780 IN THE DUCK-YARD
affectionate and soft, and that's as good in animals as in your so called human beings.'
And all the Ducks came crowding round the little dead Singing Bird. Ducks have strong passions, whether they feel envy or pity ; and as there was nothing here to envy, pity manifested itself, even in the two Chinese.
1 We shall never get such a singing bird again ; he was almost a Chinese,' they whispered ; and they wept with a mighty clucking sound, and all the fowls clucked too, but the Ducks went about with the redder eyes.
' We've hearts of our own,' they said ; ' nobody can deny that.'
' Hearts ! ' repeated the Portuguese, * yes, that we have, almost as much as in Portugal.'
' Let us think of getting something to satisfy our hunger,' said the Drake, ' for that's the most important point. If one of our toys is broken, why, we have plenty more ! '
THE MUSE OF THE NEW CENTURY
The Muse of the New Century, as our children's children, perhaps even a more distant generation, though not we, shall know her, when will she reveal herself ? In what form will she appear ? What will she sing ? What chords of the soul will she touch ? To what elevation will she lift the age she lives in ?
So many questions in our busy time ! a time in which Poetry stands almost solitary and alone, and in which one knows with certainty that much of the ' immortal' verse, written by poets of the present day, will perhaps in the future exist only in charcoal inscriptions on prison walls, seen and read by a few inquisitive souls.
Poetry must join in the bustle too, at least take some share in the war of parties, where blood or ink flows.
* That is a one-sided opinion,' many will say ; ' Poetry is not forgotten in our time.'
No, there are still people, who on their free days feel a desire for Poetry and, when they perceive this spiritual grumbling in the nobler part of their being, certainly do