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But after the evening work was done,
And the frogs were loud in the meadow-swamp, Over his shoulder he slung his gun
And stealthily followed the foot-path damp.
Across the clover, and through the wheat,
With resolute heart and purpose grim, Though cold was the dew on his hurrying feet
And the blind bat's flitting startled him.
Thrice since then had the lanes been white,
And the orchards sweet with apple-bloom; And now, when the cows came back at night,
The feeble father drove them home.
For news had come to the lonely farm
That three were lying where two had lain; And the old man's tremulous, palsied arm
Could never lean on a son's again.
The summer day grew cool and late.
He went for the cows when the work was done; But down the lane, as he opened the gate,
He saw them coming one by one:
9 Brindle, Ebony, Speckle, and Bess,
Shaking their horns in the evening wind; Cropping the buttercups out of the grass — But who was it following close behind ?
10 5 Loosely swung in the idle air
The empty sleeve of army blue;
Looked out a face that the father knew.
For war's grim prisons will sometimes yawn,
For the heart must speak when the lips are dumb 15 And under the silent evening skies,
Together they followed the cattle home.
QUESTIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION 1. When did the incidents of|4. What do you think the boy this story occur?
of the story looked like? 2. Describe the home and the How was he dressed when family.
about the farm? What is 3. What had become of the two he doing at the opening of elder sons ?
the story? What did he
want to do? Describe, by | and whether they talked
he brought home the cows. them? 5. Why would not the parents 10. Now tell by reading aloud · let him go to war?
to the class stanzas 8, 6. Tell how he ran away. Tell 9, 10, and 11, what hap
it by reading aloud stanzas pened and how the story 4 and 5.
ends. 7. Have you ever heard frogs 11. Try to imagine and describe
in a meadow swamp or a what happened when the lake?
father and the boy arrived 8. Describe an evening in the at the old farmhouse.
old farmhouse at some 12. Imagine and describe what time within the three happened in the evening years after he ran away, in the house. What do telling how you think the you think the three talked parents looked and acted about?
Kate Putnam Osgood, an American poet, was born in Fryeburg, Maine, in 1841. Her poem, “Driving Home the Cows,” was first published in Harper's Monthly in 1865. It is a poem which people love to remember.
Unseen hands delay
OWEN MEREDITH (Lord Lytton)
THE SOUTH WIND AND THE SUN
JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY
Have you ever thought that when spring comes, it is brought by what James Whitcomb Riley calls two wonderful fairies, – the South Wind and the Sun? They are always together, the warm south wind, of course, always accompanying the sun as he comes north to make spring for us.
And so Mr. Riley likens them to two “merry fays," or fairies, playing together as they romp on their way north.
Now read the second stanza, and find out how the South Wind was dressed. You see that when the South Wind comes north, the flowers and the green things march northward also, just keeping pace with the South Wind. If you were big enough to take up the earth in your hands and look at it, you would see around it in the spring a belt or ribbon of flowers and colored things, always moving north as long as spring lasts. And so the South Wind has “a ribbon round his breast.”
And he had, too, “ a drapery of mist,” for you have noticed the mists that the warm South Wind causes to rise in damp places.
But how was the Sun dressed ? Have you ever seen ripe thistledown? And can you not imagine that the hot rays of the Sun made for him a crown that looked like “ gilded thistledown”?
Then the poet thinks the rainbow is his gown. He says it was a “raveled-rainbow gown.” Why does he say “raveled "?
“Tinsel ” consists of strips or strings of bright stuff. So the poet thinks the Sun's shining rays are his “ tinsel-tangled hair."
Now go on with the other stanzas and follow “ this pair of merry fays.” Find out what each did. Their adventures are merry
adventures, and they saw many wonderful things. They saw “ daisies that looked like star-tracks trailing up and down the dawn.”
With their loving warmth, they made the discouraged wheat •stalk straighten up and grow big grains of wheat. How did they do this?
Trace their adventures with the dandelion, and the clover, and the bumble bee. Note where they put the bumble bee, and what his grumbling sounded like. (Stanza 7.)
Read about the trick they played on the humming bird in stanza 8.
Now go on with their adventures through stanzas 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13.
And do not fail to note what they did with the honey bee in stanza 15.
Find out what they saw in stanza 17, as “ they loitered hand in hand.” Have you also done the same things ?
But in stanza 18, a thing very different happens. Now the South Wind and the Sun are things that bring life. With their coming northward the dead earth had sprung into life. The flowers had bloomed, the trees had sent out their leaves, and the earth had changed from brown to green. With the South Wind and the Sun had come life. They loved only life. They had played joyously together through the spring and summer, and wherever they wandered, they brought life, always life.
But now they saw the first sad thing, — a dead leaf falling, the first thing of death that they had seen. Have you ever seen a leaf do the things that this leaf did ?
Let us now read stanzas 17, 18, and 19. The two joyous playmates saw everywhere about them the beautiful things which they had made. And full of gladness, –
“ — they loitered, hand in hand,
Where the snipe along the sand