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TO AN OLD DANISH SONG-BOOK. WELCOME, my old friend,
Welcome to a foreign fireside, While the sullen gales of autumn Shake the windows.
The ungrateful world
There are marks of age,
Soiled and dull thou art;
Thou art stained with wine
Yet dost thou recall
Thou hast been their friend;
And, as swallows build
AFTERNOON IN FEBRUARY,
The day is ending,
The river dead.
Through clouds like ashes
That glimmer red.
The snow recommences;
The road o'er the plain ;
While through the meadows,
A funeral train.
The bell is pealing,
To the dismal knell;
Shadows are trailing,
Like a funeral bell.
WALTER VON DER VOGELWEID. Vogelwerd the Minnesinger,
When he left this world of ours, Laid his body in the cloister,
Under Wurtzburg's minster towers.
Gave them all with his behest :
Daily on his place of rest;
I have learned the art of song; Let me now repay the lessons
They have taught so well and long."
And, fulfilling his desire,
By the children of the choir.
Day by day, o'er tower and turret,
In foul weather and in fair, Day by day, in vaster numbers,
Flocked the poets of the air.
On the tree whose heavy branches
Overshadowed all the place,
On the poet's sculptured face.
On the lintel of each door,
Which the bard had fought before.
Sang their lauds on every side ; And the name their voices uttered
Was the name of Vogelweid. Till at length the portly abbot
Murmured, “Why this waste of food ? Be it changed to loaves henceforward
For our fasting brotherhood.” Then in vain o'er tower and turret,
From the walls and woodland nests, When the minster bell rang noontide,
Gathered the unwelcomed guests. Then in vain, with cries discordant,
Clamorous round the Gothic spire,
For the children of the choir.
On the cloister's funeral stones,
Where repose the poet's bones. But around the vast cathedral,
By sweet echoes multiplied, Still the birds repeat the legend,
And the name of Vogelweid.