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A May Evening

Library of Alexandria
THERE were sounds of merriment in the village, and a chorus of song murmured, stream-like, through its single street. It was the hour when lads and lasses, after their hard day’s work, meet in the mellow gloaming to express their feelings in melodies which, though glad, are never without a strain of sadness. The pensive eventide was dreamily embracing the blue heaven, and transforming every visible object into something vague, shadowy, and ghost-like. The brooding gloom settled into night, and still the stream of song flowed on without surcease. Guitar in hand, the eldest son of the village headman steals away from his comrades, and makes toward a house that is half hidden by a screen of pink-blossomed cherry-trees. As he walks, the young Cossack strikes a few notes on the instrument, and steps a measure to his own music.