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And a thread that next o'er the warp was lain,
Was of melancholy gray;
And anon I mark'd there a tear-drop's stain,
Where the flowers had fallen away.
But still the weaver kept weaving on,
Though the fabric all was gray; And the flowers, and the buds, and the leaves were gone,
And the gold threads canker'd lay.
And dark-and still darker-and darker grew
Each newly-woven thread;
And some there were of a death-mocking hue,
And some of a bloody red.
And things all strange were woven in
Sighs, and down-crush'd hopes, and fears; And the web was broken, and poor, and thin,
And it dripp'd with living tears.
And the weaver fain would have fung it aside,
But he knew it would be a sin;
So in light and in gloom the shuttle he plied,
A-weaving these life-cords in.
And as he wove, and, weeping, still wove,
A tempter stole him nigh;
And, with glozing words, he to win him strove
But the weaver turn'd his eye.
He upward turn'd his eye to heaven,
And still wove on-on-on!
Till the last, last cord from his heart was riven,
And the tissue strange was done.
Then he threw it about his shoulders bow'd,
And about his grizzled head;
And, gathering close the folds of his shroud,
Laid him down among the dead.
THE PRIEST AND THE MULBERRY-TREE.
Did you hear of the curate who mounted his mare,
And merrily trotted along to the fair ?
Of creature more tractable none ever heard, ;
In the height of her speed she would stop at a word;
But again with a word, when the curate said “Hey!”
She put forth her mettle and gallop'd away.
As near to the gates of the city he rode,
While the sun of September all brilliantly glow'd,
The good priest discover'd, with eyes of desire,
A mulberry-tree in a hedge of wild brier;
On boughs long and lofty, in many a green shoot,
Hung large, black, and glossy, the beautiful fruit.
The curate was hungry, and thirsty to boot;
He shrank from the thorns, though he long'd for the fruit ;
With a word he arrested his courser's keen speed,
And he stood up erect on the back of his steed;
On the saddle he stood, while the creature stood still,
And he gather'd the fruit till he took his good fill.
“Sure never,” he thought, was a creature so rare, So docile, so true, as my excellent mare;
Lo, here now I stand," and he gazed all around,
“ As safe and as steady as if on the ground;
Yet how had it been, if some traveller this way
Had, dreaming no mischief, but chanced to cry 'Hey'?”
He stood with his head in the mulberry-tree,
And he spoke out aloud in his fond reverie;
At the sound of the word the good mare made a push,
And down went the priest in the wild-brier bush;
He remember'd too late on his thorny green bed,
Much that well may be thought cannot wisely be said.
FULL fifty paces from his child,
His cross-bow in his hand,
With lip compress'd, and flashing eye,
Tell firmly took his stand.
Sure, full enough of pain and woe
This crowded earth bas been;
But never, since the curse began,
A sadder sight was seen.
Then spake aloud the gallant boy,
Impatient of delay: “Shoot straight and quick, thine aim is sure ;
Thou canst not miss to-day.”
“ Heaven bless thee now!” the parent said,
“ Thy courage shames my fear; Man tramples on his brother man,
But God is ever near!”
The bow was bent, the arrow went,
As by an angel guided ;
In pieces two, beneath the tree,
The apple fell divided.
“ 'Twas bravely done,” the ruler said,
"My plighted word I keep; 'Twas bravely done by sire and son,
Go home and feed your sheep."
“No thanks I give thee for the boon,”
The peasant coldly said; " To God alone my praise is due,
And duly shall be paid.
“ Yet know, proud man, thy fate was near,
Had I but miss'd my aim;
Not unavenged my child had died,
Thy parting hour the same.
6. For see! a second shaft was here,
If harm my boy befell;
Now go and bless the heavenly powers
My first has sped so well.”
God help'd the right, God spared the sin;
He brings the proud to shame;
He guards the weak against the strong,
Praise to His holy name !
TELL'S ADDRESS TO THE ALPS.
Ye crags and peaks, I'm with you once again!
I hold to you the hands you first beheld,
To show they still are free. Methinks I hear
A spirit in your echoes answer me,
And bid your tenant welcome to his home
Again! O sacred forms, how proud you look!
How high you lift your heads into the sky !
How huge you are ! how mighty and how free!
How you do look, for all your barèd brows,
More gorgeously majestical than kings,
Whose loaded coronets exhaust the mine!
Ye are the things that tower, that shine-whose smile
Makes glad—whose frown is terrible—whose forms,
Robed or unrobed, do all the impress wear
Of awe divine—whose subject never kneels
In mockery, because it is your boast
To keep him free! Ye guards of liberty,
I'm with you once again! I call to you
With all my voice! I hold my hands to you
To show they still are free! I rush to you
As though I could embrace you !
Scaling yonder peak,
I saw an eagle wheeling near its brow.
O’er the abyss his broad expanded wings
Lay calm and motionless upon the air,
As if he floated there without their aid,
By the sole act of his unlorded will,
That buoy'd him proudly up. Instinctively
I bent my bow; yet kept he rounding still