“But, after all, trade is the great moving-spring of national prosperity,–and it would hardly be fair to refuse seats to the very men who help to keep the country going.”
“I do not see that,” said Thelma gravely,–“if those men are ignorant, why should they have a share in so important a thing as Government? They may know all about beer, and wool, and iron,–but perhaps they can only judge what is good for themselves, not what is best for the whole country, with all its rich and poor. I do think that only the wisest scholars and most intelligent persons should be allowed to help in the ruling of a great nation.”
“But the people choose their own rulers,” remarked Errington reflectively.
“Ah, the poor people!” sighed Thelma. They know so very little,–and they are taught so badly! I think they never do quite understand what they do want,–they are the same in all histories,–like little children, they get bewildered and frightened in any trouble, and the wisest heads are needed to think for them. It is, indeed, most cruel to make them puzzle out all difficulty for themselves!”
It was, for him, one of those sudden halts in life which we all experience,–an instant,–when time and the world seem to stand still, as though to permit us easy breathing; a brief space,–in which we are allowed to stop and wonder awhile at the strange unaccountable force within us, that enables us to stand with such calm, smiling audacity, on our small pin’s point of the present, between the wide dark gaps of past and future; a small hush,–in which the gigantic engines of the universe appear to revolve no more, and the immortal Soul of man itself is subjected and over-ruled by supreme and eternal Thought.
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
I know not if there is a reason
Why I am so sad at heart.
A legend of bygone ages
Haunts me and will not depart.
The air is cool under nightfall.
The calm Rhine courses its way.
The peak of the mountain is sparkling
With evening’s final ray.
The fairest of maidens is sitting
So marvelous up there,
Her golden jewels are shining,
She’s combing her golden hair.
She combs with a comb also golden,
And sings a song as well
Whose melody binds a wondrous
And overpowering spell.
In his little boat, the boatman
Is seized with a savage woe,
He’d rather look up at the mountain
Than down at the rocks below.
I think that the waves will devour
The boatman and boat as one;
And this by her song’s sheer power
Fair Lorelei has done.