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At break of day, as heavenward
The pious monks of Saint Bernard
Uttered the oft-repeated prayer,
A voice cried through the startled air,

Excelsior!

A traveller, by the faithful hound,
Half-buried, in the snow was found,
Still grasping in his hand of ice
That banner, with the strange device,

Excelsior!

There, in the twilight cold and gray,
Lifeless, but beautiful he lay,
And from the sky, serene and får,
A voice fell, like a falling star,

Excelsior!

THE BELFRY OF BRUGES. In the market-place of Bruges stands the belfry

old and brown; Thrice consumed and thrice rebuilded, still it

watches o'er ihe town.

As the summer morn was breaking, on that lofty

tower I stood, And the world threw off the darkness, like the

weeds of widowhood.

Thick with towns and hamlets studded, and with

streams and vapours gray, Like a shield embossed with silver, round and vast

the landscape lay. At my feet the city slumbered. From its chim

neys, here and there, Wreaths of snow-white smoke, ascending, vanished,

ghostlike, into air.

Not a sound rose from the city at that early morn

ing hour, But I heard a heart of iron beating in the ancient

tower.

From their nests beneath the rafters sang the swal

lows wild and high ; And the world, beneath me sleeping, seemed more

distant than the sky. Then most musical and solemn, bringing back the

olden times, With their strange, unearthly changes, rang the

melancholy chimes, Like the psalms from some old cloister, when the

nuns sing in the choir; And the great bell tolled among them, like the

chanting of a friar. Visions of the day departed, shadowy phantoms

filled my brain; They who live in history only, seemed to walk the

earth again; All the Foresters of Flanders, 2-mighty Baldwin

Bras de Fer, Lyderick du Bucq and Cressy, Philip, Guy de

Dampierre. I beheld the pageants splendid, that adorned those

days of old; Stately dames, like queens attended,s knights who

bore the Fleece of Gold ;*

Lombard and Venetian merchants with deep-laden

argosies; Ministers from twenty nations; more than royal

pomp and ease.

I beheld proud Maximilian, kneeling humbly on

the ground; I beheld the gentle Mary,5 hunting with her hawk

and hound; And her lighted bridal-chamber, where a duke

slept with the queen, And the armed guard around them, and the sword

unsheathed between.

I beheld the Flemish weavers, with Namur and

Juliers bold, Marching homeward from the bloody battle of the

Spurs of Gold ; 0 Saw the fight at Minnewater," saw the White

Hoods moving west, Saw great Artevelde victorious scale the Golden

Dragon's nest. 8 And again the whiskered Spaniard all the land

with terror smote; And again the loud alarum sounded from the toc

sin's throat;

Till the bell of Ghent responded o'er lagoon and

dike of sand, "I am Roland ! I am Roland! there is victory in

the land !"

Then the sound of drums aroused me. The

awakened city's roar Chased the phantoms I had summoned back into

their graves once more. Hours had passed away like minutes; and, before

I was aware, Lo! the shadow of the belfry crossed the sun

illumined square.

A GLEAM OF SUNSHINE.

This is the place. Stand still, my steed,

Let me review the scene,
And summon from the shadowy Past

The forms that once have been.

The Past and Present here unite

Beneath Time's flowing tide, Like foot-prints hidden by a brook,

But seen on either side.

Here runs the highway to the town;

There the green lane descends, Through which I walked to church with thce,

O gentlest of my friends!
The shadow of the linden-trees

Lay moving on the grass ;
Between them and the moving boughs,

A shadow, thou didst pass.
Thy dress was like the lilies,

And thy heart as pure as they ; One of God's holy messengers

Did walk with me that day.

I saw the branches of the trees

Bend down thy touch to meet, The clover blossoms in the grass

Rise up to kiss thy feet. “Sleep, sleep to-day, tormenting carcs,

Of earth and folly born !" Solemnly sang the village choir

On that sweet Sabbath morn,

Through the closed blinds the golden sun

Poured in a dusty beam, Like the celestial ladder seen

By Jacob in his dream,

And ever and anon the wind,

Sweet-scented with the bay, Turned o’er the hymn-book's fluttering leaves

That on the window lay.

Long was the good man's sermon,

Yet it seemed not so to me;
For he spake of Ruth the beautiful,

And still I thought of thee.

Long was the prayer he uttered,

Yet it seemed not so to me;
For in my heart I prayed with him,

And still I thought of thee.

But now, alas! the place seems changed ;

Thou art no longer here:
Part of the sunshine of the scene

With thee did disappear.

Though thoughts, deep-rooted in my heart,

Like pine-trees dark and high, Subdue the light of noon, and breathe

A low and ceaseless sigh,

This memory brightens o'er the past,

As when the sun, concealed
Behind some cloud'that near us hangs,

Shines on a distant field.

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