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94
FRANKLIN-SQUARE SONG COLLECTION.
"Cheer thee,my Nymphalin," said the prince of the fairies," we will lay the tempest;" and he waved his sword and muttered the charms which curb the winds and roll back the marching thunder; but for once the tempest ceased not at his spells; and now, as the fairies sped along the troubled air, a pale and beautiful form met them by the way, and they paused and trembled. For the power of that Shape could vanquish even them. It was the form of a Female, with golden hair, crowned with a chaplet of withered leaves; her bosom, of an exceeding beauty, lay bare to the wind, and an infant was clasped upon it, hushed into a sleep so still that neither the roar of the thunder, nor the livid lightning flashing from cloud
to cloud, could even ruffle, much less arouse, the slumberer. And the face of the Female was unut­terably calm and sweet (though with a something of severe); there was no line or wrinkle in her hueless brow; care never wrote its defacing characters upon that everlasting beauty. It knew no sorrow or change; ghost-like and shadowy floated on that Shape through the abyss of Time, governing the world with an un­questioned and noiseless sway. And the children of the green solitudes of the earth, the lovely fairies of my tale, shuddered as they gazed and recognized— the form of Death. "And why," said the beautiful Shape, with a voice as soft as the last sighs of a dy­ing babe; "why trouble ye the air with spells? mine
SWITZER'S SONG OF HOME.
Ignatz Moscheles.
is the hour and the empire, and the storm is the crea­ture of my power. Far yonder to the west it sweeps over the sea, and the sea ceases to vex the waves; it smites the forest, and the destined tree, torn from its roots, feels the winter strip the gladness from its boughs no more! The roar of the elements is the herald of eternal stillness to their victims; and they who hear the progress of my power idly shudder at the coming of peace. And thou, O tender daughter of the fairy king! why grievest thou at a mortal's doom ? Knowest thou not that sorrow cometh with years, and that to live is to mourn ? Blessed is the flow­er that, nipped in its early spring, feels not the blasts that, one by one, scatter its blossoms around it, and leave but the barren stem. Blessed are the voung
whom I clasp to my breast, and lull into the sleep which the storm cannot break, nor the morrow arouse to sorrow or to toil. The heart that is stilled in the bloom of its first emotions,—that turns with its last throb to the eye of love, as yet unlearned in the possi­bility of change,—has exhausted already the wine of life, and is saved only from the lees. As the mother soothes to sleep the wail of her troubled child, I open my arms to the vexed spirit, and my bosom cradles the unquiet to repose!"—The fairies answered not, for a chill and a fear lay over them, and the Shape glided on; ever as it passed away through the veiling clouds they heard its low voice singing amidst the roar of the storm, as the dirge of the water-sprite over the vessel it hath lured into the whirlpool or the shoals.—Bulwer.







E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III