agamemnon la saisiaz and dramatic idyls

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: HALBERT AND HOB. Here is a thing that happened. Like wild beasts whelped, for den, In a wild part of North England, there lived once two wild men Inhabiting one homestead, neither a hovel nor hut, Time out of mind their birthright: father and son, these — but — Such a son, such a father! Most wildness by degrees Softens away: yet, last of their line, the wildest and worst were these. Criminals, then ? Why, no : they did not murder and rob; But, give them a word, they returned a blow — old Halbert as young Hob : Harsh and fierce of word, rough and savage of deed, Hated or feared the more — who knows ? — the genuine wild-beast breed. Thus were they found by the few sparse folk of the country-side ; But how fared each with other ? E'en beasts couch, hide by hide, In a growling, grudged agreement: so, father and son lay curled The closelier up in their den because the last of their kind in the world. Still, beast irks beast on occasion. One Christmas night of snow, Came father and son to words — such words ! more cruel because the blow To crown each word was wanting, while taunt matched gibe, and curse Competed with oath in wager, like pastime in hell, — nay, worse : For pastime turned to earnest, as up there sprang at last The son at the throat of the father, seized him and held him fast. " Out of this house you go ! " — (there followed a hideous oath) — " This oven where now we bake, too hot to hold us both! If there's snow outside, there's coolness: out with you, bide a spell In the drift and save the sexton the charge of a parish shell!" Now, the old trunk was tough, was solid as stump of oak Untouched at the core by a thousand years: much less had its seventy broke One whipcord nerve in the ...
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