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On that sweet cheek and moonlight eye ;
“Lady," he cried, “I have sworn to-night, On the word of a fairy knight, To do my sentence, task aright; My honor scarce is free from stain, I may not soil its snows again; Betide me weal, betide me woe, Its mandate must be answered now. Her bosom heaved with many a sigh, The tear was in her drooping eye ; But she led him to the palace gate,
And called the sylphs who hovered there, And bade them fly and bring him straight,
Of clouds condensed, a sable car. With charm and spell she blessed it there, From all the fiends of upper air ; Then round him cast the shadowy shroud, And tied his steed behind the cloud; And pressed his hand as she bade him fly Far to the verge of the northern sky, For by its wane and wavering light There was a star would fall to-night.
Borne afar on the wings of the blast,
The star is yet in the vault of heaven,
But it rocks in the summer gale ;
And now 't is deadly pale ;
And quenched is its rayless beam ;
It bursts in flash and flame.
That the storm-spirit flings from high,
As it fell from the sheeted sky.
The elfin gallops along :
But the sylphid charm is strong ;
While the cloud-fiends fly from the blaze; He watches each flake till its sparks expire,
And rides in the light of its rays.
And caught a glimmering spark ;
And sped through the midnight dark.
Ouphe and goblin ! imp and sprite !
Elf of eve ! and starry fay!
Hither, - hither wend your way ;
Sing and trip it merrily,
Round the wild witch-hazel tree.
Hail the wanderer again
With dance and song, and lute and lyre ; Pure his wing and strong his chain,
And doubly bright his fairy fire. Twine ye in an airy round,
Brush the dew and print the lea; Skip and gambol, hop and bound,
Round the wild witch-hazel tree.
The beetle guards our holy ground,
He flies about the haunted place, And if mortal there be found,
He hums in his ears and flaps his face ; The leaf-harp sounds our roundelay,
The owlet's eyes our lanterns be; Thus we sing and dance and play
Round the wild witch-hazel tree.
But hark ! from tower to tree-top high,
The sentry-elf his call has made ;
Shapes of moonlight ! fit and fade!
JOSEPH RODMAN DRAKE.
SELLA'S FAIRY SLIPPERS.
“SEE, mother dear,” she said, “what I have
found Upon our rivulet's bank ; two slippers, white As the midwinter snow, and spangled o'er With twinkling points, likestars, and on the edge My name is wrought in silver ; read, I pray, Sella, the name thy mother, now in heaven, Gave at my birth ; and, sure, they fit my feet !” “A dainty pair,” the prudent matron said, “But thine they are not. We must lay them by For those whose careless hands have left them
Or haply they were placed beside the brook With a green sunshine. Here were mighty groves To be a snare. I cannot see thy name
| Far down the ocean-valleys, and between Upon the border, — only characters
Lay what might seem fair meadows, softly tinged Of mystic look and dim are there, like signs With orange and with crimson. Here arose Of some strange art ; nay, daughter, wear them Tall stems, that, rooted in the depths below, not."
Swung idly with the motions of the sea; Then Sella hung the slippers in the porch And here were shrubberies in whose mazy screen Of that broad rustic lodge, and all who passed The creatures of the deep made haunt. My friend Admired their fair contexture, but none knew Named the strange growths, the pretty coralline, Who left them by the brook. And now, at length, The dulse with crimson leaves, and, streaming far, May, with her flowers and singing birds, had gone, Sea-thong and sea-lace. Here the tangle spread And on bright streams and into deep wells shone Its broad thick fronds, with pleasant bowers beThe high midsummer sun. One day, at noon, One day, at noon,
neath; Sella was missed from the accustomed meal. And oft we trod a waste of pearly sands, They sought herin her favorite haunts, they looked Spotted with rosy shells, and thence looked in By the great rock, and far along the stream, At caverns of the sea whose rock-roofed halls And shouted in the sounding woods her name. | Lay in blue twilight. As we moved along, Night came, and forth the sorrowing household The dwellers of the deep, in mighty herds, went
| Passed by us, reverently they passed us by, With torches over the wide pasture-grounds Long trains of dolphins rolling through the brine, To pool and thicket, marsh and briery dell, Huge whales, that drew the waters after them, And solitary valley far away.
A torrent-stream, and hideous hammer-sharks, The morning came, and Sella was not found. Chasing their prey; I shuddered as they came; The sun climbed high, they sought her still; Gently they turned aside and gave us room." the noon,
Hereat broke in the mother, “Sella, dear, The hot and silent noon, heard Sella's name This is a dream, -- the idlest, vainest dream." Uttered with a despairing cry to wastes
“Nay, mother, nay; behold this sea-green scarf, O'er which the eagle hovered. As the sun Woven of such threads as never human hand Stooped toward the amber west to bring the close Twined from the distaff. She who led my way Of that sad second day, and, with red eyes, Through the great waters bade me wear it home, The mother sat within her home alone,
A token that my tale is true. ‘And keep,' Sella was at her side. A shriek of joy
She said, “the slippers thou hast found, for thou, Broke the sad silence; glad, warm tears were shed, When shod with them, shalt be like one of us, And words of gladness uttered. “0, forgive,” With power to walk at will the ocean-floor, The maiden said, “ that I could e'er forget Among its monstrous creatures, unafraid, Thy wishes for a moment. I just tried
And feel no longing for the air of heaven The slippers on, amazed to see them shaped To fill thy lungs, and send the warm, red blood So fairly to my feet, when, all at once,
Along thy veins. But thou shalt pass the hours I felt my steps upborne and hurried on
In dances with the sea-nymphs, or go forth, Almost as if with wings. A strange delight, To look into the mysteries of the abyss Blent with a thrill of fear, o'ermastered me, Where never plummet reached. And thou shalt And, ere I knew, my plashing steps were set
sleep Within the rivulet's pebbly bed, and I
Thy weariness away on downy banks Was rushing down the current. By my side of sea-moss, where the pulses of the tide Tripped one as beautiful as ever looked
Shall gently lift thy hair, or thou shalt float From white clouds in a dream ; and, as we ran, On the soft currents that go forth and wind She talked with musical voice and sweetly laughed. From isle to isle, and wander through the sea. Gayly we leaped the crag and swam the pool, “So spake my fellow-voyager, her words And swept with dimpling eddies round the rock, Sounding like wavelets on a summer shore, And glided between shady meadow-banks. And then we stopped beside a hanging rock The streamlet, broadening as we went, became With a smooth beach of white sands at its foot, A swelling river, and we shot along
Where three fair creatures like herself were set By stately towns, and under leaning masts At their sea-banquet, crisp and juicy stalks, Of gallant barks, nor lingered by the shore Culled from the ocean's meadows, and the sweet Or blooming gardens ; onward, onward still, | Midrib of pleasant leaves, and golden fruits The same strong impulse bore me till, at last, Dropped from the trees that edge the southern isles, We entered the great deep, and passed below And gathered on the waves. Kindly they prayed His billows, into boundless spaces, lit
That I would share their meal, and I partook
WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.
With eager appetite, for long had been Beside this cottage door. There tenderly
Her face no more. I took the slippers ofl.
“But beautiful the fountains of the sea It was only to hear the yorlin sing,
Lang the laird of Duneira blame, Began to yearn for my dear mountain-home.
And lang, lang greet or Kilmeny come hame. I prayed my gentle guide to lead me back To the upper air. “A glorious realm,' I said, When many a day had come and fled, “Is this thou openest to me, but I stray When grief grew calm, and hope was dead, Bewildered in its vastness, these strange sights When mass for Kilmeny's soul had been sung, And this strange light oppress me. I must see
When the bedesman had prayed, and the deadThe faces that I love, or I shall die.' “She took my hand, and, darting through the Late, late in a gloamin, when all was still, waves,
When the fringe was red on the westlin hill, Brought me to where thestream, by which we came, The wood was sear, the moon i' the wane, Rushed into the main ocean. Then began
The reek o' the cot hung over the plain, A slower journey upward. Wearily
Like a little wee cloud in the world its lane ; We breasted the strong current, climbing through When the ingle lowed with an eiry leme, The rapids tossing high their foam. The night Late, late in the gloamin Kilmeny came hame ! Came down, and, in the clear depth of a pool,
* Kilmeny, Kilmeny, where have you been ? Eilged with o'erhanging rock, we took our rest
Lang hae we sought both holt and den, Till morning; and I slept, and dreamed of home By linn, by ford, and green-wood tree; And thee. A pleasant sight the morning showed ; Yet you are halesome and fair to see. The green fields of this upper world, the herds
Where got you that joup o' the lily sheen ? That grazed the bank, the light on the red clouds, That bonny snood of the birk sae green ? The trees, with all their host of trembling leaves, and these roses, the fairest that ever was seen ? Lifting and lowering to the restless wind
Kilmeny, Kilmeny, where have you been ?” Their branches. As I woke I saw them all From the clear stream ; yet strangely was my heart Kilmeny looked up with a lovely grace, Parted between the watery world and this, But nae smile was seen on Kilmeny's face; And as we journeyed upward, oft I thought As still was her look, and as still was her ee, Of marvels I had seen, and stopped and turned, As the stillness that lay on the emerant lea, And lingered, till I thought of thee again ; Or the mist that sleeps on a waveless sea. And then again I turned and clambered up For Kilmeny had been she knew not where, The rivulet's murmuring path, until we came And Kilmeny liad seen what she could not declare.
bell rung ;
Kilmeny had been where the cock never crew, They lifted Kilmeny, they led her away,
And the flowers of everlasting blow.
Then deep in the stream her body they laid, Withouten sun or moon or night ;
That her youth and beauty never might fale ; Where the river swa'd a living stream,
And they smiled on heaven, when they saw her lie And the light a pure celestial beam:
In the stram of life that wandered by. The land of vision it would seem,
And she heard a song,
she heard it sung, A still, an everlasting dream.
She kend not where ; but sae sweetly it rung, In yon green-wood there is a waik,
It fell on her ear like a dream of the morn, And in that waik there is a wene,
“0, blest be the day Kilmeny was born! And in that wene there is a maike,
Now shall the land of the spirits see, That neither has flesh, blood, nor bane ;
Now shall it ken, what a woman may be !" And down in yon green-wood he walks his lane. In that green wene Kilmeny lay,
They bore her far to a mountain green, Her bosom happed wi' the flowerets gay ;
To see what mortal never had seen; But the air was soft, and the silence deep, And they seated her high on a purple sward, And bonny Kilmeny fell sound asleep;
And bade her heed what she saw and heard, She kend nae mair, nor opened her ee,
And note the changes the spirits wrought ; Till waked by the hymns of a far countrye. For now she lived in the land of thought.
She looked, and she saw nor sun nor skies, She wakened on a couch of the silk sae slim,
But a crystal dome of a thousand dies ;
She looked, and she saw nae land aright,
But an endless whirl of glory and light;
And radiant beings went and came,
Far swifter than wind or the linked flame; And aye they smiled, and 'gan to speer:
She hid her een frae the dazzling view; “What spirit has brought this mortal here?"
She looked again, and the scene was new. “Lang have I journeyed the world wide,” She saw a sun on a summer sky, A meek and reverend fere replied ;
And clouds of amber sailing by ; “Baith night and day I have watched the fair | A lovely land beneath her lay, Eident a thousand years and mair.
And that land had glens and mountains gray; Yes, I have watched o'er ilk degree,
And that land had valleys and hoary piles, Wherever blooms femenitye ;
And marled seas, and a thousand isles ; But sinless virgin, free of stain,
Its fields were speckled, its forests green, In mind and body, fand I nane.
And its lakes were all of the dazzling sheen, Never, since the banquet of time,
Like magic mirrors, where slumbering lay Found I a virgin in her prime,
The sun and the sky and the cloudlet gray, Till late this bonny maiden I saw,
Which heaved and trembled, and gently swung ; As spotless as the morning snaw.
On every shore they seemed to be hung; Full twenty years she has lived as free
For there they were seen on their downward plain As the spirits that sojourn in this countrye. A thousand times and a thousand again ; I have brought her away frae the snares of men, In winding lake and placid firth, That sin or death she may never ken."
Little peaceful heavens in the bosom of earth.
Kilmeny sighed and seemed to grieve, They clasped her waist and her hands sae fair; For she found her heart to that land did cleave; They kissed her cheek, and they kemed her hair ; She saw the corn wave on the vale ; And round came many a blooming fere, She saw the deer run down the dale ; Saying, “Bonny Kilmeny, ye 're welcome here; She saw the plaid and the broad claymore, Women are freed of the littand scorn ;
And the brows that the badge of freedom bore ; 0, blest be the day Kilmeny was born!
And she thought she had seen the land before. Now shall the land of the spirits see, Now shall it ken, what a woman may be !" Then Kilmeny begged again to sce
| The friends she had left in her own countrye,
To tell of the place where she had been,
There laid her down on the leaves sae green, And the glories that lay in the land unseen ; And Kilmeny on earth was never mair seen. To warn the living maidens fair,
But O the words that fell from her mouth The loved of heaven, the spirits' care,
Were words of wonder, and words of truth ! That all whose minds unmeled remain
But all the land were in fear and dread, Shall bloom in beauty when time is gane. For they kend na whether she was living or dead.
It wasna her hame, and she couldna remain ; With distant music, soft and deep,
She left this world of sorrow and pain, They lulled Kilmeny sound asleep;
And returned to the land of thought again. And when she awakened, she lay her lane,
Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen, But still and steadfast was her ee !
We dare n't go a hunting Such beauty bard may never declare,
For fear of little men; For there was no pride nor passion there ;
Wee folk, good folk, And the soft desire of maidens een
Trooping all together ; In that mild face could never be seen.
Green jacket, red car, Her seymar was the lily flower,
And white owl's feather ! And her cheek the moss-rose in the shower ;
Down along the rocky shore And her voice like the distant melodye
Some make their home, That floats along the twilight sea.
They live on crispy pancakes But she loved to raike the lanely glen,
Of yellow tide-foam ; And keeped afar frae the haunts of men ;
Some in the reeds Her holy hymns unheard to sing,
Of the black mountain-lake, To suck the flowers and drink the spring.
With frogs for their watch-dogs,
All night awake.
High on the hill-top
The old king sits ; The dun deer wooed with manner bland,
He is now so old and gray And cowered aneath her lily hand.
He's nigh lost his wits. And when at even the woodlands rung,
With a bridge of white mist When hymns of other worlds she sung
Columbkill he crosses, In ecstasy of sweet devotion,
On his stately journeys 0, then the glen was all in motion !
From Slieveleague to Rosses; The wild beasts of the forest came,
Or going up with music Broke from their bughts and faulds the tame,
On cold starry nights, And goved around, charmed and amazed ;
To sup with the queen Even the dull cattle crooned and gazed,
Of the gay Northern Lights. And murmured, and looked with anxious pain
They stole little Bridget For something the mystery to explain.
For seven years long ; The buzzard came with the throstle-cock,
When she came down again The corby left her houf in the rock ;
Her friends were all gone. The blackbird alang wi' the eagle flew;
They took her lightly back, The hind came tripping o'er the dew ;
Between the night and morrow; The wolf and the kid their raike began;
They thought that she was fast asleep, And the tod, and the lamb, and the leveret ran ;
But she was dead with sorrow. The hawk and the hern attour them hung,
They have kept her ever since And the merland the mavis forhooyed their young;
Deep within the lakes, And all in a peaceful ring were hurled :
On a bed of flag-leaves, It was like an eve in a sinless world !
Watching till she wakes. When a month and day had come and gane,
By the craggy hillside, Kilmeny sought the green-wood wene;
Through the mosses bare,