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It was Autumn, and incessant
Piped the quails from shocks and sheaves ; And, like living coals, the apples
Burned among the withering leaves. Loud the clamorous bell was ringing
From its belfry gaunt and grim; 'Twas the daily call to labour,
Not a triumph meant for him. Not the less he saw the landscape,
In its gleaming vapour veiled; Not the less he breathed the odours
That the dying leaves exhaled. Thus, upon the village common,
By the school-boys he was found; And the wise men, in their wisdom,
Put him straightway into pound. Then the sombre village crier,
Ringing loud his brazen bell, Wandered down the street proclaiming
There was an estray to sell. And the curious country people,
Rich and poor, and young and old, Came in haste to see this wondrous
Winged steed, with mane of gold. Thus the day passed, and the evening
Fell, with vapours cold and dim ; But it brought no food nor shelter,
Brought no straw nor stall, for him. Patiently, and still expectant,
Looked he through the wooden bars, Saw the moon rise o'er the landscape,
Saw the tranquil, patient stars ;
Sounded from its dark abode,
Loud the cock Alectryon crowed.
Breaking from his iron chain, And unfolding far his pinions,
To those stars he soared again.
Woke to all its toil and care,
And they knew not when nor where.
But they found, upon the greensward
Where his struggling hoofs had trod, Pure and bright, a fountain flowing
From the hoof-marks in the sod. From that hour, the fount unfailing
Gladdens the whole region round, trengthening all who drink its waters, While it soothes then with its sound.
GASPAR BECERRA. By his evening fire the artist
Pondered o'er his secret shame; Baffled, weary, and disheartened,
Still he mused, and dreamed of fame 'Twas an image of the Virgin
That had tasked his utmost skill; But, alas! his fair ideal
Vanished and escaped him still. From a distant Eastern island
Had the precious wood been brought; Day and night the anxious master
Åt his toil untiring wrought; Till, discouraged and desponding,
Sat he now in shadows deep,
Found oblivion in sleep.
From the burning brand of oak
And the startled artist woke, Woke, and from the smoking embers
Seized and quenched the glowing wood; And therefrom he carved an image,
And he saw that it was good. O thou sculptor, painter, poet!
Take this lesson to thy heart: That is best which lieth nearest;
Shape from that thy work of art.
KING WITLAF'S DRINKING-HORN.
Ere yet his last he breathed,
His drinking-horn bequeathed, -
That, whenever they sat at their revels,
And drank from the golden bowl, They might remember the donor,
And breathe a prayer for his soul.
And bade the goblet pass;
Like dew-drops in the grass.
They drank to Christ the Lord, And to each of the Twelve Apostles,
Who had preached his holy word. They drank to the Saints and Martyrs
of the dismal days of yore, And as soon as the horn was empty
They remembered one Saint more. And the reader droned from the pulpit,
Like the murmur of many bees,
And Saint Basil's homilies ;
prison in the tower, Guthlac and Bartholomæus,
Proclaimed the midnight hour.
And the Abbot bowed his head,
But the Abbot was stark and dead.
He clutched the golden bowl, In which, like a pearl dissolving,
Had sunk and dissolved his soul.
The jovial monks forbore,
We must drink to one Saint more!”
I saw the pallid corpse Of the dead sun Borne through the Northern sky, Blasts from Niffelheim Lifted the sheeted mists Around him as he passed. And the voice for ever cried, “Balder the Beautiful Is dead, is dead !" And died away Through the dreary night, In accents of despair. Balder the Beautiful, God of the summer sun, Fairest of all the Gods! Light from his forehead beamed, Runes were upon his tongue, As on the warrior's sword. 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 mistietoe! 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,
God sent his Singers upon earth