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pocket, "I beg pardon, but it was full of rubbish. Oh, yes! I'm fond
of Keats. Don't you know him?"
"I used to read him a good deal, but Uncle found me crying over
the 'Pot of Basil' and advised me to read less poetry for a while or I
should get too sentimental," answered Rose, turning the pages
without seeing them, for a new idea had just popped into her head.
"'The Eve of St. Agnes' is the most perfect love story in the world,
I think," said Mac, enthusiastically.
"Read it to me. I feel just like hearing poetry, and you will do it
justice if you are fond of it," said Rose, handing him the book with
an innocent air.
"Nothing I'd like better, but it is rather long."
"I'll tell you to stop if I get tired. Baby won't interrupt; she will be
contented for an hour with those pretty things."
As if well pleased with his task, Mac laid himself comfortably on
the grass and, leaning his head on his hand, read the lovely story as
only one could who entered fully into the spirit of it. Rose watched
him closely and saw how his face brightened over some quaint
fancy, delicate description, or delicious word; heard how smoothly
the melodious measures fell from his lips, and read something
more than admiration in his eyes as he looked up now and then to
mark if she enjoyed it as much as he.
She could not help enjoying it, for the poet's pen painted as well as
wrote, and the little romance lived before her, but she was not
thinking of John Keats as she listened; she was wondering if this
cousin was a kindred spirit, born to make such music and leave as
sweet an echo behind him. It seemed as if it might be; and, after
going through the rough caterpillar and the pent-up chrysalis
changes, the beautiful butterfly would appear to astonish and
delight them all. So full of this fancy was she that she never
thanked him when the story ended but, leaning forward, asked in a
tone that made him start and look as if he had fallen from the
clouds: "Mac, do you ever write poetry?"
"What do you call the song Phebe sang with her bird chorus?"
"That was nothing till she put the music to it. But she promised not
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