a bachelors story

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: 11. AFTER Maggie and Ike had gone, I stood by the window, looking at the moon rising behind the forest—the ravaged forest that lifted its torn trunks, bereft of their summer offspring, mutely and pitifully to heaven. The moon was dungeoned by clouds, but gleamed through open bars, and its vast red disc seemed to set all the forest ablaze. In the morning there was a wind, nnd I walked forth, ushered by troops of leaves, that rushed before me and danced in my path as if I were a monareh ; some came clamoring, jostling, and eager behind me, like swarms of hungry place- seekers. But at night the wind was hushed, and upon the meadows, the garden walks, the roads, the dead leaves lay ghostly still. There was a hush everywhere. The moon came mutely up, the trees silently darkened themselves against its light, the shadows crept like ghosts, the roads lay white as grave-stones. So melancholy and cl path-like wnethe scene that I dropped the curtain, ami stepping stealthily back to my chair, wheeled it before the fire, Bhtmlrarofuly droning in the iull-moulhcd grille. Down amid the red labyrinths of burning coals, I see visions and dreams always—and at midnight hours how many, many a castle have I built out of the ashes and embers of my lonely hearth I For I am a bachelor ruminant. Whatever I may have been in the hey-day of youth, my life, since its decline into the sere and yellow leaf, has been one of lonely reverie—an anchorite's seclusion, in which philosophy and rumination have compounded the elements of a curious melancholy. Just frosted, just struck into parti-colored white and grey, with November wrinkles upon my temples and Indian haze in my eyes, my life wanes into autumn mellowness—all the colors, tones and tints, the reminiscences merely of a blooming summer past. The...
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