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All things in earth and air
Bound were by magic spell
Never to do him harm ;
Even the plants and stones ;
All save the mistletoe,
The sacred mistletoe !

Hæder, the blind old God,
Whose feet are shod with silence,
Pierced through that gentle breast
With his sharp spear, by fraud
Made of the mistletoe,
The accursed mistletoe !

O PRECIOUS evenings ! all too swift1]

sped ! Leaving us heirs to amplest heritage Of all the best thoughts of the greates

sages, And giving tongues unto the silen

dead ! How our hearts glowed and trembled a

she read, Interpreting by tones the wondrou

pages Of the great poet who foreruns th

ages, Anticipating all that shall be said ! O happy Reader ! havin (or thy text The magic book, whose Sibyllin

leaves have caught The rarest essence of all humai

thought ! O happy Poet ! by no critic vext ! How must thy listening spirit nov

To be interpreted by such a voice !


They laid him in his ship,
With horse and harness,
As on a funeral Pyre.
Odin placed
A ring upon his finger,
And whispered in his ear.
They launched the burning ship !
It floated far away
Over the misty sea,
Till like the sun it seemed,
Sinking beneath the waves.
Balder returned no more !
So perish the old Gods !
But out of the sea of Time
Rises a new land of song,
Fairer than the old.
Over its meadows green
Walk the young bards and sing.
Build it again,

ye bards,
Fairer than before !
Ye fathers of the new race,
Feed upon morning dew,
Sing the new Song of Love !
The law of force is dead !
The law of love prevails !
Thor, the thunderer,
Shall rule the earth no more,
No more, with threats,
Challenge the meek Christ.
Sing no more,
() ye bards of the North,
Of Vikings and of Jarls!
Of the days of Eld
Preserve the freedom only,
Not the deeds of blood !

God sent his Singers upon earth
With songs of sadness and of mirth,
That they inight touch the hearts of men
And bring them back to heaven again.
The first, a youth, with soul of fire,
Held in his hand a golden lyre ;
Through groves he wandered, and by

Playing the music of our dreams.
The second, with a bearded face,
Stood singing in the market-place,
And stirred with accents deep and loud
The hearts of all the listening crowd.


gray old man, the third and last, Sang in cathedrals dim and vast, While the majestic organ rolled Contrition from its mouths of gold. And those who heard the Singers three Disputed which the best might be ; For still their music seemed to start Discordant echoes in each heart.

But the great Master said, “I see
To best in kind, but in degree ;
gave a various gift to each,
o charm, to strengthen, and to teach.
* These are the three great chords of

And he whose ear is tuned aright
Will hear no discord in the three,
But the most perfect harmony."


Christ to the young man said : “Yet

one thing more;
If thou wouldst perfect be,
Sell all thou hast and give it to the poor,

And come and follow me!”
Within this temple Christ again, unseen,

Those sacred words hath said,
And his invisible hands to-day have been

Laid on a young man's head.
And evermore beside him on his way

The unseen Christ shall move,
That he may lean upon his arm and say,

“Dost thou, dear Lord, approve ?”. Beside him at the marriage feast shall be,

To make the scene more fair ;
Beside him in the dark Gethsemane

Of pain and midnight prayer.
O holy trust ! O endless sense of rest !

Like the beloved John
To lay his head upon the Saviour's breast,

And thus to journey on !

TAKE them, O Death ! and bear away

Whatever thou canst call thine own ! Thine image, stamped upon this clay,

Doth give thee that, but that alone ! Take them, O Grave ! and let them lie

Folded upon thy narrow shelves, As garments by the soul laid by,

And precious only to ourselves !
Take them, O great Eternity !

Our little life is but a gust
That bends the branches of thy tree,

And trails its blossoms in the dust !



Only the Lowland tongue of Scotland might
Rehearse this little tragedy aright:
Let me attempt it with an English quill:

And take, 0 Reader, for the deed the will.

This old Te Deum, rustic rites attending,

Seemed from the clouds descending ; At the foot of the mountain height When lo ! a merry company

Where is perched Castèl-Cuillè, Of rosy village girls, clean as the eye, When the apple, the plum, and the al- Each one with her attendant swain, mond tree

Came to the cliff, all singing the same In the plain below were growing

strain ; white,

Resembling there, so near unto the sky, This is the song one might perceive Rejoicing angels, that kind Heaven has On a Wednesday morn of Saint Joseph's

sent For their delight and our encourage

ment. “The roads should blossom, the roads Together blending, should bloom,

And soon descending So fair a bride shall leave her home!

The narrow sweep Should blossom and bloom with garlands Of the hillside steep, gay,

They wind aslant o fair a bride shall pass to-day !”

Towards Saint Amant,

Eve :

Through leafy alleys

Baptiste stands sighing, with silent Of verdurous valleys

tongue ? With merry sallies

And yet the bride is fair and young Singing their chant:

Is it Saint Joseph would say to us all,

That love, o’er-hasty, precedeth a fall ? “The roads should blossom, the roads O no! for a maiden frail, 1 trow, should bloom,

Never bore so lofty a brow ! So fair a bride shall leave her home! What lovers ! they give not a single Should blossom and bloom with garlands

caress! gay,

To see them so careless and cold to-day, So fair a bride shall pass to-day !”.

These are grand people, one would

say: It is Baptiste, and his affianced maiden, What ails Baptiste ? what grief doth him With garlands for the bridal laden !

oppress? The sky was blue ; without one cloud of It is, that, half-way up the hill, gloom,

In yon cottage, by whose walls The sun of March was shining brightly, Stand the cart-house and the stalls, And to the air the freshening wind gave Dwelleth the blind orphan still, lightly

Daughter of a veteran old ; Its breathings of perfume.

And you must know, one year ago,

That Margaret, the young and tenWhen one beholds the dusky hedges

der, blossom,

Was the village pride and splerdor, A rustic bridal, ah! how sweet it is ! And Baptiste her lover bold. To sounds of joyous melodies,

Love, the deceiver, them ensnared ; That touch with tenderness the trem- For them the altar was prepared ; bling bosom,

But alas! the summer's blight, A band of maidens

The dread disease that none can stay, Gayly frolicking,

The pestilence that walks by night,
A hand of youngsters

Took'the young bride's siglit away.
Wildly rollicking!

All at the father's stern command was

changed; With fingers pressing,

Their peace was gone, but not their love Till in the veriest

estranged. Madness of mirth, as they dance, Wearied at home, erelong the lover fled ; They retreat and advance,

Returned but three short days ago, Trying whose laugh shall be loud- The golden chain they round him est and merriest;

throw, While the bride, with roguish eyes, He is enticed, and onward led Sporting with them, now escapes and To marry Angela, and yet cries :

Is thinking ever of Margaret.
“Those who catch me
Married verily

Then suddenly a maiden cried,
This year shall be !"

“ Anna, Theresa, Mary, Kate !

Here comes the cripple Jane !” And by And all pursue with eager haste,

a fountain's side And all attain what they pursue, A woman, bent and gray with years, And touch her pretty apron fresh and new, Under the mulberry-trees appears, And the linen kirtle round her waist. And all towards her run, as fleet

As had they wings upon their feet. Meanwhile, whence comes it that among

It is that Jane, the cripple Jane, These youthful maidens fresh and Is a soothsayer, wary and kind. fair,

She telleth fortunes, and none complain. So joyous, with such laughing air, She promises one a village swain,

Another a happy wedding-day, Arrived ! yet keeps aloof so far! And the bride a lovely boy straight. And knows that of my night he is the way.

star! All comes to pass as she avers ; Knows that long months I wait alone, She never deceives, she never errs.


And count the moments since he went But for this once the village seer

away ! Wears a countenance severe, Come ! keep the promise of that happier nd from beneath her eyebrows thin and

day, white

That I may keep the faith to thee I Her two eyes flash like cannons

plighted ! bright

What joy have I without thee ? what Aimed at the bridegroom in waist

delight ? coat blue,

Grief wastes my life, and makes it misWho, like a statue, stands in view ;

ery ; Changing color, as well he might, Day for the others ever, but for me When the beldame wrinkled and Forever night ! forever night ! gray

When he is gone 't is dark ! my soul is Takes the young bride by the hand,

sad ! And, with the tip of her reedy wand I suffer ! O my God ! come, make me Making the sign of the cross, doth

glad. say : —

When he is near, no thoughts of day in* Thoughtless Angela, beware!

trude ; Lest, when thou weddest this false Day has blue heavens, but Baptiste has bridegroom,

blue eyes ! Thou diggest for thyself a tomb !". Within them shines for me a heaven of nd she was silent; and the maidens fair

love, iw from each eye escape a swollen tear; A heaven all happiness, like that above, ut on a little streamlet silver-clear,

No more of grief ! no more of lassiWhat are two drops of turbid rain ?

tude ! Saddened a moment, the bridal train Earth I forget, and heaven, and all Resumed the dance and song again ;

distresses, he bridegroom only was pale with When seated by my side my hand he

presses ; And down green alleys

But when alone, remember all ! Of verdurous valleys,

Where is Baptiste ? he hears not when I With merry sallies,

call ! They sang the refrain : A branch of ivy, dying on the ground,

I need some bough to twine around ! The roads should blossom, the roads In pity cone ! be to my suffering kind ! should bloom,

True love, they say, in grief doth more o fair a bride shall leave her home!

abound ! hould blossom and bloom with garlands What then — when one is blind ?

gay, o fair a bride shall pass to-day !”

“Who knows ? perhaps I am for

saken !

Ah! woe is me! then bear me to my II.

grave !

O God! what thoughts within me Nd by suffering worn and weary,

waken! lut beautiful as some fair angel yet, Away! he will return ! I do but rave ! 'hus lamented Margaret,

He will return ! I need not fear ! n her cottage lone and dreary :

He swore it by our Saviour dear;

He could not come at his own will; He has arriveil ! arrived at last ! Is weary, or perhaps is ill ! 'et. Jane has named him not these three Perhaps his heart, in this clisguise, days past;

Prepares for me some sweet surprise !

fear ;

less eyes ;

But some one comes ! Though blind, “I know it !" answered Margaret my heart can see !

Whoin the vision, with aspect black as And that deceives me not! 't is he ! 't is

jet, he!”

Mastered again ; and its hand of ice

Held her heart crushed, as in a vice ! And the door ajar is set,

Paul, be not sad ! 'T is a holi And poor, confiding Margaret

day; Rises, with outstretched arms, but sight

To-morrow put on thy doublet gay.

But leave me now for a while alone." 'T is only Paul, her brother, who thus Away, with a hop and a jumpcries :

went Paul, Angela the bride has passed !

And, as he whistled along the hall, I saw the wedding guests go by ;

Entered Jane, the crippled crone. Tell me, my sister, why were we not asked ?

Holy Virgin ! what dreadful heat! For all are there but you and I !” I am faint, and weary, and out of


But thou art cold, - art chill as
Angela married ! and not send
To tell her secret unto me!

0, speak ! who may the bridegroom

My little friend ! what ails thee,

sweet?be?” “My sister, 't is Baptiste, thy “Nothing! I heard them singing home

the bride ; friend!”

And, as I listened to the song,

I thought my turn would come A cry the blind girl gave, but nothing


Thou knowest it is at Whitsuntide. A milky whiteness spreads upon her Thy cards forsooth can never lie, cheeks ;

To me such joy they prophesy, An icy hand, as heavy as lead,

Thy skill shall be vaunted far and Descending, as her brother speaks,

wide Upon her heart, that has ceased to

When they behold him at my beat,

side. Suspends awhile its life and heat.

And poor Baptiste, what sayest She stands beside the boy, now sore dis

thou? tressed,

It must seem long to him ;- — methinks A wax Madonna as a peasant dressed.

I see him now !"

Jane, shuddering, her hand doth At length, the bridal song again

press : Brings her back to her sorrow and • Thy love I cannot all approve; pain.

We must not trust too much to happi

said ;

ness ;

Hark! the joyous airs are ring- Go, pray to God, that thou mayst love ing!

him less !” Sister, dost thou hear them sing- “ The more I pray, the more I ing?

love! How merrily they laugh and jest ! It is no sin, for God is on my side! " Would we were bidden with the It was enough ; and Jane no more rerest!

plied. I would don my hose of homespun gray,

Now to all hope her heart is barred and And my doublet of linen striped

But to deceive the beldame old Perhaps they will come ; for they She takes a sweet, contented air ; do not wed

Speak of foul weather or of fair, Till to-morrow at seven o'clock, it is At every word the maiden smiles ! said !”

Thus the beguiler she beguiles ;

cold ;

and gay ;

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