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OPPORTUNITY

This I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream:
There spread a cloud of dust along a plain;
And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged

A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords
Shocked upon swords and shields A prince's banner
Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes.
A craven hung along the battle's edge,

And thought, "Had I a sword of keener steel —
That blue blade that the King's son bears - but this
Blunt thing!" he snapt and flung it from his hand,
And lowering crept away and left the field.

Then came the King's son, wounded, sore bestead,
And weaponless, and saw the broken sword,
Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,
And ran and snatched it; and with battle-shout
Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down,
And saved a great cause that heroic day.

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SINDBAD'S FIRST VOYAGE

My father left me a large amount of money, the better part of which I spent freely during my youth. Having perceived my error and that I had managed ill, I took advice with such as were able to give it to me.

Resolved to improve my condition, I went to Balsora, a port on the Persian gulf, and embarked with several merchants on board a ship which we had jointly fitted up.

We set sail and steered our course toward the East Indies. At first I was troubled with seasickness, but speedily recovered my health, and was not afterwards bothered with that distress

ing disease. In our voyage we touched on several islands, where we sold or exchanged our goods.

One day, whilst under sail, we were becalmed near a little island which was almost even with the surface of the water, and resembled a green

meadow. The captain ordered the sails to be furled, and permitted such persons, as had a mind, to land upon the island, amongst whom I was one. But while we were diverting ourselves with eating and drinking, and recovering ourselves from the fatigue of the sea, the island on a sudden trembled, and shook us terribly.

On board the ship they perceived the trembling of the island, and called us to re-embark speedily, or we should be all lost; for what we had taken for an island was only the back of a whale. The nimblest got into the sloop. Others betook themselves to swimming. For my part,

I was still upon the back of the whale when he dived into the sea, and had time only to catch hold of a piece of wood that we had brought out of the ship to make a fire.

Meanwhile the captain having received those on board who were in the sloop, and having taken up some of those that swam, resolved to take advantage of a favorable wind that had just risen. He hoisted sail and pursued his voyage,

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I HAD TIME ONLY TO CATCH HOLD OF A PIECE OF WOOD THAT WE HAD BROUGHT OUT OF THE SHIP TO MAKE A FIRE

so that it was impossible for me to regain the ship.

Thus was I exposed to the mercy of the waves. All the rest of the day and the following night I struggled for my life. The next morning I found my strength gone, and despaired of saving my life, when happily a wave threw me against an island, near Ceylon. The bank was high and rugged, so that I scarcely could have got up had it not been for some roots of trees which fortune seemed to have preserved in this place for my safety.

.

Being got up I lay down upon the ground half dead until the sun appeared. Then, though I was very feeble both by reason of my hard labor and my want of food, I crept along to seek some herbs fit to eat. With good luck I found not

only some herbs

but also a spring of excellent water which did much to restore me.

After this I advanced farther into the island, and came at last into a fine plain, where I perceived a horse feeding at a great distance. I

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