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From the wreck of Hopes far-scattered,

Floating waste and desolate;-
Ever drifting, drifting, drifting

On the shifting
Currents of the restless heart;
Till at length in books recorded,

They, like hoarded
Household words, no more depart.

THE DAY IS DONE. The day is done, and the darkness

Falls from the wings of Night, As a feather is wafted downward

From an eagle in his flight. I see the lights of the village

Gleam through the rain and the mist, And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me,

That my soul cannot resist :
A feeling of sadness and longing,

That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only

As the mist resembles the rain. Come, read to me some poem,

Some simple and heartfelt lay, That shall soothe this restless feeling,

And banish the thoughts of day. Not from the grand old masters,

Not from the bards sublime, Whose distant footsteps echo

Through the corridors of Time. For, like strains of martial music,

Their mighty thoughts suggest Life's endless toil and endeavour;

And to-night I long for rest. Read from some humbler poet,

Whose songs gushed from his heart, As showers from the clouds of summer,

Or tears from the eyelids start; Who, through long days of labour,

And nig devoid of ease, Still heard in his soul the music

Of wonderful melodies.

Such songs have

power to quiet The restless pulse of care, And come like the benediction

That follows after prayer.
Then read from the treasured volume

The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet

The beauty of thy voice.
And the night shall be filled with music,

And the cares, that infest the day, Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,

And as silently steal away.


The day is ending,
The night is descending;
The marsh is frozen,

The river dead.
Through clouds like ashes,
The red sun flashes
On village windows

That glimmer red.
The snow recommences :
The buried fences
Mark no longer

The road o'er the plain,
While through the meadows,
Like fearful shadows,
Slowly passes

A funeral train.
The bell is pealing,
And every feeling
Within me responds

To the dismal knell;
Shadows are trailing,
My heart is bewailing
And tolling within
Like a funeral bell.


WELCOME, my old friend,
Welcome to a foreign fireside,
While the sullen gales of autumn
Shake the windows.

The ungrateful world
Has, it seems, dealt harshly with thee,
Since, beneath the skies of Denmark,
First I met thee.
There are marks of age,
There are thumb-marks on thy margin,
Made by hands-that clasped thee rudely
At the alehouse.
Soiled and dull thou art;
Yellow are thy time-worn pages,
As the russet, rain-molested
Leaves of autumn.
Thou art stained with wine
Scattered from hilarious goblets,
As these leaves with the libations
Of Olympus.
Yet dost thou recall
Days departed, half-forgotten,
When in dreamy youth I wandered
By the Baltic,
When I paused to hear
The old ballad of King Christian
Shouted from suburban taverns
In the twilight.
Thou recallest bards,
Who, in solitary chambers,
And with hearts by passion wasted,
Wrote thy pages.
Thou recallest homes
Where thy songs of love and friendship
Made the gloomy Northern winter
Bright as summer.
Once some ancient Scald,
In his bleak, ancestral Iceland,
Chanted staves of these old ballads
To the Vikings.
Once in Elsinore,
At the court of old King Hamlet,
Yorick and his boon companions
Sang these ditties.
Once Prince Frederick's Guard
Sang them in their smoky barracks ;
Suddenly the English cannon
Joined the chorus !

Peasants in the field,
Sailors on the roaring ocean,
Students, tradesmen, pale mechanics,
All have sung them.
Thou hast been their friend;
They, alas! have left thee friendless!
Yet at least by one warm fireside
Art thou welcome.
And, as swallows build
In these wide, old-fashioned chimneys,
So thy twittering songs shall nestle
In my bosom,-
Quiet, close, and warm,
Sheltered from all molestation,
And recalling by their voices
Youth and travel.


[WALTER VON DER VOGELWEID, or BIRD-MEADOW, was one of the principal Minnesingers of the thirteenth century. He triumphed over Heinrich von Ofterdingen in that poetic contest at Wartburg Castle, known in literary history as the War of Wartburg.]

VOGELWEID the Minnesinger,

When he left this world of ours,
Laid his body in the cloister,

Under Würtzburg's minster towers.
And he gave the monks his treasures,

Gave them all with this behest:
They should feed the birds at noontide

Daily on his place of rest;
Saying, “From these wandering minstrels

I have learned the art of song;
Let me now repay the lessons

They have taught so well and long."
Thus the bard of love departed;

And, fulfilling his desire,
On his tomb the birds were feasted

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 pavement, on the tombstone,

On the poet's sculptured face,
On the cross-bars of each window,

On the lintel of each door,
They renewed the War of Wartburg,

Which the bard had fought before.
There they sang their merry carols,

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 unwelcome guests. Then in vain, with cries discordant,

Clamorous round the Gothic spire,
Screamed the feathered Minnesingers

For the children of the choir.
Time has long effaced the inscriptions

On the cloister's funeral stones,
And tradition only tells us

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.



COME, old friend! sit down and listen!

From the pitcher, placed between us, How the waters laugh and glisten

In the head of old Silenus; Old Silenus, bloated, drunken,

Led by his inebriate Satyrs ; On his breast his head is sunken,

Vacantly he leers and chatters.

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