, valley, grove, and town.

2. There has not been a sound to-day
To break the calm of nature;
Nor motion, I might almost say,
Of life, or living creature:

3. Of waving bough, or warbling bird,
Or cattle faintly lowing;—

I could have half believed I heard
The leaves and blossoms growing.

4. I stood to hear-I love it well-
The rain's continuous sound,
Small drops, but thick and fast they fell,
Down straight into the ground;

5. For leafy thickness is not yet

Earth's naked breast to screen,
Though every dripping branch is set
With shoots of tender green.

6. Sure, since I looked at early morn,
Those honeysuckle buds

Have swelled to double growth; that thorn
Hath put forth larger studs;

7. That lilac's cleaving cones have burst,
The milk-white flowers revealing;
E'en now, upon my senses first
Methinks their sweets are stealing.

8. The very earth, the steamy air,
Are all with fragrance rife;

And grace and beauty everywhere
Are flushing into life.

9. Down, down they come-those fruitful stores!
Those earth-rejoicing drops!

A momentary deluge pours,
Then thins, decreases, stops;

10. And ere the dimples on the stream
Have circled out of sight,

Lo! from the west a parting gleam
Breaks forth of amber light.

11. But yet behold-abrupt and loud
Comes down the glittering rain:
The farewell of a passing cloud,
The fringes of her train.


Geoffrey Chaucer, known as the "Father of English Poetry," was born, it is supposed, in London about the year 1328. Very little is known of his early life. His greatest work is "The Canterbury Tales," a collection of stories in verse, and a careful picture of the manners of his time. Chaucer died in 1400.

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Explain the expressions: "have dropped their garnered fullness down (1); "leafy thickness is not yet earth's naked breast to screen (5); a parting gleam breaks forth of amber light " (10). What kind of cattle "low" (3)? What is the shape of a (7)? What other expression could be used for "steamy air" (8) ? Why are the rain-drops called "fruitful stores" (9) ?



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7. rănģ' ing; v. wandering; passing over.

2. re priēve; n. the delaying 12. re sŭs' çĬ tāt ĕd; v. raised for a time of punishment.

to life again.

4. re vēal'; v. to make known.


6. be wil' der ment; n. the state of being puzzled.

7. pro těst' ěd; v. declared solemnly.

1. eŎn' stěr nā' tion; n.


ehrýs'a lĭs; n. a form into which the caterpillar passes, and from which the perfect insect, after a while, comes forth.

The Seven Sleepers.

1. The Emperor Decius, who persecuted the Christians, having come to Ephesus, ordered the erection of temples in the city, that all might come and sacrifice before him, and he commanded that the Christians should be sought out and given their choice either to worship the idols or to die. So great was the consternation in the city that the friend denounced his friend, the father his son, and the son his father.

2. Now there were in Ephesus seven Christians—Maximian, Malchus, Marcian, Dionysius, John, Serapion, and Constantine by name. These refused to sacrifice to the idols, and remained in their houses praying and fasting. They were accused before Decius, and they confessed themselves to be Christians. However, the Emperor gave them a little time to consider what line they would adopt. They took advantage of this reprieve to dispense their goods among the poor, and then they retired, all seven, to Mount Celion, where they determined to conceal themselves.

3. One of their number, Malchus, in the disguise of a physician, went to the town to obtain victuals. Decius, who had been absent from Ephesus for a little while, re

turned, and gave orders for the seven to be sought. Malchus, having escaped from the town, fled, full of fear, to his comrades, and told them of the Emperor's fury. They were much alarmed; and Malchus handed them the loaves he had bought, bidding them eat, that, fortified by the food, they might have courage in the time of trial. They ate, and then, as they sat weeping and speaking to one another, by the will of God they fell asleep.

4. The Pagans sought everywhere, but could not find them, and Decius was greatly irritated at their escape. He had their parents brought before him, and threatened them with death if they did not reveal the place of concealment ; but they could only answer that the seven young men had distributed their goods to the poor, and that they were quite ignorant as to their whereabouts. Decius, thinking it possible that they might be hiding in a cavern, blocked up the mouth with stones that they might perish of hunger.

5. Three hundred and sixty years passed, and in the thirtieth year of the reign of Theodosius there broke forth a heresy denying the resurrection of the dead. Now it happened that an Ephesian was building a stable on the side of Mount Celion, and finding a pile of stones handy, he took them for his edifice, and thus opened the mouth of the cave. Then the seven sleepers awoke, and it was to them as if they had slept but a single night. They began to ask Malchus what decision Decius had given concerning them.

6. "He is going to hunt us down, so as to force us to sacrifice to the idols," was his reply. "God knows," replied Maximian, "we shall never do that." Then exhorting his companions, he urged Malchus to go back to the town to buy some more bread, and at the same time to obtain fresh information. Malchus took five coins and left

the cavern. On seeing the stones he was filled with astonishment; however, he went on toward the city; but what was his bewilderment, on approaching the gate, to see over it a cross! He went to another gate, and there he beheld the same sacred sign; and so he observed it over each gate of the city. He believed that he was suffering from the effects of a dream.

7. Then he entered Ephesus, rubbing his eyes, and walked to a baker's shop, and laid down his money. The baker, examining the coin, inquired whether he had found a treasure, and began to whisper to some others in the shop. The youth, thinking that he was discovered, and that they were about to conduct him to the Emperor, implored them to let him alone, offering to leave loaves and money if he might only be suffered to escape. But the shopman, seizing him, said, "Whoever you are, you have found a treasure; show us where it is, that we may share it with you, and then we will hide you." Malchus was too frightened to answer. So they put a rope round his neck, and drew him through the streets into the marketplace. The news soon spread that the young man had discovered a great treasure, and there was presently a vast crowd about him. He stoutly protested his innocence. No one recognized him, and his eyes ranging over the faces which surrounded him, could discover not even one which he had known, or which was in the slightest degree familiar to him.

8. So Martin, the bishop, and Antipater, the governor, having heard of the excitement, ordered the young man to be brought before them, along with the bakers. The bishop and the governor asked him where he had found the treasure, and he replied that he had found none, but that the few coins were from his own purse. He was next

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