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Whatever decks the velvet field,
Whate'er the circling seasons yield,
Whatever buds, whatever blows,
For thee it buds, for thee it grows.
Nor yet art thou the peasant's fear,
To him thy friendly notes are dear;
For thou art mild as matin-dew,
And still, when summer's flowery hue
Begins to paint the blooming plain,
We hear thy sweet prophetic strain ;
Thy sweet prophetic strain we hear,
And bless the notes and thee revere !
The Muses love thy shrilly tone;
Apollo calls thee all his own;
'Twas he who gave that voice to thee,
'Tis he who tunes thy minstrelsy,
Unworn by age's dim decline,
The fadeless blooms of youth are thine.
Melodious insect! child of earth!
In wisdom mirthful, wise in mirth;
Exempt from every weak decay,
That withers vulgar frames away ;
With not a drop of blood to stain
The current of thy purer vein;
So blest an age is pass'd by thee,
Thou seem'st a little deity!

Two real poets—one who died too early, the other his friend who has happily lived to find a sunshine in his life's winter-have each written sonnets as if in generous rivalry on the grasshopper and the cricket. These charming little poems are singular examples of the different modes of viewing the same subject by two men of original minds.

The poetry of earth is never dead :

When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,

And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead :
That is the grasshopper's-he takes the lead

In summer luxury-he has never done

With his delights, for, when tired out with fun,
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:

On a lone winter evening, when the frost

Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever,

And seems, to one in drowsiness half lost,
The grasshopper's among some grassy hills.- KEATS.

T

Green little vaulter in the sunny grass,

Catching your heart up at the feel of June,

Sole voice that 's heard amidst the lazy noon,
When even the bees lag at the summoning brass ;
And you, warm little housekeeper, who class

With those who think the candles come too soon,

Loving the fire, and with your tricksome tune
Nick the glad silent moments as they pass ;
O sweet and tiny cousins, that belong,

One to the fields, the other to the hearth,
Both have your sunshine; both, though small, are strong

At your clear hearts; and both seem given to earth
To ring in thoughtful ears this natural song,

In doors and out, summer and winter, Mirth.-LEIGH Hunt.

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We conclude with Shakspere's noble comparison of the honey bees with the members of a commonwealth :

While that the armed head doth fight abroad,
The advised head defends itself at home :
For government, through high, and low, and lower,
Put into parts, doth keep in one concert,
Congreeing in a full and natural close,
Like music.

Canterbury. Therefore doth heaven divide
The state of man in divers functions,
Setting endeavour in continual motion;
To which is fixed, as an aim or butt,

Geot it des

Obedience : for so work the honey bees ;
Creatures, that, by a rule in nature, teach
The act of order to a peopled kingdom.
They have a king, and officers of sorts :
Where some, like magistrates, correct at home,
Others, like merchants, venture trade abroad;
Others, like soldiers, armed in their stings,
Make boot upon the summer's velvet buds;
Which pillage they with merry march bring home
To the tent-royal of their emperor,
Who, busied in his majesty, surveys
The singing masons building roofs of gold;
The civil citizens kneading up the honey;
The poor mechanic porters crowding in
Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate;
The sad-eyed justice, with his surly hum,
Delivering o'er to executors pale
The lazy yawning drone.

159.-CONQUEST OF CONSTANTINOPLE BY THE

CRUSADERS. THERE is no old chronicler, either French nglish, that relates a story better than Ville-Hardoin, or that treats an interesting subject in a more natural and lively manner. His work is, throughout, as authentic as it is interesting. He was not only an ear and eye-witness to the sieges, battles, councils, and the other events he describes with admirable clearness, modesty, and simplicity, but he was also a principal actor in them all, and a chief contriver and manager of many of them. His chronicle possesses this additional interest—it is one of the very earliest and best specimens we possess

of French prose. Geoffroy or Jeffry of Ville-Hardoin, was born about the year 1164. He descended from one of the most illustrious families of Champagne. In the year 1198, when Fouques, or Fulk, the curate of Neuilly, preached the Fourth Crusade, Geoffroy was chief of his ancient family. He was one of the first to take the cross with his prince, the young and brilliant Count Thibaut or Theobald of Champagne, the selected commanderin-chief of this Fourth Crusade. The gallant Thibaut died before the expedition could be got ready to take its departure. But VilleHardoin repaired to Venice, on whose maritime resources, and command of other means, and of money, the fate of the expedition mainly depended, and there won the esteem and confidence of the wise and venerable Doge, the “ blind old Dandolo,” who had taken the cross, not with the hope of recovering Jerusalem and the Holy Sepulchre, but with the confident assurance that he should conquer and annex to his own spirited republic a large portion of the territories occupied and misgoverned by the degenerate and spiritless Greeks. Every obstruction was soon removed, and a powerful Venetian fleet prepared. Soon the champions of the Cross embarked, and sailed for the Hellespont, the Propontis, and the Golden Horn on the Bosphorus.

After the conquest of Constantinople our noble Marshal and Chronicler exerted himself to the utmost, in calming the irritations of rival vanities, in moderating rival claims, and in securing that splendid Eastern throne to the new Emperor Baldwin of Flanders.

The brave chronicler did not live to be an old man. He closed his active career in 1213, when he had only numbered about forty-nine years.

Ville-Hardoin's narrative opens with a quaint account of the preaching of Fulk of Neuilly, “that saintly man in France," "in that year of the Incarnation when Innocent III. was Apostle of Rome, and Philip Augustus King of France, and Richard I. King of England." It then. describes the success of this preaching, and the godly speed with which great Lords and Barons, and still greater Princes, ran to take the cross. It relates all the obstructions to the departure of the Crusade, the negotiations at Venice and elsewhere, which led to the sailing of the expedition, the adventures encountered on the voyage, and the sieges which were undertaken and the battles which were fought when the troops landed in various parts of Greece. For the present, we take up honest Geoffroy when he arrives in sight of the splendid capital of Eastern Europe.

“ And so much did the Crusaders run by sea, that they came, on tủe Eve of my Lord Saint John the Baptist, in the month of June, unto

as we were.

St. Stephen's, a Greek abbey, about three leagues from Constantinople. And they took port there and cast anchor, and thence they plainly saw Constantinople.

“ And now let me relate the astonishment of those who had never seen so grand a city : when they saw those lofty walls and rich towers which surrounded it, and those high palaces, and those high churches, of which there were so many that no man could believe it unless he saw them with his own eyes, and the length and the breadth of the city, which, over all others, was the sovereign, they could not imagine that there should be so rich a place in all the world !

“ And, be it known, that there were none so bold but quaked at the sight of its amazing strength. And no wonder was it, for never since the world was created had so great a place been taken by so few people

Then landed the Barons, the Counts, and the Doge of Venice; and they held a parliament in the monastery of St. Stephen. There was much counsel taken and given. All the words that were there spoken cannot be written in books, but the substance was this : the Doge of Venice stood up and said :

“My Lords, I know more about the strength of this country than you do, for I have been here before now. You have undertaken the greatest affair and the most perilous that ever people undertook, and therefore will it become us to act sagely. Know ye, that if we march hence by land, the land is long and broad, and our people are few and badly provided with victual. If they spread themselves over the country to seek for food, they will have to encounter a great plenty of armed folk in the country. Let us take what care we will, we must lose some of our own people, and we can ill bear such loss, seeing how few we now are to do that which we have to do. But near unto this place are certain isles inhabited by quiet farmers, and producing corn and other commodities*. Let us then go thither and anchor, and collect the corn, wine, and viands of the isles. And when we have collected these good things, and restored ourselves with food, let us go unto the strong city, and there do that which the Lord has provided shall be done by us; for, certes, the man that has meat makes war better than the man that has none.'

“In these opinions the Counts and the Barons all fully agreed:

* This is the beautiful little group now called by Europeans · Les Iles des Princes, or Princes' Islands.

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