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[28] And when she reads some merrier song,
     Her voice is glad as an April bird's,
And when the tale is of war and wrong,
     A trumpet's summons is in her words,
And the rush of the hosts I seem to hear,
     And see the tossing of plume and spear!

Oh, pity me then, when, day by day,
     The stout fiend darkens my parlor door;
And reads me perchance the self-same lay
     Which melted in music, the night before,
From lips as the lips of Hylas sweet,
     And moved like twin roses which zephyrs meet!

I cross my floor with a nervous tread,
     I whistle and laugh and sing and shout,
I flourish my cane above his head,
     And stir up the fire to roast him out;
I topple the chairs, and drum on the pane,
     And press my hands on my ears, in vain!

I've studied Glanville and James the wise,
     And wizard black-letter tomes which treat
Of demons of every name and size
     Which a Christian man is presumed to meet,
But never a hint and never a line.
     Can I find of a reading fiend like mine.

I've crossed the Psalter with Brady and Tate,
     And laid the Primer above them all,
I've nailed a horseshoe over the grate,
     And hung a wig to my parlor wall
Once worn by a learned Judge, they say,
     At Salem court in the witchcraft day!

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