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In dusty corners of his room, black spiders mischief knit,
A skeleton, bound hand and foot, did ever by him sit,
Pale corpses, prisoned in glass, stood round his chamber barred,
Two mummies at his blistered door kept ever watch and ward.

The "Red man" he had long since boundthe " Dragon" he had chased,
No spell of Arab alchemist but he had long since traced,
They said he only stirred the lead and straight it turned to gold,
And so his wickedness and wealth increased a hundredfold.

Slow round, as round a dial plate, the statue's shadow passed,
On fountain and cathedral roof by turns eclipse it cast,
Before it fled the pale blue light, chased as man's life by Death,
Deep, low you heard the great clock tick, like a sleeping giant's breath.


The moonbeams in cascades of light, poured from the poplar's crown,
Rippling in silvery lustre the leafy columns down,
They roofed the town hall fair and bright with bonny silver slates,
They even turned to argent pure the bars of the prison grates.

The maiden slumbering in her bed awoke that blessed night,
And thought her angel sisters three had come all veiled in light;
The wild beast felon in his cell started and thought it day,
Cursing the torturer who, he dreamt, had chid him for delay.

The angel host of King and Saint, o'er the Minster's western door,
Shone radiant in the blessed lightso radiant ne'er before,
As now began the airy chimes in the cathedral tower,
To chant, as with a lingering grief, the dirges of the hour.

That day at sunset there had come a voice unto this man,
And said as plain as Devil-voice or friendly spirit can,
"Go, Memling, dig beneath the base of the statue in the square,
The Secret of all Secrets 's hid beneath the earthheaps there."

He shook his fist at stars and moon, then shut his furnace up,
First draining off a magic draught from an Egyptian cup,
For he dreamt he saw his room piled full of solid bars of gold,
Great bags of jewels, diamond-blocks, spoil of the kings of old.

The fitting hour was just at hand, the alchemist arose,
Upon the eaves the raindrop tears in ice- jags shining froze,
His starry lantern duly lit, with cold he crept and shook,
As with his pickaxe and his spade, his stealthy way he took.

The shadow marked the fitting place, King Saturn ruled the hour,
The Devil floating o'er his slave, smiled at his puny power;
Hans Memling plied his crowbar fast the thirteenth blow he gave,
The ponderous statue fell and crushed the brains out of the knave.

Then clear and still the moonshine pure upon the lone square lay,
No shadow left to sully it, it spread as bright as day;
At dawn they found Hans Memling, crushed, dead cold beneath the stone,
But what he saw, and what he found, has never yet been known.


LAUGHTER of innocent children, gay,
inconsequential talk that they fetch out of the lips of
wisdom with their prattle, the romp at home,
the run in the fresh air, the prayer at the
mother's lap, and the soft sleep from twilight
until sunrise, are, when they are blotted out,
loss to the old as much as to the young. Sense of
the joy and purity of life comes from the children
as they dance and sing in the midst of the toiling
crowd. But let the millions who toil in
England pass before us in one great procession,
and we shall find sad companies of eager,
undergrown, unwholesome men, walking with none
but pale and weak eyed women, and with none
but bruised and weary little children, stunted of
growth, some even wearing spectacles, all silent
as the grave. These parents and children, ignorant
alike, accept their lot. The children are but
what the parents were, and what the parents are
the children are to be. So it was twenty years
ago, and so it is now, where the law has not
interfered for protection of the little child,
wherever its forced labour can be made, and
has by long usage been made, a means of gain
to others.

For the education and for some safeguard
against the overwork of children in many
factories the law has taken thought. Branches
of industry that were to be ruined by such
thoughtfulness are now more prosperous than
ever, and nobody complains that a penny has
been lost by the removal of a ruinous strain
on the powers of the young. Still, however,
in some branches of industry instances occur in
which children begin to work as early as three
and four years of age; not unfrequently at five,
and between five and six; while, in general,
regular employment begins between seven and
eight. The work is in trades at which young
children are capable of working, and in which