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And then, dissolving, filters through itself,
Whene'er the land, that lose3 shadow, breathes,
Like as a taper melts before a fire,
Even such I was, without a sigh or tear,
Before the song of those who chime for ever
After the chiming of the eternal spheres;
But, when I heard in those sweet melodies
Compassion for me, more than they had said,
“O wherefore, lady, dost thou thus consume him?"
The ice, that was about my heart congealed,
To air and water changed, and, in my anguish,
Through lips and eyes came gushing from my breast.
Confusion and dismay, together mingled,
Forced such a feeble “ Yes !” out of my mouth,
To understand it one had need of sight.
Even as a cross-bow breaks, when 'tis discharged,
Too tensely drawn the bow-string and the bow,
And with less force the arrow hits the mark;
So I gave way under this heavy burden,
Gushing forth into bitter tears and sighs,
And the voice, fainting, flagged upon its passage.
SPRING. TROM THE FRENCH OF CHARLES D'ORLEANS XV. CENTURY,
GENTLE Spring !-in sunshine clad,
Well dost thou thy power display!
For Winter maketh the light heart sad,
And thou—thou makest the sad heart gay.
He sees thee, and calls to his gloomy train,
The sleet, and the snow, and the wind, and the rain ;
And they shrink away, and they flee in fear,
When thy merry step draws near.
Winter giveth the fields and the trees, so old,
Their beards of icicles and snow:
And the rain, it raineth so fast and cold,
We must cower over the embers low;
And, snugly housed from the wind and weather
Mope like birds that are changing feather
But the storm retires, and the sky grows clear,
When thy merry step draws near.
Winter maketh the sun in the gloomy sky
Wrap him round with a mantle of cloud ;
But, Heaven be praised, thy step is nigh;
Thou tearest away the mournful shroud,
And the earth looks bright, and Winter surly,
Who has toiled for nought both late and early,
Is banished afar by the new-born year,
When thy merry step draws near.
THE CHILD ASLEEP.
FROM THE FRENCH,
SWEET babe! true portrait of thy father's face,
Sleep on the bosom, that thy lips have pressed
Sleep, little one ; and closely, gently place
Thy drowsy eyelid on thy mother's breast. Upon that tender eye, my little friend,
Soft sleep shall come, that cometh not to me! I watch to see thee, nourish thee, defend ,
'Tis sweet to watch for thee,-alone for thee! His arms fall down ; sleep sits upon his brow;
His eye is closed; he sleeps, nor dreams of harm. Wore not his cheek the apple's ruddy glow,
Would you not say he slept on Death's cold arm. Awake, my boy!—I tremble with affright!
Awake, and chase this fatal thought ?-Unclose Thine eye but for one moment on the light!
Even at the price of thine, give me repose! Sweet error !-he but slept,- I breathe again ;
Come, gentle dreams, the hour of sleep beguile! Oh! when shall he, for whom I sigh in vain,
Beside me watch to see thy waking smile ?
FROM THE ANGLO-SAXON.
FOR thee was a house built
Ere thou wast born
For thee was a mould meant
Ere thou of mother camest.
But it is not made ready,
Nor its depth measured,
Nor is it seen
How long it shall be.
Now I bring thee
Where thou shalt be ;
Now I shall measure thee,
And the mould afterwards.
Thy house is not
It is unhigh and low;
When thou art therein,
The heel-ways are low,
The side-ways unhigh.
The roof is built
Thy breast full nigh.
So thou shalt in mould
Dwell full cold,
Dimly and dark.
Doorless is that house,
And dark it is within ;
There thou art fast detained,
And Death hath the key.
Loathsome is that earth-house,
And grim within to dwell.
There thou shalt dwell,
And worms shall divide thee.
Thus thou art laid,
And leavest thy friends;
Thou hast no friend,
Who will come to thee,
Who will ever see
How that house pleaseth thee :
Who will ever open
The door for thee,
And descend after thee,
For soon thou art loathsome
And hateful to see.
A NATIONAL SONG OF DENMARK. FROM THE DANISH OF JOHANNES
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
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,
6 Now is the hour!''
“ Fly!" shouted they, " for shelter, fly!
Of Denmark's Juel who can defy
The power ?"
And they no longer weep,
Here, where complaint is still!
And they no longer feel,
Here, where all gladness flies !
And, by the cypresses
Until the Angel
Calls them, they slumber,
FROM THE GERMAN OF MULLER.
66 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 ewollen 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; Tor 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 weary song,
Wherever the foul winds blow;
And this same song, my whole life long
Neither Poet nor Printer may know."
FROM THE GERMAN OF MÜLLER
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 !
Thou hast, with thy soft murmur,
Murmured my senses away.
What do I say of a murmur?
That can no murmur be;
'Tis the water-nymphs, that 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,
FROM THE GERMAN.
I KNOW a maiden fair to see,
She can both false and friendly be,
Trust her not,
She is fooling theé!
She has two eyes, so soft and brown,
She gives a side-glance and looks down,
Trust her not, She is fooling thee!