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A flame of scarlet
Flares in the tree-tops;
It spreads like wild-fire
And runs crackling over
The blue-green leaves.


The purple breeze
Sings through the jacaranda
And wings away,
Leaving the shadows to flower.


Branches of blowing rain,
Of gray-winding winds,
Of twilight brooding.


Garlands of royal purple;
Proud, regal notes of pageantry
Sounding imperial color;
A fanfare of trumpets
Triumphant, barbaric;
Bells and chimes and cymbals
Clanging crimson.


Sea-wind, sea-wind,
Gently go—
Over the sapphire waters
Where anemones glow,
On the crest of the waves
Where the foam-flowers blow—
Soft as light,
White as snow.

Sea-wind, sea-wind,
Softly sing;
For the water-bells lightly
Bubble and ring;
Where the golden kelp-weeds
Curl and swing,
And a flying-fish,
On gauzy wing,


A breath of sleep waking,
Warm as rose-pink breaking
Over petals sunglown.
Folding and unfolding
Are the tiny fingers holding
The world unknown |


Sleep, my little sun-god,

Dream of gold and blue! Skies that shone with song-light

Swing their bells of dew, Tapping silver music

Soft and low for you. Listen! they are singing,

“Little one, dream true.”

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To be an orphan,
To be fated to be an orphan,
How bitter is this lot!
When my father and mother were alive
I used to ride in a fine carriage
Driving four horses;
But when my father and mother died,
My brother and his wife made of me a merchant.
In the South I travelled to the Nine Rivers
And in the East as far as Ch'i and Lu.
At the end of the year when I came home
I dared not tell them what I had suffered—
Of the lice and vermin in my head,
Of the dust in my face and eyes.
My brother told me to get ready the dinner;
My sister-in-law told me to see after the horses.
I was always going up into the hall
And running down again to the parlor.
My tears fell like a shower of rain.
In the morning they sent me to draw water;
I didn't get back till night-fall.
My hands were all sore,
And I hadn't any shoes;
I walked the cold earth
Treading on the thorns and brambles.

As I stopped to pull out the thorns,
How bitter my heart was l—
My tears fell and fell
And I went on sobbing and sobbing.
In winter I have no great-coat,
Nor in summer thin clothes.
It is no pleasure to be alive;
I had rather quickly leave this earth
And go beneath the Yellow Springs.
The April winds blow
And the grass grows so green: - -
In the third month, silk worms and mulberries;
In the sixth month, the melon-harvest.
I went out with the melon-cart, o
And just as I was coming home
The melon-cart turned over.
The people who came to help me were few,
But the people who ate the melons were many.
All they left me was the stalks;
I took them home as fast as I could.
My brother and sister-in-law were harsh;
They asked me all sorts of awful questions.
Why does every one in the village blame me?
I want to write a letter and send it
To my father and mother under the earth
And tell them I can't go on any longer
Living with my brother and my sister-in-law.
Anonymous—First Century B. C.

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