The poet having praised the hero of Lexington, at the expense of the old knight who went

Clinking about in foreign lands
With iron gauntlets on his hands,
And on his head an iron pot,

the student,

to appease The landlord's wrath, the others' fears,


A tale of the Decameron, told
In Palmieri's garden old,
By Fiametta, laurel.crowned,
While her companions lay around,

called the The Falcon of Ser Federigo', Ser Federigo lavished his wealth in wooing one who wed his rival, when, withdrawing to a small farm, the last of his domain, he spent his time in raising wine and fruit.

His only forester and only guest
His falcon, faithful to him, when the rest,
Whose willing hands had found so light of yore
The brazen knocker of his palace door,
Had now no strength to lift the wooden latch,

That entrance gave beneath a roof of thatch. One day the son of her he loved, now a widow, comes to see his falcon, and fancies it so much that he falls sick of desire to possess it, and is likely to die. To gratify his desire to possess the falcon, Monna Giovanna visits the recluse.

They found Ser Federigo at his toil,
Like banished Adam delving in the soil ;
And when he looked and these fair women spied,
The garden suddenly was glorified;
His long-lost Eden was restored again,
And the strange river winding through the plain
No longer was the Arno to his eyes,
But the Euphrates watering Paradise !

Ser Federigo kills the falcon to furnish a breakfast for his guests, at the close of which the lady prefers with many apologies her request, and learns the truth. Three days later the chapel-bell tolled the death of the child of grief.

Three months by; and lo! a merrier chime
Rang from the chapel-bells at Christmas-time;
The cottage was deserted, and no more
Ser Federigo sat beside its door,

But now with servitors to do his will,
In the grand villa, half-way up the hill,
Sat at the Christmas feast, and at his side
Monna Giovanna, his beloved bride,
Never so beautiful, so kind, so fair,
Enthroned once more in the old rustic chair,
High-perched upon the back of which there stood
The image of a falcon carved in wood,
And underneath the inscription, with a date,

All things come round to him who will but wait.” Next comes “The Legend of Rabbi Ben Levi', the tale of the Spanish Jew, a man

Well versed in Hebrew books,
Talmud and Targum, and the lore
Of Kabala.

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Then the Sicilian,

Clean shaven as a priest
Who at the mass on Sunday sings,
Save that upon his upper lip
His beard, a good palm's length at least,
Level and pointed at the tip,

Shot sideways, like a swallow's wings, tells the story of King Robert, of Sicily', the subject being the Scripture sentence : * Deposuit potentes de sede, et exaltavit humiles.' This the king denies, is taught its truth by a bitter experience, acknowledges his error, and is reïnstated in his kingdom by the angel who has acted in the king's place, thus :

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He beckoued to King Robert to draw nigher,
And with a gesture bade the rest retire ;
And when they were alone, the Angel said,
“Art thou the king ?” Then bowing down his head,
King Robert crossed both hands upon his breast,
And meekly answered him: “Thou knowest best!
My sins as scarlet are ; let me go hence,
And in some cloister's school of penitence,
Across those stones, that pave the way to heaven,
Walk barefoot, till my guilty soul is shriven!”
The Angel smiled, and from his radiant face
A holy light illumined all the place,
And through the open window, loud and clear,
They heard the monks chant in the chapel near,
Above the stir and tumult of the street, -
“He has put down the mighty from their seat,
And has exalted them of low degree !”
And through the chant a second melody

Rose like the throbbing of a single string,—
“I am an Angel, and thou art the King!”

Then the musician, “the blue-eyed Norseman'at whose playing

The wood-fire clapped its hands of flame, told his tale, The Saga of King Olaf'. It is the longest and most perfect story of the book, a fantastic grouping of old Scandinavian legends. The god Thor defies Christ,


And King Olaf heard the cry,
Saw the red light in the sky,

Laid his hand upon his sword,
As he leaned upon the railing,
And his sbips went sailing, sailing

Northward into Drontheim Fiord.

There he stood as one who dreamed;
And the red light glanced and gleamed

On the armor that he wore;
And he shouted, as the rifted
Streamers o'er him shook and shifted,

“I accept thy challenge, Thor!”

Having slain Iron-Beard,

King Olaf from the doorway spoke:

“Choose ye between two things my folk, To be baptized or given up to slaughter."

And seeing their leader stark and dead,

The people with a murmur said,
“O King, baptize us with thy holy water!”

So all the Drontheim land became

A Christian land in name and fame,
In the old gods no more believing and trusting.

Then he conquers Raud the Strong:
Then King Olaf said: “O Sea-King! Sharp his tooth was as an arrow,
Little time have we for speaking, As he gnawed through bone and marrow;
Choose between the good and evil; But without a groan or shudder,

Be baptized, or thou shalt die ! ” Raud the Strong blaspheming died. But in scorn the heathen scoffer Then baptized they all that region, Answered: “I disdain thine offer; Swarthy Lap and fair Norwegian, Neither fear I God nor Devil;

Far as swims the salmon, leaping, Thee and thy Gospel I defy!”

Up the streams of Salten Fiord.

Then between his jaws distended,
When his frantic struggles ended,
Through King Olaf's horn an adder,

Touched by fire, they forced to glide.
Next he builds a ship:

In their temples Thor and Odin
Lay in dust and ashes trodden,
As King Olaf, onward sweeping,

Preached the Gospel with his sword.

She was the grandest of all vessels,
Never ship was built in Norway

Half so fine as she !
The Long Serpent was she christened,

'Mid the roar of cheer on cheer!

Then he marries Thyri, and to avenge an insult to her,

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Something worse they did than that ;

And what vexed him most of all
Was a figure in shovel-hat,
Drawn in charcoal on the wall;

With words that go

Sprawling below, “This is Thangbrand, Olaf's priest.”

Hardly knowing what he did,

Then he smote them might and main,
Thorvald Veile and Veterlid
Lay there in the alehouse slain.

“To-day we are gold,

To-morrow mould !” Muttered Thangbrand, Olaf's priest.

Much in fear of ax and rope,

Back to Norway sailed he then,
“O King Olaf! little hope
Is there of these Iceland men ! "

Meekly said,

With bending head,
Pious Thangbrand, Olaf's priest.

Olaf at last is vanquished in a sea-fight, and leaps into the sea. And

There is told a wonderful tale,
How the king stripped off his mail,
Like leaves of the brown sea-kale

As he swam beneath the main ;
But the young grew old and gray,
And never, by night or by day,
In his kingdom of Norway

Was King Olaf seen again!

Then the nun of Nidaros in her chamber hears the moral of the Saga from the lips of Saint John the beloved :

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