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AFTERNOON IN FEBRUARY.
The day is ending,

While through the meadows.
The night is descending;

Like fearful shadows,
The marsh is frozen,

Slowly passes
The river dead.

A funeral train.
Through clouds like ashes

The bell is pealing,
The red sun flashes

And every feeling
On village windows

Within me responds
That glimmer red.

To the dismal knell ;
The snow recommences ;

Shadows are trailing,
The buried fences

My heart is bewailing
Mark no longer

And tolling within
The road o'er the plain ;

Like a funeral bell.

WALTER VON DER VOGELWEID. * VOGELWEID the Winnesinger,

They renewed the War of Wartburg, When he left this world of ours, Which the bard had fought before. Laid his body in the cloister,

There they sang their merry carols, Under Würtzburg's minster towers.

Sing their lauels on every side ; And he gave the monks his treasures, And the name their voices uttered Gave them all with this behest :

Was the name of Vogelweid. They should feed the birds at noontide

Till at length the portly abbot Daily on his place of rest;

| Murmured, “Why this waste of food Saying, “From these wandering minstrels Be it changed to loaves henceforward I have learned the art of song;

For our fasting brotherhood.” Let me now repay the lessons

Then in vain o'er tower and turret, They have taught so well and long."

Foam the walls and woodland nests, Thus the bard of love departed ;

When the ininster bell rang noontide, And, fulfilling his desire,

Gathered the unwelcome guests. On his tomb the birds were feasted

Then in vain, with cries discordant, By the children of the choir.

Clamorous round the Gothic spire, Day by day, o'er tower and turret, Screamed the feathered Minnesingers In foul weather and in fair,

For the children of the choir. Day by day, in vaster numbers,

Time has long effaced the inscriptions Flocked the poets of the air.

On the cloister's funeral stones, On the tree whose heavy branches And tradition only tells us Overshadowed all the place,

Where repose the poet's bones. On the pavement, on the tombstone,

But around the vast cathedral,
On the poet's sculptured face,

By sweet echoes multiplied,
On the cross-bars of each window, Still the birds repeat the legend,
On the lintel of each door,

And the name of Vogelweid.

* Walter von der Vogelweid, or Bird-Meadow, was ono of the principal Minne. singers of the thirteenth century. He triumphed over Heinrich von Ofterdingen in

" War of that poetic contest at Wartburg Castle, known in literary history as the Wartburg."

And resembles sorrow only

THE DAY IS DONE.
The day is done, and the darkness Life's endless toil and endeavour ;
Falls from the wings of Night,

And to-night I long for rest.
As a feather is wafted downward

Read from some humbler poet, From an eagle in his flight.

Whose songs gushed from his heart, I see the lights of the village

As showers from the clouds of summer, Gleam through the rain and the mist, Or tears from the eyelids start; And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me, That my soul cannot resist :

Who, through long days of labour,

And nights devoid of ease, A feeling of sadness and longing,

Still heard in his soul the music That is not akin to pain,

Of wonderful melodies. As the mist resembles the rain.

Such songs have power to quiet

The restless pulse of care,

And come like the benediction
Some simple and heartfelt lay,

That follows after prayer.
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
And banish the thoughts of day.

Then read from the treasured volume

The poem of thy choice,
Not from the grand old masters, Ånd lend to the rhyme of the poet
Not from the bards sublime,

The beauty of thy voice.
Whose distant footsteps echo
Through the corridors of Time.

And the night shall be filled with music,

And the cares that infest the day, For, like strains of martial music, Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs, Their mighty thoughts suggest

| And as silently steal away.

Come, read to me some poem,

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From the tumbling surf, that buries From the far-off isles enchanted,
The Orkneyan skerries,

Heaven has planted
Answering the hoarse Hebrides ;

With the golden fruit of Truth ; And from wrecks of ships, and drifting From the flashing surf, whose vision Spars, uplifting

Gleams Elysian On the desolate, rainy seas ;

In the tropic clime of Youth ; Ever drifting, drifting, drifting

From the strong Will and the Endeavour On the shifting

That for ever Currents of the restless main ;

Wrestle with the tides of Fate ; Till in sheltered coves, and reaches From the wreck of Hopes far-scattered, Of sandy beaches,

Tempest-shattered, All have found repose again.

Floating waste and desolate ;-
So when storms of wild emotion

Ever drifting, drifting, drifting
Strike the ocean

On the shifting
Of the poet's soul, ere long

Currents of the restless heart; From each cave and rocky fastness, Till at length in books recorded, In its vastness,

They, like hoarded Floats some fragment of a song:

Household words, no more depart.

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DRINKING SONG.

INSCRIPTION FOR AN ANTIQUE PITCHER.

Come, old friend ! sit down and listen !

From the pitcher placed between us, How the waters laugh and glisten

In the head of old Silenus ! Old Silenus, bloated, drunken,

Led by his inebriate Satyrs; On his breast his head is sunken,

Vacantly he leers and chatters. Fauns with youthful Bacchus follow ;

Ivy crowns that brow supernal As the forehead of Apollo,

And possessing youth eternal. Round about him, fair Bacchantes,

Bearing cymbals, flutes, and thyrses, Wild from Naxian groves, or Zante's

Vineyards, sing delirious verses. Thus he won, through all the nations,

Bloodless victories, and the farmer Bore, as trophies and oblations,

Vines for banners, ploughs for armour. Judged by no o'er-zealous rigour,

Much this mystic throng expresses : Bacchus was the type of vigour,

And Silenus of excesses.

These are ancient ethnic revels,

Of a faith long since forsaken ;
Now the Satyrs, changed to devils,

Frighten mortals wine-o'ertaken.
Now to rivulets from the mountains

Point the rods of fortune-tellers;
Youth perpetual dwells in fountains,

Not in flasks, and casks and cellars. Claudius, though he sang of flagons

And huge flagons filled with Rhenish,
From that fiery blood of dragons

Never would his own replenish.
Even Redi, though he chaunted

Bacchus in the Tuscan valleys,
Never drank the wine he vaunted

In his dithyrambic sallies.
Then with water fill the pitcher

Wreathed about with classic fables;
Ne'er Falernian threw a richer

Light upon Lucullus' tables.
Come, old friend, sit down and listen!

As it passes thus between us,
How its wavelets laugh and glisten

In the head of old Silenus !

а

THE OLD CLOCK ON THE STAIRS. [L'éternité est une pendule, dont le balancier dit et redit sans cesse ces deux mots seulement, dans le silence des tombeaux :

Toujours! jamais ! Jamais ! toujours "-

JacQUES BRID AINE]

Across its an

By day its
Bat in the
Distinct as

SOMEWHAT back from the village street

But, like the skeleton at the feast,
Stands the old-fashioned country-seat ;

That warning timepiece never ceased, tique portico

“For ever -- never !
Tall poplar trees their shadows throw,

Never-for ever !"
And from its station in the hall
An ancient timepiece says to all,

There groups of merry children played, " For ever--never!

There youths and maidens dreaming

strayed ;
Never-for ever!"

O precious hours ! O golden prime,
Halfway up the stairs it stands,

An affluence of love and time !
And points and beckons with its hands Even as a miser counts his gold,
From its case of massive oak,

Those hours the ancient timepiece told, -
Like a monk, who, under his cloak,

“For ever- never!
Crosses himself, and sigbs, alas!

Never-for ever !"
With sorrowful voice to all who pass, -
• Forever--never !

From that chamber, clothed in white,

The bride came forth on her wedding night;
Never-for ever!”

There, in that silent room below,
Foice is low and light; The dead lay in his shroud of snow;
Silent dead of night,

And in the hush that followed the prayer,
It echoes along the vacant hall,
passing footstep's fall, Was heard the old clock on the stair, -

“For ever- never !
Along the ceiling, along the floor,

Never-for ever!"
And seerns to sav at each chamber-door, -
Forever - never !

All are scattered now and fied,

Some are married, some are dead;
ever-for ever!"

And when I ask, with throbs of pain,
Through days of sorrow and of mirth, “Ah ! when shall they all meet again ?"
Through days of death and days of birth, As in the days long since gone by,
Through every swift vicissitude
of chan zeful time, unchanged it has

The ancient timepiece makes reply,

* For ever--never !

Never-for ever !"
And as if, like God, it all things saw,

Never here, for ever there,
epeats those words of awe, —

Where all parting, pain and care,
Or ever-never !

And death and time shall disappear, -
Never-for ever!”

For ever there, but never here !
In that mansion used to be

The horologe of Eternity
Free-hearted Hospitality ;

Sayeth this incessantly,-
His great tires up the chimney roared ;

“For ever-never !
The stranger feasted at bis board ;

Never--for ever!”

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Sonnets.

AUTUMN.
Thou comest, Autumn, heralded by the rain,

With banners, by great gales incessant fanned,
Brighter than brightest silks of Samarcand,

And stately oxen harnessed to thy wain!
Thou standest, like imperial Charlemagne, *

Upon thy bridge of gold; thy royal hand
Outstretched with benedictions o'er the land,

Blessing the farms through all thy vast domain.
Thy shield is the red harvest moon suspended

So long beneath the heaven's o’erhanging eaves ;

Thy steps are by the farmer's prayers attended;
Like flames upon an altar shine the sheaves;

And, following thee, in thy ovation splendid,
Thine almoner, the wind, scatters the golden leaves !

GIOTTO'S TOWER.
How many lives, made beautiful and sweet

By self-devotion and by self-restraint,
Whose pleasure is to run without complaint

On unknown errands of the Paraclete,
Wanting the reverence of unshodden feet,

Fail of the nimbus which the artists paint
Around the shining forehead of the saint,

And are in their completeness incomplete !
In the old Tuscan town stands Giotto's tower,

The lily of Florence blossoming in stone,-

A vision, a delight, and a desire,
The builder's perfect and centennial flower,

That in the night of ages bloomed alone,

But wanting still the glory of the spire. * Charlemagne may be called by pre-eminence the monarch of farmers. According to the German tradition, in seasons of great abundance bis spirit crosses the Rhine on a golden bridge at Lingen, and blesses the cornfields and the vineyards.

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