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 MOTTO FOR THE MOTHER The child must listen well if he would hear.
—Blow's Commentaries.
Once, long, long ago, there lived in a country over the sea a king called René, who married a lovely princess whose name was Imogen.
Imogen came across the seas to the king's beautiful country, and all his people welcomed her with great joy because the king loved her.
"What can I do to please thee to-day?" the king asked her every morning; and one day the queen answered that she would like to hear all the minstrels in the king's country, for they were said to be the finest in the world.
As soon as the king heard this, he called his and sent them everywhere through his land to sound their and call aloud:—
"Hear, ye minstrels! King René, our gracious king, bids ye come to play at his court on May-day, for love of the Queen Imogen."
The minstrels were men who sang beautiful songs and played on ; and long ago they went about from place to place, from castle to castle, from palace to cot, and were always sure of a welcome wherever they roamed.
They could sing of the brave deeds that the had done, and of wars and battles, and could tell of the hunters who hunted in the great forests, and of fairies and goblins, better than a story book; and because there were no story books in those days, everybody, from little children to the king, was glad to see them come.
So when the minstrels heard the king's message, they made haste to the palace on May-day; and it so happened that some of them met on the way and to travel together.
One of these minstrels was a young man named Harmonius; and while the others talked of the songs that they would sing, he gathered the wild flowers that grew by the roadside.
"I can sing of the drums and battles," said the oldest minstrel, whose hair was white and whose step was slow.
"I can sing of ladies and their fair faces," said the youngest minstrel; but Harmonius whispered: "Listen! listen!"
"Oh! we hear nothing but the wind in the tree-tops," said the others. "We have no time to stop and listen."
Then they hurried on and left Harmonius; and he stood under the trees and listened, for he heard something very sweet. At last he knew that it was the wind singing of its travels through the wide world; telling how it raced over the blue sea, tossing the waves and rocking the white ships, and hurried on to the hills, where the trees made harps of their branches, and then how it blew down into the valleys, where all the flowers danced gayly in time to the .
Harmonius could understand every word:—
"Nobody follows me where I go,
Over the mountains or valleys below;
Nobody sees where the wild winds blow,
Only the Father in Heaven can know."
That was the chorus of the wind's song. Harmonius listened until he knew the whole song from beginning to end; and then he ran on and soon reached his friends, who were still talking of the grand sights that they were to see.
"We shall see the king and speak to him," said the oldest minstrel.
"And his golden crown and the queen's jewels," added the youngest; and Harmonius had no chance to tell of the wind's song, although he thought about it time and again.
Now their path led them through the wood; and as they talked, Harmonius said:............
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