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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,
And the castle turret shook.
In this fight was Death the gainer,
Written in the Doomsday Book.
By his bed a monk was seated,
From the missal on his knee.
And, amid the tempest pealing,
Rang for the Nativity.
In the hall, the serf and vassal
Sang the minstrels and the waits.
Knocking at the castle gates.
Till at length the lays they chaunted
Whispered at the baron's ear.
Tears upon his eyelids glistened,
Turned his weary head to hear.
" Wassail for the kingly stranger,
Born and cradled in a manger!
Christ is born to set us free!”
And the lightning showed the sainted
“ Miserere, Domine!”
In that hour of deep contrition,
Justice, the Avenger, rise.
And the truth wore no disguise.
By his hand were freed again.
And the monk replied, " Amen !"
Many centuries have been numbered
Mingling with the common dust :
But the good deed, through the ages
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,
And banish the thoughts of day.
Not from the grand old masters,
Not from the bards sublime,
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,
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.
WHEN descends on the Atlantic
The toiling surges,
From Bermuda's reefs; from edges
Of sunken ledges,
The Orkneyan Skerries,
On the shifting
Of sandy beaches,
So when storms of wild emotion
Strike the ocean
In its vastness,
From the far-off isles enchanted,
Heaven has planted
That for ever