Imágenes de páginas
PDF

Looked the stars, those heavenly friends, down into the great hall, But round the walls, upon nails of steel, were hanging in order Breastplate and helm with each other, and bere and there in

among them Downward lightened a sword, as in winter evening a star shoots. More than helmets and swords, the shields in the banquet-hall

glistened, White as the orb of the sun, or white as the moon's disc of silver. Ever and anon went a maid round the board and filled up the

drink-horns; Ever she cast down her eyes and blushed; in the shield herreflection Blushed too, even as she;—this gladdened the hard-drinking

champions.

FRITHIOF'S TEMPTATION.

FROM THE SWEDISI.

SPRING is coming, birds are twittering, forests leaf, and smiles thesun,
And the loosened torrents downward singing to the ocean run;
Glowing like the cheek of Freya, peeping rosebuds 'gin to ope,
And in human hearts awaken love of life, and joy, and hope.
Now will hunt the ancient monarch, and the queen shall join the

sport;
Swarming in its gorgeous splendour is assembled all the court;
Bows ring loud, and quivers rattle, stallions paw the ground alway,
And, with hoods upon their eyelids, falcons scream aloud for prey.
See, the queen of the chase advances ! Frithiof, gaze noton the sight!
Like a star upon a spring-cloud sits she on her palfrey white,
Half of Freya, half of Rota, yet more beauteous than these two,
And from her light hat of purple wave aloft the feathers blue.
Now the huntsman's band is ready. Hurrah! over hill and dale!
Horns ring, and the hawks right upward to the hall of Odin sail.
All the dwellers in the forest seek in fear their cavern homes,
But, with spear outstretched before her, after them Valkyria comes.

Then threw Frithiof down his mantle, and upon the greensward

spread, And the ancient king so trustful laid on Frithiof's knees his head, Slept, as calmly as the hero sleepeth after war's alarms On his shield, calm as an infant sleepeth in its mother's arms. As he slumbers, hark! there sings a coal-black bird upon a bough: “Hasten, Frithiof, slay the old man, close your quarrel at a blow; Take his queen, for she is thine, and once the bridal kiss she gave; Now no human eye beholds thee; deep and silent is the grave.”

Frithiof listens; hark! there sings a snow-white bird upon the

bough: “Though no human eye beholds thee, Odin's eye beholds thee now. Coward, wilt thou murder slumber? a defenceless old man slay? Whatsoe'er thou winn'st, thou canst not win a hero's fame this way." Thus the two wood-birds did warble; Frithiof took his war-sword

good, With a shudder hurled it from him, far into the gloomy wood. Coal-black bird flies down to Nastrand; buton lightunfolded wings, Like the tone of harps, theother, sounding towards thesun upsprings. Straight the ancient king awakens. “Sweet has been my sleep,”

he said; “Pleasantly sleeps one in the shadow, guarded by a brave man's

blade. But where is thysword, Ostranger? Lightning's brother, whereis he? Who thus parts you, who should never from each other parted be?” "It avails not,” Frithiof answered; "in the North are otherswords; Sharp, O monarch, is the sword's tongue, and it speaks not peace

ful words; Murky spirits dwell in steel blades, spirits from the Niffelhem, Slumber is not safe before them, silver locks but anger them.”

SILENT LOVE.

FROM THE GERMAN.
Who love would seek,

Let him love evermore
And seldom speak:

For in love's domain

Silence must reign;
Or it brings the heart
Smart

And pain.

CHILDHOOD.

FROM THE DANISH.
THERE was a time when I was very small,

When my whole frame was but an ell in height,
Sweetly, as I recall it, tears do fall,

And therefore I recall it with delight.
I sported in my tender mother's arms,

And rode a-horseback on best father's knee;
Alike were sorrows, passions, and alarms,

And gold, and Greek, and love, unknown to me.

Then seemed to me this world far less in size,

Likewise it seemed to me less wicked far; Like points in heaven, I saw the stars arise,

And longed for wings that I might catch a star. I saw the moon behind the island fade,

And thought, “O, were I on that island there, I could find out of what the moon is made,

Find out how large it is, how round, how fair!” Wondering, I saw God's sun, through western skies,

Sink in the ocean's golden lap at night, And yet upon the morrow early rise,

And paint the eastern heaven with crimson light; And thought of God, the gracious Heavenly Father,

Who made me, and that lovely sun on high, And all those pearls of heaven thick-strung together,

Dropped, clustering, from his hand o'er all the sky. With childish reverence, my young lips did say · The prayer my pious mother taught to me: “O Gentle God! 0, let me strive alway

Still to be wise, and good, and follow thee!” So prayed I for my father and my mother,

And for my sister, and for all the town; The king I knew not, and the beggar-brother,

Who, bent with age, went, sighing, up and down. They perished, the blithe days of boyhood perished,

And all the gladness, all the peace I knew! Now have I but their memory, fondly cherished;

God! may I never, never lose that too!

BLESSED ARE THE DEAD.

FROM THE GERMAN.
0, how blest are ye whose toils are ended !
Who, through death, have unto God ascended!
Ye have arisen
From the cares which keep us still in prison.
We are still as in a dungeon living,
Still oppressed with sorrow and misgiving; "
Our undertakings
Are but toils, and troubles, and heart-breakings.
Ye, meanwhile, are in your chambers sleeping,
Quiet, and set free from all our weeping;
No cross nor trial
Hinders your enjoyments with denial.

Christ has wiped away your tears for ever;
Ye have that for which we still endeavour.
To you are chanted
Songs which yet no mortal ear have haunted.
Ah! who would not, then, depart with gladness,
To inherit heaven for earthly sadness ?
Who here would languish
Longer in bewailing and in anguish ?
Come, O Christ, and loose the chains that bind us !
Lead us forth, and cast this world behind us !
With thee, the Anointed,
Finds the soul its joy and rest appointed.

DEATH OF ARCHBISHOP TURPIN.

FROM THE FRENCI. The archbishop, whom God loved in high degree, Beheld his wounds all bleeding fresh and free ; And then his cheek more ghastly grew and wan, And a faint shudder through his members ran. Upon the battle-field his knee was bent; Brave Roland saw, and to his succour went, Straightway his helmet from his brow unlaced, And tore the shining hauberk from his breast; Then raising in his arms the man of God, Gently he laid him on the verdant sod. “ Rest, Sire,” he cried,-“for rest thy suffering needs." The priest replied, “Think but of warlike deeds! The field is ours; well may we boast this strife! But death steals on-there is no hope of life; In paradise, where the almoners live again, There are our couches spread, ---there shall we rest from pain.” Sore Roland grieved; nor marvel I, alas ! That thrice he swooned upon the thick, green grass. When he revived, with a loud voice cried he, O Heavenly Father! Holy Saint Marie ! Why lingers death to lay me in my grave? Beloved France ! how have the good and brave Been torn from thee and left thee weak and poor ! " Then thoughts of Aude, his lady-love, came o'er His spirit, and he whispered soft and slow, “My gentle friend !-what parting full of woe! Never so true a liegeman shalt thou see ;Whate'er my fate, Christ's benison on thee! Christ, who did save from realms of woe beneath The Hebrew prophets from the second death.' Then to the paladins, whom well he knew, He went, and one by one unaided drew

To Turpin's side, well skilled in ghostly lore; -
No heart had he to smile,- but, weeping sore,
He blessed them in God's name, with faith that he
Would soon vouchsafe to them a glad eternity.
The archbishop, then,-on whom God's benison rest !--
Exhausted, bowed his head upon his breast;-
His mouth was full of dust and clotted gore,
And many a wound his swollen visage bore.
Slow beats his heart, - his panting bosom heaves, -
Death comes apace, -no hope of cure relieves.
Towards heaven he raised his dying hands and prayed
That God, who for our sins was mortal made,
Born of the Virgin,-scorned and crucified,
In paradise would place him by his side.
Then Turpin died in service of Charlon,
Iu battle great and eke great orison;
'Gainst Pagan host alway strong champion ;- .
God grant to him his holy benison !

RONDEL.

FROM THE FRENCI. Love, love, what wilt thou with this heart of mine?

Naught see I fixed or sure in thee!
I do not know thee,-nor what deeds are thine:
Love, love, what wilt thou with this heart of mine?

Naught see I fixed or sure in thee!
Shall I be mute, or vows with prayers combine ?

Ye who are blessed in loving, tell it me:
Love, love, what wilt thou with this heart of mine?

Naught see I permanent or sure in thee!

RONDEL.

FROM THE FRENCI.
HENCE away, begone, begone,

Carking care and melancholy!

Think ye thus to govern me
All my life long, as ye have done?

That shall ye not, I promise ye :

Reason shall have the mastery.
So hence away, begone, begone,

Carking care and melancholy!
If ever ye return this way,

With your mournful company,
A curse be on ye, and the day.

That brings ye moping back to me!
Hence away, begone, I say,
Carking care and melancholy !

« AnteriorContinuar »