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By the fireside there are old men seated,
Wife and husband,
As he heard them
Drives an exile
Te may build more splendid habitations,
But we cannot
THE JEWISH CEMETERY AT NEWPORT.
How strange it seems! These Hebrews in their graves,
Close by the street of this fair seaport town,
At rest in all this moving up and down !
Waye their broad curtains in the south wind's breath, While underneath such leafy tents they keep
The long mysterious Exodus of Death.
And these sepulchral stones, so old and brown,
That pave with level flags their burial-place, Seem like the tablets of the Law, thrown down
And broken by Moses at the mountain's base. The very names recorded here are strange,
Of foreign accent, and of different climes; Alvares and Rivera interchange
With Abraham and Jacob of old times. 6 Blessed be God! for He created Death!"
The mourners said, “and Death is rest and peace;" Then added, in the certainty of faith,
“And giveth Life that never more shall cease.” Closed are the portals of their Synagogue,
No Psalms of David now the silence break, No Rabbi reads the ancient Decalogue
In the grand dialect the Prophets spake. Gone are the living, but the dead remain,
And not neglected; for a hand unseen, Scattering its bounty, like a summer rain,
Still keeps their graves and their remembrance green. How came they here? What burst of Christian liate,
What persecution, merciless and blind, Drove o'er the sea--that desert desolate
These Ishmaels and Hagars of mankind ? They lived in narrow streets and lanes obscure,
Ghetto and Judenstrass, in mirk and mire; Taught in the school of patience to endure
l'he life of anguish and the death of fire. All their lives long, with the unleavened bread
And bitter herbs of exile and its fears, The wasting famine of the heart they fed,
And slaked its thirst with marah of their tears, Anathema maranatha! was the cry
That rang from town to town, from street to street; It every gate the accursed Mordecai
Was mocked and jeered, and spurned by Christian feet, Pride and humiliation hand in hand
Walked with them through the world where'er they went; Trampled and beaten were they as the sand,
And yet unshaken as the continent.
Of patriarchs and of prophets rose sublime,
They saw reflected in the coming time.
And thus for ever with reverted look
The mystic volume of the world they read,
Till life became a Legend of the Dead.
The groaning earth in travail and in pain
And the dead nations never rise again.
OLIVER BASSELIN. [Oliver Basselin, the “Père joyeux du Vaudeville,” flourished in the fifteenth century, and gave to his convivial songs the name of his native valleys, in which he sang them, Vaux-de-Vire. This name was afterwards corrupted into the modern Vaudeville.]
In the Valley of the Vire
Still is seen an vocient mill,
On the stone,
These words alone:
Ruined stands the old Château;
Its vacant eyes
Stare at the skies,
Looked, but ah! it looks no more,
Of the stream
Whose sunny gleam
To the water's dash and din,
Songs that fill
That ancient mill
Broke the pleasant dream he dreamed;
All the lovely valley seemed;
Of soaring higher
Were not songs of that high art,
But the mirth
Of this green earth Laughed and revelled in his line. From the alehouse and the inn,
Opening on the narrow street Came the loud convivial din, Singing and applause of feet,
The laughing lays
That in those days
Knights, who fought at Agincourt, Watched and waited, spur on heel; But the poet sang for sport
Songs that rang
Sat the monks in lonely cells,
But his rhymes
Found other chimes, Nearer to the earth than they. Gone are all the barons bold,
Gone are all the knights and squires, Gone the abbot stern and cold, And the brotherhood of friars;
Not a name
Remains to fame,
Of the landscape makes a part;
That ancient mill, In the Valley of the Vire.
THE DISCOVERER OF THE NORTH CAPE.
A LEAF FROM KING ALFRED'S OROSIUS,
OTHERE, the old sea-captain,
Who dwelt in Helgoland,
Which he held in his brown right hand.
Like a boy's his eye appeared ;
Gleamed in his tawny beard.
His cheek had the colour of oak;
As unto the King he spoke.
Had a book upon his knees,
Into the Arctic seas.
No man lives north of me;
To the westward all is sea.
“So far I live to the northward,
From the harbour of Skeringes-hale,
More than a month would you sail.
With sheep and swine beside;
And ropes of walrus-hide.
But my heart was ill at ease,
With their sagas of the seas: