Only last night, he had watched it, dancing and flickering just as it did now, and never once suspected the truth! Mailed figures! Yes, plenty of them, golden-helmeted and sworded like the seraphim!
"Why," said Toddie, "Bliaff was a brate bid man, an' Dave was brate little man, an' Bliaff said, 'Come over here'n an' I'll eat you up, an' Dave said, 'I ain't fyaid of you. So Dave put five little stones in a sling an' asked de Lord to help him, an' let ze sling go bang into bequeen Bliaff's eyes an' knocked him down dead, an' Dave took Bliaff's sword an' sworded Bliaff's head off, an' made it all bluggy, an' Bliaff runned away."
Many wonders might one tell of that hightide, and rightly Siegmund and Sieglind won glory from the gifts of their hand, by reason whereof a multitude rode into the land. To four hundred sworded knights and to Siegfried was given rich apparel. Full many a fair damsel ceased not from working with her needle for his sake.
Cold and sharp last night clear and not much wind the full moon shining, and a fine spread of constellations and little and big stars Sirius very bright, rising early, preceded by many-orb'd Orion, glittering, vast, sworded, and chasing with his dog. The earth hard frozen, and a stiff glare of ice over the pond.
When this was done, all four were seen to stand joyful 'neath their crowns. Many young squires, six hundred or better, were now girt with sword in honor of the kings, as ye must know. Great joy rose then in the Burgundian land; one heard spear-shafts clashing in the hands of the sworded knights. There at the windows the fair maids sat; they saw shining afore them the gleam of many a shield.
High dignitaries, princes of the blood, sworded nobles, pale priests, weather-tanned officers of high command, court ladies with faces exposed, painted ki-sang or dancing girls who rested from entertaining, and duennas, waiting women, eunuchs, lackeys, and palace slaves a myriad of them. All fell away from us, however, when the Emperor, with a following of intimates, advanced to look us over.
Do the three graceful figures of a basrelief which exists at Naples and in the Villa Albani, represent Orpheus, Hermes, and Eurydice, or Antiope and her two sons? Was the winged and sworded genius upon the Ephesus column meant for a genius of Death or a genius of Love?
When Colonel Gray, a military adventurer of that day, just returned from Germany, seemed vain of his accoutrements, on which he had spent his all, the king, staring at this buckled, belted, sworded, and pistolled, but ruined, martinet, observed, that "this town was so well fortified, that, were it victualled, it might be impregnable."
The power and vitality of faith are not measured by the comprehensiveness and clearness of belief. The richest soil may bear shrunken and barren ears; and on the arid sand, with the thinnest layer of earth, gorgeous cacti may bloom out, and fleshy aloes lift their sworded arms, with stores of moisture to help them through the heat.
A very different humanity indeed from those who have come to walk the earth with humility, who are afraid of heaven and its rulers, and whose dread is the greatest of all sins, for in it is a denial of their own divinity. Surely the sight heroes is more welcome to the King, in whose heaven are sworded seraphim, than the bowed knees and the spirits who make themselves as worms in His sight.
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