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Then come down,
She will not come, though you call all day.

Come away, come away.
Children dear, was it yesterday
We heard the sweet bells over the bay?

In the caverns where we lay,

Through the surf and through the swell,
The far-off sound of a silver bell?
Sand-strewn caverns, cool and deep,

Where the winds are all asleep;
Where the spent lights quiver and gleam ;
Where the salt weed sways in the stream;
Where the sea-beasts ranged all round
Feed in the ooze of their pasture-ground;
Where the sea-snakes coil and twine,
Dry their mail, and bask in the brine ;
Where great whales come sailing by,
Sail and sail, with unshut eye,
Round the world for ever and aye?

When did music come this way?

Children dear, was it yesterday?
Children dear, was it yesterday
(Call yet once) that she went away?
Once she sate with you and me,

On a red gold throne in the heart of the sea,

And the youngest sate on her knee. She combed its bright hair, and she tended it well, When down swung the sound of the far-off bell. 54 She sighed, she looked up through the clear green sea; She said : “I must go, for my kinsfolk pray In the little gray church on the shore to-day. 'Twill be Easter-time in the world--ah me! And I lose my poor soul, Merman, here with thee.' I said : ‘Go up, dear heart, through the waves. 60 Say thy prayer, and come back to the kind sea-caves.'


50 She smiled, she went up through the surf in the bay.

Children dear, was it yesterday?


Children dear, were we long alone ? • The sea grows stormy, the little ones moan. Long prayers,' I said, “in the world they say. Come,' I said, and we rose through the surf in the bay. We went up the beach, by the sandy down Where the sea-stocks bloom, to the white-walled town. Through the narrow paved streets, where all was still, 70 To the little gray church on the windy hill. From the church came a murmur of folk at their prayers, But we stood without in the cold blowing airs. We climbed on the graves, on the stones worn with rains, And we gazed up the aisle through the small leaded panes. She sate by the pillar ; we saw her clear :

76 Margaret, hist! come quick, we are here. Dear heart,' I said, we are long alone.

The sea grows stormy, the little ones moan.' But ah, she gave me never a look,

So For her eyes were sealed to the holy book.

' Loud prays the priest ; shut stands the door.'
Come away, children, call no more.
Come away, come down, call no more.



Down, down, down.

Down to the depths of the sea.
She sits at her wheel in the humming town,

Singing most joyfully.
Hark, what she sings : “O joy, O joy,
For the humming street, and the child with its toy,
For the priest, and the bell, and the holy well,

For the wheel where I spun,

And the blessèd light of the sun.'
And so she sings her fill,
Singing most joyfully,



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Till the shuttle falls from her hand,

And the whizzing wheel stands still.
She steals to the window, and looks at the sand ;

And over the sand at the sea;
And her eyes are set in a stare ;
And anon there breaks a sigh,
And anon there drops a tear,
From a sorrow-clouded eye,
And a heart sorrow-laden,

A long, long sigh,
For the cold strange eyes of a little mermaiden,
And the gleam of her golden hair.

Come away, away, children,
Come, children, come down.
The hoarse wind blows colder,
Lights shine in the town.
She will start from her slumber
When gusts shake the door ;
She will hear the winds howling,
Will hear the waves roar.
We shall see, while above us
The waves roar and whirl,
A ceiling of amber,
A pavement of pearl,
Singing, 'Here came a mortal,
But faithless was she,
And alone dwell for ever
The kings of the sea.'
But, children, at midnight,
When soft the winds blow ;
When clear falls the moonlight;
When spring-tides are low :
When sweet airs come seaward
From heaths starred with broom ;
And high rocks throw mildly
On the blanched sands a gloom :






Up the still, glistening beaches,
Up the creeks we will hie;
Over banks of bright seaweed
The ebb-tide leaves dry.
We will gaze, from the sand-hills,
At the white, sleeping town ;
At the church on the hill-side-

And then come back down,
Singing, “There dwells a loved one,

But cruel is she;
She left lonely for ever
The kings of the sea.'

Matthew Arnold.




Hamelin Town's in Brunswick,
By famous Hanover city;

The river Weser, deep and wide,
Washes its wall on the southern side ;
A pleasanter spot you never spied ;

5 But, when begins my ditty,

Almost five hundred years ago,
To see the townsfolk suffer so

From vermin was a pity.
They fought the dogs, and killed the cats,

And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,

And licked the soup from the cook's own ladles, Split open the kegs of salted sprats,

15 Made nests inside men's Sunday hats, And even spoiled the women's chats,

By drowning their speaking

With shrieking and squeaking In fifty different sharps and flats.




At last the people in a body

To the Town Hall came flocking : ' 'Tis clear, cried they, 'our Mayor's a noddy ;

And as for our Corporation-shocking
To think we buy gowns lined with ermine
For dolts that can't or won't determine
What's best to rid us of our vermin !
You hope, because you're old and obese,
To find in the furry civic robe ease ?
Rouse up, sirs ! Give your brains a racking 30
To find the remedy we're lacking,

Or, sure as fate, we'll send you packing!'
At this the Mayor and Corporation
Quaked with a mighty consternation.
An hour they sate in council,

At length the Mayor broke silence :
"For a guilder I'd my ermine gown sell;

I wish I were a mile hence !
It's easy to bid one rack one's brain-
I'm sure my poor head aches again

I've scratched it so, and all in vain,
Oh for a trap, a trap, a trap !'
Just as he said this, what should hap
At the chamber door but a gentle tap?
• Bless us !' cried the Mayor, 'what's that?'

45 (With the Corporation as he sat, Looking little though wondrous fat; Nor brighter was his eye, nor moister, Than a too-long-opened oyster, Save when at noon his paunch grew mutinous 50 For a plate of turtle green and glutinous),

• Only a scraping of shoes on the mat?
Anything like the sound of a rat
Makes my heart go pit-a-pat!'
“Come in !'—the Mayor cried, looking bigger : 55
And in did come the strangest figure.


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