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XIV. “ He will kiss me on the mouth Then, and lead me as a lover

Through the crowds that praise his deeds ;

And, when soul-tied by one troth, Unto him I will discover

That swan's nest among the reeds."

“Myself will to my darling be
Both law and impulse ; and with me

The girl, in rock and plain,
In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,
Shall feel an overseeing power

To kindle or restrain.

Little Ellie, with her smile
Not yet ended, rose up gayly,

Tied the bonnet, donned the shoe, And went homeward, round a mile, Just to see, as she did daily,

What more eggs were with the two.

“She shall be sportive as the fawn That wild with glee across the lawn

Or up the mountain springs ; And hers shall be the breathing balm, And hers the silence and the calm,

Of mute insensate things.


“The floating clouds their state shall lend To her ; for her the willow bend ;

Nor shall she fail to see E'en in the motions of the storm Grace that shall mould the maiden's form

By silent sympathy.

Pushing through the elm-tree copse, Winding up the stream, light-hearted,

Where the osier pathway leads,

Past the boughs she stoops — and stops.
Lo, the wild swan had deserted
And a rat had gnawed the reeds.

Ellie went home sad and slow.
If she found the lover ever,
With his red-roan steed of steeds,

Sooth I know not! but I know
She could never show him — never,
That swan's nest among the reeds !


“The stars of midnight shall be dear To her; and she shall lean her ear

In many a secret place Where rivulets dance their wayward round, And beauty born of murmuring sound

Shall pass into her face.

“And vital feelings of delight
Shall rear her form to stately height,

Her virgin bosom swell ;
Such thoughts to Lucy I will give
While she and I together live

Here in this happy dell."

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Hearest thou voices on the shore,

But neither household cares, nor yet That our ears perceive no more,

The shame that startled virgins feel, Deafened by the cataract's roar ?

Could make the generous girl forget

Her wonted hospitable zeal.
O thou child of many prayers !
Life hath quicksands, Life hath snares ! She brought us in a beechen bowl
Care and age come unawares !

Sweet milk that smacked of mountain thyme,

Oat cake, and such a yellow roll Like the swell of some sweet tune,

of butter, - it gilds all my rhyme ! Morning rises into noon, May glides onward into June.

And, while we ate the grateful food

(With weary limbs on bench reclined), Childhood is the bough where slumbered

Considerate and discreet, she stood Birds and blossoms many-numbered ;

| Apart, and listened to the wind. Age, that bough with snows encumbered. Gather, then, each flower that grows,

Kind wishes both our souls engaged, When the young heart overflows,

From breast to breast spontaneous ran To embalm that tent of snows.

The mutual thought, -- we stood and pledged

Bear a lily in thy hand;
Gates of brass cannot withstand

“The milk we drink is not more pure, One touch of that magic wand.

Sweet Mary, - bless those budding charms !

Than your own generous heart, I'm sure,
Bear through sorrow, wrong, and ruth,

Nor whiter than the breast it warms !"
In thy heart the dew of youth,
On thy lips the smile of truth.

She turned and gazed, unused to hear

Such language in that homely glen ; 0, that dew, like balm, shall steal

But, Mary, you have naught to fear,
Into wounds that cannot heal,

Though smiled on by two stranger-men.
Even as sleep our eyes doth seal ;
And that smile, like sunshine, dart

Not for a crown would I alarm
Into many a sunless heart,

Your virgin pride by word or sign,
For a smile of God thou art.

Nor need a painful blush disarm
H. W. LONGFELLOW. 1 My friend of thoughts as pure as mine.

Her simple heart could not but feel

The words we spoke were free from guile; She stooped, she blushed, she fixed her wheel,

'T is all in vain, — she can't but smile ! Just like sweet April's dawn appears

Her modest face, - I see it yet, —
And though I lived a hundred years

Methinks I never could forget
The pleasure that, despite her heart,

Fills all her downcast eyes with light,
The lips reluctantly apart,

The white teeth struggling into sight, The dimples eddying o'er her cheek, —

The rosy cheek that won't be still ; 0, who could blame what flatterers speak,

Did smiles like this reward their skill ?


INVERSNAID. Sweet Highland Girl, a very shower Of beauty is thy earthly dower ! Twice seven consenting years have shed Their utmost bounty on thy head; And these gray rocks, this household lawn, These trees, -- a veil just half withdrawn, This fall of water that doth make A murmur near the silent lake, This little bay, a quiet road That holds in shelter thy abode; In truth together ye do seem Like something fashioned in a dream; Such forms as from their covert peep When earthly cares are laid asleep! But O fair Creature ! in the light Of common day so heavenly bright, I bless thee, Vision as thou art, I bless thee with a human heart : God shield thee to thy latest years ! I neither know thee nor thy peers ; And yet my eyes are filled with tears.

For such another smile, I vow,

Though loudly beats the midnight rain,
I'd take the mountain-side e'en now,
And walk to Luggelaw again!



Soft and low,
Neat little nymph,

Thy numbers flow,
Urging thy thimble,
Thrift's tidy symbol,
Busy and nimble,

To and fro;
Prettily plying

Thread and song, Keeping them flying

Late and long, Through the stitch linger, Kissing thy finger,

Quick, - as it skips along. Many an echo,

Soft and low,
Follows thy flying

Fancy so, –
Melodies thrilling,
Tenderly filling
Thee with their trilling,

Come and go ;
Memory's finger,

Quick as thine, Loving to linger

On the line,
Writes of another,

Dearer than brother :
Would that the name were mine! |


With earnest feeling I shall pray
For thee when I am far away ;
For never saw I mien or face
In which more plainly I could trace
Benignity and home-bred sense
Ripening in perfect innocence.
Here scattered like a random seed,
Remote from men, thou dost not need
The embarrassed look of shy distress,
And maidenly shamefacedness :
Thou wear’st upon thy forehead clear
The freedom of a mountaineer;
A face with gladness overspread,
Soft smiles, by human kindness bred ;
And seemliness complete, that sways
Thy courtesies, about thee plays;
With no restraint, but such as springs
From quick and eager visitings
Of thoughts that lie beyond the reach
Of thy few words of English speech, —
A bondage sweetly brooked, a strife
That gives thy gestures grace and life !
So have I, not unmoved in mind,
Seen birds of tempest-loving kind,
Thus beating up against the wind.

What hand but would a garland cull
For thee who art so beautiful ?
O happy pleasure ! here to dwell
Beside thee in some heathy dell;
Adopt your homely ways and dress,
A shepherd, thou a shepherdess !
But I could frame a wish for thee
More like a grave reality :

Only, free from flutterings

Of loud mirth that scorneth measure, Taking love for her chief pleasure.

Thou art to me but as a wave
Of the wild sea ; and I would have
Some claim upon thee, if I could,
Though but of common neighborhood.
What joy to hear thee, and to see !
Thy elder brother I would be,
Thy father, - anything to thee.

Choosing pleasures, for the rest,

Which come softly, — just as she,

When she nestles at your knee. Quiet talk she liketh best,

In a bower of gentle looks, – Watering flowers, or reading books.

And her voice, it murmurs lowly,

As a silver stream may run,
Which yet feels, you feel, the sun.

Now thanks to Heaven ! that of its grace
Hath led me to this lonely place;
Joy have I had ; and going hence
I bear away my recompense.
In spots like these it is we prize
Our Memory, feel that she hath eyes :
Then why should I be loath to stir ?
I feel this place was made for her ;
To give new pleasure like the past,
Continued long as life shall last.
Nor am I loath, though pleased at heart,
Sweet Highland Girl ! from thee to part;
For I, methinks, till I grow old
As fair before me shall behold
As I do now, the cabin small,
The lake, the bay, the waterfall ;
And thee, the spirit of them all!

And her smile, it seems half holy,
As if drawn from, thoughts more far

Than our common jestings are.
And if any poet knew her,

He would sing of her with falls
Used in lovely madrigals.

And if any painter drew her,

He would paint her unaware
With a halo round the hair.


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