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And the reader droned from the pulpit,
Till the great bells of the convent,
Proclaimed the midnight hour.
And the Yule-log cracked in the chimney,
Yet still in his pallid fingers
He clutched the golden bowl,
But not for this their revels
By his evening fire the artist
Pondered o'er his secret shame;
'T was an image of the Virgin
That had tasked his utmost skil; But alas! his fair ideal
Vanished and escaped him still.
From a distant Eastern island
Till, discouraged and desponding,
Then a voice cried, "Rise, O master!
Woke, and from the smoking embers
Seized and quenched the glowing wood; And therefrom he carved an image, And he saw that it was good.
O thou sculptor, painter, poet!
Take this lesson to thy heart: That is best which lieth nearest;
Shape from that thy work of art.
PEGASUS IN POUND.
ONCE into a quiet village,
Without haste and without heed, In the golden prime of morning, Strayed the poet's winged steed.
It was Autumn, and incessant
Piped the quails from shocks and sheaves, And, like living coals, the apples
Burned among the withering leaves.
PEGASUS IN POUND.
Loud the clamorous bell was ringing
Not a triumph meant for him.
Not the less he saw the landscape,
In its gleaming vapor veiled; Not the less he breathed the odors That the dying leaves exhaled.
Thus, upon the village common,
By the school-boys he was found; And the wise men, in their wisdom, Put him straightway into pound.
Then the sombre village crier,
Ringing loud his brazen bell, Wandered down the street proclaiming There was an estray to sell.
And the curious country people,
Rich and poor, and young and old. Came in haste to see this wondrous Winged steed, with mane of gold.
Thus the day passed, and the evening
Brought no straw nor stall, for him.
Patiently, and still expectant,
Looked he through the wooden bars, Saw the moon rise o'er the landscape, Saw the tranquil, patient stars;
Till at length the bell at midnight
Then, with nostrils wide distended,
To those stars he soared again.
On the morrow, when the village
But they found, upon the greensward
Where his struggling hoofs had trod, Pure and bright, a fountain flowing
From the hoof-marks in the sod.
From that hour, the fount unfailing
Gladdens the whole region round, Strengthening all who drink its waters, While it soothes them with its sound.
I HEARD a voice, that cried,
I saw the pallid corpse
Borne through the Northern sky.
Lifted the sheeted mists
And the voice forever cried,
Balder the Beautiful,
All things in earth and air
Hæder, the blind old God,
They laid him in his ship,
A ring upon his finger,
They launched the burning ship!
It floated far away
Over the misty sea,