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were related by the peasants to Mr. Wyss or his friends, on their excursions through the mouna tains; and he declares, that he has very rarely permitted himself to add to, or subtract from, the peasants' narrative. He adds, that the belief in these beings is strong in the minds of the people, not merely in the mountain districts, but also at the foot of Belp mountain, Belp, Gelterfingen, and other places about Bern.

As a specimen of Mr. Wyss's manner of narrating these legends, we shall give a faithful translation of his first Idyll. The original is written in German hexameters, like those of Voss, or the Herman and Dorothea of Göthe. We employ blank verse, as the metre which in our language affords the nearest approximation to the original. The other legends we shall relate in prose.

VOL. II.

G

THE LITTLE HILL-MEN.

GERTRUDE AND ROSY.

GIRTRUDE.

1

Quick, daughter, quick! spin off what's on your

rock. 'Tis Saturday night, and with the week must end Our useful work; we shall the more enjoy To-morrow's rest when all is fully done. Quick, daughter, quick! spin off what's on your

rock.

1

ROSY.

True, mother, but every minute sleep
Falls on my eyes as heavy as lead, and I
Must
yawn

do what I will; and then God knows
I can't help nodding though 'twere for my life;
Or-oh! it might be of some use if you
Would once more, dearest mother, tell about

The wonderful, good-natured little Dwarfs,
What they here round the country used to do,
And how they showed their kindness to the

herds *.

GERTRUDE.

See now! what industry!-your work itself
Should keep you waking. I have told you o'er
A thousand times the stories, and we lose,
If you grow wearied of them, store of joy
Reserved for winter nights; besides, methinks,
The evening's now too short for chat like this.

ROSY,

There 's only one thing I desire to hear
Again, and sure, dear mother, never yet
Have you explained how 'twas the little men
Lived in the hills, and how, all through the year,
They sported round the country here, and gave
Marks of their kindness. For you 'll ne'er

persuade

* As Switzerland is in some sense to Germany what Scotland and Ireland are to England, we take the liberty to use the word Herd in the sense in which it is employed in these countries, i, e. answering to the Anglo-Saxon hýnd, and the German hirt, one who attends cattle. Chaucer used the feminine herdess. Prof. Wyss remarks that the Swiss have from hirt made a verb hirten, to tend cattle. The Scotch and Irish have a verb to herd, signifying the same.

Me to believe that barely, one by one,
They wander'd in the valleys, and appeared
Unto the people, and bestowed their gifts :
So, come now, tell at once, how 'twas the Dwarfs
Lived all together in society.

GERTRUDE.

'Tis plain, howerer, of itself, and well
Wise folks can see, that such an active race
Would never with their hands before them sit.
Ah! a right merry lively thing, and full
Of roguish tricks, the little Hill-man is,
And quickly too he gets into a rage,
If you behave not towards him mannerly,
And be not frank and delicate in

acts.
But, above all things, they delight to dwell,
Quiet and peaceful, in the secret clefts
Of hills and mountains, evermore concealed.
All through the winter, when with icy rind
The frost doth cover o'er the earth, the wise
And prudent little people keep them warm
By their fine fires, many a fathom down
Within the in most rocks. Pure native gold,
And the rock-crystals shaped like towers, clear,
Transparent, gleam with colours thousandfold
Through the fair palace, and the Little-folk,
So happy and so gay, amuse themselves

your

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