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Bonny bird," quoth she,

Paused awhile to hear. 'Sing me your best song before I go.”

“What good child is this,” the angel said, “Here's the very finest song I know,

“That with happy heart beside her bed Little Bell," said he.

Prays so lovingly ?"

Low and soft, 0, very low and soft,
And the blackbird piped ; you never heard Crooned the blackbird in the orchard croft,
Half so gay a song from any bird,

“Bell, dear Bell ! ” crooned he.
Full of quips and wiles,
Now so round and rich, now soft and slow,

“Whom God's creatures love," the angel fair All for love of that sweet face below,

Murmured, “God doth bless with angels' care ; Dimpled o'er with smiles.

Child, thy bed shall be

Folded safe from harm. Love, deep and kind, And the while the bonny bird didl pour

Shall watch around and leave good gifts behind, His full heart freely o'er and o'er

Little Bell, for thee ! ”
'Neath the morning skies,
In the little childish heart below
All the sweetness seemed to grow and grow,
And shine forth in happy overflow

From the blue, bright eyes.

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all Down the dell she tripped and through the glade, through the house Peeped the squirrel from the hazel shade, Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse ; And from out the tree

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, Swung, and leaped, and frolicked, void of fear; In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there : While bold blackbird piped that all might hear, — The children were nestled all snug in their beds, Little Bell," piped he.

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their

heads; Little Bell sat down amid the fern,

And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap, “Squirrel, squirrel, to your task return; Had just settled our brains for a long winter's Bring me nuts," quoth she.

nap, Up away the frisky squirrel hies,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, Golden wood-lights glancing in his eyes,


sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. And adown the tree

Away to the window 1 flew like a flash, Great ripe nuts, kissed brown by July sun, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. In the little lap dropped one by one.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow Hark, how black bird pipes to see the fun ! Gave a lustre of midday to objects below; “Happy Bell," pipes he.

When, what to my wondering eyes should ap

pear, Little Bell looked up and down the glade, But a ininiature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer, “Squirrel, squirrel, if you 're not afraid, With a little old driver, so lively and quick Come and share with me!"

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick. Down came squirrel eager for his fare,

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, Down came bonny blackbird, I declare ; And he whistled and shouted, and called them Little Bell gave each his honest share,

by name : Ah the merry three !

“Now, Dasher ! now, Dancer! now, Prancer And the while these frolic playmates twain

and Vixen ! Piped and frisked from bough to bough again, On, Comet ! on, Cupid ! on, Donder and 'Neath the morning skies,

Blitzen ! In the little childish heart below

To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall ! All the sweetness seemed to grow and grow, Now dash away, dash away, dash away all !" And shine out in happy overflow

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, From her blue, bright eyes.

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the

sky, By her snow-white cot at close of day,

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, Knelt sweet Bell, with folded palms, to pray ; With the sleigh full of toys, — and St. Nicholas Very calm and clear

too. Rose the praying voice to where, unseen, And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof In blue heaven), an angel shape serene

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.



As I drew in my head, and was turning around, | He went to the windows of those who slept. Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a And over each pane like a fairy crept, bound.

Wherever he breathed, wherever he stepped, He was dressed all in fur from his head to his By the light of the moon were seen foot,

Most beautiful things. There were flowers and And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes

trees, and soot;

There were bevies of birds and swarms of bees, A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, There were cities, thrones, temples, and towers, And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack. and these His eyes how they twinkled ! his dimples how All pictured in silver sheen !

merry ! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry; But he did one thing that was hardly fair, llis droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, He peeped in the cupboard, and, finding there And the beard on his chin was as white as the That all had forgotten for him to prepare,

Now, just to set them a thinking, The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

I 'll bite this basket of fruit,” said he ; And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath. “This costly pitcher I 'll burst in three, lle had a broad face and a little round belly

And the glass of water they 've left for me That shook, when he laughed, like a bowl full of

Shall.Ichick !' to tell them I 'm drinking." jelly. He was chubby and plump, - a right jolly oldelf; And I laughed, when I saw him, in spite of my

THE CLOUD. self. A wink of his eye and a twist of his head I BRING fresh showers for the thirsting flowers, Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

From the seas and the streams; He spoke not a word, but went straight to his 1 bear light shade for the leaves when laid work,

In their noonday dreams. And filled all the stockings ; then turned with a From my wings are shaken the dews that waken jerk,

The sweet birds every one, And laying his finger aside of his nose,

When rocked to rest on their mother's breast, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

As she dances about the sun.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle ; And whiten the green plains under;
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight, And then again I dissolve it in rain ;
“Happy Christmas to all, and to alla good-night!" And laugh as I pass in thunder.


I sift the snow on the mountains below,

And their great pines groan aghast;

And all the night 't is my pillow white,

While I sleep in the arms of the blast.
The Frost looked forth, one still, clear night, Sublime on the towers of my skyey bowers
And he said, “Now I shall be out of sight; Lightning, my pilot, sits ;
So through the valley and over the height In a cavern under is fettered the thunder ;
In silence I 'll take my way.

It struggles and howls at fits.
I will not go like that blustering train,

Over earth and ocean, with gentle motion,
The wind and the snow, the hail and the rain, This pilot is guiding me,
Who make so much bustle and noise in vain, Lured by the love of the genii that move
But I 'll be as busy as they!”

In the depths of the purple sea ;

Over the rills and the crags and the hills, Then he went to the mountain, and powdered its

Over the lakes and the plains, crest,

Wherever he dream, under mountain or stream, Ile climbed up the trees, and their bouglis he

The spirit he loves remains ; dressed

And I all the while bask in heaven's blue smile, With diamonds and pearls, and over the breast

Whilst he is dissolving in rains.
Of the quivering lake he spread
A coat of mail, that it need not fear

The sanguine sunrise, with his meteor eyes, The downward point of many a spear

And his burning plumes outspread, That he hung on its margin, far and near, Leaps on the back of my sailing rack, Where a rock could rear its head,

When the morning star shines dead.


As, on the jag of a mountain crag

Which an earthquake rocks and swings,
An eagle, alit, one moment may sit

In the light of its golden wings ;
And when sunset may breathe, from the lit sea


Its ardors of rest and of love,
And the crimson pall of eve may fall

From the depth of heaven above,
With wings folded I rest on mine airy nest,

As still as a brooding dove.

O, it is pleasant, with a heart at ease,
Just after sunset, or by moonlight skies,
To make the shifting clouds be what you please,
Or let the easily persuaded eyes
Own each quaint likeness issuing from the mould
Of a friend's fancy ; or, with head bent low,
And cheek aslant, see rivers flow of gold,
"Twixt crimson banks; and then a traveller go
From mount to mount, through Cloudland, gor-

geous land !


That orbéd maiden with white fire laden, Or, listening to the tide with closed sight,
Whoin mortals call the moon,

Be that blind Bard, who on the Chian strand,
Glides glimmering o'er my fleece-like floor By those deep sounds possessed with inward light,
By the midnight breezes strewn ;

Beheld the Iliad and the Odysse
And wherever the beat of her unseen feet, Rise to the swelling of the voiceful sea.

Which only the angels hear,
May have broken the woof of my tent's thin roof,

The stars peep behind her and peer ;
And I laugh to see them whirl and flee,
Like a swarm of golden bees,

When I widen the rent in my wind-built tent,
Till the calm river, lakes, and seas,

Thou still unravished bride of quietness !
Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high,

Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time, Are each paved with the moon and these.

Sylvan historian, who canst thus express

A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme :
I bind the sun's throne with a burning zone, What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
And the moon's with a girdle of pearl ;

Of deities or mortals, or of both,
The volcanoes are dim, and the stars reel and swim, In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?

When the whirlwinds my banner unfurl. What men or gods are these? What maidens
From cape to cape, with a bridge-like shape,

loath? Over a torrent sea,

What mad pursuit ? What struggles to escape ?
Sunbeam-proof, I hang like a roof,

What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?
The mountains its columns be.
The triumphal arch, througlı which I march, Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
With hurricane, fire, and snow,

Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on ;
When the powers of the airarechained to my chair, Not to the sensual ear, but, more endeared,
Is the million-colored bow ;

Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone.
The sphere-fire above its soft colors wove, Fair youth beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
While the moist earth was laughing below. Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare.

Bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
I am the daughter of the earth and water,

Though winning near the goal, — yet do not grieve:

She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy
And the nursling of the sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores ;

Forever wilt thou love, and she be fair !
I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain, when, with never a stain,
The pavilion of heaven is bare,

Ah, happy, happy boughs ! that cannot shed
And the winds and sunbeams, with their convex

Your leaves, nor ever bid the spring adieu ;

And happy melodist, unwearied,
Build up the blue dome of air,

Forever piping songs forever new;
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,

More happy love ! more happy, happy love !
And out of the caverns of rain,

Forever warm and still to be enjoyed,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from

Forever panting and forever young ;
the tomb,

All breathing human passion far above,
I rise and upbuild it again.

That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloyed,

A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

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bliss ;

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Who are these coming to the sacrifice ?

THE BOWER OF BLISS. To what green altar, O mysterious priest,

FAERIE QUEENE." Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,

And all her silken flanks with garlands drest? There the most daintie paradise on ground What little town by river or sea-shore,

Itselfe doth offer to his sober eye, Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel, In which all pleasures plenteously abownd,

Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn? And none does others happinesse envye ; And, little town, thy streets forevermore

The painted flowres; the trees upshooting hye; Will silent be, and not a soul to tell

The dales for shade; the hilles for breathing Why thou art desolate can e'er return.


The trembling groves; the christall running hy ; O Attic shape ! Fair attitude ! with brede

And, that which all faire workes doth most Of marble men and maidens overwrought,

aggrace, With forest branches and the trodden weed ; The art, which all that wrought, appeared in no

Thou silent form ! dost tease us out of thought place.
As doth eternity. Cold Pastoral !
When old age shall this generation waste,

One would have thought (so cunningly the rude Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe

And scorned partes were mingled with the fine)

That Nature had for wantonesse ensude Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st, "Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all

Art, and that Art at Nature did repine ; Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

So striving each th' other to undermine,

Each did the others worke more beautify ; JOHN KEATS.

So difføring both in willes agreed in fine :

So all agreed, through sweete diversity,

This gardin to adorne with all variety.

And in the midst of all a fountaine stood, HARK ! the faint bells of the sunken city

Of richest substance that on earth might bee, Peal once more their wonted evening chime ! So pure and shiny that the silver flood From the deep abysses floats a ditty,

Through every channell running one might see; Wild and wondrous, of the olden time.

Most goodly it with curious ymnayeree

Was over-wrought, and shapes of naked boyes, Temples, towers, and domes of many stories

Of which some seemed with lively iollitre There lie buried in an ocean grave,

To fly about, playing their wanton toyes, Unescried, save when their golden glories

Whylest others did themselves embay in liquid Glearn, at sunset, through the lighteil wave.


And over all of purest gold was spred And the mariner who had seen them glisten, A trayle of yvie in his native hew;

In whose ears those magic bells dlo sound, For the rich metall was so coloured, Night by night bides there to watch and listen, That wight, who did not well avis'd it vew, Though death lurks behind each dark rock Would surely deeme it to bee yvie trew : round.

Low his lascivious armes adown di creepe,

That, themselves dipping in the silver dew So the bells of memory's wonder-city

Their fleecy flowres they fearefully did steepe, Peal for me their old melodious chime; Which drops of christall seemed for wantones to So my heart pours forth a changeful ditty,

weep Sad and pleasant, from the bygone time.

Infinit streames continually did well Domes and towers and castles, fancy-buildled,

Out of this fountaine, sweet and faire to see, There lie lost to daylight's garish beams,

The which into an ample laver fell, There lie hidden till unveiled and gildel,

And shortly grew to so great quantitie,

That like a little lake it seemd to bee ; Glory-gilded, by my nightly dreams !

Whose depth exceeded not three cubits hight, And then hear I music sweet upknelling

That through the waves one night the bottom

see, From many a well-known phantom band, And, through tears, can see my natural dwelling That seemd the fountaine in that sea did sayle

All pav'd beneath with iaspar shining bright, Far off in the spirit's luminous land !

upright. WILHELM MUELLER (German). Translation


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