Fifty-one Tales

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Page 21 - Way for us," said the North Wind as he came down the sea on an errand of old Winter. And he saw before him the grey silent fog that lay along the tides. "Way for us," said the North Wind, "O ineffectual fog, for I am Winter's leader in his age-old war with the ships.
Page 10 - And Fame turned her back on him and walked away, but in departing she looked over her shoulder and smiled at him as she had not smiled before and, almost speaking in a whisper, said: 'I will meet you in the graveyard at the back of the Workhouse in a hundred years.
Page 20 - All along the farmyard gables the swallows sat a-row, twittering uneasily to one another, telling of many things, but thinking only of Summer and the South, for Autumn was afoot and the North wind waiting. And suddenly one day they were all quite gone. And everyone spoke of the swallows and the South. "I think I shall go South myself next year," said a hen. And the year wore on and the swallows came again, and the year wore on and they sat again on the gables, and all the poultry discussed the departure...
Page 37 - I saw the trains go by, once in every two minutes, and on the other, the trains went by twice in every five. Quite close were the glaring factories, and the sky above them wore the fearful look that it wears in dreams of fever. The flowers were right in the stride of that advancing city, and thence I heard them sending up their cry. And then I heard, beating musically up wind, the voice of Pan reproving them from Arcady — "Be patient a little, these things are not for long.
Page 36 - Woods have gone away, they have fallen and left us; men love us no longer, we are lonely by moonlight. Great engines rush over the beautiful fields, their ways lie hard and terrible up and down the land. "The cancrous cities spread over the grass, they clatter in their lairs continually, they glitter about us blemishing the night. "The Woods are gone, O Pan, the woods, the woods. And thou art far, O Pan, and far away." I was standing by night between two railway embankments on the edge of a Midland...
Page 12 - It was strange that the dead nowadays were coming in such numbers. They were coming in thousands where they used to come in fifties. It was neither Charon's duty nor his wont to ponder in his grey soul why these things might be. Charon leaned forward and rowed. Then no one came for a while. It was not usual for the gods to send no one down from Earth for such a space. But the gods knew best. Then one man came alone. And the little shade sat shivering on a lonely bench and the great boat pushed off....
Page 50 - A DEMAGOGUE and a demi-mondaine chanced to arrive together at the gate of Paradise. And the Saint looked sorrowfully at them both. "Why were you a demagogue?" he said to the first. "Because," said the demagogue, "I stood for those principles that have made us what we are and have endeared our Party to the great heart of the people. In a word I stood unflinchingly on the plank of popular representation." "And you?" said the Saint to her of the demi-monde. "I wanted money,
Page 80 - Only a world has ended," he said to me, "and the swans are coming back to the gods returning the gift of song." "A whole world dead!" I said. "Dead," said he that was humble among the gods. "The worlds are not for ever; only song is immortal." "Look! Look!" he said. "There will be a new one soon." And I looked and saw the larks, going down from the gods. SPRING IN TOWN At a street corner sat, and played with a wind, Winter disconsolate. Still tingled the fingers of the passers-by and still their...
Page 124 - I should ever have seen her, the only really wonderful she-blackbird in the world, that I opened my beak to give a shout, and then this song came, and there had never been anything like it before, and luckily I remembered it, the very song that I just sang now. But what is so extraordinary, the most amazing occurrence of that marvellous day, was that no sooner had I sung the song than that very bird, the most wonderful she-blackbird in the world, flew right up to me and sat quite close to me on the...
Page 25 - ... like sailors that work at the rafts only to warm their hands and to distract their thoughts from their certain doom; their rafts go all to pieces before the ship breaks up. See now Oblivion shimmering all around us, its very tranquillity deadlier than tempest. How little all our keels have troubled it. Time in its deeps swims like a monstrous whale; and, like a whale, feeds on the littlest things — small tunes and little unskilled songs of the olden, golden evenings — and anon turneth whale-like...

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