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Here Alfred the Truth-Teller

Suddenly closed his book,
And lifted his blue eyes,
With doubt and strange surmise

Depicted in their look.

And Othere the old sea-captain

Stared at him wild and weird,

Then smiled, till his shining teeth
Gleamed white from underneath

His tawny, quivering beard.

And to the King of the Saxons,

In witness of the truth, Raising his noble head, He stretched his brown hand, and said,

“Behold this walrus-tooth !”

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A WIND came up out of the sea,
And said, “O mists, make room for me.”

It hailed the ships, and cried, " Sail on, Ye mariners, the night is gone.”

And hurried landward far away,

Crying, “Awake! it is the day.”

It said unto the forest, “Shout!
Hang all your leafy banners out ! ”

It touched the wood-bird's folded wing,

And said, “O bird, awake and sing."

And o'er the farms, “O chanticleer,
Your clarion blow; the day is near.”

It whispered to the fields of corn, “Bow down, and hail the coming morn.”

It shouted through the belfry-tower,
“Awake, O bell! proclaim the hour.”


It crossed the churchyard with a sigh,
And said, “Not yet! in quiet lie.”


May 28, 1857.

It was fifty years ago

In the pleasant month of May,
In the beautiful Pays de Vaud,

A child in its cradle lay.

And Nature, the old nurse, took

The child upon her knee,
Saying: "Here is a story-book

Thy Father has written for thee.”

“Come, wander with me," she said,

"Into regions yet untrod;

And read what is still unread

In the manuscripts of God.”

And he wandered away and away

With Nature, the dear old nurse, Who sang to him night and day

The rhymes of the universe.

And whenever the way seemed long,

Or his heart began to fail, She would sing a more wonderful song,

Or tell a more marvellous tale.

So she keeps him still a child,

And will not let him go,
Though at times his heart beats wild

For the beautiful Pays de Vaud;

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