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A ship sailed from New Haven,
HAUNTED HOUSES. And the keen and frosty airs,
ALL houses wherein men have lived That filled her sails at parting,
and died Were heavy with good men's prayers. Are haunted houses. Through the “O Lord ! if it be thy pleasure”Thus prayed the old divine
The harmless phantoms on their errands “To bury our friends in the ocean,
glide, Take them, for they are thine!”
With feet that make no sound upon But Master Lamberton muttered,
the floors. And under his breath said he,
We meet them at the doorway, on the “This ship is so crank and walty,
stair, I fear our grave she will be !
Along the passages they come and go, And the ships that came from England Impalpable impressions on the air,
When the winter months were gone, A sense of something moving to and Brought no tidings of this vessel,
fro. Nor of Master Lamberton.
There are more guests at table than This put the people to praying
the hosts That the Lord would let them hear Invited; the illuminated hall What in his greater wisdom
Is thronged with quiet, inoffensive He had done with friends so dear.
ghosts, And at last their prayers were an
As silent as the pictures on the wall. swered:
The stranger at my fireside cannot see It was in the month of June,
The forms I see, nor hear the sounds An hour before the sunset
I hear; Of a windy afternoon,
He but perceives what is; while unto When, steadily steering landward, A ship was seen below,
All that has been is visible and clear. And they knew it was Lamberton,
We have no title-deeds to house or Master,
lands; Who sailed so long ago.
Owners and occupants of earlier dates On she came, with a cloud of canvas, From graves forgotten stretch their Right against the wind that blew,
dusty hands, Until the eye could distinguish
And hold in mortmain still their old The faces of the crew.
estates. Then fell her straining topmasts, The spirit-world around this world of
Hanging tangled in the shrouds; And her sails were loosened and lifted,
Floats like an atmosphere, and everyAnd blown away like clouds.
where And the masts, with all their rigging, Wafts through these earthly mists and Fell slowly, one by one;
vapours dense And the hulk dilated and vanished,
A vital breath of more ethereal air.. As a sea-mist in the sun !
Our little lives are kept in equipoise And the people who saw this marvel By opposite attractions and desires! Each said unto his friend,
The struggle of the instinct that enjoys, That this was the mould of their vessel, And the more 'noble instinct that And thus her tragic end.
aspires. And the pastor of the village
These perturbations, this perpetual jar Gave thanks to God in prayer,
Ofearthly wants and aspirations high, That, to quiet their troubled spirits, Come from the influence of an unseen He had sent this Ship of Air.
star, An undiscovered planet in our sky.
And lowliness and humility,
The richest and rarest of all dowers? Who shall tell us? No one speaks ; No colour shoots into those cheeks,
Either of anger or of pride, At the rude question we have asked ; Nor will the mystery be unmasked
By those who are sleeping at her side. Hereafter?
And do you think to look On the terrible pages of that Book
To find her failings, faults, and errors? Ah, you will then have other cares, In your own short-comings and despairs, In
your own secret sins and terrors!
And as the moon from some dark gate
of cloud Throws o'er the sea a floating bridge
of light, Across whose trembling planks our
fancies crowd Into the realm of mystery and night,So from the world of spirits there de
scends A bridge of light, connecting it with
this, O'er whose unsteady floor, that sways
and bends, Wander our thoughts above the dark
abyss. DAYLIGHT AND MOONLIGHT. In broad daylight, and at noon, Yesterday I saw the moon Sailing high, but faint and white, As a schoolboy's paper kite. In broad daylight, yesterday, I read a Poet's mystic lay; And it seemed to me at most As a phantom or a ghost. But at length the feverish day Like a passion died away, And the night, serene and still, Fell on village, vale, and hill. Then the moon, in all her pride, Like a spirit glorified, Filled and overflowed the night With revelations of her light. And the Poet's song again Passed like music through my brain; Night interpreted to me All its grace and mystery.
THE EMPEROR'S BIRD'S NEST. Once the Emperor Charles of Spain,
With his swarthy, grave commanders, I forget in what campaign, Long besieged, in mud and rain,
Some old frontier town of Flanders. Up and down the dreary camp,
In great boots of Spanish leather, Striding with a measured tramp, These Hidalgos, dull and damp, Cursed the Frenchmen, cursed the
weather. Thus as to and fro they went,
Over upland and through hollow, Giving their impatience vent, Perched upon the Emperor's tent
In her nest they spied a swallow. Yes, it was a swallow's nest,
Built of clay and hair of horses, Mane, or tail, or dragoon's crest, Found on hedge-rows east and west,
After skirmish of the forces. Then an old Hidalgo said,
As he twirled his gray mustachio, “Sure this swallow overhead Thinks the Emperor's tent a shed,
And the Emperor but a Macho!”* Hearing his imperial name
Coupled with those words of malice, Half in anger, half in shame, Forth the great campaigner came
Slowly from his canvas palace.
* Macho, in Spanish, signifies a mule. Golondrina is the feminine form of Golondrino, a swallow, and also a cant name for a deserter.
IN THE CHURCHYARD AT
CAMBRIDGE. In the village churchyard she lies, Dust is in her beautiful eyes, No more she breathes, nor feels, nor
stirs; At her feet and at her head Lies a slave to attend the dead,
But their dust is white as hers. Was she a lady of high degree, So much in love with vanity
And foolish pomp of this world of ours? Or was it Christian charity,
“Let no hand the bird molest,”.
Said he solemnly, “nor hurt her!” Adding then, by way of jest, “Golondrina is my guest,
'Tis the wife of some deserter!” Swift as bowstring speeds a shaft, Through the camp was spread the
rumour, And the soldiers, as they quaffed Flemish beer at dinner, laughed
At the Emperor's pleasant humour. So unharmed and unafraid
Sat the swallow still and brooded, Till the constant cannonade Through the walls a breach had made, And
the siege was thus concluded. Then the army, elsewhere bent,
Struck its tents as if disbanding,
Very curtly, “Leave it standing !” So it stood there all alone,
Loosely flapping, torn and tattered, Till the brood was fledged and flown, Singing o'er those walls of stone
Which the cannon-shot had shattered.
By the fireside there are old men seated, Seeing ruined cities in the ashes,
Asking sadly Of the Past what it can ne'er restore
them. By the fireside there are youthful
dreamers, Building castles fair, with stately stair
Asking blindly Of the Future what it cannot give them. By the fireside tragedies are acted In whose scenes appear two actors only,
Wife and husband, And above them God the sole spectator. By the fireside there are peace and
comfort, Wives and children, with fair, thought
Waiting, watching For a well-known footstep in the pas
sage. Each man's chimney is his Golden
Mile-stone; Is the central point, from which he
Every distance Through the gateways of the world
around him. In his farthest wanderings still he sees it; Hears the talking flame, the answering
As he heard them When he sat with those who were, but
are not. Happy he whom neither wealth nor
fashion, Nor the march of the encroaching city,
Drives an exile From the hearth of his ancestral home
stead. We may build more splendid habita
tions, Fill our rooms with paintings and with
But we cannot
THE GOLDEN MILE-STONE. LEAFLESS are the trees; their purple
branches Spread themselves abroad, like reefs of
Rising silent In the Red Sea of the Winter sunset. From the hundred chimneys of the vil
lage, Like the Afreet in the Arabian story,
Smoky columns Tower aloft into the air of amber. At the window winks the flickering fire
light; Here and there the lamps of evening
Social watch-fires Answering one another through the
darkness. On the hearth the lighted logs are
glowing, And like Ariel in the cloven pine-tree
For its freedom Groans and sighs the air imprisoned in
THE JEWISH CEMETERY AT How came they here? What burst of NEWPORT.
Christian hate, How strange it seems! These Hebrews What persecution, merciless and blind, in their graves,
Drove o'er the sea--that desert deso
lateClose by the street of this fair seaport
These Ishmaels and Hagars of mantown,
kind? Silent beside the never-silent waves,
At rest in all this moving up and down! They lived in narrow streets and lanes The trees are white with dust, that o'er
obscure, their sleep
Ghetto and Judenstrass, in mirk and
mire; Wave their broad curtains in the south wind's breath,
Taught in the school of patience to
endure While underneath such leafy tents they keep
The life of anguish and the death of
fire. The long mysterious Exodus of Death.
All their lives long, with the unleavened
bread And these sepulchral stones, so old and brown,
And bitter herbs of exile and its fears, That with level flags their
The wasting famine of the heart theyfed, pave
And slaked its thirst with marah of burial-place,
their tears. Seem like the tablets of the Law, thrown down
Anathema maranatha! was the cry And broken by Moses at the moun- That rang from town to town, from tain's base.
street to street;
At every gate the accursed Mordecai The very names recorded here are
Was mocked and jeered, and spurned strange,
by Christian feet. Of foreign accent, and of different climes ;
Pride and humiliation hand in hand Alvares and Rivera interchange
Walked with them through the world With Abraham and Jacob of old
where'er they went; times.
Trampled and beaten were they as the
sand, “ Blessed be God! for He created
And yet unshaken as the continent. Death!”
For in the background figures vague The mourners said, “and death is
and vast rest and peace; Then added, in the certainty of faith,
Of patriarchs and of prophets rose
sublime, “And giveth Life that never more shall cease.”
And all the great traditions of the Past
They saw reflected in the coming time. Closed are the portals of their Syna- And thus for ever with reverted look gogue,
The mystic volume of the world they No Psalms of David now the silence
Spelling it backward, like a Hebrew No Rabbi reads the ancient Decalogue
book, In the grand dialect the Prophets Till life became a Legend of the Dead. spake.
But ah! what once has been shall be Gone are the living, but the dead remain,
And not neglected; for a head unseen, The groaning earth in travail and in Scattering its bounty, like a summer
Brings forth its races, but does not Still keeps their graves and their re
restore, membrance green.
And the dead nations never rise again.
OLIVER BASSELIN.* In the Valley of the Vire
Still is seen an ancient mill, With its gables quaint and queer, And beneath the window-sill,
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, From the neighbouring hillside down On the rushing and the roar
Of the stream
Whose sunny gleam
To the water's dash and din,
Songs that fill
That ancient mill With a splendour of its own. Never feeling of unrest Broke the pleasant dream he
dreamed ; Only made to be his nest, All the lovely valley seemed ;
Of soaring higher
Were not songs of that high art,
But the mirth
Of this green earth
* 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, Vauxde-Vire. This name was afterwards corrupted into the modern Vaudeville.
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
Another clang, Songs that lowlier hearts could feel. In the convent, clad in gray,
Sat the monks in lonely cells, Paced the cloisters, knelt to pray, And the poet heard their bells;
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, From those mouldering days of old! Bu
poet's memory here Of the landscape makes a part; Like the river, swift and clear, Flows his song through many a heart;
That ancient mill,
THE DISCOVERER OF THE
Who dwelt in Helgoland, To King Alfred, the Lover of Truth, Brought a snow-white walrus-tooth, Which he held in his brown right
Like a boy's his eye appeared ;