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Odin placed
A ring upon his finger,
And whispered in his ear.
They launched the burning ship!
It floated far

Over the misty sea,
Till like the sun it seemed,
Sinking beneath the waves.
Balder returned no more!
So perish the old Gods !
But out of the sea of Time
Rises a new land of song,
Fairer than the old.
Over its meadows green
Walk the young bards and sing.
Build it again
Oye bards,
Fairer than before !
Ye fathers of the new race,
Feed upon morning dew,
Sing the new song of Love !
The law of force is dead!
The law of love prevails!
Thor, the thunderer,
Shall rule the earth no more,
No more, with threats,
Challenge the meek Christ.
Sing no more,
O ye bards of the North,
Of Vikings and of Jarls!
Of the days of Eld
Preserve the freedom only,
Not the deeds of blood.


Take them, O Death! and bear away

Whatever thou canst call thine own! Thine image stamped upon this clay,

Doth give thee that, but that alone! Take them, O Grave! and let them lie

Folded upon thy narrow shelves, As garments by the soul laid by,

And precious only to ourselves!
Take them, O great eternity!

Our little life is but a gust,
That bends the branches of thy tree,

And trails its blossoms in the dust.


The old house by the lindens

Stood silent in the shade,
And on the gravelled pathway

The light and shadow played.
I saw the nursery windows

Wide open to the air ;
But the faces of the children,

They were no longer there.
The large Newfoundland house-dog

Was standing by the door ;
He looked for his little playmates;

Who would return no more.
'They walked not under the lindens,

They played not in the hall;
But shadow, and silence, and sadness

Were hanging over all.

The birds sang in the branches,

With sweet, familiar tone;
But the voices of the children

Will be heard in dreams alone!

And the boy that walked beside

He could not understand
Why closer in mine, ah! closer,

I pressed his warm, soft hand !


God sent his Singers upon earth
With songs of sadness and of mirth,
That they might touch the hearts of men,
And bring them back to heaven again.
The first, a youth, with soul of fire,
Held in his hand a golden lyre;
Through groves he wandered, and by streams,
Playing the music of our dreams.
The second, with a bearded face,
Stood singing in the market-place,
And stirred with accents deep and loud
The hearts of all the listening crowd.
A grey old man, the third and last,
Sang in cathedrals dim and vast,
While the majestic organ rolled
Contrition from its mouths of gold.
And those who heard the Singers three,
Disputed which the best might be;
For still their music seemed to start
Discordant echoes in each heart.

But the great Master said, " I see
No best in kind, but in degree;
I gave a various gift to each,
To charm, to strengthen, and to teach.
“ These are the three great chords of might,
And he whose ear is tuned aright
Will hear no discord in the three,
But the most perfect harmony."

SONNET. ON MRS. KEMBLE'S READINGS FROM SHAKSPEARE. O PRECIOUS evenings! all too swiftly sped! Leaving us heirs to amplest heritages Of all the best thoughts of the greatest sages, And giving tongues unto the silent dead! How our hearts glowed and trembled as she read, Interpreting by tones the wondrous pages Of the great poet who foreruns the ages, Anticipating all that shall be said ! () happy Reader ! having for thy text The magic book, whose Sibylline leaves have caught The rarest essence of all human thought ! O happy Poet! by no critic vext! How must thy listening spirit now rejoice To be interpreted by such a voice !


Christ to the young man said: “Yet one thing more;

If thou wouldst perfect be,
Sell all thou hast and give it to the poor,

And come and follow me!"

Within this temple Christ again, unseen,

Those sacred words hath said,
And his invisible hands to-day have been

Laid on a young man's head.
And evermore beside him on his way

The unseen Christ shall move,
That he may lean upon his arm and say,

“Dost thou, dear Lord, approve ?” Beside him at the marriage feast shall be,

To make the scene more fair; Beside him in the dark Gethsemane

Of pain and midnight prayer. Oh, holy trust; Oh, endless sense of rest;

Like the beloved John To lay his head upon the Saviour's breast,

And thus to journey on.


By his evening fire the artist

Pondered o'er his secret shame;
Baffled, weary, and disheartened,

Still he mused, and dreamed of fame. 'Twas an image of the Virgin

That had tasked his utmost skill;
But, alas ! his fair ideal

Vanished and escaped him still.
From a distant Eastern island

Had the precious wood been brought;
Day and night the anxious master

At his toil untiring wrought;

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