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I blew farewell to Minka mine, and bade the strain retire Where she sat winding flaxen thread beside the kitchen


We rode, and rode, by hollow pass, by glen and mountain

side, And with each bell soft accents fell from lips of bonny


The night was drear, the night was chill, the night was

lone and bright ; Before us streamed the polar rays in green and golden


The gypsy thieves were in their dens; the owl moaned in

the trees ; The windmill circled merrily, obedient to the breeze.

Shrill piped the blast in birchen boughs, and mocked the

snowy shroud ; Thrice ran a hare across our track ; thrice croaked a

raven loud.

The horses pawed the frigid sands, and drove them with

the wind : We left the village gallows-tree full thirty wersts behind.

We rode, and rode, by forest shade, by brake and river

side ; And as we rode I heard the kiss of groom and bonny


I heard again,--a boding strain ; I heard it, all too well; A neigh, a shout, a groan, a howl, -- then heavy curses Our horses pricked their wary ears, and bounded with


affright; From forest kennels picket wolves were baying in the


Haiduk, haiduk,—the lash,—the steeds, – the wolves !”

the lady cried ; The wily baron clutched his blade, and murmured to the

bride :

“ This all is but a moonlight hunt; the starveling hounds

shall bleed, And you shall be the tourney's queen, to crown the gal

lant deed !"

The moon it crept behind a cloud, as covered by a storm; And the gray cloud became a wolf, a monster wolf in


Gramercy, Mother of our Lord,- gramercy in our

needs !" Hold well together hand and thong, hold well, ye sturdy

steeds !

Like unto Tartar cavalry the wolf battalion sped ; Ungunned, unspurred, but well to horse, and sharpened

well to head.

The pines stood by, the stars looked on, and listless fell

the snow ; The breeze made merry with the trees, nor heeded wolf

nor woe,

Now cracked the carbines,- bleeding beasts were rolling

here and there ; 'T was flash and shot and howl,—and yet the wolves were


No more they mustered in our wake, their legion ranged

beside. 'T was steed for speed, and wolf for steed, and wolf for

lord and bride.

In vain I cited Christian saints, I called Mahomet near : Methought, though all the saints did fail, the prophet

would appear.

A moment, and pursuit is stayed, — they tear their

wounded kind; A moment, ---then the hellish pack did follow elose behind.

The baron silent rose amain, by danger unappalled. “Strive for your lives, with guns and knives,” the

mounted guardsmen called.

The lady muttered agony, with crucifix and beads;
The wolves were snapping by her side, and leaping at our


My limbs were numb, my senses dumb, nor reason held

its place ; I fell beneath two glaring orb within a gaunt embrace.

I roused to hear a volley fired, to hear a martial shout ; And when I oped my stricken eyes the wolves were all to


A hundred scouting Cossacks met and slew the deadly

foe ;

Fourscore of wolves in throes of death lay bleeding in the


Our lady rested in a swoon, our lord was stained with

gore ; But none could tell of what befell the trusty hunters four.


The Reign of Law.

The dawn went up the sky,

Like any other day ;
And they had only come

To mourn Him where he lay : "We ne'er have seen the law

Reversed 'neath which we lie ;
Exceptions none are found,

And when we die, we die.
Resigned to fact we wander hither,
We ask no more the whence and whither.

“ Vain questions ! from the first

Put, and no answer found.
He binds us with the chain

Wherewith himself is bound.
From west to east the earth

Unrolls her primal curve ;
The sun himself were vexed

Did she one furlong swerve : The myriad years have whirled us hither, But tell not of the whence and whither.

“ We know but what we see —

Like cause and like event :
One constant force runs on,

Transmuted but unspent.
Because they are, they are ;

The mind may frame a plan ;
'Tis from herself she draws

A special thought for man : The natural choice that brought us hither, Is silent on the whence and whither.

“ If God there be, or gods,

Without our science lies ; We cannot see or touch,

Measure or analyze. Life is but what we live,

We know but what we know,
Closed in these bounds alone

Whether God be, or no :
The self-moved force that bore us hither
Reveals no whence, and hints no whither.


Ah, which is likelier truth,

That law should hold its way, Or, for this one of all,

Life re-assert her sway? Like any

other morn
The sun goes up the sky;
No crisis marks the day,

For when we die, we die.
No fair fond hope allures us hither :
The law is dumb on whence and whither."

- Then wherefore are ye come?

Why watch a worn-out corse ? Why weep a ripple past

Down the long stream of force ? If life is that which keeps

Each organism whole, No atom may be traced

Of what ye thought the soul : It had its term of passage hither, But knew no whence, and knows no whither.

The forces that were Christ

Have ta'en new forms and fled The common sun goes up,

The dead are with the dead. 'T was but a phantom-life

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