Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Part 30 out of 32

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 3.0 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

The countless gifts, the stately walls,
The loyal palaces, and halls
All filled with gold;
Plate with armorial bearings wrought,
Chambers with ample treasures fraught
Of wealth untold;

The noble steeds, and harness bright,
And gallant lord, and stalwart knight,
In rich array,
Where shall we seek them now? Alas!
Like the bright dewdrops on the grass,
They passed away.

His brother, too, whose factious zeal
Usurped the sceptre of Castile,
Unskilled to reign;
What a gay, brilliant court had he,
When all the flower of chivalry
Was in his train!

But he was mortal; and the breath,
That flamed from the hot forge of Death,
Blasted his years;
Judgment of God! that flame by thee,
When raging fierce and fearfully,
Was quenched in tears!

Spain's haughty Constable, the true
And gallant Master, whom we knew
Most loved of all;
Breathe not a whisper of his pride,
He on the gloomy scaffold died,
Ignoble fall!

The countless treasures of his care,
His villages and villas fair,
His mighty power,
What were they all but grief and shame,
Tears and a broken heart, when came
The parting hour?

His other brothers, proud and high,
Masters, who, in prosperity,
Might rival kings;
Who made the bravest and the best
The bondsmen of their high behest,
Their underlings;

What was their prosperous estate,
When high exalted and elate
With power and pride?
What, but a transient gleam of light,
A flame, which, glaring at its height,
Grew dim and died?

So many a duke of royal name,
Marquis and count of spotless fame,
And baron brave,
That might the sword of empire wield,
All these, O Death, hast thou concealed
In the dark grave!

Their deeds of mercy and of arms,
In peaceful days, or war's alarms,
When thou dost show.
O Death, thy stern and angry face,
One stroke of thy all-powerful mace
Can overthrow.

Unnumbered hosts, that threaten nigh,
Pennon and standard flaunting high,
And flag displayed;
High battlements intrenched around,
Bastion, and moated wall, and mound,
And palisade,

And covered trench, secure and deep,
All these cannot one victim keep,
O Death, from thee,
When thou dost battle in thy wrath,
And thy strong shafts pursue their path

O World! so few the years we live,
Would that the life which thou dost give
Were life indeed!
Alas! thy sorrows fall so fast,
Our happiest hour is when at last
The soul is freed.

Our days are covered o'er with grief,
And sorrows neither few nor brief
Veil all in gloom;
Left desolate of real good,
Within this cheerless solitude
No pleasures bloom.

Thy pilgrimage begins in tears,
And ends in bitter doubts and fears,
Or dark despair;
Midway so many toils appear,
That he who lingers longest here
Knows most of care.

Thy goods are bought with many a groan,
By the hot sweat of toil alone,
And weary hearts;
Fleet-footed is the approach of woe,
But with a lingering step and slow
Its form departs.

And he, the good man's shield and shade,
To whom all hearts their homage paid,
As Virtue's son,
Roderic Manrique, he whose name
Is written on the scroll of Fame,
Spain's champion;

His signal deeds and prowess high
Demand no pompous eulogy.
Ye saw his deeds!
Why should their praise in verse be sung?
The name, that dwells on every tongue,
No minstrel needs.

To friends a friend; how kind to all
The vassals of this ancient hall
And feudal fief!
To foes how stern a foe was he!
And to the valiant and the free
How brave a chief!

What prudence with the old and wise:
What grace in youthful gayeties;
In all how sage!
Benignant to the serf and slave,
He showed the base and falsely brave
A lion's rage.

His was Octavian's prosperous star,
The rush of Caesar's conquering car
At battle's call;
His, Scipio's virtue; his, the skill
And the indomitable will
Of Hannibal.

His was a Trajan's goodness, his
A Titus' noble charities
And righteous laws;
The arm of Hector, and the might
Of Tully, to maintain the right
In truth's just cause;

The clemency of Antonine,
Aurelius' countenance divine,
Firm, gentle, still;
The eloquence of Adrian,
And Theodosius' love to man,
And generous will;

In tented field and bloody fray,
An Alexander's vigorous sway
And stern command;
The faith of Constantine; ay, more,
The fervent love Camillus bore
His native land.

He left no well-filled treasury,
He heaped no pile of riches high,
Nor massive plate;
He fought the Moors, and, in their fall,
City and tower and castled wall
Were his estate.

Upon the hard-fought battle-ground,
Brave steeds and gallant riders found
A common grave;
And there the warrior's hand did gain
The rents, and the long vassal train,
That conquest gave.

And if, of old, his halls displayed
The honored and exalted grade
His worth had gained,
So, in the dark, disastrous hour,
Brothers and bondsmen of his power
His hand sustained.

After high deeds, not left untold,
In the stern warfare, which of old
'T was his to share,
Such noble leagues he made, that more
And fairer regions, than before,
His guerdon were.

These are the records, half effaced,
Which, with the hand of youth, he traced
On history's page;
But with fresh victories he drew
Each fading character anew
In his old age.

By his unrivalled skill, by great
And veteran service to the state,
By worth adored,
He stood, in his high dignity,
The proudest knight of chivalry,
Knight of the Sword.

He found his cities and domains
Beneath a tyrant's galling chains
And cruel power;
But by fierce battle and blockade,
Soon his own banner was displayed
From every tower.

By the tried valor of his hand,
His monarch and his native land
Were nobly served;
Let Portugal repeat the story,
And proud Castile, who shared the glory
His arms deserved.

And when so oft, for weal or woe,
His life upon the fatal throw
Had been cast down;
When he had served, with patriot zeal,
Beneath the banner of Castile,
His sovereign's crown;

And done such deeds of valor strong,
That neither history nor song
Can count them all;
Then, on Ocana's castled rock,
Death at his portal came to knock,
With sudden call,

Saying, "Good Cavalier, prepare
To leave this world of toil and care
With joyful mien;
Let thy strong heart of steel this day
Put on its armor for the fray,
The closing scene.

"Since thou hast been, in battle-strife,
So prodigal of health and life,
For earthly fame,
Let virtue nerve thy heart again;
Loud on the last stern battle-plain
They call thy name.

"Think not the struggle that draws near
Too terrible for man, nor fear
To meet the foe;
Nor let thy noble spirit grieve,
Its life of glorious fame to leave
On earth below.

"A life of honor and of worth
Has no eternity on earth,
'T is but a name;
And yet its glory far exceeds
That base and sensual life, which leads
To want and shame.

"The eternal life, beyond the sky,
Wealth cannot purchase, nor the high
And proud estate;
The soul in dalliance laid, the spirit
Corrupt with sin, shall not inherit
A joy so great.

"But the good monk, in cloistered cell,
Shall gain it by his book and bell,
His prayers and tears;
And the brave knight, whose arm endures
Fierce battle, and against the Moors
His standard rears.

"And thou, brave knight, whose hand has poured
The life-blood of the Pagan horde
O'er all the land,
In heaven shalt thou receive, at length,
The guerdon of thine earthly strength
And dauntless hand.

"Cheered onward by this promise sure,
Strong in the faith entire and pure
Thou dost profess,
Depart, thy hope is certainty,
The third, the better life on high
Shalt thou possess."

"O Death, no more, no more delay;
My spirit longs to flee away,
And be at rest;
The will of Heaven my will shall be,
I bow to the divine decree,
To God's behest.

"My soul is ready to depart,
No thought rebels, the obedient heart
Breathes forth no sigh;
The wish on earth to linger still
Were vain, when 't is God's sovereign will
That we shall die.

"O thou, that for our sins didst take
A human form, and humbly make
Thy home on earth;
Thou, that to thy divinity
A human nature didst ally
By mortal birth,

"And in that form didst suffer here
Torment, and agony, and fear,
So patiently;
By thy redeeming grace alone,
And not for merits of my own,
O, pardon me!"

As thus the dying warrior prayed,
Without one gathering mist or shade
Upon his mind;
Encircled by his family,
Watched by affection's gentle eye
So soft and kind;

His soul to Him, who gave it, rose;
God lead it to its long repose,
Its glorious rest!
And, though the warrior's sun has set,
Its light shall linger round us yet,
Bright, radiant, blest.






Shepherd! who with thine amorous, sylvan song
Hast broken the slumber that encompassed me,
Who mad'st thy crook from the accursed tree,
On which thy powerful arms were stretched so long!
Lead me to mercy's ever-flowing fountains;
For thou my shepherd, guard, and guide shalt be;
I will obey thy voice, and wait to see
Thy feet all beautiful upon the mountains.
Hear, Shepherd! thou who for thy flock art dying,
O, wash away these scarlet sins, for thou
Rejoicest at the contrite sinner's vow.
O, wait! to thee my weary soul is crying,
Wait for me! Yet why ask it, when I see,
With feet nailed to the cross, thou 'rt waiting still for me!





Lord, what am I, that with unceasing care,
Thou didst seek after me, that thou didst wait
Wet with unhealthy dews, before my gate,
And pass the gloomy nights of winter there?
O strange delusion! that I did not greet
Thy blest approach, and O, to Heaven how lost,
If my ingratitude's unkindly frost
Has chilled the bleeding wounds upon thy feet.
How oft my guardian angel gently cried,
"Soul, from thy casement look, and thou shalt see
How he persists to knock and wait for thee!"
And, O! how often to that voice of sorrow,
"To-morrow we will open," I replied,
And when the morrow came I answered still "To-morrow."





Clear fount of light! my native land on high,
Bright with a glory that shall never fade!
Mansion of truth! without a veil or shade,
Thy holy quiet meets the spirit's eye.
There dwells the soul in its ethereal essence,
Gasping no longer for life's feeble breath;
But, sentinelled in heaven, its glorious presence
With pitying eye beholds, yet fears not, death.
Beloved country! banished from thy shore,
A stranger in this prison-house of clay,
The exiled spirit weeps and sighs for thee!
Heavenward the bright perfections I adore
Direct, and the sure promise cheers the way,
That, whither love aspires, there shall my dwelling be.





O Lord! who seest, from yon starry height,
Centred in one the future and the past,
Fashioned in thine own image, see how fast
The world obscures in me what once was bright!
Eternal Sun! the warmth which thou hast given,
To cheer life's flowery April, fast decays;
Yet in the hoary winter of my days,
Forever green shall be my trust in Heaven.
Celestial King! O let thy presence pass
Before my spirit, and an image fair
Shall meet that look of mercy from on high,
As the reflected image in a glass
Doth meet the look of him who seeks it there,
And owes its being to the gazer's eye.





Laugh of the mountain!--lyre of bird and tree!
Pomp of the meadow! mirror of the morn!
The soul of April, unto whom are born
The rose and jessamine, leaps wild in thee!
Although, where'er thy devious current strays,
The lap of earth with gold and silver teems,
To me thy clear proceeding brighter seems
Than golden sands, that charm each shepherd's gaze.
How without guile thy bosom, all transparent
As the pure crystal, lets the curious eye
Thy secrets scan, thy smooth, round pebbles count!
How, without malice murmuring, glides thy current!
O sweet simplicity of days gone by!
Thou shun'st the haunts of man, to dwell in limpid fount!


In the chapter with this title in Outre-Mer, besides
Illustrations from Byron and Lockhart are the three following
contributed by Mr. Longfellow.


Rio Verde, Rio Verde!
Many a corpse is bathed in thee,
Both of Moors and eke of Christians,
Slain with swords most cruelly.

And thy pure and crystal waters
Dappled are with crimson gore;
For between the Moors and Christians
Long has been the fight and sore.

Dukes and Counts fell bleeding near thee,
Lords of high renown were slain,
Perished many a brave hidalgo
Of the noblemen of Spain.


"King Alfonso the Eighth, having exhausted his treasury in war,
wishes to lay a tax of five farthings upon each of the Castillan
hidalgos, in order to defray the expenses of a journey from
Burgos to Cuenca. This proposition of the king was met with
disdain by
the noblemen who had been assembled on the occasion."

Don Nuno, Count of Lara,
In anger and in pride,
Forgot all reverence for the king,
And thus in wrath replied:

"Our noble ancestors," quoth he,
"Ne'er such a tribute paid;
Nor shall the king receive of us
What they have once gainsaid.

"The base-born soul who deems it just
May here with thee remain;
But follow me, ye cavaliers,
Ye noblemen of Spain."

Forth followed they the noble Count,
They marched to Glera's plain;
Out of three thousand gallant knights
Did only three remain.

They tied the tribute to their spears,
They raised it in the air,
And they sent to tell their lord the king
That his tax was ready there.

"He may send and take by force," said they,
"This paltry sum of gold;
But the goodly gift of liberty
Cannot be bought and sold."


"One of the finest of the historic ballads is that which
describes Bernardo's march to Roncesvalles. He sallies forth
'with three
thousand Leonese and more,' to protect the glory and freedom of
his native land. From all sides, the peasantry of the land flock
the hero's standard."

The peasant leaves his plough afield,
The reaper leaves his hook,
And from his hand the shepherd-boy.
Lets fall the pastoral crook.

The young set up a shout of joy,
The old forget their years,
The feeble man grows stout of heart.
No more the craven fears.

All rush to Bernard's standard,
And on liberty they call;
They cannot brook to wear the yoke,
When threatened by the Gaul.

"Free were we born," 't is thus they cry
"And willingly pay we
The duty that we owe our king
By the divine decree.

"But God forbid that we obey
The laws of foreign knaves,
Tarnish the glory of our sires,
And make our children slaves.

"Our hearts have not so craven grown,
So bloodless all our veins,
So vigorless our brawny arms,
As to submit to chains.

"Has the audacious Frank, forsooth,
Subdued these seas and lands?
Shall he a bloodless victory have?
No, not while we have hands.

"He shall learn that the gallant Leonese
Can bravely fight and fall,
But that they know not how to yield;
They are Castilians all.

"Was it for this the Roman power
Of old was made to yield
Unto Numantia's valiant hosts
On many a bloody field?

Shall the bold lions that have bathed
Their paws in Libyan gore,
Crouch basely to a feebler foe,
And dare the strife no more?

"Let the false king sell town and tower,
But not his vassals free;
For to subdue the free-born soul
No royal power hath he!"



And when the kings were in the field,--their squadrons in
With lance in rest they onward pressed to mingle in the fray;
But soon upon the Christians fell a terror of their foes,--
These were a numerous army,--a little handful those.

And while the Christian people stood in this uncertainty,
Upward to heaven they turned their eyes, and fixed their thoughts
on high;
And there two figures they beheld, all beautiful and bright,
Even than the pure new-fallen snow their garments were more

They rode upon two horses more white than crystal sheen,
And arms they bore such as before no mortal man had seen;
The one, he held a crosier,--a pontiff's mitre wore;
The other held a crucifix,--such man ne'er saw before.

Their faces were angelical, celestial forms had they,--
And downward through the fields of air they urged their rapid
They looked upon the Moorish host with fierce and angry look,
And in their hands, with dire portent, their naked sabres shook.

The Christian host, beholding this, straightway take heart again;
They fall upon their bended knees, all resting on the plain,
And each one with his clenched fist to smite his breast begins,
And promises to God on high he will forsake his sins.

And when the heavenly knights drew near unto the battle-ground,
They dashed among the Moors and dealt unerring blows around;
Such deadly havoc there they made the foremost ranks along,
A panic terror spread unto the hindmost of the throng.

Together with these two good knights, the champions of the sky,
The Christians rallied and began to smite full sore and high;
The Moors raised up their voices and by the Koran swore
That in their lives such deadly fray they ne'er had seen before.

Down went the misbelievers,--fast sped the bloody fight,--
Some ghastly and dismembered lay, and some half dead with fright:
Full sorely they repented that to the field they came,
For they saw that from the battle they should retreat with shame.

Another thing befell them,--they dreamed not of such woes,--
The very arrows that the Moors shot front their twanging bows
Turned back against them in their flight and wounded them full
And every blow they dealt the foe was paid in drops of gore.

. . . . . . . . .

Now he that bore the crosier, and the papal crown had on,
Was the glorified Apostle, the brother of Saint John;
And he that held the crucifix, and wore the monkish hood,
Was the holy San Millan of Cogolla's neighborhood.




San Miguel de la Tumba is a convent vast and wide;
The sea encircles it around, and groans on every side:
It is a wild and dangerous place, and many woes betide
The monks who in that burial-place in penitence abide.

Within those dark monastic walls, amid the ocean flood,
Of pious, fasting monks there dwelt a holy brotherhood;
To the Madonna's glory there an altar high was placed,
And a rich and costly image the sacred altar graced.

Exalted high upon a throne, the Virgin Mother smiled,
And, as the custom is, she held within her arms the Child;
The kings and wise men of the East were kneeling by her side;
Attended was she like a queen whom God had sanctified.

. . . . . . . . .

Descending low before her face a screen of feathers hung,--
A moscader, or fan for flies, 'tis called in vulgar tongue;
From the feathers of the peacock's wing 't was fashioned bright
and fair,
And glistened like the heaven above when all its stars are there.

It chanced that, for the people's sins, fell the lightning's
blasting stroke:
Forth from all four the sacred walls the flames consuming broke;
The sacred robes were all consumed, missal and holy book;
And hardly with their lives the monks their crumbling walls

. . . . . . . . .

But though the desolating flame raged fearfully and wild,
It did not reach the Virgin Queen, it did not reach the Child;
It did not reach the feathery screen before her face that shone,
Nor injure in a farthing's worth the image or the throne.

The image it did not consume, it did not burn the screen;
Even in the value of a hair they were not hurt, I ween;
Not even the smoke did reach them, nor injure more the shrine
Than the bishop hight Don Tello has been hurt by hand of mine.

. . . . . . . . .


She is a maid of artless grace,
Gentle in form, and fair of face,

Tell me, thou ancient mariner,
That sailest on the sea,
If ship, or sail or evening star
Be half so fair as she!

Tell me, thou gallant cavalier,
Whose shining arms I see,
If steel, or sword, or battle-field
Be half so fair as she!

Tell me, thou swain, that gnard'st thy flock
Beneath the shadowy tree,
If flock, or vale, or mountain-ridge
Be half so fair as she!




Let nothing disturb thee,
Nothing affright thee;
All things are passing;
God never changeth;
Patient endurance
Attaineth to all things;
Who God possesseth
In nothing is wanting;
Alone God sufficeth.






Eyes so tristful, eyes so tristful,
Heart so full of care and cumber,
I was lapped in rest and slumber,
Ye have made me wakeful, wistful!

In this life of labor endless
Who shall comfort my distresses?
Querulous my soul and friendless
In its sorrow shuns caresses.
Ye have made me, ye have made me
Querulous of you, that care not,
Eyes so tristful, yet I dare not
Say to what ye have betrayed me.





Some day, some day
O troubled breast,
Shalt thou find rest.

If Love in thee
To grief give birth,
Six feet of earth
Can more than he;
There calm and free
And unoppressed
Shalt thou find rest.

The unattained
In life at last,
When life is passed,
Shall all be gained;
And no more pained,
No more distressed,
Shalt thou find rest.





Come, O Death, so silent flying
That unheard thy coming be,
Lest the sweet delight of dying
Bring life back again to me.
For thy sure approach perceiving,
In my constancy and pain
I new life should win again,
Thinking that I am not living.
So to me, unconscious lying,
All unknown thy coming be,
Lest the sweet delight of dying
Bring life back again to me.
Unto him who finds thee hateful,
Death, thou art inhuman pain;
But to me, who dying gain,
Life is but a task ungrateful.
Come, then, with my wish complying,
All unheard thy coming be,
Lest the sweet delight of dying
Bring life back again to me.



Glove of black in white hand bare,
And about her forehead pale
Wound a thin, transparent veil,
That doth not conceal her hair;
Sovereign attitude and air,
Cheek and neck alike displayed
With coquettish charms arrayed,
Laughing eyes and fugitive;--
This is killing men that live,
'T is not mourning for the dead.






Three miles extended around the fields of the homestead, on three
Valleys and mountains and hills, but on the fourth side was the
Birch woods crowned the summits, but down the slope of the
Flourished the golden corn, and man-high was waving the
Lakes, full many in number, their mirror held up for the
Held for the forests up, in whose depths the high-horned
Had their kingly walk, and drank of a hundred brooklets.
But in the valleys widely around, there fed on the greensward
Herds with shining hides and udders that longed for the
'Mid these scattered, now here and now there, were numberless
flocks of
Sheep with fleeces white, as thou seest the white-looking stray
Flock-wise spread o'er the heavenly vault when it bloweth in
Coursers two times twelve, all mettlesome, fast fettered storm-
Stamping stood in the line of stalls, and tugged at their fodder.
Knotted with red were their manes, and their hoofs all white with
steel shoes.
Th' banquet-hall, a house by itself, was timbered of hard fir.
Not five hundred men (at ten times twelve to the hundred)
Filled up the roomy hall, when assembled for drinking, at
Through the hall, as long as it was, went a table of holm-oak,
Polished and white, as of steel; the columns twain of the
Stood at the end thereof, two gods carved out of an elm-tree:
Odin with lordly look, and Frey with the sun on his frontlet.
Lately between the two, on a bear-skin (the skin it was
Scarlet-red was the throat, but the paws were shodden with
Thorsten sat with his friends, Hospitality sitting with Gladness.
Oft, when the moon through the cloudrack flew, related the old
Wonders from distant lands he had seen, and cruises of Vikings
Far away on the Baltic, and Sea of the West and the White Sea.
Hushed sat the listening bench, and their glances hung on the
Lips, as a bee on the rose; but the Scald was thinking of Brage,
Where, with his silver beard, and runes on his tongue, he is
Under the leafy beech, and tells a tradition by Mimer's
Ever-murmuring wave, himself a living tradition.
Midway the floor (with thatch was it strewn) burned ever the
Glad on its stone-built hearth; and thorough the wide-mouthed
Looked the stars, those heavenly friends, down into the great
Round the walls, upon nails of steel, were hanging in order
Breastplate and helmet together, and here and there among them
Downward lightened a sword, as in winter evening a star shoots.
More than helmets and swords the shields in the hall were
White as the orb of the sun, or white as the moon's disk of
Ever and anon went a maid round the hoard, and filled up the
Ever she cast down her eyes and blushed; in the shield her
Blushed, too, even as she; this gladdened the drinking champions.



King Ring with his queen to the banquet did fare,
On the lake stood the ice so mirror-clear,

"Fare not o'er the ice," the stranger cries;
"It will burst, and full deep the cold bath lies."

The king drowns not easily," Ring outspake;
"He who's afraid may go round the lake."

Threatening and dark looked the stranger round,
His steel shoes with haste on his feet he bound,

The sledge-horse starts forth strong and free;
He snorteth flames, so glad is he.

"Strike out," screamed the king, "my trotter good,
Let us see if thou art of Sleipner's blood."

They go as a storm goes over the lake.
No heed to his queen doth the old man take.

But the steel-shod champion standeth not still,
He passeth them by as swift as he will.

He carves many runes in the frozen tide,
Fair Ingeborg o'er her own name doth glide.



Spring is coming, birds are twittering, forests leaf, and smiles
the sun,
And the loosened torrents downward, singing, to the ocean run;
Glowing like the cheek of Freya, peeping rosebuds 'gin to ope,
And in human hearts awaken love of life, and joy, and hope.

Now will hunt the ancient monarch, and the queen shall join the
Swarming in its gorgeous splendor, is assembled all the Court;
Bows ring loud, and quivers rattle, stallions paw the ground
And, with hoods upon their eyelids, scream the falcons for their

See, the Queen of the Chase advances! Frithiof, gaze not at the
Like a star upon a spring-cloud sits she on her palfrey white.
Half of Freya, half of Rota, yet more beauteous than these two,
And from her light hat of purple wave aloft the feathers blue.

Gaze not at her eyes' blue heaven, gaze not at her golden hair!
Oh beware! her waist is slender, full her bosom is, beware!
Look not at the rose and lily on her cheek that shifting play,
List not to the voice beloved, whispering like the wind of May.

Now the huntsman's band is ready. Hurrah! over hill and dale!
Horns ring, and the hawks right upward to the hall of Odin sail.
All the dwellers in the forest seek in fear their cavern homes,
But, with spear outstretched before her, after them the Valkyr

. . . . . . . . . .

Then threw Frithiof down his mantle, and upon the greensward
And the ancient king so trustful laid on Frithiof's knee his
Slept as calmly as the hero sleepeth, after war's alarm,
On his shield, or as an infant sleeps upon its mother's arm.

As he slumbers, hark! there sings a coal-black bird upon the
"Hasten, Frithiof, slay the old man, end your quarrel at a blow:
Take his queen, for she is thine, and once the bridal kiss she
Now no human eye beholds thee, deep and silent is the grave,"

Frithiof listens; hark! there sings a snow-white bird upon the
"Though no human eye beholds thee, Odin's eye beholds thee now.
Coward! wilt thou murder sleep, and a defenceless old man slay!
Whatsoe'er thou winn'st, thou canst not win a hero's fame this

Thus the two wood-birds did warble: Frithiof took his war-sword
With a shudder hurled it from him, far into the gloomy wood.
Coal-black bird flies down to Nastrand, but on light, unfolded
Like the tone of harps, the other, sounding towards the sun,

Straight the ancient king awakens. "Sweet has been my sleep," he
"Pleasantly sleeps one in the shadow, guarded by a brave man's
But where is thy sword, O stranger? Lightning's brother, where
is he?
Who thus parts you, who should never from each other parted be?"

"It avails not," Frithiof answered; "in the North are other
Sharp, O monarch! is the sword's tongue, and it speaks not
peaceful words;
Murky spirits dwell in steel blades, spirits from the Niffelhem;
Slumber is not safe before them, silver locks but anger them."



No more shall I see
In its upward motion
The smoke of the Northland. Man is a slave:
The fates decree.
On the waste of the ocean
There is my fatherland, there is my grave.

Go not to the strand,
Ring, with thy bride,
After the stars spread their light through the sky.
Perhaps in the sand,
Washed up by the tide,
The bones of the outlawed Viking may lie.

Then, quoth the king,
"'T is mournful to hear
A man like a whimpering maiden cry.
The death-song they sing
Even now in mine ear,
What avails it? He who is born must die."




Pentecost, day of rejoicing, had come. The church of the village
Gleaming stood in the morning's sheen.
On the spire of the bell
Decked with a brazen cock, the friendly flames of the Spring-sun
Glanced like the tongues of fire, beheld by Apostles aforetime.
Clear was the heaven and blue, and May, with her cap crowned with
Stood in her holiday dress in the fields, and the wind and the
Murmured gladness and peace, God's-peace! with lips rosy-tinted
Whispered the race of the flowers, and merry on balancing
Birds were singing their carol, a jubilant hymn to the Highest.
Swept and clean was the churchyard. Adorned like a leaf-woven
Stood its old-fashioned gate; and within upon each cross of iron
Hung was a fragrant garland, new twined by the hands of
Even the dial, that stood on a mound among the departed,
(There full a hundred years had it stood,) was embellished with
Like to the patriarch hoary, the sage of his kith and the hamlet,
Who on his birthday is crowned by children and children's
So stood the ancient prophet, and mute with his pencil of
Marked on the tablet of stone, and measured the time and its
While all around at his feet, an eternity slumbered in quiet.
Also the church within was adorned, for this was the season
When the young, their parents' hope, and the loved-ones of
Should at the foot of the altar renew the vows of their
Therefore each nook and corner was swept and cleaned, and the
dust was
Blown from the walls and ceiling, and from the oil-painted
There stood the church like a garden; the Feast of the Leafy
Saw we in living presentment. From noble arms on the church
Grew forth a cluster of leaves, and the preacher's pulpit of
Budded once more anew, as aforetime the rod before Aaron.
Wreathed thereon was the Bible with leaves, and the dove,
washed with silver
Under its canopy fastened, had on it a necklace of wind-
But in front of the choir, round the altar-piece painted by
Crept a garland gigantic; and bright-curling tresses of
Peeped, like the sun from a cloud, from out of the shadowy
Likewise the lustre of brass, new-polished, blinked from the
And for lights there were lilies of Pentecost set in the

Loud rang the bells already; the thronging crowd was
Far from valleys and hills, to list to the holy preaching.
Hark! then roll forth at once the mighty tones of the organ,
Hover like voices from God, aloft like invisible spirits.
Like as Elias in heaven, when he cast from off him his
So cast off the soul its garments of earth; and with one
Chimed in the congregation, and sang an anthem immortal
Of the sublime Wallin, of David's harp in the North-land
Tuned to the choral of Luther; the song on its mighty pinions
Took every living soul, and lifted it gently to heaven,
And each face did shine like the Holy One's face upon Tabor.
Lo! there entered then into the church the Reverend Teacher.
Father he hight and he was in the parish; a Christianly
Clothed from his head to his feet the old man of seventy
Friendly was he to behold, and glad as the heralding angel
Walked he among the crowds, but still a contemplative
Lay on his forehead as clear as on moss-covered gravestone a
As in his inspiration (an evening twilight that faintly
Gleams in the human soul, even now, from the day of creation)
Th' Artist, the friend of heaven, imagines Saint John when
in Patmos,
Gray, with his eyes uplifted to heaven, so seemed then the
old man:
Such was the glance of his eye, and such were his tresses of
All the congregation arose in the pews that were numbered.
But with a cordial look, to the right and the left hand, the
old man
Nodding all hail and peace, disappeared in the innermost

Simply and solemnly now proceeded the Christian service,
Singing and prayer, and at last an ardent discourse from the
old man.
Many a moving word and warning, that out of the heart came,
Fell like the dew of the morning, like manna on those in the
Then, when all was finished, the Teacher re-entered the
Followed therein by the young. The boys on the right had
their places,
Delicate figures, with close-curling hair and cheeks rosy-
But on the left of these there stood the tremulous lilies,
Tinged with the blushing light of the dawn, the diffident
Folding their hands in prayer, and their eyes cast down on
the pavement
Now came, with question and answer, the catechism. In the
Answered the children with troubled and faltering voice, but the
old man's
Glances of kindness encouraged them soon, and the doctrines
Flowed, like the waters of fountains, so clear from lips
Each time the answer was closed, and as oft as they named the
Lowly louted the boys, and lowly the maidens all courtesied.
Friendly the Teacher stood, like an angel of light there among
And to the children explained the holy, the highest, in few
Thorough, yet simple and clear, for sublimity always is simple,
Both in sermon and song, a child can seize on its meaning.
E'en as the green-growing bud unfolds when Springtide
Leaf by leaf puts forth, and wanued, by the radiant sunshine,
Blushes with purple and gold, till at last the perfected blossom
Opens its odorous chalice, and rocks with its crown in the
So was unfolded here the Christian lore of salvation,
Line by line from the soul of childhood. The fathers and mothers
Stood behind them in tears, and were glad at the well-worded

Now went the old man up to the altar;--and straightway
(So did it seem unto me) was then the affectionate Teacher.
Like the Lord's Prophet sublime, and awful as Death and as
Stood he, the God-commissioned, the soul-searcher, earthward
Glances, sharp as a sword, into hearts that to him were
Shot he; his voice was deep, was low like the thunder afar off.
So on a sudden transfigured he stood there, lie spake and he

"This is the faith of the Fathers, the faith the Apostles
This is moreover the faith whereunto I baptized you, while still
Lay on your mothers' breasts, and nearer the portals of heaven,
Slumbering received you then the Holy Church in its bosom;
Wakened from sleep are ye now, and the light in its radiant
Downward rains from the heaven;--to-day on the threshold of
Kindly she frees you again, to examine and make your election,
For she knows naught of compulsion, and only conviction
This is the hour of your trial, the turning-point of existence,
Seed for the coming days; without revocation departeth
Now from your lips the confession; Bethink ye, before ye make
Think not, O think not with guile to deceive the questioning
Sharp is his eye to-day, and a curse ever rests upon falsehood.
Enter not with a lie on Life's journey; the multitude hears you,
Brothers and sisters and parents, what dear upon earth is and
Standeth before your sight as a witness; the Judge everlasting
Looks from the sun down upon you, and angels in waiting beside
Grave your confession in letters of fire upon tablets eternal.
Thus, then,--believe ye in God, in the Father who this world
created ?
Him who redeemed it, the Son, and the Spirit where both are
Will ye promise me here, (a holy promise!) to cherish
God more than all things earthly, and every man as a brother?
Will ye promise me here, to confirm your faith by your living,
Th' heavenly faith of affection! to hope, to forgive, and to
Be what it may your condition, and walk before God in
Will ye promise me this before God and man?"--With a clear
Answered the young men Yes! and Yes! with lips softly-breathing
Answered the maidens eke. Then dissolved from the brow of the
Clouds with the lightnings therein, and lie spake in accents
more gentle,
Soft as the evening's breath, as harps by Babylon's rivers.

"Hail, then, hail to you all! To the heirdom of heaven be ye
Children no more from this day, but by covenant brothers and
Yet,--for what reason not children? Of such is the kingdom of
Here upon earth an assemblage of children, in heaven one Father,
Ruling them all as his household,--forgiving in turn and
That is of human life a picture, as Scripture has taught us.
Blest are the pure before God! Upon purity and upon virtue
Resteth the Christian Faith: she herself from on high is
Strong as a man and pure as a child, is the sum of the doctrine,
Which the Divine One taught, and suffered and died on the cross
Oh, as ye wander this day from childhood's sacred asylum
Downward and ever downward, and deeper in Age's chill valley,
Oh, how soon will ye come,--too soon!--and long to turn
Up to its hill-tops again, to the sun-illumined, where Judgment
Stood like a father before you, and Pardon, clad like a mother,
Gave you her hand to kiss, and the loving heart was for given
Life was a play and your hands grasped after the roses of heaven!
Seventy years have I lived already; the Father eternal
Gave rue gladness and care; but the loveliest hours of
When I have steadfastly gazed in their eyes, I have instantly
known them,
Known them all again;--the were my childhood's acquaintance.
Therefore take from henceforth, as guides in the paths of
Prayer, with her eyes raised to heaven, and. Innocence, bride of
man's childhood
Innocence, child beloved, is a guest from the world of the
Beautiful, and in her hand a lily; on life's roaring billows
Swings she in safety, she heedeth them not in the ship she is
Calmly she gazes around in the turmoil of men; in the desert
Angels descend and minister unto her; she herself knoweth
Naught of her glorious attendance; but follows faithful and
Follows so long as she may her friend; oh do not reject her,
For she cometh from God and she holdeth the keys of the heavens.
Prayer is Innocence' friend; and willingly flieth incessant
'Twixt rhe earth and the sky, the carrier-pigeon of heaven,
Son of Eternity, fettered in Time, and an exile, the Spirit
Tugs at his chains evermore, and struggles like flame ever
Still he recalls with emotion his Father's manifold mansions,
Thinks of the land of his fathers, where blossomed more freshly
the flowerets,
Shone a more beautiful sun, and he played with the wingM angels.
Then grows the earth too narrow, too close; and homesick for
Longs the wanderer again; and the Spirit's longings are worship;
Worship is called his most beautiful hour, and its tongue is
Aid when the infinite burden of life descendeth upon us,
Crushes to earth our hope, and, under the earth, in the
Then it is good to pray unto God; for his sorrowiug children
Turns he ne'er from his door, but he heals and helps and
consoles them,
Yet is it better to pray when all things are prosperous ti ith
Pray in fortunate days, for life's most beautiful Fortune
Kneels before the Eternal's throne; and with hands interfolded,
Praises thankful and moved the only giver of blessings.
Or do ye know, ye children, one blessing that comes not from
What has mankind forsooth, the poor! that it has not received?
Therefore, fall in the dust and pray! The seraphs adoring
Cover with pinions six their face in the glory of him who
Hung his masonry pendent on naught, when the world be created.
Earth declareth his might, and the firmament utters his glory.
Races blossom and die, and stars fall downward from heaven,
Downward like withered leaves; at the last stroke of midnight,
Lay themselves down at his feet, and he sees them, but counts
them as nothing
Who shall stand in his presence? The wrath of the judge is
Casting the insolent down at a glance. When he speaks in his
Hillocks skip like the kid, and mountains leap like the roebuck.
Yet,--why are ye afraid, ye children? This awful avenger,
Ah! is a merciful God! God's voice was not in the earthquake,
Not in the fire, nor the storm, but it was in the whispering
Love is the root of creation; God's essence; worlds without
Lie in his bosom like children; he made them for this purpose
Only to love and to be loved again, he breathed forth his spirit
Into the slumbering dust, and upright standing, it laid its
Hand on its heart, and felt it was warm with a flame out of
Quench, oh quench not that flame! It is the breath of your being.
Love is life, but hatred is death. Not father, nor mother
Loved you, as God has loved you; for 't was that you may be
Gave he his only Son. When he bowed down his head in the death-
Solemnized Love its triumph; the sacrifice then was completed.
Lo! then was rent on a sudden the veil of the temple, dividing
Earth and heaven apart, and the dead from their sepulchres rising
Whispered with pallid lips and low in the ears of each other
Th' answer, but dreamed of before, to creation's enigma,--
Depths of Love are Atonement's depths, for Love is Atonement.
Therefore, child of mortality, love thou the merciful Father;
Wish what the Holy One wishes, and not from fear, but affection
Fear is the virtue of slaves ; but the heart that loveth is
Perfect was before God, and perfect is Love, and Love only.
Lovest thou God as thou oughtest, then lovest thou likewise thy
One is the sun in heaven, and one, only one, is Love also.
Bears not each human figure the godlike stamp on his forehead
Readest thou not in his face thou origin? Is he not sailing
Lost like thyself on an ocean unknown, and is he not guided
By the same stars that guide thee? Why shouldst thou hate then
thy brother?
Hateth he thee, forgive! For 't is sweet to stammer one letter
Of the Eternal's language;--on earth it is called Forgiveness!
Knowest thou Him, who forgave, with the crown of thorns on his
Earnestly prayed for his foes, for his murderers? Say, dost thou
know him?
Ah! thou confessest his name, so follow likewise his example,
Think of thy brother no ill, but throw a veil over his failings,
Guide the erring aright; for the good, the heavenly shepherd
Took the lost lamb in his arms, and bore it back to its mother.
This is the fruit of Love, and it is by its fruits that we know
Love is the creature's welfare, with God; but Love among mortals
Is but an endless sigh! He longs, and endures, and stands
Suffers and yet rejoices, and smiles with tears on his eyelids.
Hope,--so is called upon earth, his recompense, Hope, the
Does what she can, for she points evermore up to heaven, and
Plunges her anchor's peak in the depths of the grave, and
beneath it
Paints a more beautiful world, a dim, but a sweet play of
Races, better than we, have leaned on her wavering promise,
Having naught else but Hope. Then praise we our Father in
Him, who has given us more; for to us has Hope been
Groping no longer in night; she is Faith, she is living
Faith is enlightened Hope; she is light, is the eye of
Dreams of the longing interprets, and carves their visions in
Faith is the sun of life ; and her countenance shines like the
For she has looked upon God; the heaven on its stable foundation
Draws she with chains down to earth, and the New Jerusalem
Splendid with portals twelve in golden vapors descending.
There enraptured she wanders. and looks at the figures majestic,
Fears not the winged crowd, in the midst of them all is her
Therefore love and believe; for works will follow spontaneous
Even as day does the sun; the Right from the Good is an
Love in a bodily shape; and Christian works are no more than
Animate Love and faith, as flowers are the animate Springtide.
Works do follow us all unto God; there stand and bear witness
Not what they seemed,--but what they were only. Blessed is he
Hears their confession secure; they are mute upon earth until
death's hand
Opens the mouth of the silent. Ye children, does Death e'er
alarm you?
Death is the brother of Love, twin-brother is he, and is only
More austere to behold. With a kiss upon lips that are fading
Takes he the soul and departs, and, rocked in the arms of
Places the ransomed child, new born, 'fore the face of its
Sounds of his coming already I hear,--see dimly his pinions,
Swart as the night, but with stars strewn upon them! I fear not
before him.
Death is only release, and in mercy is mute. On his bosom
Freer breathes, in its coolness, my breast; and face to face
Look I on God as he is, a sun unpolluted by vapors;
Look on the light of the ages I loved, the spirits majestic,
Nobler, better than I; they stand by the throne all
Vested in white, and with harps of gold, and are singing an
Writ in the climate of heaven, in the language spoken by
You, in like manner, ye children beloved, he one day shall
Never forgets he the weary;--then welcome, ye loved ones,
Meanwhile forget not the keeping of vows, forget not the
Wander from holiness onward to holiness; earth shall ye heed
Earth is but dust and heaven is light; I have pledged you to
God of the universe, hear me! thou fountain of Love
Hark to the voice of thy servant! I send up my prayer to thy
Let me hereafter not miss at thy throne one spirit of all
Whom thou hast given me here! I have loved them all like a
May they bear witness for me, that I taught them the way of
Faithful, so far as I knew, of thy word; again may they know
Fall on their Teacher's breast, and before thy face may I place
Pure as they now are, but only more tried, and exclaiming with
Father, lo! I am here, and the children, whom thou hast given

Weeping he spake in these words; and now at the beck of the
old man
Knee against knee they knitted a wreath round the altar's
Kneeling he read then the prayers of the consecration, and
With him the children read; at the close, with tremulous
Asked he the peace of Heaven, a benediction upon them.
Now should have ended his task for the day; the following
Was for the young appointed to eat of the Lord's holy Supper.
Sudden, as struck from the clouds, stood the Teacher silent and
laid his
Hand on his forehead, and cast his looks upward; while thoughts
high and holy,
Flew through the midst of his soul, and his eyes glanced with
wonderful brightness.
"On the next Sunday, who knows! perhaps I shall rest in the
Some one perhaps of yourselves, a lily broken untimely,
Bow down his head to the earth; why delay I? the hour is
Warm is the heart;--I will! for to-day grows the harvest of
What I began accomplish I now; what failing therein is
I, the old man, will answer to God and the reverend father.
Say to me only, ye children, ye denizens new-come in heaven,
Are ye ready this day to eat of the bread of Atonement?
What it denoteth, that know ye full well, I have told it you
Of the new covenant symbol it is, of Atonement a token,
Stablished between earth and heaven. Man by his sins and
Far has wandered from God, from his essence. 'T was in the
Fast by the Tree of Knowledge he fell, and it hangs its crown
o'er the
Fall to this day; in the Thought is the Fall; in the Heart the
Infinite is the fall,--the Atonement infinite likewise.
See! behind me, as far as the old man remembers, and forward,
Far as Hope in her flight can reach with her wearied pinions,
Sin and Atonement incessant go through the lifetime of mortals.
Sin is brought forth full-grown; but Atonement sleeps in our
Still as the cradled babe; and dreams of heaven and of angels,
Cannot awake to sensation; is like the tones in the harp's
Spirits imprisoned, that wait evermore the deliverer's finger.
Therefore, ye children beloved, descended the Prince of
Woke the slumberer from sleep, and she stands now with eyes all
Bright as the vault of the sky, and battles with Sin and
o'ercomes her.
Downward to earth he came and, transfigured, thence reascended,
Not from the heart in like wise, for there he still lives in
the Spirit,
Loves and atones evermore. So long as Time is, is Atonement.
Therefore with reverence take this day her visible token.
Tokens are dead if the things live not. The light everlasting
Unto the blind is not, but is born of the eye that has vision.
Neither in bread nor in wine, but in the heart that is hallowed
Lieth forgiveness enshrined; the intention alone of amendment
Fruits of the earth ennobles to heavenly things, and removes
Sin and the guerdon of sin. Only Love with his arms wide
Penitence wee ping and praying; the Will that is tried, and
whose gold flows
Purified forth from the flames; in a word, mankind by Atonement
Breaketh Atonement's bread, and drinketh Atonement's wine-cup.
But he who cometh up hither, unworthy, with hate in his bosom,
Scoffing at men and at God, is guilty of Christ's blessed body,
And the Redeemer's blood! To himself he eateth and drinketh
Death and doom ! And from this, preserve us, thou heavenly
Are ye ready, ye children, to eat of the bread of Atonement?
Thus with emotion he asked, and together answered the children,
"Yes!" with deep sobs interrupted. Then read he the due
Read the Form of Communion, and in chimed the organ and anthem:
"O Holy Lamb of God, who takest away our transgressions,
Hear us! give us thy peace! have mercy, have mercy upon us!"
Th' old man, with trembling hand, and heavenly pearls on his
Filled now the chalice and paten, and dealt round the mystical
Oh, then seemed it to me as if God, with the broad eye of
Clearer looked in at the windows, and all the trees in the
church yard
Bowed down their summits of green, and the grass on the graves
'gan to shiver
But in the children (I noted it well ; I knew it) there ran a
Tremor of holy rapture along through their ice-cold members.
Decked like an altar before them, there stood the green earth,
and above it
Heaven opened itself, as of old before Stephen; they saw there
Radiant in glory the Father, and on his right hand the
Under them hear they the clang of harpstrings, and angels from
gold clouds
Beckon to them like brothers, and fan with their pinions of

Closed was the Teacher's task, and with heaven in their
hearts and their faces,
Up rose the children all, and each bowed him, weeping full
Downward to kiss that reverend hand, but all of them pressed he
Moved to his bosom, and laid, with a prayer, his hands full of
Now on the holy breast, and now on the innocent tresses.




King Christian stood by the lofty mast
In mist and smoke;
His sword was hammering so fast,
Through Gothic helm and brain it passed;
Then sank each hostile hulk and mast,
In mist and smoke.
"Fly!" shouted they, "fly, he who can!
Who braves of Denmark's Christian
The stroke?"

Nils Juel gave heed to the tempest's roar,
Now is the hour!
He hoisted his blood-red flag once more,
And smote upon the foe full sore,
And shouted Loud, through the tempest's roar,
"Now is the hour!"
"Fly!" shouted they, "for shelter fly!
Of Denmark's Juel who can defy
The power?"

North Sea! a glimpse of Wessel rent
Thy murky sky!
Then champions to thine arms were sent;
Terror and Death glared where he went;
From the waves was heard a wail, that
Thy murky sky!
From Denmark, thunders Tordenskiol',
Let each to Heaven commend his soul,
And fly!

Path of the Dane to fame and might!
Dark-rolling wave!
Receive thy friend, who, scorning flight
Goes to meet danger with despite,
Proudly as thou the tempest's might
Dark-rolling wave!
And amid pleasures and alarm;
And war and victory, be thine arms
My grave!


Sir Oluf he rideth over the plain,
Full seven miles broad and seven miles wide,
But never, ah never can meet with the man
A tilt with him dare ride.

He saw under the hillside
A Knight full well equipped;
His steed was black, his helm was barred;
He was riding at full speed.

He wore upon his spurs
Twelve little golden birds;
Anon he spurred his steed with a clang,
And there sat all the birds and sang.

He wore upon his mail
Twelve little golden wheels;
Anon in eddies the wild wind blew,
And round and round the wheels they flew.

He wore before his breast
A lance that was poised in rest;
And it was sharper than diamond-stone,
It made Sir Oluf's heart to groan.

He wore upon his helm
A wreath of ruddy gold;
And that gave him the Maidens Three,
The youngest was fair to behold.

Sir Oluf questioned the Knight eftsoon
If he were come from heaven down;
"Art thou Christ of Heaven," quoth he,
"So will I yield me unto thee."

"I am not Christ the Great,
Thou shalt not yield thee yet;
I am an Unknown Knight,
Three modest Maidens have me bedight."

"Art thou a Knight elected,
And have three Maidens thee bedight
So shalt thou ride a tilt this day,
For all the Maidens' honor!"

The first tilt they together rode
They put their steeds to the test,
The second tilt they together rode,
They proved their manhood best.

The third tilt they together rode,
Neither of them would yield;
The fourth tilt they together rode,
They both fell on the field.

Now lie the lords upon the plain,
And their blood runs unto death;
Now sit the Maidens in the high tower,
The youngest sorrows till death.



There was a time when I was very small,
When my whole frame was but an ell in height;
Sweetly, as I recall it, tears do fall,
And therefore I recall it with delight.

I sported in my tender mother's arms,
And rode a-horseback on best father's knee;
Alike were sorrows, passions and alarms,
And gold, and Greek, and love, unknown to me,

Then seemed to me this world far less in size,
Likewise it seemed to me less wicked far;
Like points in heaven, I saw the stars arise,
And longed for wings that I might catch a star.

I saw the moon behind the island fade,
And thought, "Oh, were I on that island there,
I could find out of what the moon is made,
Find out how large it is, how round, how fair!"

Wondering, I saw God's sun, through western skies,
Sink in the ocean's golden lap at night,
And yet upon the morrow early rise,
And paint the eastern heaven with crimson light;

And thought of God, the gracious Heavenly Father,
Who made me, and that lovely sun on high,
And all those pearls of heaven thick-strung together,
Dropped, clustering, from his hand o'er all the sky.

With childish reverence, my young lips did say
The prayer my pious mother taught to me:
"O gentle God! oh, let me strive alway
Still to be wise, and good, and follow Thee!"

So prayed I for my father and my mother,
And for my sister, and for all the town;
The king I knew not, and the beggar-brother,
Who, bent with age, went, sighing, up and down.

They perished, the blithe days of boyhood perished,
And all the gladness, all the peace I knew!
Now have I but their memory, fondly cherished;--
God! may I never lose that too!


There sat one day in quiet,
By an alehouse on the Rhine,
Four hale and hearty fellows,
And drank the precious wine.

The landlord's daughter filled their cups,
Around the rustic board
Then sat they all so calm and still,
And spake not one rude word.

But, when the maid departed,
A Swabian raised his hand,
And cried, all hot and flushed with wine,
"Long live the Swabian land!

"The greatest kingdom upon earth
Cannot with that compare
With all the stout and hardy men
And the nut-brown maidens there.

"Ha!" cried a Saxon, laughing,
And dashed his heard with wine;
"I had rather live in Laplaud,
Than that Swabian land of thine!

"The goodliest land on all this earth,
It is the Saxon land
There have I as many maidens
As fingers on this hand!"

"Hold your tongues! both Swabian
and Saxon!"
A bold Bohemian cries;
"If there's a heaven upon this earth,
In Bohemia it lies.

"There the tailor blows the flute,
And the cobbler blows the horn,
And the miner blows the bugle,
Over mountain gorge and bourn."
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
And then the landlord's daughter
Up to heaven raised her hand,
And said, "Ye may no more contend,--
There lies the happiest land!"



"Whither, thou turbid wave?
Whither, with so much haste,
As if a thief wert thou?"

"I am the Wave of Life,
Stained with my margin's dust;
From the struggle and the strife
Of the narrow stream I fly
To the Sea's immensity,
To wash from me the slime
Of the muddy banks of Time."



How they so softly rest,
All they the holy ones,
Unto whose dwelling-place
Now doth my soul draw near!
How they so softly rest,
All in their silent graves,
Deep to corruption
Slowly don-sinking!

And they no longer weep,
Here, where complaint is still!
And they no longer feel,
Here, where all gladness flies!
And, by the cypresses
Softly o'ershadowed
Until the Angel
Calls them, they slumber!



"The rivers rush into the sea,
By castle and town they go;
The winds behind them merrily
Their noisy trumpets blow.

"The clouds are passing far and high,
We little birds in them play;
And everything, that can sing and fly,
Goes with us, and far away.

"I greet thee, bonny boat! Whither,
or whence,
With thy fluttering golden band?"--
"I greet thee, little bird! To the wide sea
I haste from the narrow land.

"Full and swollen is every sail;
I see no longer a hill,
I have trusted all to the sounding gale,
And it will not let me stand still.

"And wilt thou, little bird, go with us?
Thou mayest stand on the mainmast tall,
For full to sinking is my house
With merry companions all."--

"I need not and seek not company,
Bonny boat, I can sing all alone;
For the mainmast tall too heavy am I,
Bonny boat, I have wings of my own.

"High over the sails, high over the mast,
Who shall gainsay these joys?
When thy merry companions are still, at last,
Thou shalt hear the sound of my voice.

"Who neither may rest, nor listen may,
God bless them every one!
I dart away, in the bright blue day,
And the golden fields of the sun.

"Thus do I sing my merry song,
Wherever the four winds blow;
And this same song, my whole life long,
Neither Poet nor Printer may know.'



I heard a brooklet gushing
From its rocky fountain near,
Down into the valley rushing,
So fresh and wondrous clear.

I know not what came o'er me,
Nor who the counsel gave;
But I must hasten downward,
All with my pilgrim-stave;

Downward, and ever farther,
And ever the brook beside;
And ever fresher murmured,
And ever clearer, the tide.

Is this the way I was going?
Whither, O brooklet, say I
Thou hast, with thy soft murmur,
Murmured my senses away.

What do I say of a murmur?
That can no murmur be;
'T is the water-nymphs, tbat are singing
Their roundelays under me.

Let them sing, my friend, let them murmur,
And wander merrily near;
The wheels of a mill are going
In every brooklet clear.



I know a maiden fair to see,
Take care!
She can both false and friendly be,
Beware! Beware!
Trust her not,
She is fooling thee!

She has two eyes, so soft and brown,
Take care!
She gives a side-glance and looks down,
Beware! Beware!
Trust her not,
She is fooling thee!

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest