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“ These are the three great chords of might,
And he whose ear is tuned aright
Will hear no discord in the three,
But the most perfect harmony."


TAKE them, O Death! and bear away

Whatever thou canst call thine own!
Thine image, stamped upon this clay,

Doth give thee that, but that alone!
Take them, O Grave! and let them lie

Folded upon thy narrow shelves
As garments by the soul laid by,

And precious only to ourselves !
Take them, O great Eternity!

Our little life is but a gust,
That bends the branches of thy tree,

And trails its blossoms in the dust.


CARIST to the young man said: “Yet one thing more :

If thou wouldst perfect be,
Sell all thou hast and give it to the poor,

And come and follow me!”
Within this temple Christ again, unseen,

Those sacred words hath said,
And his invisible hands to-day have been

Laid on a young man's head.
And evermore beside him on his way

The unseen Christ shall move,
That he may lean upon his arm and say,

“Dost thou, dear Lord, approve ?" Beside him at the marriage feast shall be,

To make the scene more fair;
Beside him in the dark Gethsemane

Of pain and midnight prayer.
O holy trust! O endless sense of rest :

Like the beloved John
To lay his head upon the Saviour's breast,

And thus to journey on !

The Golden Legend.

HE old Legenda Aurea, or Golden Legend, was originally written in Latin, ir the thirteenth century, by Jacobus de Voragine, a Dominican friar, who after wards became Archbishop of Genoa, and died in 1292.

He called his book simply "Legends of the Saints." The epithet of Golden was given it by his admirers; for, as Wynkin de Worde says, “ Like as passeth gold in value all other metals, so this Legend exceedeth all other books. But Edward Leigh, in much distress of mind, calls it “ a book written by a man of a leaden heart for the basenesse of the errours, that are without wit or reason, and of a brazen forehead, for his impudent boldnesse in reporting things so fabulous and incredible."

This work, the great text-book of the legendary lore of the Middle Ages, was translated into French in the fourteenth century by Jean de Vignay, and in the fifteenth into English by William Caxton. "It has lately been made more accessible by a new French translation : La Légende Dorée, traduite du Latin, par M. G. B. Paris, 1850. There is a copy of the original, with the Gesta Longobardorum appended, in the Harvard College Library, Cambridge, printed at Strasburg, 1496. The title-page is wanting ; and the volume begins with the Tabula Legendorum.

I have called this poem the Golden Legend, because the story upon which it is founded seems to me to surpass all other legends in beauty and significance. It exhibits, amid the corruptions of the Middle Ages, the virtue of disinterested. ness and self-sacrifice, and the power of Faith, Hope, and Charity, sufficient for all the exigencies of life and death. The story is told, and perhaps invented, by IIartmann von der Aue, a Minnesinger of the twelfth century. The original may be found in Mailáth's Altdeutsche Gedichte, with a modern German version. There is another in Marbach's Volksbücher, No. 32.

The Spire of Strasburg Cathedral. Night and Storm. LUCIFER, with

the Powers of the Air, trying to tear down the Cross.
Lucifer. Hasten ! hasten!

O ye spirits!
From its station drag the ponderous
Cross of iron, that to mock us

Is uplifted high in air !
Voices. Oh, we cannot!

For around it
All the saints and guardian angels
Throng in legions to protect it;
They defeat us everywhere!

The Bells.
Laudo Deum verum !
Plebem voco!

Congrego clerum !
Lucifer. Lower! lower!

Hover downward !
Seize the loud, vociferous bells, and

Clashing, clanging to the pavement

Hurl them from their windy tower!
Voices. All thy thunders

Here are harmless !
For these bells have been anointed,?
And baptized with holy water!
They defy our utmost power.

The Bells.
Defunctos ploro!
Pestem fugo!

Festa decoro!
Lucifer. Shake the casements !

Break the painted
Panes, that flame with gold and crimson :
Scatter them like leaves of autumn,

Swept away before the blast!
Voices. Oh, we cannot!

The Archangel
Michael flames from every window,
With the sword of fire that drove us
Headlong, out of heaven, aghast !

The Bells.
Funera plango!
Fulgura frango!

Sabbata pango!
Lucifer. Aim your lightnings

At the oaken,
Massive, iron-studded portals !
Sack the house of God, and scatter

Wide the ashes of the dead!
Voices. Oh, we cannot!

The Apostles
And the Martyrs, wrapped in mantles,
Stand as warders at the entranoe,
Stand as sentinels o'erhead!

The Bells.
Excito lentos !
Dissipo ventos!

Paco cruentos !
Lucifer. Baffled! baffled !

Craven spirits ! leave this labour
Unto Time, the great Destroyer !

Come away, ere night is gone!
Voices. Onward! onward !

With the night-wind,
Over field and farm and forest,

Lonely homestead, darksome hamlet,

Blighting all we breathe upon!
(They sweep away. Organ and Gregorian Chant.)

Nocte surgentes
Vigilemus omnes !

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The Castle of Vautsberg on the Rhine. A chamber in a tower,

PRINCE HENRY, sitting alone, ill and restless. Midnight.
Prince Henry. I cannot sleep! my fervid brain

Calls up the vanished Past again,
And throws its misty splendours deep
Into the pallid realms of sleep!
A breath from that far-distant shore
Comes freshening ever more and more,
And wafts o'er intervening seas
Sweet odours from the Hesperides !
A wind that through the corridor
Just stirs the curtain and no more,
And, touehing the æolian strings,
Faiuts with the burden that it brings !
Come back! ye friendships long departed!
That like o'erflowing streamlets started,
And now are dwindled, one by one,
To stony channels in the sun!
Come back ! ye friends, whose lives are ended,
Come back, with all that light attended,
Which seemed to darken and decay
When ye arose and went away!
They come, the shapes of joy and woe,
The airy crowds of long ago,
The dreams and fancies known of yore,
That have been, and shall be no more.
They change the cloisters of the night
Into a garden of delight!
They make the dark and dreary hours
Open and blossom into flowers !
I would not sleep! I love to be
Again in their fair company;
But ere my lips can bid them stay,
They pass and vanish quite away!
Alas! our memories may retrace
Each circumstance of time and place,
Season and scene come back again,
And outward things unchanged remain ;

The rest we cannot reinstate;
Ourselves we cannot re-create,
Nor set our souls to the same key
Of the remembered harmony!
Rest! rest! Oh, give me rest and peace !
The thought of life that ne'er shall cease
Has something in it like despair,
A weight I am too weak to bear !
Sweeter to this afflicted breast
The thought of never-ending rest!
Sweeter the undisturbed and deep

Tranquillity of endless sleep! (A fash of ligletning, out of which LUCIFER appears, in the garb.

travelling Physician.)
Lucifer. All hail, Prince Henry!
Prince Henry (starting).

Who is it speaks?
Who and what are you?

One who seeks
A moment's audience with the Prince.
Prince Henry. When came you in ?

A moment since.
I found your study door unlocked,

And thought you answered when I knocked.
Prince Henry. I did not hear you.

You heard the thunder,
It was loud enough to waken the dead.
And it is not a matter of special wonder
That, when God is walking overhead,

You should not hear my feeble tread.
Prince Henry. What may your wish or purpose be?
Lucifer. Nothing or everything, as it pleases

Your Highness. You behold in me
Only a travelling physician ;
One of the few who have a mission
To cure incurable diseases,

Or those that are called so.
Prince Henry.

Can you bring
The dead to life?

Yes ; very nearly.
And, what is a wiser and better thing,
Can keep the living from ever needing
Such an unnatural, strange proceeding,
By showing conclusively and clearly
That death is a stupid blunder merely,
And not a necessity of our lives.
My being here is accidental;
The storm, that against your casement drives,
In the little village below waylaid me.

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