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And he wandered


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;

Though at times he hears in his dreams

The Ranz des Vaches of old, And the rush of mountain streams

From glaciers clear and cold ;

And the mother at home says,

“ Hark! For his voice I listen and yearn;

It is growing late and dark,

And my boy does not return !"

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In your hearts are the birds and the sunshine,

In your thoughts the brooklets flow, But in mine is the wind of Autumn,

And the first fall of the snow.

Ah! what would the world be to us

If the children were no more ?

We should dread the desert behind us

Worse than the dark before.

What the leaves are to the forest,

With light and air for food, Ere their sweet and tender juices

Have been hardened into wood,

That to the world are children;

Through them it feels the glow Of a brighter and sunnier climate

Than reaches the trunks below.

Come to me, O ye children !

And whisper in my ear
What the birds and the winds are singing

In your sunny atmosphere.

For what are all our contrivings,

And the wisdom of our books, When compared with your caresses,

And the gladness of your looks ?

Ye are better than all the ballads

That ever were sung or said ;
For ye are living poems,

And all the rest are dead.


Have you read in the Talmud of old, In the Legends the Rabbins have told

Of the limitless realms of the air,Have you

read it,—the marvellous story Of Sandalphon, the Angel of Glory,

Sandalphon, the Angel of Prayer?

How, erect, at the outermost gates
Of the City Celestial he waits,

With his feet on the ladder of light, That, crowded with angels unnumbered, By Jacob was seen, as he slumbered

Alone in the desert at night ?

The Angels of Wind and of Fire
Chaunt only one hymn, and expire

With the song's irresistible stress ;
Expire in their rapture and wonder,
As harp-strings are broken asunder

By music they throb to express.

But serene in the rapturous throng,
Unmoved by the rush of the song,

With eyes unimpassioned and slow,
Among the dead angels, the deathless
Sandalphon stands listening breathless

To sounds that ascend from below;

From the spirits on earth that adore,
From the souls that entreat and implore

In the fervour and passion of prayer ; From the hearts that are broken with losses, And weary with dragging the crosses

Too heavy for mortals to bear.

And he gathers the prayers as he stands, And they change into flowers in his hands,

Into garlands of purple and red; And beneath the great arch of the portal, Through the streets of the City Immortal

Is wasted the fragrance they shed.

It is but a legend, I know,-
A fable, a phantom, a show,

Of the ancient Rabbinical lore;
Yet the old mediæval tradition,
The beautiful, strange superstition,

But haunts me and holds me the more.

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