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Thus, upon the village common,
By the school-boys he was found ;'
And the wise men , in their wisdom ,
Put him straightwny into pound.
Then the sombre village crier,
Ringing loud his brazen bell,
Wondered down the street proclaiming
There was an estray to sell.
And the curious country people ,
Rich and poor, and young and old,‘
Came in haste to see this wondrous
~Winged steed, with mane of gold.
Thus the day passed , and the evening
Fell, with vapors cold and dim;
But it brought no food nor shelter,
Brought no straw nor stall , for him.
Patiently, and still expectant,
Looked he through the wooden bars,
Saw the moon rise o’er the landscape ,
Saw the tranquil, patient stars;
Till at length the bell at midnight
Sounded from its dark abode,
And, from out a neighbouring farm-yard
Loud the cock Alectryon crowed.
Then, with nostrils wide distended,
Breaking from his iron chain ,
And unfolding far his pinions,
To those stars he soared again.
On the morrow, when the village - \Voke to all its toil and care , Lo! the strange steed had departed, And they knew not when nor where. Longfellow. l. 24
But they found upon the greensward
Where his struggling hoofs had trod,
Pure and bright, a fountain flowing
From the hoof-marks in the sod.
From that hour , the fount unfailing Gladdens the whole region round, Strengthening all who drink its waters,
While it soothes them with its sound.
All things in earth and air
Bound were by magic spell
Never to do him harm;
Even the plants and stones;
All save the mistletoe ,
The sacred mistletoe!
Header, the blind old God,
“'hose feet are shod with silence,
Pierced through that gentle breast
With his sharp spear, by fraud
Made of the mistletoe,
The accursed mistletoe!
They laid him in his ship,
\Vith horse and harness,
As on a funeral pyre.
A ring upon his finger,
And whispered in his ear.
They launched the burning ship!
It floated far away
Over the misty sea,
Till like the sun it seemed,
Sinking beneath the waves.
Balder returned no more!
So perish the old Gods!
But out of the sea of Time
Rises a new land of song,
Fairer than the old.
Over its meadows green
Walk the young bards and sing.
Build it again ,
0 ye bards,
Fairer than before!
Ye fathers of the new race ,
Feed upon morning dew,
Sing the new Song of Love!
O PRECIOUS evenings! all too swiftly sped!
Leaving us heirs to amplest heritages
Of all the best thoughts of the greatest'sages,
And giving tongues unto the silent dead!
How our hearts glowed and trembled as she read ,
Interpreting by tones the wondrous pages
Of the great poet who foreruns the ages,
Anticipating all that shall be said!
0 happy Reader! having for thy text
The magic book, whose Sibylline leaves have caught The rarest essence of all human thought!
0 happy Poet! by no critic vext!
How must thy listening spirit now rejoice
To be interpreted by such a voice!
Goo sent his Singers upon earth
With songs of sadness and of mirth,
That they might touch the hearts of men,
And bring them back to heaven again.
The first, a youth, with soul of fire,
Held in his hand a golden lyre;
Through groves he wandered, and by streams, Playing the music of our dreams.
The second, with a bearded face,
Stood singing in the marketplace ,
And stirred with accents deep and loud
The hearts of all the listening crowd.
A gray, old man, the third and last,
Sang in cathedrals dim and vast,
While the majestic organ rolled
Contritio‘n from its mouths of gold.
And those who heard the Singers three
Disputed which the best might be;
For still their music seemed to start
Discordant echoes in each heart.
But the great Master said, “I see
No best in kind, but in degree;
I gave a various to each,
To charm, to strengthen, and to teach.
“These are the three great chords of might,
And he whose ear is tuned aright
Will hear no discord in the three,
But the most perfect harmony.”