The Last Arrow

There came a boy,
Full quiver on his back—
Tapped at my door ajar.

“No, no, my child,” said I,
“I nothing lack;
And see!—the evening star!”

Finger on string,
His dangerous eyes
Gazed boldly into mine:

“Know thou my mother
An Immortal is!
Guard thee, and hope resign!”

“But patience,” I pleaded,
Pointing to a shelf,
Where rusting arrows lay.

“All these, times gone,
You squandered on myself,
Why come—so late, to-day?”

These words scarce uttered,
I discerned a Shade
Shadow till then had hid;

Clang went that bowstring,
And past wit to evade,
Into my bosom slid

His final dart.
He shook his rascal head,
Its curls by the lamp-shine gilt:

“Thank thou the Gods!
Here's One, I vow,” he said,
“Not even thee shall jilt.”
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