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With eager appetite, for long had been
My journey, and I left the spot refreshed.
"And then we wandered off amid the groves
Of coral loftier than the growths of earth;
The mightiest cedar lifts no trunk like theirs,
So huge, so high, toward heaven, nor overhangs
Alleys and bowers so dim. We moved between
Pinnacles of black rock, which, from beneath,
Molten by inner fires, so said my guide,
Gushed long ago into the hissing brine,
That quenched and hardened them, and now they
Motionless in the currents of the sea
That part and flow around them. As we went,
We looked into the hollows of the abyss,
To which the never-resting waters sweep
The skeletons of sharks, the long white spines
Of narwhal and of dolphin, bones of men
Shipwrecked, and mighty ribs of foundered barks;
Down the blue pits we looked, and hastened on.
"But beautiful the fountains of the sea
Sprang upward from its bed; the silvery jets
Shot branching far into the azure brine,
And where they mingled with it, the great deep
Quivered and shook, as shakes the glimmering air
Above a furnace. So we wandered through
The mighty world of waters, till at length
I wearied of its wonders, and my heart
Began to yearn for my dear mountain-home.
I prayed my gentle guide to lead me back
To the upper air. 'A glorious realm,' I said,
Is this thou openest to me, but I stray
Bewildered in its vastness, these strange sights
And this strange light oppress me.
I must see
The faces that I love, or I shall die.'
"She took my hand, and, darting through the
Brought me to where the stream, by which we came,
Rushed into the main ocean. Then began
A slower journey upward. Wearily
We breasted the strong current, climbing through
The rapids tossing high their foam. The night
Came down, and, in the clear depth of a pool,
Edged with o'erhanging rock, we took our rest
Till morning; and I slept, and dreamed of home
And thee. A pleasant sight the morning showed;
The green fields of this upper world, the herds
That grazed the bank, the light on the red clouds,
The trees, with all their host of trembling leaves,
Lifting and lowering to the restless wind
Their branches. As I woke I saw them all
From the clear stream; yet strangely was my heart
Parted between the watery world and this,
And as we journeyed upward, oft I thought
Of marvels I had seen, and stopped and turned,
And lingered, till I thought of thee again;
And then again I turned and clambered up
The rivulet's murmuring path, until we came
Beside this cottage door. There tenderly
My fair conductor kissed me, and I saw
Her face no more. I took the slippers off.
O, with what deep delight my lungs drew in
The air of heaven again, and with what joy
I felt my blood bound with its former glow!
And now I never leave thy side again!"
So spoke the maiden Sella, with large tears Standing in her mild eyes, and in the porch Replaced the slippers.
BONNY Kilmeny gaed up the glen; But it wasna to meet Duneira's men, Nor the rosy monk of the isle to see, For Kilmeny was pure as pure could be. It was only to hear the yorlin sing, And pu' the cress-flower round the spring, The scarlet hypp, and the hind berry, And the nut that hung frae the hazel-tree; For Kilmeny was pure as pure could be. But lang may her minny look o'er the wa', And lang may she seek i' the green-wood shaw; Lang the laird of Duneira blame,
And lang, lang greet or Kilmeny come hame.
When many a day had come and fled,
When grief grew calm, and hope was dead,
When mass for Kilmeny's soul had been sung,
When the bedesman had prayed, and the dead-
Late, late in a gloamin, when all was still,
When the fringe was red on the westlin hill,
The wood was sear, the moon i' the wane,
The reek o' the cot hung over the plain,
Like a little wee cloud in the world its lane;
When the ingle lowed with an eiry leme,
Late, late in the gloamin Kilmeny came hame !
"Kilmeny, Kilmeny, where have you been? Lang hae we sought both holt and den, By linn, by ford, and green-wood tree; Yet you are halesome and fair to see. Where got you that joup o' the lily sheen? That bonny snood of the birk sae green? And these roses, the fairest that ever was seen? Kilmeny, Kilmeny, where have you been?"
Kilmeny looked up with a lovely grace, But nae smile was seen on Kilmeny's face; As still was her look, and as still was her ee, As the stillness that lay on the emerant lea, Or the mist that sleeps on a waveless sea. For Kilmeny had been she knew not where, And Kilmeny had seen what she could not declare.
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,
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.
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 O, her beauty was fair to see, But still and steadfast was her ee! Such beauty bard 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,
O, 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 merl and the mavis forhooyed their young;
And all in a peaceful ring were hurled :
It was like an eve in a sinless world!
When a month and day had come and gane, Kilmeny sought the green-wood wene;
I saw the green gnome sitting, with his cheek | And we saw the kirk before us, as we trotted upon his hand. 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.
O crimson, crimson were his locks, his face was green to see,
But he cried, "O light-haired lassie, you are bound to marry me!"
He clasped me round the middle small, he kissed 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 when he kissed again,
I called aloud upon the name of Him who died for men.
Sing, sing ring, ring! pleasant Sabbath bells!
Chime, rhyme! chime, rhyme! thorough dales
Rhyme, ring! chime, sing! pleasant Sabbath
Chime, sing! rhyme, ring! over fields and fells !
O faintly, faintly, faintly, calling men and maids
So faintly, faintly, faintly rang the bells far
And as I named the Blessed Name, as in our need we can,
The ugly green green gnome became a tall and comely man:
His hands were white, his beard was gold, his eyes were black as sloes,
His tunic was of scarlet woof, and silken were his hose;
A pensive light from Faëryland still lingered on his cheek,
His voice was like the running brook, when he began to speak ;
"O, you have cast away the charm my step-dame put on me,
Seven years I dwelt in Faëryland, and you have set me free.
O, I will mount thy palfrey white, and ride to kirk with thee,
And, by those little dewy eyes, we twain will wedded be!"
Back we galloped, never stopping, he before and
And the autumn leaves were dropping, red and
yellow, in the wind:
And the sun was shining clearer, and my heart
was high and proud,
As nearer, nearer, nearer rang the kirk bells
sweet and loud,
Ring, sing! ring, sing! pleasant Sabbath bells! Chime, rhyme! chime, rhyme ! thorough dales and dells!
Rhyme, ring! chime, sing! pleasant Sabbath
Chime, sing! rhyme, ring! over fields and fells !
LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI.
"O, WHAT can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.
"O, what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel's granary is full,
And the harvest's done.
"I see a lily on thy brow
With anguish moist and fever-dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too."
"I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful, a fairy's child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.
"I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan.
"I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long;
For sidelong would she bend, and sing
A fairy's song.
"She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild and manna-dew; And sure in language strange she said, 'I love thee true.'
"She took me to her elfin grot,
And there she wept, and sighed full sore;
And there I shut her wild, wild eyes
With kisses four.
"And there she lulléd me asleep,
And there I dreamed-ah, woe betide!The latest dream I ever dreamed
On the cold hill's side.