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SONG OF THE SILENT LAND.
INTO the Silent Land 1
Ah! who shall lead us thither ?
Clouds in the evening sky more darkly gather,
And shattered wrecks lie thicker on the strand.
Who leads us with a gentle hand
Thither, O thither,
Into the Silent Land 2
Into the Silent Land 1
To you, ye boundless regions
Of all perfection 1 Tender morning visions
Of beauteous souls' The Future's pledge and band!
Who in life's battle firm doth stand,
Shall bear Hope's tender blossoms
Into the Silent Land l
O Land! O Land!
For all the broken-hearted
The mildest herald by our fate allotted,
Beckons, and with inverted torch doth stand,
To lead us with a gentle hand
Into the land of the great departed,
Into the Silent Land!
THE LUCK OF EDENHALL.
[The tradition upon which this ballad is founded, and the “shards of the Luck of Edenhall,” still exist in England. The goblet is in the pos*ession of Sir Christopher Musgrave, Bart., of Eden Hall, Cumberland; and is not so entirely shattered as the ballad leaves it.]
OF Edenhall, the youthful Lord
Bids sound the festal trumpet's call;
He rises at the banquet board,
And cries, 'mid the drunken revellers all,
“Now bring me the Luck of Edenhall !”
The butler hears the words with pain,
The house's oldest seneschal,
Takes slow from its silken cloth again
The drinking-glass of crystal tall:
They call it the Luck of Edenhall.
Then said the Lord: “This glass to praise,
Fill with red wine from Portugall”
The gray-beard with trembling hand obeys;
A purple light shines over all;
It beams from the Luck of Edenhall.
Then speaks the Lord, and waves it light,
This glass of flashing crystal tall
Gave to my sires the Fountain-Sprite;
She wrote in it: If this glass doth fall,
Farewell then, O Luck of Edenhall !
'Twas right a goblet the fate should be
Of the joyous race of Edenhall !
Deep draughts drink we right willingly;
And willingly ring, with merry call,
Kling I klang! to the Luck of Edenhall !”
First rings it deep, and full, and mild,
Like to the song of a nightingale;
Then like the roar of a torrent wild;
Then mutters at last like the thunder's fall,
The glorious Luck of Edenhall ! -
For its keeper takes a race of might,
The fragile goblet of crystal tall;
It has lasted longer than is right;
Kling I klang!—with a harder blow than all
Will I try the Luck of Edenhall !”
As the goblet ringing flies apart,
Suddenly cracks the vaulted hall;
And through the rift the wild flames start:
The guests in dust are scattered all,
With the breaking Luck of Edenhail :
In storms the foe, with fire and sword :
He in the night had scaled the wall;
Slain by the sword lies the youthful Lord,
But holds in his hand the crystal tall,
The shattered Luck of Edenhall.
On the morrow the butler gropes alone,
The gray-beard in the desert hall,
He seeks his Lord's burnt skeleton,
He seeks, in the dismal ruin's fall,
The shards of the Luck of Edenhall.
“The stone wall,” saith he, “doth fall aside,
Down must the stately columns fall;
Glass is this earth's Luck and Pride ;
In atoms shall fall this earthly ball
One day, like the Luck of Edenhall !”
THE TWO LOCKS OF HAIR.
FROM PFize it.
A YouTH, light-hearted and content,
I wander through the world;
Here, Arab like, is pitched my tent,
And straight again is furled.
Yet oft I dream that once a wife
Close in my heart was locked;
And in the sweet repose of life,
A blessed child I rocked.
I wake! Away that dream—away !
Too long did it remain l
So long, that both by night and day
It ever comes again.
The end lies ever in my thought:
To a grave so cold and deep
The mother beautiful was brought;
Then dropped the child asleep.
But now the dream is wholly o'er,
I bathe mine eyes and see ;
And wander through the world once more,
A youth so light and free.
Two locks—and they are wondrous fair—
Left me that vision mild ;
The brown is from the mother's hair,
The blond is from the child.
And when I see that lock of gold,
Pale grows the evening red;
And when the dark lock I behold,
I wish that I were dead.
THE STATUE OVER THE CATHEDRAL DOOR.
ForMs of saints and kings are standing
The cathedral door above;
Yet I saw but one among them
Who hath soothed my soul with love.
In his mantle—wound about him,
As their robes the sowers wind—
Bore he swallows and their fledglings,
Flowers and weeds of every kind.
And so stands he, calm and childlike,
High in wind and tempest wild;
O, were I like him exalted,
I would be like him, a child !
And my songs, green leaves and blossoms, Up to heaven's door would bear,
Calling, even in storm and tempest, l&ound me still these birds of air.
THE LEGEND OF THE CROSSBILL. FROM Julius MOSEN.
ON the cross the dying Saviour
Heavenward lifts his eyelids calm,
Feels, but scarcely feels, a trembling
In his pierced and bleeding palm.
And by all the world forsaken,
Sees he how with zealous care
At the ruthless nail of iron
A poor bird is striving there.
Stained with blood, and never tiring, *
With its beak it doth not cease,
From the cross 'twould free the Saviour,
Its Creator's Son release.
And the Saviour speaks in mildness—
“Blest be thou of all the good!
Bear, as token of this moment,
Marks of blood and holy rood!”
And that bird is called the crossbill;
Covered quite with blood so clear,
In the groves of pine it singeth
Songs, like legends, strange to hear.