Puslapio vaizdai

There may have end like everything
Both to the shepherd and the king:
Lest this green earth become but hell
If folk thereon should ever dwell.

Full little most men think of this,
But half in woe and half in bliss
They pass their lives, and die at last
Unwilling, though their lot be cast
In wretched places of the earth,
Where men have little joy from birth
Until they die; in no such case
Were those who till'd this pleasant place.
There soothly men were loth to die,
Though sometimes in his misery

A man would say "Would I were dead!" Alas! full little likelyhead

That he should live forever there.

So folk within that country fair
Liv'd on unable to forget

The long'd-for things they could not get,
And without need tormenting still
Each other with some bitter ill;
Yea, and themselves too, growing gray
With dread of some long-lingering day,
That never came ere they were dead
With green sods growing on the head;
Nowise content with what they had,
But falling still from good to bad
While hard they sought the hopeless best;
And seldom happy or at rest
Until at last with lessening blood
One foot within the grave they stood.



IN the white-flower'd hawthorn brake,
Love, be merry for my sake;
Twine the blossoms in my hair,
Kiss me where I am most fair-
Kiss me, love! for who knoweth
What thing cometh after death?

Nay, the garlanded gold hair
Hides thee where thou art most fair;
Hides the rose-tinged hills of snow
Ah, sweet love, I have thee now !
Kiss me, love! for who knoweth
What thing cometh after death?


Shall we weep for a dead day, Or set Sorrow in our way?

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Then upright by the bed of the Niblungs for a moment doth she stand,

And the blade flasheth bright in the chamber, but no more they hinder her hand

Than if a God were smiting to rend the world in two:

Then dull'd are the glittering edges, and the bitter point cleaves through The breast of the all-wise Brynhild, and her feet from the pavement fail, And the sigh of her heart is hearken'd mid the hush of the maidens' wail. Chill, deep is the fear upon them, but they bring her aback to the bed, And her hand is yet on the hilt, and sidelong droopeth her head.

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Ye have hung the shields about it, and the Southland hangings spread,

There lay me adown by Sigurd and my head beside his head:

But ere you leave us sleeping, draw his Wrath from out the sheath,

And lay that Light of the Branstock, and the blade that frighted death Betwixt my side and Sigurd's, as it lay that while agone,

When once in one bed together we twain were laid alone :

How then when the flames flare upward may I be left behind?

How then may the road he wendeth be hard

for my feet to find?

How then in the gates of Valhall may the door of the gleaming ring Clash to on the heel of Sigurd, as I follow on my king?"

Then she rais'd herself on her elbow, but again her eyelids sank,

And the wound by the sword-edge whisper'd, as her heart from the iron shrank, And she moan'd: "O lives of man-folk, for unrest all overlong

By the Father were ye fashion'd; and what hope amendeth wrong? Now at last, O my beloved, all is gone; none else is near,

Through the ages of all ages, never sunder'd, shall we wear.

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Scarce more than a sigh was the word, as back on the bed she fell,

Nor was there need in the chamber of the passing of Brynhild to tell ; And no more their lamentation might the maidens hold aback,

But the sound of their bitter mourning was as if red-handed wrack

Ran wild in the Burg of the Niblungs, and the fire were master of all.

Then the voice of Gunnar the war-king

cried out o'er the weeping hall: "Wail on, O women forsaken, for the mightiest woman born!

Now the hearth is cold and joyless, and the waste bed lieth forlorn,

Wail on, but amid your weeping lay hand to the glorious dead,

That not alone for an hour may lie Queen Brynhild's head:

For here have been heavy tidings, and the Mightiest under shield

Is laid on the bale high-builded in the Niblungs' hallow'd field.

Fare forth for he abideth, and we do Allfather wrong,

If the shining Valhall's pavement await their feet o'erlong."

Then they took the body of Brynhild in the raiment that she wore,

And out through the gate of the Niblungs the holy corpse they bore, And thence forth to the mead of the people, and the high-built shielded bale; Then afresh in the open meadows breaks forth the women's wail

When they see the bed of Sigurd, and the glittering of his gear;

And fresh is the wail of the people as Brynhild draweth anear,

And the tidings go before her that for twain the bale is built,

That for twain is the oak-wood shielded and the pleasant odors spilt.

There is peace on the bale of Sigurd, and the Gods look down from on high, And they see the lids of the Volsung close shut against the sky,

As he lies with his shield beside him in the Hauberk all of gold,

That has not its like in the heavens, nor has earth of its fellow told;

And forth from the Helm of Aweing are the sunbeams flashing wide, And the sheathed Wrath of Sigurd lies still by his mighty side.

Then cometh an elder of days, a man of the ancient times,

Who is long past sorrow and joy, and the steep of the bale he climbs ; And he kneeleth down by Sigurd, and bareth the Wrath to the sun That the beams are gather'd about it, and from hilt to blood-point run,

And wide o'er the plain of the Niblungs doth the Light of the Branstock glare,

Till the wondering mountain-shepherds on that star of noontide stare,

And fear for many an evil; but the ancient man stands still

With the war-flame on his shoulder, nor thinks of good or of ill,

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The shadows of the fruitéd close
Dapple the feast-hall floor;

There lie our dogs and dream and doze,
And we return no more.

Down from the minster tower to-day
Fall the soft chimes of yore

Amidst the chattering jackdaws' play :
And we return no more.

But underneath the streets are still;
Noon, and the market's o'er!
Back go the goodwives o'er the hill;
For we return no more.

What merchant to our gates shall come?
What wise man bring us lore?
What abbot ride away to Rome,

Now we return no more?

What mayor shall rule the hall we built? Whose scarlet sweep the floor?

What judge shall doom the robber's guilt,
Now we return no more?

New houses in the streets shall rise
Where builded we before,

Of other stone wrought otherwise;
For we return no more.

And crops shall cover field and hill,
Unlike what once they bore,

And all be done without our will,
Now we return no more.

Look up! the arrows streak the sky,
The horns of battle roar ;

The long spears lower and draw nigh,
And we return no more.

Remember how, beside the wain,
We spoke the word of war,

And sow'd this harvest of the plain,
And we return no more.

Lay spears about the Ruddy Fox!
The days of old are o'er;

Heave sword about the Running Ox!
For we return no more.


WHAT cometh here from west to east a-wending?

And who are these, the marchers stern and


We bear the message that the rich are sending

Aback to those who bade them wake and know.

Not one, not one, nor thousands must they slay,

But one and all if they would dusk the day.

We ask'd them for a life of toilsome earning,

They bade us bide their leisure for our bread;

We crav'd to speak to tell our woeful learning:

We come back speechless, bearing back our dead.

They will not learn; they have no ears to hearken;

They turn their faces from the eyes of fate;

Their gay-lit halls shut out the skies that darken.

But, lo! this dead man knocking at the gate.

Here lies the sign that we shall break our prison;

Amidst the storm he won a prisoner's rest; But in the cloudy dawn the sun arisen Brings us our day of work to win the best. Not one, not one, nor thousands must they slay,

But one and all if they would dusk the day.

Lord De Tablep



BRING no jarring lute this way
To demean her sepulchre,
Toys of love and idle day
Vanish as we think of her.

We, who read her epitaph,
Find the world not worth a laugh.

Light, our light, what dusty night

Numbs the golden drowsy head?
Lo! empath'd in pearls of light,
Morn resurgent from the dead;

From whose amber shoulders flow
Shroud and sheet of cloudy woe.

Woods are dreaming, and she dreams :
Through the foliaged roof above
Down immeasurably streams
Splendor like an angel's love,
Till the tomb and gleaming urn
In a mist of glory burn.

Cedars there in outspread palls
Lean their rigid canopies;
Yet a lark note through them falls,
As he scales his orient skies.

That aërial song of his,

Sweet, might come from thee in bliss.

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There the posies o'er her sleep

Spring on spring renew the show Of their frail memorial woe.

Wreaths of intertwisted yew
Lay for cypress where she lies,
Mingle perfume from the blue
Of the forest violet's eyes.

Let the squirrel sleek its fur,
And the primrose peep at her.
We have seen three winters sow
Hoarfrost on thy winding-sheet:
Snows return again, and thou
Hearest not the crisping sleet.

Winds arise and winds depart,
Yet no tempest rocks thy heart.

We have seen with fiery tongue

Thrice the infant crocus born:
Thrice its trembling curtain hung
In a chink of frozen morn.

This can rear its silken crest :
Nothing thaws her ice-bound breast.

We have eaten, we have earn'd
Wine of grief and bread of care,
We, who saw her first inurn'd
In the dust and silence there.

We have wept ah God! not so:
Trivial tears dried long ago.

But we yearn and make our moan For the step we us'd to know :

Through the years ah! through the Gentle hand and tender tone,


Laughter in a silver flow :

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