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THE MOUNTAIN KING.

A Swedish Legend.

One is surprised that the legendary lore of Sweden should be so little known to the rest

of Europe ; for, although it is a country less explored by travellers than any other so far advanced in civilization, there is a penetrating spirit in popular poetry, that usually

enables it to make its way, under every disadvantage. The incidents in the following tale are taken from an old Swedish ballad, founded on a

superstition common in ancient times to that country and our own; the mythology of both nations having peopled the interior of their mountains with a powerful, viodictive, and mysterious race-objects always of terror, and sometimes of uowary love, bat

usually fatal to those by whom they were not sedulously shunned. “ Open, open, green hill, and let a fair maid in,” with the subsequent admittance of the

damsel, according to her invocation, in one of our nursery-tales, is evidently akin to the fate of Isabel.

She heard the bell toll, and went forth at the dawn-
It is not to matins the maiden is gone :
The motber believes that her child went to pray-
No prayer did fair lsabel utter that day.
Where, through the gay twilight, did Isabel go?
Alas! to the mountains with helmets of snow,
Whose dark brows seem to frown o'er the laurel and rose
That so lovingly under their shadows repose.
On the highest of hills did fair Isabel rest,
Her delicate fingers have tapped at its breast ;
“ Rise, king of the monntains ! anbar thy green door,
I bave seen thee in dreams! I must see thee once more."
“ Cease, Isabel, cease! I refuse for thy sake;
That maid is my bride who behulds me awake :
And some cruel infliction the Fates ever bring
To her who espouses the pale Mountain King."'
“Let my fate be the darkest thy caverns have seen,
I will brave all its horrors to move as thy queen :
Then rise! Mountain Monarch ! unbar thy green door,
I must gaze on thy terrible beauty once more.”—
The lightning Aash'd blue, and the thunder spake loud,
The sun wus obscured in an ominous cloud ;
The doors of the mountain, in darkness and storm,
Flew open--and closed uver Isabel's form.
lo a palace of splendour, received as a queen,
A rich robe is clasp'd round her by handmaids upseen
And the gems of her crown are selected to vie
With her sup-shine of smile, and her soul-speaking eye
Sweet voices, responsive, breathe softly around,
And pour on her jname all the treasures of sound
Now harmoniously blending, now pearly and bright,
Falls each delicate note, like a drop of pure light.
Now they linger and fade, like a lover's last sigh,
And now the full chorus floats proudly on high,
Where, like Iris in hue, shedding odours divine,
Lamps nourish'd with perfumes eternally shine.
Bat the wild rush of hope that check'd Isabel's breath
Closed her ear to soft tupes, like the dull ear of death
And she mark'd not the splevdour that glitter'd around,
Her eye sought but one object-ber ear but one sound.

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Twas a moment, no more yet scem'd ages' to fleet,
· Ere the pale mouutain Monarch appeared at her feet;
He knelt at her feet, and he whisper'd soft vows-
Words, mán dare vot utter, have made her his spouse.
His subjects are thronging with looks of surprise,
And fix on her face their inquisitive eyes ;
They drew near with respect, yet she met them with awe,
For a likeness in each to their monarch she saw
And wherever she turned,' the same lines were impressed
of the visage imprinted so deep iu her breast;
So sweetly majestic-so mildly severem
That her tremulous love often thrill'd into fear.
But he calms her in whispers, and gems her dark hair
With treasures and wonders the beauteous-the rare-
Sought in darkest recesses of desolate caves,
Pared with jasper, and cover'd with deep-flowing waves..
Her life one smooth ocean 'of boundless repose,
Without chance, change, or time, like eternity shews,
Save that eight smiling infants successively shine,
Flashing star after star, in their beauty divine.
When she drank the deep love of their fathomless eyes, "'
Feeling heaven's own breath in their infantine sighs,
These ineffable stirrings of nature awaken
The deepest remorse for a mother forsaken.
In the full tide of passion did Isabel Aling
Her fair form at the feet of the pale Mountain King ;
“ A boon from my lord and my husband I crave,
Let me kiss my fond mother, or weep o'er her grave."
“ Then go to thy mother-in sadness bereft,
But say not a word of the babes thou hast left."-
Soon was Isabel lock'd in a parent's embrace,
And the tears of forgiveness fell fast on her face.
“ Oh remain my lost bird, in the haunts of thy youth,
Nor again fee the precincts of honour and truth;
Though the gardens of Error are perfum'd with flowers,
The addcr and spake lie conceal'd in her bowers."
« With the blushes of sbame had ber cheek ever burn'd,
To her home had fair Isabel never return'd;
By the King of the Mountains selected as queen,
The truest and fondest of wives have I been.
" In his realms peither sorrow nor sickness appear
I had pearly forgot-almost long'd for-a tear;
And our bridal is blest by the bounty of heaven-
I have one peerless daughter--my sons they are seven.”
Then strode o'er the threshold the pale Mountain King
" Why standest thou here, thus presumiog to fing
Such aspersions on me as I ne'er can forgive ?
The revealer of secrets deserves not to live."
“ No aspersions on thee have these lips ever thrown,
I have dwelt on thy love and thy kindness alone.”
« Thou bast mention d the babes with thy venomous breath,
Thou fool! that vain boast has condemn'd them to death.
“ Forwaru'd, thou hast broken the merciful spell
That permits in our palace those children to dwell,
Whose existence has never been whisper'd on earth-
Oh! aceursed the hour I rejoiced in their birth !”

Then he struck her fair face as she koelt at his feet
« Oh ! the death-blow," she cried, “ from thy hands will be sweet!
Since the deep chords of love thus mysteriously thrill,
While I suffer in patience resign'd to thy will."
“ In this ill-fated mansion no more shalt thou stay,
Where thy crime was coinmitted : away! then-away !"
“ Farewell, my dear father ; farewell, my fond mother!
Farewell, weeping sister! farewell, infant brother !
“ Farewell, ye high heavens ! farewell thou green earth!
And farewell, thou sweet home, the dear place of my birth !
For the King of the Mountains I have left ye before,
And for him, in his anger, I leave yé once more."
Horrid laughter appears in the monarch's dark face,
While nine circles around the tall mountain they trace-
Aud the tears on fair Isabel's bosom fell fast,
As smaller each circle became than the last.
The glad sun in the blue depths of heaven shone bright
As she gaspingly sooght the last ray of its light ;
Her young daughter beheld her with terror o'ercast
" Oh, mother, dear mother! repose thee at last.
“ Beneath this gold canopy lay thy pale head,
Where cushious of crimson profusely I've spread."
“ My child! give me wine-bridg the cup of my death-
Then close my sad eyelids-receive my last breath.
“ A more tender farewell thy poor mother would take,
But fears, my sweet daughter ! 'thy young heart 'twould break.”
She drank- and to ice a more warm heart was chillid,
Than by love's richest treasures had ever been fill'd.
Thus from home and from happiness Isabel stray'd
And thus the pale monarch her passion repaid;
Like a lily she sank when a pitiless shower
Has uosparingly beat on the delicate power.

THE DWARFS OF THE NINE MOUNTAINS OF RAMBIN.

from the German.

THE Nine Mountains at Rambin are influence upon these realms of middle inhabited by dwarfs, who dance, and earth ; and it is farther said, that such sing, and sport in the moonlight, and people have ever been fortunate in the more particularly when the earth is vi- world, either from the wisdom they sited by spring or summer. These learnt below, or from the assistance of dwarfs are rather mischievous than ma- their masters, who have wished to relicious; they are fond of alluring chil- compense their servitude. dren into their power, who then are The unearthly beings who dwell in compelled to serve them in their sub- the Nine Mountains belong to the class terraneous abodes; but this service is of Brown Dwarfs, and they are not not hard, and at the end of fifty years, malicious; but in two other mountains by a law of the dwarf-kingdom, they are White Dwarfs, and they are the are again set at liberty ; nor do these friends of all in the upper world. There fifty years add an hour to the age of are also Black Dwarfs, who work the the captives ; time and the sun have no metals with an ingenuity far surpassing that of man; but their hearts are evil, and showed his knowledge or his newlyand they are never to be trusted. acquired power, by ordering the little

I will now tell a story of these Brown brownie to provide a supper. The Dwarfs in the Nine Mountains, which dwarf was forced to obey, for his power happened long ago; I had it, in my had gone from him with his cap of inchildhood, from Henry Fierk, who was visibility. a peasant at Giesendorf, and who was The cock now crowed for the third well acquainted with all such matters. time, and the young light streaked You must, therefore, suppose that it is the east, when“ Away! away !" soundHenry who tells this story.

ed from the bushes, and the stalks, There once lived at Rambin, a pea- and the flowers and the mountain sant, named Jacob Dietrich, with his opened, and all sank below in a silver wife and family. Of all his children, cistern. he most loved the youngest, who was Hans was astonished in his descent then in his eighth year, and tended at the magic glitter of the walls : cows in the meadow by the Nine Moun- they were as if inlaid with pearls and tains : here the little Hans got acquaint- diamonds, such was their exceeding ed with a cowherd, called Klas Stark- brilliance ; while beneath, and in the wolt, a grey-headed man, whose brain distance, he heard the sweetest music, was like a volume of ancient fairy tales. that stole upon his senses like MayBut if the old peasant was fond of re- odours, and at length wrapped him in peating his legends, the boy was no a gentle slumber. What time had less fond of listening to them, till at passed he knew not, but when he last his young fancy was so infamed, awoke, his little brownie was by his that he could neither speak nor think of side, ready to do him service ; and he aught but dwarfs and gnomes, and gol- found himself in a chamber that was den cups, and crowns of diamonds. brilliant beyond the splendour of the Above all, he wished to get a dwarf- earth. The tables were of spotless cap, for Klas had told him, that who- marble, the walls of emerald; and the ever was fortunate to find or gain one,

frames of the mirrors were covered with might safely descend into the mountain, diamonds. No sun shone in this suband have all the dwarfs at his command. terranean kingdom, but the precious At last he resolved to try, and one night stones shed around a perpetual ļight, stole away from home, and laid him- that was fairer and clearer than the self on the top of the highest mountain, fairest and clearest night of earth. though his heart beat all the time like a They were the stars and the moons of hammer, and his breathing was as the this country, but their splendour was wind of autumn. And now the clock borrowed from no sun, and eclipsed by struck twelve! On a sudden he heard no clouds. a murmuring, and a whistling, and a It was mid-day when a bell rang, rostling, and the song of voices, and and the brownie said, “ Master, will the tramp of little feet in the dance, you dine alone, or in the great assemthough as yet nothing was visible to his bly ?"-" In the great assembly," resight but the flowers and the leaves, that plied Hans, whither he was on the were stilly sleeping in the moon-shine. instant conducted by his servant. Here

At last a cap fell close before his he saw an infinite crowd of little men feet ; in an instant he seized it, and in and women already collected, while the pride of his heart set it upon his others poured into the ball from every head, when-Oh wonder! the little side ; in many places the ground opendancers were at once visible. The ed, and tables arose, covered with the dwarf would fain have got back his cap most costly vessels, and the most deby Hattery, but Hans was inexorable, licious meats, and wine that sparkled

in the goblets like water beneath the Hans, however, soon found out the
sun-beams. The chiefs of the little cause ; in a niche within the roof sat
people invited Hans to their table, and an aged man, who gave the note to
placed him between their fairest mai-' which they were compelled to sing. He
dens. The feast began, and soon the was silent as hoary Time, and spoke no ,
mirth waxed loud, for the dwarfs are a mortal word, while the rest were often
lively race, whose spirits are light and wont to talk too much.
brilliant as the wine that bubbles in The old man above now sounded to
their glasses. Birds of the richest the dance, and the birds all echoed
plumage were ever on the wing above back the old man's tune. In an in-.
them, pouring forth their songs in har- stant the whirl began, and the little
mony with a strange music that floated maidens, that had sat by Hans, caught
through the air, so soft, so sweet, so him by the arms,

and
sprang

about with wild, that it drew from its throne the him in the dance for two hours long, anxious and delighted soul, to leave it and yet neither his breath was short quivering on the lips.

nor his feet weary. The more they Crowds of servants waited around danced, the wilder rose their spirits, the tables. Some bore about the golden till every soul was bathed in ecstacy. cups and the chrystal fruit-baskets; Often in the time of his old age was some strewed the ground with flowers, Hans accustomed to say, when he dethat must have grown in gardens near scribed this scene,“ There may be, the

sun, such was their exceeding beau- and no doubt are, greater joys in heaty,—a beauty that was even undimmed ven, but earthly imagination is too by the lustre of the diamond : others weak to picture them." scattered about odours so sweet, that the Thus passed the first week; in the senses ached with pleasure. These second, Hans began to walk, attended servants were the children of men who by his servant, through those meads had fallen into the power of the and fields which seemed to have no dwarfs. At first Hans was inclined to end. From this may be easily imapity their estate, but when he observed gined the vast depth below, for the outtheir rich clothes, and their rosy cheeks, sidesummitof the mountain was nothing and the springiness of their steps, he more than a little peak, clothed with thought to himself, “after all, they are shrubs and bushes. The trees, that not so badly off as I was in running bloomed thickly in these verdant meaafter cows and oxen ; and moreover, dows, were loaded with fruit, while a time will come when they may be milk and wine were ever flowing from free again.” And he thought no more the rocks. It blew, and the cheek felt of them, but sported with his little no wind ; it was light, and the cheek companions, happier than any earthly felt no sun: the waves rolled and there king upon his throne.

was no danger: one perpetual spring They had sat thus for two hours, was upon the grass and the tree, and when the principal rang a little bell; the leaves had never been touched by in a trice sank the seats and the tables, the heats of summer, the yellowness and the company was again upon the of autumn, or the frost of winter. foot. He rang a second time ; and Hans had lived thus many months, where the tables had been, there arose when at last he resolved to visit the orange-trees, and palms, and myrtles, schools, and become a student with rich with fruit and blossom, and upon the servants, for the dwarfs make a rule the branches sang the sweetest birds ; of instructing all the children of earth but though their numbers were many who fall into their power, as far as they as the sands in the desert, yet all their may be capable of receiving their lesvoices united in a perfect harmony. But the little people have appre

sons.

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