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She only said, "The night is dreary,

He cometh not," she said;
She said, "I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead!"

Upon the middle of the night,

Waking, she heard the night fowl crow: The cock sung out an hour ere light;

From the dark fen the oxen's low Came to her: without hope of change,

In sleep she seemed to walk forlorn,

Till cold winds woke the grey-eyed morn About the lonely moated grange.

She only said, “The day is dreary,

He cometh not,” she said;
She said, “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead!"

The sparrow's chirrup on the roof,

The slow clock ticking, and the sound Which to the wooing wind aloof

The poplar made, did all confound Her sense; but most she loathed the hour

When the thick moted sunbeam lay

Athwart the chambers, and the day Down-sloped was westering in his bower.

Then, said she, “I am very dreary,

He will not come,” she said; She wept, "I am aweary, aweary,

Oh, God, that I were dead!"

The Merman.

About a stone-cast from the wall,

A sluice with blackened waters slept, And o'er it many, round and small,

The clustered marish mosses crept. Hard by a poplar shook alway,

All silver green with gnarled bark,

For leagues no other tree did dark The level waste, the rounding grey.

She only said, “My life is dreary,

He cometh not,” she said;
She said, "I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead!"

Who would be
A merman bold,

Sitting alone,
Singing alone

Under the sea, With a crown of gold

On a throne ?

And ever when the moon was low,

And the shrill winds were up an' away, In the white curtain, to and fro,

She saw the gusty shadow sway. But when the moon was very low,

And wild winds bound within their cell,

The shadow of the poplar fell Upon her bed, across her brow.

She only said, “The night is dreary,

He cometh not," she said;
She said, “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead!"

I would be a merman bold;
I would sit and sing the whole of the day;
I would fill the sea-halls with a voice of power:
But at night I would roam abroad and play

With the mermaids in and out of the rocks,
Dressing their hair with the white sea-flower,
And, holding them back by their flowing locks,
I would kiss them often under the sea,
And kiss them again till they kissed me

Laughingly, laughingly;
And then we would wander away, away,
To the pale green sea-groves straight and high,

Chasing each other merrily.

All day within the dreamy house,

The doors upon their hinges creaked; The blue fily sung i' the pane; the inouse

Behind the mouldering wainscot shrieked, Or from the crevice peered about.

Old faces glimmered through the doors,

Old footsteps trod the upper floors, Old voices called her from without.

She only said, “My life is dreary,

He cometh not,” she said;
She said, "I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead!"

There would be neither moon nor star;

But the wave would make music above us far; Low thunder and light in the magic night,

Neither moon nor star.
We would call aloud in the dreamy dells,
Call to each other, and whoop and cry

All night, merrily, merrily:
They would pelt me with starry spangle and

shells, Laughing and clapping their hands between,

All night, merrily, merrily;
But I would throw to them back in mine
Turkis, and agate, and almondine;
Then, leaping out upon them unseen,

I would kiss them often under the sea,
And kiss them again till they kissed me

Laughingly, laughingly.
Oh! what a happy life were mine
Under the hollow-hung ocean green!
Soft are the moss-beds under the sea;
We would live merrily, merrily.

From the diamond ledges that jut from the

For I would not be kiss'd by all who list,

Of the bold merry mermen under the sea;
They would sue me, and woo me, and flatter me,
In the purple twilights under the sea;
But the king of them all would carry me,
Woo me, and win me, and marry me,
In the branching jaspers under the sea;
Then all the dry pied things that be
In the hueless mosses under the sea

Would curl round my silver feet silently,
All looking up for the love of me.
And if I should carol aloud, from aloft
All things that are forked, and horned, and soft

Would lean out from the hollow sphere of the sea,
All looking down for the love of me.

The Mermaid.

Who would be
A mermaid fair,

Singing alone,
Combing her hair
Under the sea,

In a golden curl,
With a comb of pearl,

On a throne ?


Airy, fairy Lilian,

Flitting, fairy Lilian,
When I ask her if she love me,
Claps her tiny hands above me,

Laughing all she can;
She'll not tell me if she love me,

Cruel little Lilian.

I would be a mermaid fair;
I would sing to myself the whole of the day;
With a comb of pearl I would comb my hair;
And still as I combed I would sing and say,
“Who is it loves me? who loves not me?"
I would comb my hair till my ringlets would fall,

Low adown, low adown,
From under my starry sea-bud crown,

Low adown and around,
And I should look like a fountain of gold

Springing alone,

With a shrill inner sound,
Over the throne

In the midst of the hall;
Till that great sea-snake under the sea,
From his coiled sleeps in the central deeps,
Would slowly trail himself sevenfold
Round the hall where I sate, and look in at the

With his large calm eyes for the love of me.
And all the mermen under the sea
Would feel their immortality
Die in their hearts for the love of me.
But at night I would wander away, away,
I would fling on each side my low flowing

And lightly vault from the throne and play

With the mermen in and out of the rocks;
We would run to and fro, and hide and seek

On the broad seawolds i' the crimson shells,
Whose silvery spikes are nighest the sea.
But if any came near I would call, and shriek,
And adown the steep like a wave I would leap,

When my passion seeks

Pleasance in love-sighs,
She, looking through and through me,
Thoroughly to undo me,

Smiling, never speaks:
So innocent-arch, so cunning-simple,
From beneath her purfled wimple,

Glancing with black-beaded eyes
Till the lightning laughters dimple,

The baby roses in her cheeks,
Then away she flies.

Prythee weep, May Lilian!

Gaiety without eclipse

Wearieth me, May Lilian;
Through my very heart it thrilleth

When from crimson threaded lips
Silver treble laughter trilleth;

Prythee weep, May Lilian,

Praying all I can,
If prayers will not hush thee,

Airy Lilian,
Like a rose-leaf I will crush thee,

Fairy Lilian.

Love and Death.

Love wept, and spread his sheeny vans for

flight; What time the mighty moon was gathering light Yet, ere he parted, said, "This hour is thine: Love paced the thymy plots of Paradise, Thou art the shadow of life, and as the tree And all about him rolled his lustrous eyes; Stands in the sun and shadows all beneath, When, turning round a casia , full in view, So in the light of great eternity Death, walking all alone beneath a yew, Life eminent creates the shade of death; And talking to himself, first met his sight: The shadow passeth when the tree shall "You must begone,” said Death, "these walks

fall, are mine." But I shall reign for ever over all."


Mary Howitt, einer Quäkerfamilie angehörend und mütterlich Seite von dem berühmten Charles Wood abstammend, welcher zuerst die Platina in England einführte, ward um 1806 zu Coleford in Gloucestershire geboren und vermählte sich in ihrem einundzwanzigsten Jahre mit dem gleichfalls als Schriftsteller ausgezeichneten William Howitt. Sie lebten nach ihrer Verheirathung anfangs zu Nottingham, dann zu Esher in Surrey und haben in den letzteren Jahren längere Zeit in Deutschland, namentlich in Heidelberg, zugebracht.

Theils in Verbindung mit ihrem Gatten, theils allein gab Mistress Howitt heraus: The Forest Minstrel, London 1823; the Desolation of Eyam and other Poems, London 1827; The seven Temptations, a series of dramatic poems, London 1834; ferner Jugendschriften wie: Sketches of Natural History, Tales in Verse, u. A. m. sowie einzelne Gedichte und Aufsätze in Zeitschriften und Almanachen.

Tiefe, echte Frömmigkeit, reiche Einbildungskraft, warmes Gefühl, Herrschaft über Sprache und Form und grosse Anmuth der Darstellung, haben ihren Leistungen viele Freunde erworben und ihr eine sehr ehrenvolle Stellung in der englischen literarischen Welt gesichert.

An old Man's Story. There was an old and quiet man,

| A lovely thing on the wave was she, And by the fire sate he;

With her canvass set so gallantly "And now," he said, "to you I'll tell

Before a steady breeze.
A dismal thing, which once befel
In a ship upon the sea.

"For forty days, like a winged thing,

She went before the gale, "“ 'Tis five-and-fifty years gone by,

Nor all that time we slackened speed,
Since, from the river Plate,

Turn'd helm, or alter'd sail.
A young man, in a home-bound ship,
I sailed as second mate.

“She was a laden argosy

Of wealth from the Spanish main, "She was a trim, stout-timbered ship,

And the treasure hoards of a Portuguese And built for stormy seas,

Returning home again.

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"But list ye me - on the lone high seas,

“And when they spoke of the murdered man, As the ship went smoothly on,

And the El Dorado hoard, It chanced, in the silent, second watch,

They all surmised he had walked in dreams I sate on the deck alone;

And had fallen over board.
And I heard, from among those iron chests,
A sound like a dying groan.

"But I, alone, and the murderer,

That dreadful thing did know,

How he lay in his sin — a murdered man, “I started to my feet, and, lo!

A thousand fathom low.
The captain stood by me;
And he bore a body in his arms,
And dropped it in the sea.

“And many days, and many more

Came on, and lagging sped;

And the heavy waves of that sleeping sea "I heard it drop into the sea,

Were dark, like molten lead.
With a heavy, splashing sound,
And I saw the captain's bloody hands

“And not a breeze came, east or west, As he quickly turned him round;

And burning was the sky; And he drew in his breath when me he saw

And stifing was each breath we drew Like one convulsed, whom the withering awe

Of the air so hot and dry, Of a spectre doth astound.

“Oh me! there was a smell of death "But I saw his white and palsied lips,

Hung round us night and day; And the stare of his ghastly eye,

And I dared not look in the sea below
When he turned in hurried haste away,

Where the old man's body lay,
Yet he had no power to fly;
He was chained to the deck with his heavy "In his cabin, alone, the captain kept,


And he bolted fast the door; And the blood that was not dry,

And up and down the sailors walked,

And wish'd that the calm was o'er. 66. 'Twas a cursed thing,' said I, 'to kill That old man in his sleep!

"The captain's son was on board with us, And the plagues of the storm will come from

A fair child, seven years old, him,

With a merry look, that all men loved, Ten thousand fathoms deep!

And a spirit kind and bold.

“And the plagues of the storm will follow us, “I loved the child, and I took his hand, For Heaven his groans hath heard !'

And made him kneel, and pray Still the captain's eye was fixed on me, That the crime, for which the calm was sent, But he answer'd never a word.

Might be purged clean away.

"For I thought that God would hear his prayer, I heard the dismal, drowning cries,
And set the vessel free;

Of their last agony.
For a dreadful thing it was to lie
Upon that charnel sea.

“There was a curse in the wind that blew,

A curse in the boiling wave;

And the captain knew that vengeance came “Yet I told him not wherefore he prayed,

From the old man's ocean grave.
Nor why the calm was sent;
I would not give that knowledge dark

"And I heard him say, as he sate apart, To a soul so innocent.

In a hollow voice and low,

''Tis a cry of blood doth follow us, "At length I saw a little cloud

And still doth plague us so!'
Arise in that sky of flame;
A little cloud, but it grew, and grew,

"And then those heavy iron chests, And blackened as it came.

With desperate strength took he,
And ten of the strongest mariners

Did cast them into the sea.
“And we saw the sea beneath its track
Grow dark as the frowning sky;

"And out from the bottom of the sea, And water-spouts, with a rushing sound,

There came a hollow groan; Like giants, passed us by.

The captain by the gunwale stood,

And he looked like icy stone, “And all around, 'twixt sky and sea,

And he drew in his breath with a gasping sob, A hollow wind did blow;

And a spasm of death came on. And the waves were heaved from the ocean


"And a furious boiling wave rose up, And the ship rocked to and fro.

W a rushing, thundering roar;
I saw the captain fall to the deck,

But I never saw him more.
“I knew it was that fierce death calm
Its horried hold undoing;

“Two days before, when the storm began, And I saw the plagues of wind and storm

We were forty men and five; Their missioned work pursuing.

But ere the middle of that night

There were but two alive. "There was a yell in the gathering winds, A groan in the heaving sea;

“The child and I, we were but two,
And the captain rushed from the hold below, And he clung to me in fear;
But he durst not look on me.

Oh! it was pitiful to see
That meek child in his misery,

And his little prayers to hear ! "He seized each rope with a madman's haste,

And he set the helm to go; And every sail he crowded on

"At length, as if his prayers were heard, As the furious winds did blow.

'Twas calmer, and anon

The clear sun shone, and warm and low, “And away they went, like autumn leaves

A steady wind from the west did blow,
Before the tempest's rout;

And drove us gently on.
And the naked masts with a crash came down,
And the wild ship tossed about.

"And on we drove, and on we drove,

That fair young child and I; "The men to spars and splintered boards But his heart was as a man's in strength, Clung, till their strength was gone;

And he uttered not a cry.
And I saw them from their feeble hold
Washed over, one by one.

“There was no bread within the wreck,

And water we had none; "And 'mid the creaking timber's din,

Yet he murmured not, and cheered me And the roaring of the sea,

When my last hopes were gone :

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