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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 ;

Till at length the bell at midnight

Sounded from its dark abode, And, from out a neighbouring farmyard,

Loud the cock Alectryon crowed.

Then, with nostrils wide distended,

Breaking from his iron chain, And unfolding far his pinions,

To those stars he soared again.

On the morrow, when the village

Woke to all its toil and care,
Lo! the strange steed had departed,

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, Strengthening all who drink its waters,

While it soothes them with its sound.


BLACK shadows fall
From the lindens tall,
That lift aloft their massive wall

Against the southern sky;

And from the realms
Of the shadowy elms
A tide-like darkness overwhelms

The fields that round us lie.

But the night is fair,
And everywhere
A warm, soft vapour fills the air,

And distant sounds seem near;

And above, in the light
Of the star-lit night,
Swift birds of passage wing their flight

Through the dewy atmosphere.

I hear the beat
Of their pinions fleet,
As from the land of snow and sleet

They seek a southern lea.
I hear the cry
Of their voices high
Falling dreamily through the sky,

But their forms I cannot see.

say not so; Those sounds that flow In murmurs of delight and woe

Come not from wings of birds.

They are the throngs
Of the poet's songs,
Murmurs of pleasures, and pains, and wrongs,

The sounds of wingèd words.
This is the cry
Of souls, that high
On toiling, beating pinions, fly,

Seeking a warmer clime.
From their distant flight
Through realms of light
It falls into our world of night,

With the murmuring sound of rhyme.

WITLAF, a king of the Saxons,

Ere yet his last he breathed,
To the merry monks of Croyland

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.
So sat they once at Christmas,

And bade the goblet pass;
In their beards the red wine glistened

Like dew-drops in the grass.
They drank to the soul of Witlaf,

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,
The legend of good Saint Guthlac,

And St. Basil's homilies;
Till the great bells of the convent,

From their prison in the tower,
Guthlac and Bartholomæus,

Proclaimed the midnight hour, And the Yule-log cracked in the chimney,

And the Abbot bowed his head, And the flamelets flapped and flickered,

But the Abbot was stark and dead. Yet still in his pallid fingers

He clutched the golden bowl, In which, like a pearl dissolving,

Had sunk and dissolved his soul.
But not for this their revels

The jovial monks forbore,
For they cried, “Fill high the goblet !

We must drink to one Saint more !"

I HEARD a voice that cried
“ Balder the Beautiful
Is dead, is dead !”
And through the misty air
Passed like the mournful cry
Of sunward sailing cranes.

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

And the voice for ever cried,
« Balder the Beautiful
Is dead, is dead!"
And died

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


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 accursèd mistletoe! They laid him in his ship, With horse and harness, As on a funeral pyre.

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