Kilmeny had been where the cock never crew,
Where the rain never fell, and the wind never blew;
But it seemed as the harp of the sky had rung,
And the airs of heaven played round her tongue,
When she spake of the lovely forms she had seen,
And a land where sin had never been,
A land of love, and a land of light,
Withouten sun or moon or night;
Where the river swa'd a living stream,
And the light a pure celestial beam:
The land of vision it would seem,
A still, an everlasting dream.

In yon green-wood there is a waik, And in that waik there is a wene,

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And in that wene there is a maike,
That neither has flesh, blood, nor bane;
And down in yon green-wood he walks his lane.

In that green wene Kilmeny lay,
Her bosom happed wi' the flowerets gay;
But the air was soft, and the silence deep,
And bonny Kilmeny fell sound asleep;
She kend nae mair, nor opened her ee,
Till waked by the hymns of a far countrye.

She wakened on a couch of the silk sae slim,
All striped wi' the bars of the rainbow's rim;
And lovely beings around were rife,
Who erst had travelled mortal life;
And aye they smiled, and 'gan to speer:
"What spirit has brought this mortal here?"

"Lang have I journeyed the world wide,"
A meek and reverend fere replied;
"Baith night and day I have watched the fair
Eident a thousand years and mair.
Yes, I have watched o'er ilk degree,
Wherever blooms femenitye;
But sinless virgin, free of stain,
In mind and body, fand I nane.
Never, since the banquet of time,
Found I a virgin in her prime,
Till late this bonny maiden I saw,
As spotless as the morning snaw.
Full twenty years she has lived as free

As the spirits that sojourn in this countrye.
I have brought her away frae the snares of men,
That sin or death she may never ken."

They lifted Kilmeny, they led her away, And she walked in the light of a sunless day; The sky was a dome of crystal bright,

The fountain of vision, and fountain of light;
The emerald fields were of dazzling glow,
And the flowers of everlasting blow.
Then deep in the stream her body they laid,
That her youth and beauty never might fade;
And they smiled on heaven, when they saw her lie
In the stream of life that wandered by.
And she heard a song, she heard it sung,
She kend not where; but sae sweetly it rung,
It fell on her ear like a dream of the morn,
"O, blest be the day Kilmeny was born!
Now shall the land of the spirits see,
Now shall it ken, what a woman may be!"

They bore her far to a mountain green,
To see what mortal never had seen;
And they seated her high on a purple sward,
And bade her heed what she saw and heard,
And note the changes the spirits wrought;
For now she lived in the land of thought.
She looked, and she saw nor sun nor skies,
But a crystal dome of a thousand dies;
She looked, and she saw nae land aright,
But an endless whirl of glory and light;
And radiant beings went and came,
Far swifter than wind or the linked flame;
She hid her een frae the dazzling view;
She looked again, and the scene was new.

She saw a sun on a summer sky,
And clouds of amber sailing by ;
A lovely land beneath her lay,

And that land had glens and mountains gray;
And that land had valleys and hoary piles,
And marled seas, and a thousand isles;
Its fields were speckled, its forests green,
And its lakes were all of the dazzling sheen,
Like magic mirrors, where slumbering lay
The sun and the sky and the cloudlet gray,
Which heaved and trembled, and gently swung;
On every shore they seemed to be hung;
For there they were seen on their downward plain
A thousand times and a thousand again;
In winding lake and placid firth,

Little peaceful heavens in the bosom of earth.

Kilmeny sighed and seemed to grieve,
For she found her heart to that land did cleave;
She saw the corn wave on the vale ;
She saw the deer run down the dale;

They clasped her waist and her hands sae fair;
They kissed her cheek, and they kemed her hair;
And round came many a blooming fere,
Saying, "Bonny Kilmeny, ye 're welcome here; She saw the plaid and the broad claymore,
Women are freed of the littand scorn;
O, blest be the day Kilmeny was born!
Now shall the land of the spirits see,
Now shall it ken, what a woman may be !"

And the brows that the badge of freedom bore;
And she thought she had seen the land before.

Then Kilmeny begged again to see
The friends she had left in her own countrye,

To tell of the place where she had been,
And the glories that lay in the land unseen ;
To warn the living maidens fair,
The loved of heaven, the spirits' care,
That all whose minds unmeled remain
Shall bloom in beauty when time is gane.

There laid her down on the leaves sae green,
And Kilmeny on earth was never mair seen.
But 0 the words that fell from her mouth
Were words of wonder, and words of truth !
But all the land were in fear and dread,
For they kend na whether she was living or dead.
It wasna her hame, and she couldna remain ;
She left this world of sorrow and pain,
And returned to the land of thought again.



With distant music, soft and deep, They lulled Kilmeny sound asleep ; And when she awakened, she lay her lane, All happed with flowers in the green-wood wene. When seven long years had come and fled ; When grief was calm, and hope was dead ; When scarce was remembered Kilmeny's name, Late, late in a gloamin, Kilmeny came hame ! And 0, her beauty was fair to see, But still and steadfast was her ee ! Such beauty baril may never declare, For there was no pride nor passion there ; And the soft desire of maidens een In that mild face could never be seen. Her seymar was the lily flower, And her cheek the moss-rose in the shower ; And her voice like the distant melodye That floats along the twilight sea. But she loved to raike the lanely glen, And keeped afar frae the haunts of men ; Her holy hymns unheard to sing, To suck the flowers and drink the spring. But wherever her peaceful form appeared, The wild beasts of the hills were cheered ; The wolf played blythely round the field ; The lordly byson lowed and kneeled ; The dun deer wooed with manner bland, And cowered aneath her lily hand. And when at even the woodlands rung, When hymns of other worlds she sung In ecstasy of sweet devotion, 0, then the glen was all in motion ! The wild beasts of the forest came, Broke from their bughts and faulds the tame, And goved around, charmed and amazed ; Even the dull cattle crooned and gazed, And murmured, and looked with anxious pain For something the mystery to explain. The buzzard came with the throstle-cock, The corby left her houf in the rock; The blackbird alang wi' the eagle flew ; The hind came tripping o'er the dew ; The wolf and the kid their raike began ; And the tod, and the lamb, and the leveret ran ; The hawk and the hern attour them hung, And the merland the mavis forhooyed their young; And all in a peaceful ring were hurled : It was like an eve in a sinless world !

Up the airy mountain,

Down the rushy glen, We dare n't go a hunting

For fear of little men ; Wee folk, good folk,

Trooping all together ; Green jacket, red car,

And white owl's feather ! Down along the rocky shore

Some make their home, They live on crispy pancakes

Of yellow tide-foam ; Some in the reeds

Of the black mountain-lake, With frogs for their watch-dogs,

All night awake.
High on the hill-top

The old king sits;
He is now so old and gray

He's nigh lost his wits.
With a bridge of white mist

Columbkill he crosses, On his stately journeys

From Slieveleague to Rosses; Or going up with music

On cold starry nights, To sup with the queen

Of the gay Northern Lights. They stole little Bridget

For seven years long ; When she came down again

Her friends were all gone. They took her lightly back,

Between the night and morrow; They thought that she was fast asleep,

But she was dead with sorrow. They have kept her ever since

Deep within the lakes, On a bed of flag-leaves,

Watching till she wakes. By the craggy hillside,

Through the mosses bare,

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They have planted thorn-trees For pleasure here and there. Is any man so daring

To dig one up in spite, He shall find the thornies set In his bed at night.

Up the airy mountain,

Down the rushy glen, We dare n't go a hunting For fear of little men; Wee folk, good folk,

Trooping all together; Green jacket, red cap,

And white owl's feather!



THE summer sun was sinking

With a mild light, calm and mellow; It shone on my little boy's bonnie cheeks, And his loose locks of yellow.

The robin was singing sweetly,

And his song was sad and tender; And my little boy's eyes, while he heard the song, Smiled with a sweet, soft splendor.

My little boy lay on my bosom

While his soul the song was quaffing; The joy of his soul had tinged his cheek, And his heart and his eye were laughing.

I sate alone in my cottage,
The midnight needle plying;

I feared for my child, for the rush's light
In the socket now was dying!

There came a hand to my lonely latch,

Like the wind at midnight moaning; I knelt to pray, but rose again,

For I heard my little boy groaning.

I crossed my brow and I crossed my breast, But that night my child departed,

They left a weakling in his stead, And I am broken-hearted!

O, it cannot be my own sweet boy, For his eyes are dim and hollow; My little boy gone is gone,

And his mother soon will follow.

The dirge for the dead will be sung for me,
And the mass be chanted meetly,
And I shall sleep with my little boy,

In the moonlight churchyard sweetly.

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RING, sing ring, sing! pleasant Sabbath bells! Chime, rhyme! chime, rhyme ! thorough dales and dells!

Rhyme, ring! chime, sing! pleasant Sabbath bells!

Chime, sing! rhyme, ring! over fields and fells! And I galloped and I galloped on my palfrey white as milk,

My robe was of the sea-green woof, my serk was of the silk;

My hair was golden yellow, and it floated to my

shoe; My eyes were like two harebells bathed in little drops of dew;

My palfrey, never stopping, made a music sweetly blent

With the leaves of autumn dropping all around me as I went ;

And I heard the bells, grown fainter, far behind me peal and play, Fainter, fainter, fainter, till they seemed to die


And beside a silver rurnel, on a little heap o sand,

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upon his hand.


to pray,

I saw the green gnome sitting, with his cheek | And we saw the kirk before us, as we trotted

down the fells, Then he started up to see me, and he ran with And nearer, clearer, o'er us, rang the welcome of cry and bound,

the bells. And drew me from my palfrey white and set me on the ground.

Ring, sing ! ring, sing ! pleasant Sabbath bells ! O crimson, crimson were his locks, his face was

Chime, rhyme ! chime, rhyme! thorough dales

and dells ! green to see, But he cried," O light-haired lassie, you are Rhyme, ring! chime, sing ! pleasant Sabbath bound to marry me!”

bells ! He clasped me round the middle small, he kissed Chime, sing ! rhyme, ring ! over fields and fells !

me on the cheek, He kissed me once, he kissed me twice, — I could

not stir or speak; He kissed me twice, he kissed me thrice, - but LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI.

when he kissed again, I called aloud upon the name of Him who died

O, What can ail thee, knight-at-arms, for men.

Alone and palely loitering ?

The sedge has withered from the lake, Sing, sing ! ring, ring! pleasant Sabbath bells !

And no birds sing. Chime, rhyme ! chime, rhyme ! thorough dales and dells !

“0, what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Rhyme, ring! chime, sing ! pleasant Sabbath So haggard and so woe-begone ?
bells !

The squirrel's granary is full,
Chime, sing ! rhyme, ring ! over fields and fells ! And the harvest 's done.
O faintly, faintly, faintly, calling men and maids I see a lily on thy brow

With anguish moist and fever-dew,
So faintly, faintly, faintly rang the bells far And on thy cheeks a fading rose
away ;

Fast withereth too." And as I named the Blessed Name, as in our need we can,

I met a lady in the meads, The ugly green green gnome became a tall and

Full beautiful, - a fairy's child, comely man :

Her hair was long, her foot was light, His hands were white, his beard was gold, his

And her eyes were wild. eyes were black as sloes, His tunic was of scarlet woof, and silken were his

“I made a garland for her head,

And bracelets too, and fragrant zone ;

She looked at me as she did love, A pensive light from Faëryland still lingered on

And made sweet moan. his cheek, His voice was like the running brook, when he

“I set her on my pacing steed, began to speak;

And nothing else saw all day long ; "O, you have cast away the charm my step-dame

For sidelong would she bend, and sing put on me,

A fairy's song Seven years I dwelt in Faëryland, and you have set me free.

“She found me roots of relish sweet, 0, I will mount thy palfrey white, and ride to And honey wild and manna-dew; kirk with thee,

And sure in language strange she said, And, by those little dewy eyes, we twain will I love thee true.' wedded be!”.

“She took me to her elfin grot, Back we galloped, never stopping, he before and

And there she wept, and sighed full sore ; I behind,

And there I shut her wild, wild eyes And the autumn leaves were dropping, red and With kisses four.

yellow, in the wind : And the sun was shining clearer, and my heart “And there she lulled me asleep, was high and proud,

And there I dreamed - ah, woe betide! As nearer, nearer, nearer rang the kirk bells The latest dream I ever dreamed sweet and loud,

On the colil hill's side.

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“The wind to the waves is calling,

The moonlight is fading away ; And tears down thy cheek are falling,

Thou beautiful water-fay!”

“ The wind to the waves is calling,

And the moonlight grows dim on the rocks ; But no tears from mine eyes are falling,

"T is the water which drips from my locks.” “The ocean is heaving and sobbing,

The sea-mews scream in the spray ; And thy heart is wildly throbbing,

Thou beautiful water-fay!" “My heart is wildly swelling,

And it beats in burning truth; For I love thee past all telling, Thou beautiful mortal youth.'

The waters purled, the waters swelled,

A fisher sat near by,
And earnestly his line beheld

With tranquil heart and eye ;
And while he sits and watches there,

He sees the waves divide,
And, lo ! a maid, with glistening hair,

Springs from the troubled tide.
She sang to him, she spake to him, —

“Why lur'st thou from below, In cruel mood, my tender brood,

To die in day's fierce glow ? Ah ! didst thou know how sweetly there

The little fishes dwell, Thou wouldst come down their lot to share,

And be forever well. “ Bathes not the smiling sun at night –

The moon too – in the waves !

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HENRY HEINE (German). Translation


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