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176 SONGS FOR
And Deering's Woods are fresh and fair,
And, with joy that is almost pain, My heart goes back to wander there, And among the dreams of the days that were, I find my lost youth again.
And the strange and beautiful song, The groves are repeating it still: "A boy's will is the wind's will, And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.
For dead, in the light of the dawning day, The pale sweet form of the welcomer lay, Who had yearned for his voice while dying!
The panting steed, with a drooping crest,
Stood weary. The king returned from her chamber of rest, The thick sobs choking in his breast;
Aud, that dumb companion eying, The tears gushed forth which he strove to check j He bowed his head on his charger's neck: " O steed, that every nerve didst strain, Dear steed, our ride hath been in vain,
To the halls where my love lay dying!"
THE KING OF DENMARK'S RIDE.
Me8. Caroline Norton.
Word was brought to the Danish king
(Hurry!) That the love of his heart lay suffering, And pined for the comfort his heart would bring.
(Oh, ride as though you were flying!) Better he loves each golden curl On the brow of that Scandinavian girl Than his rich crown-jewels of ruby and pearl;
And his Rose of the Isles is dying!
Thirty nobles saddled with speed,
(Hurry !) Each one mounting a gallant steed Which he kept for battle and days of need.
(Oh, ride as though you were flyiug!) Spurs were struck in the foaming flank; Worn-out chargers staggered and sank; Bridles were slackened, and girths were burst; But ride as they would, the king rode first,
For his Rose of the Isles lay dying!
His nobles are beaten one by one;
(Hurry!) They have fainted, and faltered, and homeward gone ; His little fair page now follows alone,
For strength and for courage trying. The king looked back at that faithful child; Wan was the face that answering smiled. They passed the draw-bridge with clattering din ; Then he dropped, and only the king rode in,
Where his Rose of the Isles lay dying!
The king blew a blast on his bugle-horn.
(Silence!) No answer came ; but, faint and forlorn, An echo returned on the cold gray morn,
Like the breath of a spirit sighing. The castle portal stood grimly wide; None welcomed the king from that weary ride;
THE BURIAL OF THE MINNISINK. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
On sunny slope and beecheu swell The shadowed light of evening fell; And, where the maple's leaf was brown, With soft and silent lapse came down The glory that the wood receives At sunset in its brazen leaves.
Far upward in the mellow light
Rose the blue hills. One cloud of white.
Around a far uplifted cone,
In the warm blush of evening shone,
An image of the silver lakes,
By which the Indian's soul awakes.
But soon a funeral hymn was heard Where the soft breath of evening stirred The tall, gray forest; and a band Of stern in heart, and strong in hand, Came winding down beside the wave, To lay the red chief in his grave.
They sung, that by his native bowers He stood, in the last moon of flowers, Aud thirty snows had not yet shed Their glory on the warrior's head; But as the summer fruit decays, So died he in those naked days.
A dark cloak of the roebuck's skin Covered the warrior, and within Its heavy folds the weapons, made For the hard toils of war, were laid; The cuirass woven of plaited reeds, Aud the broad belt of shells and beads.