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Here Alfred, King of the Saxons,

Ceased writing for a while ;
And raised his eyes from his book,
With a strange and puzzled look,

And an incredulous smile.
But Othere, the old sea-captain,

He neither paused nor stirred, Till the King listened, and then Once more took up his pen,

And wrote down every word " And now the land,” said Othere,

" Bent southward suddenly, And I followed the curving shore And ever southward bore

Into a nameless sea.

“And there we hunted the walrus,

The narwhale, and the seal;
Ilal 'twas a noble game!
And like the lightning's flame

Flew our harpoons of steel.
“ There were six of us all together,

Norsemen of Helgoland;
In two days and no more
We killed of them three score,

And dragged them to the strand !" Here Alfred the Truth-Teller

Suddenly closed his book,
And lifted his blue eyes,
With doubt and strange surmise

Depicted in their look.
And Othere the old sea-captain

Stared at him wild and weir'd,
Then smiled, till his shining teeth
Gleamed white from underneath

His tawny, quivering beard. And to the King of the Saxons,

In witness of the truth, Raising his noble head, He stretched his brown hand, and said,

“Behold this walrus-tooth'!"


A WIND came up out of the sea,
And said, “ O mists, make room for me.”
It hailed the ships, and cried, “Sail on,
Ye mariners, the night is gone.”
And hurried landward far away,
Crying, “ Awake! it is the day.
It said unto the forest, “Shout!
Hang all your leafy banners out!"
It touched the wood-bird's folded wing,
And said, “O bird, awake and sing.'
And o'er the farms, “O chanticleer,
Your clarion blow; the day near.'
It whispered to the fields of corn,
“ Bow down, and hail the coming morn.'
It shouted through the belfry-tower,
“Awake, O bell? proclaim the hour.”
It crossed the churchyard with a sigh,
And said, “Not yet! in quiet lie.”

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And he wandered away and away

With Nature, the dear old nurse,
Who sang to him night and day

The rhymes of the universe,
And whenever the way seemed long,

Or his heart began to fail,
She would sing a more wonderful song,

Or tell a more marvellous tale,

So she keeps him still a child,

And will not let him go,
Though at times his heart beats wild

For the beautiful Pays de Vaud ;
Though at times he hears in his dreams

The Ranz des Vaches of old,
And the rush of mountain streams

From glaciers clear and cold ;
And the mother at home says, “Hark!

For his voice I listen and yearn :
It is growing late and dark,

And my boy does not return!"


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COME to me, O ye children!

For I hear you are at your play, And the questions that perplexed me

Have vanished quite away.
Ye open the eastern windows,

That look towards the sun,
Where thoughts are singing swallows

And the brooks of morning run.
In your hearts are the birds and the sunshine,

In your thoughts the brooklet's flow,
But in mine is the wind of Autumn,

And the first fall of the snow,

Ah! what would the world be to us

If the children were no more?
We should dread the desert behind us

Worse than the dark before.

What the leaves are to the forest,

With light and air for food, Ere their sweet and tender juices

Have been hardened into wood, —

That to the world are children;

Through them it feels the glow Of a brighter and sunnier climate

Than reaches the trunks below.

Come to me, O ye children,

And whisper in my ear What the birds and the winds are singing

In your sunny atmosphere. For what are all our contrivings,

And the wisdom of our books,
When compared with your caresses,

And the gladness of
Ye are better than all the ballads

That ever were sung or said;
For ye are living poems,

And all the rest are dead.

your looks?


HAVE you read in the Talmud of old,
In the Legends the Rabbins have told

Of the limitless realms of the air,-
Have you read it.--the marvellous story
Of Sandalphon, the Angel of Glory,

Sandalphon, the Angel of Prayer ?

How, erect, at the outermost gates
Of the City Celestial he waits,

With his feet on the ladder of light,
That, crowded with angels unnumbered,
By Jacob was seen, as he slumbered

Alone in the desert at night? The Angels of Wind and of Fire Chant only one hymn, and expire

With the song's irresistible stress; Expire in their rapture and wonder, As harp-strings are broken asunder,

By music they throb to express. But serene in the rapturous throng, Unmoved by the rush of the song,

With eyes unimpassioned and slow,

mong the dead angels, the deathless Sandalphon stands listening breathless To sounds that ascend from below;

From the spirits on earth that adore,
From the souls that entreat and implore

In the fervour and passion of prayer; From the hearts that are broken with losses, And weary with dragging the crosses

Too heavy for mortals to bear.
And he gathers the prayers as he stands,
And they change into flowers in his hands,

Into garlands of purple and red ;
And beneath the great arch of the portal,
Through the streets of the City Immortal

Is wafted the fragrance they shed.
It is but a legend, I know,-
A fable, a phantom, a show,

Of the ancient Rabbinical lore;
Yet the old mediæval tradition,
The beautiful, strange superstition,

But haunts me and holds me the more,

When I look from my window at night,
And the welkin above is all white,

All throbbing and panting with stars,
Among them majestic is standing
Sandalphon the angel, expanding

His pinions in nebulous bars.
And the legend, I feel, is a part
Of the hunger and thirst of the heart,

The frenzy and fire of the brain,
That grasps at the fruitage forbidden,
The golden pomegranates of Eden,

To quiet its fever and pain.



HAVE I dreamed ? or was it real,

What I saw as in a vision, When to marches hymeneal, In the land of the ideal,

Moved my thought o'er field Elysian? What! are these the guests whose glances

Seemed like sunshine gleaming round me; These the wild, bewildered fancies, That with dithyrambic dances,

As with magic circles, bound me?

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