Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 The land of the singing mouse
 The burden of a song
 The little river
 What the waters said
 Lake Belle-Marie
 The skull and the rose
 The man of the mountain
 At the place of the oaks
 The birth of the hours
 The tear and the smile
 How the mountains ate up the...
 The beast terrible
 The passing of men
 The house of truth
 Where the city went
 The bell and the shadows
 Back Matter
 Back Cover

Title: The singing mouse stories
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00082974/00001
 Material Information
Title: The singing mouse stories
Physical Description: 176, 4 p. : ill. ; 18 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Hough, Emerson, 1857-1923
Phillips, W. S ( Illustrator )
Forest and Stream Pub. Co ( Publisher )
Geo. E. Cole Co ( Printer )
Publisher: Forest and Stream Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: New York
Manufacturer: Geo. E. Cole Co.
Publication Date: 1895
Subject: Animals -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1895   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1895
Genre: Children's stories
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
United States -- Illinois -- Chicago
Statement of Responsibility: by E. Hough.
General Note: First edition. BAL 9314.
General Note: Illustrated by W.S. Phillips.
General Note: Author's first book.
General Note: Bound in green buckram; stamped in gold; top edges gilt.
General Note: From the library of B. George Ulizio.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00082974
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002231762
notis - ALH2147
oclc - 05691779

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Title Page
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Table of Contents
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    The land of the singing mouse
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    The burden of a song
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
    The little river
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
    What the waters said
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
    Lake Belle-Marie
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
    The skull and the rose
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
    The man of the mountain
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
    At the place of the oaks
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
    The birth of the hours
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
    The tear and the smile
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
    How the mountains ate up the plains
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
    The beast terrible
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
    The passing of men
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
    The house of truth
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
    Where the city went
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
    The bell and the shadows
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
    Back Matter
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text

P1 I

The Baldwin Library

- -- ---Of

I r IIII -r ~

3 s57

"The Singing Mouse came and sat upon
the table."


The Singing









"Thoughts, thoughts and remembrances,"
said the Singing Mouse. It is only
the shadows that are real."


The Land of the
Singing Mouse.


THIS is my room. I live here.
These are my things. My
friends come here sometimes,
such as I have left. They are
welcome to anything I have.
That's my coat. Worn a little.
That's my gun. Yes, the bar-
rels are a trifle brown. That's
my rifle. The stock was broken
in the Rockies. Yes, I know
the tip of the old rod is broken.
And there's a guide or so gone.
And the silk is fraying in the
lashings. And the silver cord on
the hand-piece is loose. The
silver cord will loosen and break
some day, in the very best of
men-rods, I mean.
There's the table. There aren't
any keys. Here's the fire. You
are welcome, I know, to anything
there is here ...
But the Singing Mouse will
not come out; not while you are
here. But after you have gone,
after the fire has burned down


and the room is all still-usually
near midnight, as I sit and muse
alone over the dead or dying
fire-why, then the Singing
Mouse comes out and asks for its
bit of bread; and then it folds
its tiny paws and sits up, and
turning its bright red eye upon
me, half in power and half in
beseeching, as of some fading
memory of the past why, it
sings, I say to you; it sings!
And I listen .... And the fire
blazes up .... The walls are
rich in art now . My rod is
new and trig now .... There is
work, but there is no worry now.
.... I am rich, rich! I have
the Singing Mouse. And so
strange, so wondrous, so real are
the things it sings; so bewitching
is the song, so sweeter than that
of any siren's; so broad and fine
are the countries; so strong and
true are the friendships; so brave
and kind are the men I meet-so
beautiful the whole world of the
Singing Mouse, that when it is


over, and in a chill I start up, I
hardly can bear the shrinking in
of the walls, and the grayness of
the once red fire, and my gold
turned to earthenware, and my
pictures turned to splotches. In
my hand everything I touch feels
awkward; a pen-a pen-to talk
of that! If one could use it while
in the land of the Singing Mouse
-then it might do. I think the
pens there are not of wood and
iron, stiff things of torture to
reader and writer. I have a
notion-though I have not exam-
ined the pens there-that they are
made from plumes of an angel's
wing ; and that they could talk,
and say things which would make
you and me ashamed and afraid.
Pens such as these we do not

The Burden
of a Song.


THE Singing Mouse came out.
Quaintly and sweetly and
with wondrous clearness it began
an old, old song I first heard long
ago. And as it sang, back with
red electric thrill came the fine
blood of youth, and beat in pulse
with the song:
When all the world is young, lad,
And all the trees are green,
And every goose a swan, lad,
And every lass a queen.
Then hey for boot and saddle, lad,
And round the world away !
Young blood must have its course, lad,
And every dog his day !"
And young blood began its
course anew. Booted and spurred,
into the saddle again! Face
toward the West! And off for
round the world away !
"There are green fields in
Thrace," sighs the gladiator as
he dies. And here were green
fields in the land before us.
Only these were the inimitable
and illimitable fields of Nature.
Sheets and waves and billows
and tumbles of green; oceans



unswum, continents untracked,
of thousandfold green. Then, on
beyond, the gray, the gray-
brown, the purple-gray of the
higher plains; nearer than that, a
broad slash of great golden
yellow, a band of the sturdy
prairie sunflowers; and nearer
than that, swimming on the sur-
face of the mysterious wave which
constantly passes but is never
past on the prairies, bright red
roses, and strong larkspur, and
at the bottom of this ever shifting.
sea, jewels in God's best blue
enamel. You cannot find this
enamel in the windows. One
must send for it to the land of
the unswum sea.

A little higher and stronger
piped the compelling melody.
Why, here are the mountains!
God bless them Nay, brother,
God has blessed them; blessed
them with unbounded calm, with
boundless strength, with unspeak-
able peace. You can take your



troubles to the mountains. If
you are Pueblo, Aztec, you can
select some big mountain and
pray to it, as its top shows the red
sentience of the oncoming day.
You can take your troubles to the
sea; but the sea has troubles of
its own, and frets. There is
commerce on the sea, and the
people who live near it are fretful,
.greedy, grasping. The moun-
tains have no troubles; they have
no commerce. The dwellers of
the mountains are calm and
And on the broad shoulders of
the mountains once more was
cast the burden of the young
man's troubles, and once more he
walked deep into the peace of the
big hills. And the mountains
smiled not, neither wept, but
gravely and kindly folded over,
about, behind, the gray mantle
of the canon walls, and locked
fast doors of adamant against all
following, and swept a pitying
hand of shadow, and breathed


that wondrous unsyllabled voice
of comfort which any mountain
goer knows. Ai! the goodness
of such strength! Up by the
clean snow; over the big rocks;
by the lace-work stream where
the trout are-why, it's all come
again That was the clink made
by a passing deer. That was the
touch of the green balsam-smell
it, now! And there comes the
mist, folding down the top. And
there is the crash of the thunder;
and this is the rush of the rain,
and this is the warm yellow sun
over it all-O, Singing Mouse,
Singing Mouse!
Back again now, by some
impulse of the dog which hasn't
had any day. It is winter now, I
remember, Singing Mouse, and
I am walking by the shore of
the great Inland. Seas. There is
snow on the ground. The trees
look black in contrast as you
gaze up from the beach against
the high bank. It is cold. It is
dark. There is a shiver in the

... -~--r-
a: ~


air. There are icicles in the sky.
Something is flying through the
trees, but silent as if it came out
of a grave. I have been walk-
ing, I know. I have walked a
million miles, and I'm tired. My
legs are stiff, and my legging has
frozen fast to my overshoe; I
remember that. And so I sit
down-right here, you know-
and look out over the lake-just
over there, you see. The ice
reaches out from the shore into
the lake a long way; and it is
covered with snow, and looks
white. I can follow that white
glimmer in a long, long curve to
the right-twenty miles or more,
maybe. Yes, it is cold. But
ah! what is that out there, and
what is it doing? It is setting all
the long white curve of ice afire.
It is throwing down hammered
silver in a broad path, out there
on the water. Those are not
ripples. That is silver There
will be angels walking on that
pathway before long! That is

I~ r~ I-


not the moon coming up over
the lake! It is the swinging
open, by some careless angel's
mischance, of the door of the
White City of Rest!
How old, how sore a man
climbed up the steep bank!
There were white fields. In the
distance a dog barked. Away
across the fields a bright and
cheery light shone out from a
window, and as the moon rose
higher, it showed the house
which held the light. It was
not a large house, but it seemed
to be a home. Home !-what is
that? I wondered; and I
remember that I pulled at the
-frozen legging, and moved, with
pain, the limbs grown tired and
sore. And, as one looked at
that twinkling, comfortable light,
how plainly the rest of the old
song came back:
"When all the world is old, lad,
And all the trees are brown,
And all the sports are stale, lad,
And all the wheels run down,
Creep home and take your place there,
The sick and maimed among.
God grant you find one face there.
You loved when you were young."


The light in the little house
went out. I think it was a happy
home. So may yours be always.

The Little

; "~iAe' "'"


THE Singing Mouse came out
andsat upon my knee. It fixed
its small red eye upon me, and
lifted its tiny paws, so thin the
fire shone through them. And
it sang. ... Like the voice of
some night-wandering bird of
melody, hid high in the upper
realms of darkness, came faint
sweet notes falling softly down.
It was as if from the deep air
above, and from the wide air
around, there were dropping and
drifting small links of silken steel,
gentle but strong, so that one
were helpless even had he wished
to move. I listened, and I saw.

There were low rolling hills,
covered and crowned with thick
growth of hazel thickets and
short oaks. Between these hills
ran long strips of green, strung
on tiny bands of silver. And as
these bands moved and thickened
and braided themselves together,


I seemed to see a procession of
the trees. The cottonwoods
halted in their march. The box-
alders, and maples, and water-
elms, and walnuts and such big
trees swept grandly in with
waving banners, and wound on
and on in long procession, even
down to two blue distant hills set
at the edge of the world, unpassed
guardians of a land of dreams.
Ah, well-a-day I look back at
those two hills now, and the land
of dreams lies still beyond them,
it is true, but it is now upon the
side whence I first gazed. It is
back there, where one cannot go
again; back there, along that
crystal, murmuring mystery of
the little stream I knew when I
was young !
Ah, little river, little river, but
I am coming back again. Once
more I push away the long grass
and the swinging boughs, and
look into your face again. Again
I dabble my bare feet, and scoop
up my straw hat full, and watch

-: ~


the tiny streams run down.
Again I stand, bare and small
and trembling, wondering if I can
swim across. And listen, little
river- again at the same old
place I shall cut me the willow
wand, and down the long slope
to the certain place I knew I am
going to hurry, running the last
quarter of a mile in sheer expec-
tation, but forgetting not the
binding on of the tough linen
line. And now I cast my gaudy
float on that same swinging,
thimpling, gentle eddy, and let
it swim in beneath the bank.
And No! Can it be? Have I
here, now, again plainly in my
hands the strange and wonderful
creature, the gift of the little
stream ? Is this its form, utterly
lovable ? Is this its coat, wrought
of cloth of gold and silver ? Are
these diamonds its eyes ? Oh,
little river, little river, give me
back this gift to keep forever!
Why did they take it from me?
All I have I will give to you, if



you will but give back to me, to
have by me all the time, this
little fish from the pool beneath
the boughs. I have hunted well
for him, believe me, hard and
faithfully in many a place, but
he is no longer there. I find him
no longer even in the remotest
spots I search . But this is
he! This, in my hands, here in
actual sight, is my first, my
glorious, iridescent, radiant prize !
Pray you, behold the glittering.
But along this little river there
were other things when the
leaves grew brown. In those
low, easy hills, strange creatures
dwelt. Birds of brown plumage
and wondrous, soul-startling burst
of wing. Large gray creatures,
a foot long or longer, with light
tread on the leaves, and long ears
that go a-peak when you whistle
to them. Were ever such beings
before in any land? For the
pursuit of these, it seems, one
must have boots with copper toes,
made waterproof by abundant


tallow. There must be a vast
game-bag-a world too large for
boyish form-and strange things
to eat therein, such as one sees
no longer; for on a chase calling
for such derring do it may be
needful that one walk far, across
the hills, along the little river,
almost to the Delectable Mount-
ains themselves. Again I see it
all. Again I follow through the
hills that same tall, tireless figure
with the grave and kindly face.
Again I wonder at the uncom-
prehended skill which brought
whirling down ten out of the
dozen of those brown lightning
balls. Again I rejoice beyond
all count or measure, over the
first lepine murder committed by
myself, the same furthered by
means of a rest on a forked tree.
It seems to me I groan secretly
again at the weight of that
great gun before the night has
come. I could wince again at



the pulling off of those copper-
toed boots at night, there by the
kitchen stove, after the chase is
done. But, ah! how happy I am
again, holding up for the gaze
of a kind pair of eyes this great,
gray creature with the lopping

Now, as we walk by the banks
of this magic river, I would that
it might be always as it was in
the earliest days. I like best to
think myself mistaken when I
suspect a greater stoop in this
once familiar form which knew
these hills and woods so well. It
cannot be that the quick eye
has grown less bright. Yet why
was the last mallard missed?
And tell me, is not the old dog
ranging as widely as once he did ?
Can it be that he keeps closer at
heel? Does he look up once in a
while mournfully, with a dimmer
eye, at an eye becoming also
dimmer-does he walk more


slowly, by a step now not so
fast? Does he look up-My
God !-is there melancholy in a
dog's eye, too ?

What the
Waters Said.

--s ttSi-


THE fire was flickering fitfully,
and painting ghostly shadows
on the wall. It was winter, and
late in winter; indeed, the season
was now at length drawing near
to the end of winter, and
approaching that dear time of
spring which, beyond doubt, will
be the eventual front and closing
of the circle in the land where
winter will not come.
I had drawn the little pine
table close to the heap of failing
embers, and aided by what light
the sulky candle gave, was bend-
ing over and trying to arrange
a patch on my old hunting coat.
It was an old, old hunting
coat, far gone in the sere and
yellow leaf. It was old-fashioned
now, though once of proper cut
and comeliness. It was disfigured,
stained and worn. The pockets
were torn down. The bindings
were worn out. It was quite
willing to be left alone now,


hung by upon a forgotten nail,
and subject to no further requisi-
tion. Nevertheless, if its owner
wished, it could still do a day
or two. I knew that; and some-
thing in the sturdy texture of
its oft-tried nature excited more
than half my admiration, and
all my love.
Walpurgis on the ceiling, gray
coming on in the embers,
symptoms of death in the candle,
a blotch of tallow on the
Shakspere, and the coat not
half done. It must have been
about then, I think, that the
thin-edged sweetness of the
Singing Mouse's voice pierced
keenly through the air. I was
right glad when the little creature
came and sat on my knee, and
in its affectionate way began to
nibble at my finger-tips. It sat
erect, its thin paws waving with
a tiny, measured swing, and in
its mystic voice, so infinitely
small, so sweet and yet so
majestically strong, began a song


which no pen can transcribe.
Knowing that the awakening
must come, but unwilling to lose
a moment of the dream, I, who
with one finger could have
crushed the little thing, sat
prizing it more and more, as
more and more its voice swept,
and swelled, and rang; rang,
till the fire burst high in noble
pyramids of flame ; rang, till the
candle flashed in thousand
crystals; swelled, till the walls
fell silently apart, and showed
that all this time I had been
sitting ignorant of, but yet
within a grand and stately hall,
whose polished sides bore
speaking canvas and noble
marbles; swept up and around,
till every stately niche, and
every tapestried corner, and
every lofty dome rang gently
back in mellow music-all for
the Singing Mouse and me.
Small wizard, it was cunning
of thee to paint upon the wall
this picture of the old mill dam.


How naturally the wooded hill
slopes back beyond the mill.
And how, with the same old
sleepy curves, the river winds on
back. How green the trees-
how very green. Ah, Singing
' Mouse, they do not mix that
S color now. And nowhere do
wide bottom-lands wave and sing
S in such seemly grace, so decked
with yellow flowers, with odd
Sweet William and the small
wild rose. And nowhere now on
earth, I know, is there any stream
to murmur so sweetly and so
comfortably, to say such words
to any dreaming boy, to babble
of a work well done, of conscience
clear and of a success and happi-
ness to come. All that was in
the river. If I listen very hard,
and imagine very high and very
deep, I can almost pretend to
hear them now, those old words,
heard when I was young. The
voices are there, I doubt not,
and there are other boys. God
keep them boys always, and may


they dream not backward, but
This lazy pool beneath the far
wing of the dam, how smooth
it looks. Yet well I know the
sunken log upon its further
side. I have festooned it full oft
with big hook and hempen line.
And from that pool how many
fatuous fishes have I not hauled
forth. Here we came often,
when we were boys; and once
did not certain bold souls sleep
here all night, curled up along
the bank, waking the next morn-
ing each with a sore throat, 'tis
true, but with heart full proud
at such high deed of valor !
And there is the long wooden
bridge. What a feat of engineer-
ing that bridge once seemed to
our untraveled souls. Behold it
now, as it was then, lying in the
level rays of the rising moon, a
brilliant causeway leading over
into a land of mystery, to glory
perhaps; perhaps to failure,
forgetfulness, oblivion and rest.


And there, I declare, at the other
end of this great roadway-
swimming up, I declare, in the
same old way-is the great round
moon whose light served us
when we stayed late at the dam
in the summer evenings. And
the shadows of the bridge timbers
are just as long and black; and
the ripples over the rocks at the
middle span are just as beautiful
and white. And here, right at
our feet again, the moon is play-
ing its old tricks of painting faces
in the water.
There are too many faces in
the water, Singing Mouse; and
I beg you, cease repeating the
words about the "Corpus.Delicti!"
You would make one shudder.
Let us look no more at faces in
the water.
S *
But still you bide by the waters
to-night, wizard; for here is a
picture of the sea. It is the sea,
and it is talking, as it always
does. There are some who


think the sea speaks only of
sorrow, but this is not wholly
true. If you will listen thought-
fully enough, you will find that
it is not all of troubles that the sea
is whispering. Nor does it speak
always of restlessness and change.
Some find a stimulus beside the
sea, and say it brings forgetful-
ness. Rather let us call it exalta-
tion. Much more than of a petty
excitement, fit to blot a man's
momentary woes, it speaks in a
sterner and a stronger note. It
throbs with the pulse of a further
shore. It speaks of a quiet tide
making out to the Fortunate
Islands, and tells of a way of
following gales, and of a new
Atlantis, somewhere on beyond.
How dear this dream of a
different land, this story of
Atlantis, pathetically soug h t.
Certainly, Atlantis is there, out
beyond, somewhere in the sea;
and truly there are those who
have discovered it, and those who
still may do so. I know it,



Singing Mouse, for I can read it
written in the hollow of this tiny
shell of pink you have found here
by the shore,-borne across to
us, we may not doubt, by an
understanding tide from a place
happily attained by those who
wrote the message and sought to
let us know.

" Long time upon the mast our brown sail
Our keel plowed bitter salt, and
The ominous sky in sullen mystery
What side we looked on, either here or
The welcome sight of land long sadly
And that Atlantis, hid within the sea,
The land with all our hope and promise
We saw not yet, nor wist where it might be.

But as we sailed as manful as we might,
And counted not the sail more fit than oar,
Lo o'er the wave there burst a vision bright
Of wood, and winding stream, and easy
Then by the lofty light which shone above,
We knew at last our voyage sad was o'er,
And we hard by the haven for which we
And soon all past the need to wander

i r~i~~


Then as our craft made safely on the strand,
And we all well our weary brown sail
We gazed as strangers might at that fair
And hardly knew if it might be our world;
Till One took gently every weary hand,
And led us on to where still waters be,
And whispered softly, 'Lo it hath been
That thou at last this pleasant place
shouldst see.'

"And as those dreaming, so awakened we,
And looked with eyes unhurt on that fair
And whispered, hand in hand and eye to eye,
'Tis our Atlantis, risen from the sea-
'Tis our Atlantis, from the bitter sea !
'Tis our Atlantis. come again, oh, friend,
to thee and me !"




away. Beyond the forest the
mountains are white. Beyond
the mountains the sky rises blue,
high up into the infinite
I do not know where the
Singing Mouse lives. No man
can tell what journeys it may
make such times as it is absent
from the room that holds the pine
table, and the book, and the
candle, and the open fire. But
last night, when the faint, shrill
sweetness of its little voice grew
apart from the lonely silence of
the room, and I turned and saw
the Singing Mouse sitting on the
corner of the book, the light of
the candle shining in pink
through its tiny paws, almost the
first word it said was of the far-
off Lake of Belle-Marie.
"Do you see it?" asked the
Singing Mouse.
You mean--'


The moon there through the
window? Do you see the moon,
and the stars? Do you know
where they are shining to-night?
Do you see them, there, deep in
the water? Do you know where
that is ? Do you know the water?
I know. It is Lake Belle-Marie."
And all I could do was to sit
speechless. For the fire was
gone, and the wall was open, and
the room was not a room. The
voice of the Singing Mouse, shrill
and sweet, droned on a thousand
miles away in smallness, but
every word a crystal of regret
and joy.
"A thousand feet deep, or
more, or bottomless, lies Lake
Belle-Marie, for no man has ever
fathomed it. But no matter how
deep, the moon lies to-night at
the bottom, and you can see it
shining there, deep down in the
blue. The stars are smaller, so
they stay up and sparkle on the
surface. The forest is very black
to-night, is it not? and the


shadow of the pines on the point
looks like a mass of actual sub-
stance. Wait! Did you see that
silvern creature leap from the
quiet water? You may know
the shadow is but a shadow, for
you can see the chasing ripples
pass through it and break it up
into a crinkled fabric of the night.
"'Do you see the pines waving,
away up there in their tops, and
do you hear them talking ? They
are always talking. To-night
they are saying: 'Hush, Belle-
Marie; slumber, Belle-Marie; we
will watch, we will watch,
hush, hush, hush Didn't you
ever know what the pines said ?
They wish no one ever to
come near Lake Belle-Marie.
Well for you that you only sat
and looked at the face of Belle
Marie, and cast no line nor fired
an untimely shot around her
shores! The pines would have
been angry and would have
crushed you. You do not know
how they live, seeking only to


keep Belle-Marie from the world,
standing close and sturdy
together and threatening any who
approach. It would break their
hearts to have her hiding place
found out. You do not know
how they love her. The pines
are old, old, old, many of them,
but they told me that no foot-
print of man was ever seen upon
those shores, that no boat ever
rested on that little sea, neither
did ever a treacherous line
wrinkle even the smallest portion
of its smoothest coves. Believe
me, to have Belle-Marie known
would break the hearts of the
pines. They told me they lived
all the time, only that they
might every night sing Belle-
Marie to sleep, and every morning
look upon her face, innocent,
pure, unknown and unknowing,
therefore good, sincere and utterly
trustworthy. That is why the
pines live. That is what they
are talking about. In many
places I know the hearts of the


pines are broken, and they grieve
continually. That is because
there are too many people. In
this valley the pines do not
grieve. They only talk among
themselves. In the morning they
will wave their hands quite gaily
and will say, 'Waken, waken,.
Belle-Marie Sweet is the day,
sweet is the day, God hath
given, given, given !' That is
what the pines say in the morning.
The white mountains yonder
are very old. How strong and
quiet they are, and how sure of
themselves! To be quiet and
strong, one needs to be old, for
small things do not matter then.
Do you know what the moun-
tains think, as they stand there
shoulder to shoulder-for they
live only to shield and protect the
forest, here in the valley. They
told me they were thinking of
the smallness and the quickness
of the days. 'Age unto age !' is
what the mountains whisper.


'-Eon unto mon! Strong, strong,
strong is Time !'
'And yet I knew these mighty
pillars lived only to shield the
forest which shielded Belle-Marie.
So I stood upon the last mountain
and looked upon the great blue
of the sky, and there again I saw
the face of Lake Belle-Marie; and
the circle was complete, and I
sought no more, for I knew that
from the abode of perfect, unhurt
nature it is but a step up to the
perfect peace and rest of the land
where lives that Time whose
name the mountains voice in awe.
"And now, do you see what is
happening on Lake Belle-Marie?
Through the cleft in the forest
the pink of the early day ig
showing, and light shines through
the spaces of the pines. And
down the pebbles of the beach,
knee deep into the shining flood,
steps a noble creature, antlered,
beautiful, admirable. Do you see
him drink, and do you see him
raise his head and look about




with gentle and fearless eye?
This creature is of the place, and
no hand must harm him.
Let the thin, blue smoke die
down. Attempt no foot further on.
Disturb not this spot. Return.
But before you go, take one more
look upon the Lake of Belle-
Marie !"
So again I gazed upon the face
of the lake, which seemed inno-
cent, and sincere, and trust-
worthy, and deserving of the pro-
tection of the league of the pines,
and the army of the mountains,
and the canopy of the unshamed
sky. And then the voice of the
Singing Mouse, employed in some
song whose language I do not yet
fully understand, faded and sank
away, and even as it passed the
walls came back and the ashes
lay gray upon the hearth.

The Skull and

the Rose.

/ *. -


HE Singing Mouse peeped out
from the hollow orbit of the
white skull which lies upon the
table next to the volume of
Shakspere. It reached down a
tiny pink paw and touched a
leaf of the brave red rose which
every day lies before the skull.
It plucked the leaf, which made
a buckler for its small, throbbing
breast. It spoke.
"The rose is bold and red,"
said the Singing Mouse. "'Blood
is red. A skull is white. The
rose and the skull love one
another. They understand. We
do not understand.
"As I sat by the skull I saw a
dream of the past go by. It was
as you see it now.
"Do you see the waving
grasses of the valleys? Do you
see the unmoving front of the
white old mountains ? Do you
see the red roses growing down
among the grasses ?




"It is peace upon the land. I
can see one who has seen the
lands. He smiles, but he is sad.
He crosses the wide sea, but
cares not. He travels upon
rails of iron, and he smiles, but
still is sad, because he thinks,
and he who thinks must weep.
He leaves the ship and the iron
rail, and his road is narrower and
slower, for he travels now by
wheels of wood. He sees the
valleys, and his smile has more
of peace. His trail becomes
narrower yet. He goes by saddle,
and the mountains hem him in,
but now he smiles the more.
Now he must leave even the
saddle, and the trail is dim and
hard. See, the trail is gone!
Here, where no foot has trod,
where the mountains close about,
where the trees whisper, he sits
and looks about him. Do you
see the red rose on his breast?
Always the rose is there. Do
you see him look up at the
mountains, about him at the


trees? Do you see him lay his
head upon the earth? Do you
still see his smile, the smile which
is weary and yet not afraid? Do
you hear him sigh ? And what
is this he whispers, here at the .
end of the long and narrowing
way-' I know not if this be the
end or the beginning!' Ah,
what does this man mean who
whispers to himself in riddles?
Look It is the time of war.
There is music. The blood
stings. The heart leaps. The
eye flames. The soul exults.
Flickering of light on steel, the
flash of servant forces used to
slay, the reverberant growl of
engines made for death, the pass-
ing of men in cloth and men in
blankets, the tramp of hurrying
hoofs, the falling .of men who die
-can you see this-can you -. I'
catch the horror, the exultation,
the joy of this, I say? They
come, they go; they run their
race, and it is all.
"Here are those who ride


against those who slay. Do you
know this one who rides at the
head, smiling, swinging his sword
well and smiling all the time?
It is he who said in the mountains
that riddle of the end and the
beginning-who knew that to
the heart of Nature we must
come, for either the end or the
beginning of a happy life. Do
you see upon his breast the red
rose? I think he rides to battle
with the rose, knowing what fate
will come.
"You know of this biting
whistle in the air-this small
thing that smites unseen ? Do
you know the mowing of the
death scythes? Hark I hear
the singing of this unseen thing.
See! he of the rose is bitten. He
has fallen. Ai! ai! He was so
brave and strong His horse has
gone. He is alone. The grass
here was so green. It is red.
The rose upon his breast is red.
His face is white, but still the
sm ile is there, and now it is


calmer and more sweet, though
still he whispers, 'I know not if
it be the end or the beginning !'
"He is alone with Nature
again. The heavens weep for
him. The grasses and leaves
begin with busy fingers to cover
him up. The earth pillows him.
He sleeps. It is all. It is done.
It is the way of life. It is the
end and the beginning. ./
"He loved the valley, the -
mountain, the grass, the rose.
Now, since he cherished the rose
so well, see, the rose will not
leave him. Out of the dust it
rises, it grows, it blooms. Against
his lips it presses. It is the
beginning! He loved, he thought,
he knew. He is not dead. He is
with Nature. It is but the
"Let the rose press against
his lips in an eternal, pure caress.
There is no end. They under-
stand. We do not yet under-
-X* k *-


The pink flame of the unreal
light died away. The pageant
of the hills, the panorama of the
battle faded and were gone. The
table and the books came back.
Wondering at these words, I
scarce could tell when the Sing-
ing Mouse went away, leaving
me staring at the barren walls
and at the white skull at my
For a moment it nearly seemed
to me the hollow eyes had light
and spoke to me. For a moment
almost it seemed to me that the
rose stirred deep down among its
petals, and that a wider perfume
floated out upon the air.

The Man of the

e .



"ONCE there was a man,"
said the Singing Mouse,
"who loved to go into the
mountains. He would go alone,
far into the mountains, and climb
up to the tops of the tallest peaks.
Nothing pleased him so much as
to climb to the top of some
mountain where no other man
had ever been. No one ever
knew what he said to the mount-
ains, or what the mountains said
to him, but that they understood
each other very well was sure, for
he could go among the mountains
where other men would not go.
At the tops of the high mountains
he would sit and look out over
the country that lay beyond. He
would not say what he saw,
for he said he could not tell, and
that, moreover, the people would
not understand it, for they did
not know the way the mountains
One time this man climbed



to the top of a very high
mountain peak in a distant
country. This peak looked out
over a wide land, and the man
knew that from its summit he
could see many things.
"The man was now growing
old, so when he got to the top of
this mountain he sat down to
rest. When he sat down, he put
his chin in his hand, and his arm
upon his knee; and so he looked
out over the land, seeing many
"The sun came up, but the
man did not move, but sat and
thought. The moon came, but
still he did not move. He only
looked, and thought and smiled.
After many days it was seen
that this man would not come
down from the mountain. The
mountain made him part of itself,
and turned him into stone, as he
sat there, with his chin in his
hand. He is there today, look-
ing out over many things. He
never moves, for he is now of



stone. I have seen that place
myself. Once I thought I heard
this man whisper of the things he
saw. He sits there today."

At The Place

of the Oaks.

' i


DO you know what the oak
says?" said the Singing
Mouse, as it sat upon my knee.
It had needed to nibble again at
my fingers before it could waken "
me from the dream into which
I had fallen, gazing at the
fading fire. "Do you know
what the oak says?" it repeated.
"Do you hear it? Do you hear
the talking of the leaves?
I know what the oak says,"
said the Singing Mouse. "When
the wind is soft, the oak says:
'Peace! Peace!' When the
breeze is sharp it sighs and says:
'Pity! Pity! Pity!' And when
the storm has fallen, the oak sobs
and cries: 'Woe! Woe! Woe!'
Do you see the oaks ?" asked
the Singing Mouse. "Do you
sec the little lake? Do you know
this place of the oaks? Behold
it now! It waved a tiny hand.
I gazed at the naked, cheerless
wall, seamed and rent with


cracks along its sallow width.
And as I gazed the seams and
scars blended and composed into
the lines of a map of a noble
country. And as I gazed more
intently the map took on color,
and narrowed its semblance to
that of a certain region. And as
I gazed yet more eagerly the
map faded quite away, and there
lay in its stead the smiling face
of an enchanted land.
There was the little silver lake,
rippling on its shore of rushes.
Around rose the long curved hills,
swelling back from the shore.
The baby river babbled on at the
mouth of the lake, kissing its
mother a continual farewell.
The small springs tinkled metal-
lically cold into the silver of the
lake. The tender green of the
gentle glades rolled softly back,
dividing the two hills in peaceful
separation. And there were the
oaks. At the water's edge, near
the lesser spring, the wild apple
trees twisted, but upon the hills


and over the great glades stood
the reserved, mysterious oaks,
tall, strong and grand.
One oak, a mighty one, now -
resolved itself more prominently
forth. Did I not know it well? j
Could one forget the tortured but
noble soul of this oak? Could
one forget the strong arm of
comfort it extended over this
most precious spot of all the
glade? One must suffer before
he can comfort. The oak had
suffered, somewhere. We do not
know all things. But over this
spot the great tree reached out
sheltering hands, and certainly
from its hands dropped benedic-
tions plenteously down.
Under the arm of the oak I
saw a tiny house of white-neat,
well-ordered, full of cheerfulness.
Through the wall of canvas-for
it now seemed to be after dusk-
there shone a faint pink gleam
of light, the soul of the white
house, its pure spirit of
content. As it shone, it scarce


seemed lit by mortal hand.
Near the small house of white,
and under the oak's protecting
arm, there burned a little flame,
of small compass save in the vast
S shadows it set dancing among
the trees. Those who built this
fire here, so many times, so many
years, each time first craved
S pardon of the green grass of that
happy glade, for they would not
harm the grass. But the grass
said yea to all they asked, this
was sure, for each year the tiny
hearth spot was greener than any
other spot, because it remembered
what the fire had said and done.
And each year the oak dropped
down food enough for the little
fire. The oak took pay in the
vast shadows the fire made for it.
That was the way the oak saw
the spirits of the Past, and when
it saw them it sighed; but still
it welcomed the shadows of the
Past. So the fire, and the grass,
and the oak, and the.shadows of
the Past were friends, and each


year they met here. It had been
thus for many years. Each year,
for many years, the same hand
had lit the little fire, in the same
place, and so given back to the
oak its Past. Now, the Past is a
very sad but tender thing.
Near by the little fire I saw a
small table formed of straight-
laid boughs, and at either side of
this were seats made cunningly
in the workshop of the woods.
There were two forms at this
small table. I saw them both.
One was gray and bowed some-
what, stooped as the oaks are,
silvered as the oaks are in the
winter days. The other was
younger and more erect. Once
the younger looked to the
older for counsel, but now it
seemed to me the bowed figure
turned to the one that had
become more strong.
I saw the savory vapors rise.
Even, it seemed to me, I could
note a faint, clear odor of innocent
potency. I saw the table laid,



not with gleam of snow and
silver, but with plain vessels
which, nevertheless, seemed now
to have a radiance of their own.
I knew all this. It was as
though there actually lay at hand
these pleasant scenes, as though
there actually arose the appeal-
ing fragrance of the evening meal.
Now as I looked, the gray
figure bowed its head, there,
under the arm of the oak, and
asked on the humble board the
blessing of the God who made
the oak, and gave the fire and
spread the pleasant waters on the
land. Every meal-time, every
year, for many years, it had been
thus. Ever, the oak knew, the
gray figure would first bow and
ask the blessing of God. And
each time at the close the oak
with rustling leaves pronounced
distinct Amen! Let those jest
who will. I do not know. I
think perhaps the oak knows, or
S it would not thus for years have
whispered reverently its distinct


Amen! I will not scoff. It is
perhaps we who are ignorant.
We do not know all things.
I ask not what nor who these
two were who had come each
year to this place of the oaks, but
surely they were friends. In
shadow, I could hear them talk.
In shadow, I could see them
These friends sat by the little
fire a time before they went to rest
in the tiny house of white. After
they had gone, the fire did
strange things. All men know
that, though you see the fire
burned down, when you go into
the tent you will some time in the
night see the walls lit up by a
sudden flash or so, now and then,
from the fire which was thought
to be dead. That is the business
of the fire, and of the oaks and of
the shadows. I know that the
shadows dance strangely, and
hover and come near at hand, in
those late hours of the night; but
what then occurs I do not know.


These two friends never
questioned this. They knew it
was the secret of the night, and
gave the oak its own request, in
pay for its protection and consent.
They gave the oak its union with
the sacred Past.
In the night I have heard the
.1 oak sob. Yet in the morning,
when the sun was silvering the
Wake of all the leaping fishes, the
oak was always gentle, and it
S said, ''Wake, wake God is wise.
Waken, waken God is good."

As pure shining beads upon a
thread of gold I saw this small,
dear picture, reiterant and
unchanged, year after year,
always with the same calm and
pure surroundings. Only as year
added itself to year, slipping
forward on the golden string, I
saw the gray figure grow more
gray, more bowed, more feeble.
Alas! it seemed to me I saw the
silver coming upon the head of
the younger man, and his eyes


grew weary, as one who looks at
the earth too closely (which it is
not wise to do). Yet the years
came, to the oaks and to the
grasses and to the friends.
The grass dies every year, but
it is born again. The oak dies in
centuries, but it is born again.
Man dies in three score years and
ten, but he, too, is born again.
As I looked, I could see the
passing of the years. In all but
the unaltering fire of friendship I
could see change creeping on.
Grayer, grayer, more bent, more
feeble is it not so, Singing
Mouse? And now, this time,
what was this gentle warning
that the oak tried to whisper
softly down ? Perhaps the grayer
friend heard it, as he sat musing
by the fire. He rose and looked
about him, as one who had
dreamed and was content. He
looked up at the solemn stars
unafraid, and so murmured to
himself. Day unto day uttereth
speech," he said; "Night unto


night showeth kno w ledge."
Day unto day, Singing Mouse.
Day unto day.

Woe is me, Singing Mouse,
and these are bitter tears for that
which you have shown! I see it
all again, the oaks, the glade, the
tiny house of white, the small
pleasant fire. Here again is the
little table, and here is the
evening meal.. The table is still
spread for two. A double portion
is served as was wont before. Yet
why ? For all is not the same.
At this table there is but one form
now. The younger man is there,
although now he has grown gray
and stooped. Year unto year,
day unto day, the beads have
slipped along the string. Once
young, now old, he keeps the
camp alone!
But is he then alone? Hush !
The squirrels have grown still, and
even the oak is silent. What is
that opposite, across the table, at
the seat long years held only by


the elder of these two ? Tell me,
Singing Mouse, is it not true that
I see there, sitting as of old at the
table, the same sturdy form, the
same simple, innocent and
believing face? It is the gray
ghost of one grown gray in good-
ness. It is the shadow of a
shadow, the apparition of a soul!
The one at the table pauses, as
was the wont before the beginning
of a meal. He looks across the
table to the shadow, as if the
shadow were his friend. The
shadow bows its head. The liv-
ing man bows also his head at
the board. The shadow moves
its lips. Doubt not those words
are heard this day.
See, the sun rises through the
trees. The glorious day sets on
once more. Doubt not, fear not,
sorrow not, ye two. Bow the -
head still, ye two, and let not my
picture perish. Whisper again
the benediction of the years, and


let me hear once more the
murmur of the oak's Amen!

C s^

The Birth of
the Hours.



"DO you know the story of the
wedding of the times ? said
the Singing Mouse. You know
all life is a wedding. The flowers
love, and the grasses, and the
trees; and the circle of the
wedding ring is the circle of life
and the sign of eternity. Death
and life, not life and then death,
is the order and the law.
"'The hours are born of parents,
as are the flowers. The hours of
the day are born of the wedding
of Night and Morning. It is the
way of Life. Come with me."
So with the Singing Mouse I
went into a place where I was once
long before. I could see it very
well. It was in the deep woods,
far away. Near by there were
tall, sweet grasses. I could hear
the faint tinkle of a falling stream.
Other than that, it was silent in
the deep woods. Overhead the
sky was clear and filled with
stars. The stars trembled and


twinkled and shone radiantly fair.
So now all at once I knew they
were the jewels on the veil of
Night. And the far shadows
were the drapery of the Night,
and the greater light of the
heavens was the star upon her
When I first looked forth, the
Night was a babe, but as I gazed
it grew. The Night is full of
change and charm. Those who
live within the walls do not see
these things. When I saw them,
I could not sleep, for the Night
in all her changes seemed to
The Night.grew older, drawing
about her more ornate garb of
witchery. Across her bosom fell
a wondrous tissue, trembling
with exuberance of unprismed
light. These were the gems in
thousands of the skies, all fair
against the blackness of the robes
of Night, and I knew that the
blackness of the one was lovely
as the radiance of the other. Nor


could one separate one from the
other, for there arose a thin mist
of light, so that one saw form or ,
features only dimly, as through a .
cloth of silver lace, such as the
spiders weave upon a morning.
The Night grew on, changing
at every moment, for change is
the law. There were small
frowns of clouds which were
replaced by smiles of light.
Did never you hear the laughter
of the Night? It is a strange
thing. Not all men have heard
it. The Singing Mouse told me
of this.
Now as I lay and -looked at
this glorious apparition, there
came still another change, and
one most wonderful. In the
heart of the Night there came a
tremulous exultation. Upon the
face of the Night appeared a
roseate tinge of joyous perturba-
tion. So then I knew the lover
of the Night was coming, and
knew, too, whence we have derived
the signs of love as among


human beings we see it indicated.
I saw the flush upon the cheek
of Night flame slow and faintly
up, until it touched her very
forehead. This is the way of
Love. But the Night went on,
for this is the way of Life. Love
and Life, these are ever and
forever. We mock at them and
understand them not, but they
are ever and forever.
And now the Night, I know
not whether startled or in plan,
whether ashamed of her dark
garb, or unconscious of it in the
proud sureness of her beauty,
dropped loose a portion of the
shadows of her robe, and stood
forth radiant, clad with the
dazzling beauty of her stars.
Then she raised her hand and
laid it on her heart.
And so the Morning came and
took her in his arms and kissed
her on the brow. So here was
Love again. And of this wedding
there were born the hours.


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