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content to sing for me alone, with no reward but love."
"I am so glad to make a little sacrifice for a great happiness I never
shall regret it or think my music lost if it makes home cheerful for
my mate. Birds sing sweetest in their own nests, you know." And
Phebe bent toward him with a look and gesture which plainly
showed how willingly she offered up all ambitious hopes upon the
altar of a woman's happy love.
Both seemed to forget that they were not alone, and in a moment
they were, for a sudden impulse carried Rose to the door of her
sanctum, as if the south wind which seemed to have set in was
wafting this little ship also toward the Islands of the Blessed,
where the others were safely anchored now.
The room was a blaze of sunshine and a bower of spring freshness
and fragrance, for here Rose had let her fancy have free play, and
each garland, fern, and flower had its meaning. Mac seemed to
have been reading this sweet language of symbols, to have guessed
why Charlie's little picture was framed in white roses, why pansies
hung about his own, why Psyche was half hidden among feathery
sprays of maidenhair, and a purple passion flower lay at Cupid's
feet. The last fancy evidently pleased him, for he was smiling over
it, and humming to himself as if to beguile his patient waiting, the
burden of the air Rose had so often sung to him:
"Bonny lassie, will ye gang, will ye gang
To the birks of Aberfeldie?"
"Yes, Mac, anywhere!"
He had not heard her enter, and wheeling around, looked at her
with a radiant face as he said, drawing a long breath, "At last! You
were so busy over the dear man, I got no word. But I can wait I'm
used to it."
Rose stood quite still, surveying him with a new sort of reverence
in her eyes, as she answered with a sweet solemnity that made him
laugh and redden with the sensitive joy of one to whom praise
from her lips was very precious: "You forget that you are not the
Mac who went away. I should have run to meet my cousin, but I
did not dare to be familiar with the poet whom all begin to honor."
"You like the mixture, then? You know I said I'd try to give you
love and poetry together."
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