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On the stone,

These words alone :

“Oliver Basselin lived here.”

Far above it, on the steep,

Ruined stands the old Chateau ; Nothing but the donjon-keep

Left for shelter or for show.

Its vacant eyes

Stare at the skies,
Stare at the valley green and deep.

Once a convent, old and brown,

Looked, but ah! it looks no more, From the neighbouring hillside down On the rushing and the roar

Of the stream

Whose sunny gleam Cheers the little Norman town.

In that darksome mill of stone,

To the water's dash and din,
Careless, humble, and unknown,
Sang the poet Basselin

Songs that fill
That ancient mill

With a splendour of its own.

Never feeling of unrest

Broke the pleasant dream he dreamed ; Only made to be his nest, All the lovely valley seen

No desire

Of soaring higher Stirred or fluttered in his breast.

eemed ;

True, his songs were not divine;

Were not songs of that high art, Which, as winds do in the pine,

Find an answer in each heart;

But the mirth

Of this

earth Laughed and revelled in his line.

From the alehouse and the inn,

Opening on the narrow street, Came the loud, convivial din, Singing and applause of feet,

The laughing lays

That in those days Sang the poet Basselin.

In the castle, cased in steel,

Knights, who fought at Agincourt, Watched and waited, spur on heel ;

But the poet sang for sport

Songs that

rang Another clang, Songs that lowlier hearts could feel.

In the convent, clad in grey,

Sat the monks in lonely cells, Paced the cloisters, knelt to pray, And the poet heard their bells ;

But his rhymes

Found other chimes, Nearer to the earth than they.

Gone are all the barons bold,

Gone are all the knights and squires, Gone the abbot stern and cold,

And the brotherhood of friars;

Not a name

Remains to fame,

From those mouldering days of old !

But the poet's memory

Of the landscape makes a part ;
Like the river, swift and clear,
Flows his song through many a heart;

Haunting still
That ancient mill,

In the Valley of the Vire.


UNDER the walls of Monterey
At day break the bugles began to play,

Victor Galbraith!
In the mist of the morning damp and grey,
These were the words they seemed to say:

“Come forth to thy death,

Victor Galbraith!”.

Forth he came, with a martial tread;
Firm was his step, erect his head;

Victor Galbraith,
He who so well the bugle played,
Could not mistake the words it said :

“Come forth to thy death,
Victor Galbraith!"

He looked at the earth, he looked at the sky, He looked at the files of musketry,

Victor Gilbraith!
And he said, with a steady voice and eye,
“ Take good aim; I am ready to die!"

Thus challenges death
Victor Galbraith.

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