For the walrus or the whale,

Till after three days more.

“ The days grew longer and longer,

Till they became as one,
And southward through the hazt
I saw the sullen blaze

Of the red midnight sun.

6 And then uprose before me,

Upon the water's edge,
The huge and haggard shape
Of that unknown North Cape,

Whose form is like a wedge.

“ The sea was rough and stormy,

The tempest howled and wailed, And the sea-fog, like a ghost, Haunted that dreary coast,

But onward still I sailed.

“ Four days I steered to eastward,

Four days without a night:
Round in a fiery ring
Went the great sun, O King,

With red and lurid light.”

Here Alfred, King of the Saxons,

Ceased writing for a while ; And raised his eyes from his book, With a strange and puzzled look,

And an incredulous smile.

But Othere, the old sea-captain,

He neither paused nor stirred, Till the King listened, and then Once more took up his pen,

And wrote down every word.


" And now the land,” said Othere,

“ Bent southward suddenly, And I followed the curving shore And ever southward bore

Into a nameless sea.

" And there we hunted the walrus,

The narwhale, and the seal;
Ha! 't was a noble game!
And like the lightning's flame

Flew our harpoons of steel.

“ There were six of us all together,

Norsemen of Helgoland;
In two days and no more
We killed of them threescore,

And dragged them to the strand !”

Here Alfred the Truth-Teller

Suddenly closed his book,
And lifted his blue eyes,
With doubt and strange surmise

Depicted in their look.

And Othere the old sea-captain

Stared at him wild and weird,
Then smiled, till his shining teeth
Gleamed white from underneath

His tawny, quivering beard.

And to the King of the Saxons,

In witness of the truth,
Raising his noble head,
He stretched his brown hand, and said,

66 Behold this walrus-tooth / "


A WIND came up out of the sea,
And said, “ ( mists, make room for me.”

It hailed the ships, and cried, “ Sail on, Ye mariners, the night is gone.”

And hurried landward far away,
Crying, “Awake! it is the day.”

It said unto the forest, “ Shout!
Hang all your leafy banners out!”

It touched the wood-bird's folded wing, And said, “O bird, awake and sing."

And o'er the farms, “O chanticleer,
Your clarion blow; the day is near.

It whispered to the fields of corn, “ Bow down, and hail the coming morn.”

It shouted through the belfry-tower,
“ Awake, O bell! proclaim the hour.”

It crossed the churchyard with a sigh,
And said, “ Not yet! in quiet lie.”



MAY 28, 1857.

It was fifty years ago

In the pleasant month of May,
In the beautiful Pays de Vaud,

À child in its cradle lay.

And Nature, the old nurse, took

The child upon her knee,
Saying: “ Here is a story-book

Thy Father has written for thee.”

“ Come, wander with me," she said,

“ Into regions yet untrod; And read what is still unread

In the manuscripts of God.”

And he wandered away and away

With Nature, the dear old nurse,
Who sang to him night and day

The rhymes of the universe.

And whenever the way seemed long,

Or his heart began to fail,
She would sing a more wonderful song,

Or tell a more marvellous tale.

So she keeps him still a child,

And will not let him go,
Though at times his heart beats wild

For the beautiful Pays de Vaud ;

Though at times he hears in his dreams

The Ranz des Vaches of old,
And the rush of mountain streams

From glaciers clear and cold;

And the mother at home says,

is Hark! For his voice I listen and yearn; It is growing late and dark,

And my boy does not return ! "


O ye

COME to me, O

children! For I hear you at your play, And the questions that perplexed me

Have vanished quite away.

Ye open the eastern windows,

That look towards the sun,
Where thoughts are singing swallows

And the brooks of morning run.

In your hearts are the birds and the sunshine,

In your thoughts the brooklet's flow, But in mine is the wind of Autumn

And the first fall of the snow.

Ah! what would the world be to us

If the children were no more ?
We should dread the desert behind us

Worse than the dark before.

What the leaves are to the forest,

With light and air for food, Ere their sweet and tender juices

Have been hardened into wood,

That to the world are children

Through them it feels the glow Of a brighter and sunnier climate

Than reaches the trunks below.

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