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THE NORMAN BARON.

Dans les moments de la vie où la réflexion devient plus calme et plus profonde, où l'intérêt et l' avarice parlent moins haut que la raison, dans les instants de chagrin domestique, de maladie, et de péril de mort, les nobles se repentirent de posséder des serfs, comme d'une chose peu agréable à Dieu, qui avait créé tous les hommes à son image.---THIERRY: Conquête de l'Angleterre.

In his chamber, weak and dying,
Was the Norman baron lying ;
Loud, without, the tempest thundered,

And the castle turret shook.

In this fight was Death the gainer,
Spite of vassal and retainer,
And the lands his sires had plundered,

Written in the Doomsday Book.

By his bed a monk was seated,
Who in humble voice repeated
Many a prayer and pater-noster,

From the missal on his knee.

And, amid the tempest pealing,
Sounds of bells came faintly stealing,
Bells, that from the neighbouring kloster,

Rang for the Nativity.

In the hall, the serf and vassal
Held, that night, their Christmas wassail;
Many a carol, old and saintly,

Sang the minstrels and the waits.
And so loud these Saxon gleemen
Sang to slaves the songs of freemen,
That the storm was heard but faintly,

Knocking at the castle gates.

Till at length the lays they chaunted
Reached the chamber terror-haunted,
Where the monk, with accents holy,

Whispered at the baron's ear.

Tears upon his eyelids glistened,
As he paused awhile and listened,
And the dying baron slowly

Turned his weary head to hear.

" Wassail for the kingly stranger,

Born and cradled in a manger!
King, like David, priest, like Aaron,

Christ is born to set us free!”

And the lightning showed the sainted
Figures on the casement painted,
And exclaimed the shuddering baron,

“ Miserere, Domine!”

In that hour of deep contrition,
He beheld, with clearer vision,
Through all outward show and fashion,

Justice, the Avenger, rise.
All the pomp of earth had vanished,
Falsehood and deceit were banished,
Reason spake more loud than passion,

And the truth wore no disguise.
Every vassal of his banner,
Every serf born to his manor,
All those wronged and wretched creatures

By his hand were freed again.
And as on the sacred missal
He recorded their dismissal,
Death relaxed his iron features,

And the monk replied, " Amen !"

Many centuries have been numbered
Since in death the baron slumbered
By the convent's sculptured portal,

Mingling with the common dust :

But the good deed, through the ages
Living in historic pages,
Brighter grows and gleams immortal,

Unconsumed by moth or rust.

THE DAY IS DONE.

The day is done, and the darkness

Falls from the wings of Night, As a feather is wafted downward

From an eagle in its flight.

I see the lights of the village

Gleam through the rain and the mist, And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me,

That my soul cannot resist;

A feeling of sadness and longing,

That is not akin to pain, And resembles sorrow only

As the mist resembles rain.

Come, read to me some poem,

Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,

And banish the thoughts of day.

Not from the grand old masters,

Not from the bards sublime,
Whose distant footsteps echo

Through the corridors of Time.

For, like strains of martial music,

Their mighty thoughts suggest Life's endless toil and endeavour;

And to-night I long for rest.

Read from some humbler poet,

Whose songs gushed from his heart, As showers from the clouds of summer,

Or tears from the eyelids start;

Who, through long days of labour,

And nights devoid of ease, Still heard in his soul the music

Of wonderful melodies.

Such songs have power to quiet

The restless pulse of care, And come like the benediction

That follows after prayer.

Then read from the treasured volume

The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet

The beauty of thy voice.

And the night shall be filled with music,

And the cares, that infest the day, Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,

And as silently steal away.

SEAWEED.

WHEN descends on the Atlantic

The gigantic
Storm-wind of the equinox,
Landward in his wrath he scourges

The toiling surges,
Laden with seaweed from the rocks:

From Bermuda's reefs; from edges

Of sunken ledges,
In some far-off, bright Azore;
From Bahama, and the dashing,

Silver-flashing
Surges of San Salvador;
From the tumbling surf, that buries

The Orkneyan Skerries,
Answering the hoarse Hebrides;
And from wrecks of ships, and drifting

Spars uplifting
On the desolate, rainy seas ;-
Ever drifting, drifting, drifting,

On the shifting
Currents of the restless main;
Till in sheltered coves, and reaches

Of sandy beaches,
All have found repose again.

So when storms of wild emotion

Strike the ocean
Of the poet's soul, ere long
From each cave and rocky fastness,

In its vastness,
Floats some fragments of a song:

From the far-off isles enchanted,

Heaven has planted
With the golden fruit of Truth;
From the flashing surf, whose vision

Glearns Elysian
In the tropic clime of Youth ;
From the strong Will, and the Endeavour

That for ever
Wrestles with the tides of Fate;
From the wreck of Hopes far-scattered,

Tempest shattered,
Floating waste and desolate;

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