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Of summer's influence, and flaunting grew
Unmatched in beauty and unbleached in hue,
So rich in colour and so wondrous fair,
Men marvelled how such garden-flowers came there.

Little Alice idly sitteth
In a casement high and deep,
And her cunning garland knitteth
From a freshly-gathered heap;
She is calledand nurse will chide it,
So, ill brooking all reproof,
She flung forth her wreath to hide it,
Up, upon the slanting roof.

Little Alice grew a lady,
And her garland also grew,
In a nook secure and shady,
Far from reach yet full in view.
She, like them, held men at distance,
Very calm, and proud, and fair.
Who can tell what cold resistance
Loving hearts encountered there?

Once she saidperchance 'twas lightly,
Or to hold such friends aloof:—
"See my poppy wreath, how brightly
It is waving on the roof;
Knights of yore refused no trial,
Knew no peril, spurned all pain:
He need never fear denial,
Who brings me yon wreath again."

Near that mansion, many-gabled,
Lived a student, loved her well,
And his busy fancy fabled
All good gifts with her must dwell.
Straggling onward, poor and lowly,
Still he watched her from afar;
As, to pilgrimimage holy;
As, to pilotguiding star.

All day long her posies gleaming
Wooed him from their lofty crest;
All night long his fevered dreaming
Saw him of the wreath possessed.
(Surely they were magic flowers
Blooming on such verge extreme,
And they shewed their mystic powers
By their influence on his dream.)

Lo! one midnight from his casement,
Crept the sleeper to the roof;
Those who saw him, in amazement,
Marvelled what was his behoof.
'Twixt that mansion's outer gable
Props extend, his home to meet
Frail, and old, and sore unstable,
Hang they o'er the narrow street.

Fast the gazers' hearts are beating
The roof slants so straight and steep ,
There's no rest, and no retreating,
Should aught chance to break his sleep.
But they watch him softly, steady,
Creeping on his prize to gain:
Did that high and haughty lady
Dream no dream of grief or pain?

Back in safety, back he passes;
Anxious crowds have filled the street
And, from all these breathless masses,
Shouts his safe returning greet.
Wakened up, he graspeth tightly
Flowers late blooming on the roof;
Through his web of fortune, brightly
Silver threads pervade the woof.

At that moment, Lady Alice
From a festive scene returned,
Guest of late in yonder palace
Where the lights still brightly burned.
From her carriage steps the beauty,
Marvelling what crowd is there;
And they stand aside in duty,
Giving place to one so fair.

On her threshold stands the student,
Crowns her with her poppy wreath;
Had not love, the young imprudent,
Snatched it from the jaws of death.
Into tears of strong relenting,
Trembling cold, with sudden fright,
All her wilful pride repenting,
Chose she him her lord that night.

Happy student! Happy lady!
She, it seems, had marked him long,
And her woman's wit was ready
To do other suitors wrong.
For a hope had scarce existed
Very vague, and wild, and vain,
As that mortal, unassisted,
Could that poppy wreath attain.

But his peril won her over
To a sudden burst of tears:
Tears, her inmost heart discover
Heart, she had concealed for years.
Pride retreated, all unequal
To a further course pursue.
To their lives' end runs the sequel
Love reigned warm and fond and true

This is the strange old story that they told
Of a deserted mansion, very old,
That, in the centre of my native town,
Looks on its humbler neighbours proudly down
And should you doubt it, is there not a proof
In the bright poppies glowing on the roof?—
Where still they flourish, though for many a day,
Both Alice and her lord have passed away.


GREAT heroes and great malefactors lay
such hold of the popular imagination, that it
is difficult to believe in the reality of their
decease. Though they are slain in battle, or
cast off from a scaffold in presence of a thousand
spectators, whispers soon begin to spread
that the death-wound was not fatal, or that
the culprit escaped strangulation by wearing
a silver pipe down his throat. Harold survives
the Battle of Hastings; and Fauntleroy
is a merchant in New York. Kings have the
same prescriptive tenacity of life, whether
they were culprits or heroes. Richard the
Second of England, James the Fourth of
Scotland, and Sebastian of Portugal, lived in
the belief of their respective nations long
after their brains were out. The peasantry of
Alsace are in expectation at this moment