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THE DEATH OF THE OLD YEAR.
He was full of joke and jest,
But all his merry quips are o’er.
To see him die, across the waste
His son and heir doth ride post-haste,
But he 'll be dead before.
Every one for his own.
The night is starry and cold, my friend,
And the New-year, blithe and bold, my friend
Comes up to take his own.
How hard he breathes ! over the snow
I heard just now the crowing cock.
The shadows Aicker to and fro:
The cricket chirps : the light burns low :
'T is nearly twelve o'clock.
Shake hands before you die.
Old year, we 'll dearly rue for you:
What is it we can do for you ?
Speak out before you die.
His face is growing sharp and thin.
Alack! our friend is gone.
Close up his eyes : tie up his chin :
Step from the corpse, and let him in
That standeth there alone,
And waiteth at the door.
There's a new foot on the floor, my friend,
And a new face at the door, my friend,
A new face at the door.
HOME they brought her warrior dead:
She nor swooned nor uttered cry: All her maidens, watching, said,
“She must weep or she will die.”
Then they praised him, soft and low,
Called him worthy to be loved, Truest friend and noblest foe;
Yet she neither spoke nor moved.
Stole a maiden from her place,
Lightly to the warrior stept, Took the face-cloth from the face :
Yet she neither moved nor wept.
Rose a nurse of ninety years,
Set his child upon her knee,
Like summer tempest came her tears,
“ Sweet my child, I live for thee.”
UR enemies have fallen, have fallen : the seed,
The little seed they laughed at in the dark,
Has risen and cleft the soil, and grown a bulk
Of spanless girih, that lays on every side
A thousand arms and rushes to the Sun.
Our enemies have tallen, have fallen : they came ;
The leaves were wet with women's tears ; they heard
A noise of songs they would not understand.
They marked it with the red cross to the fall,
And would have strown it, and are fallen themselves.
Our enemies have fallen, have falloa : they came,
The woodmen with their axes : lo the tree !
But we will make it fagots for the hearth,
And shape it plank and beam for roof and icor,
And boats and bridges for the use of men.
Our enemies have fallen, have fallen : they struck;
With their own blows they hurt themselves, nor knew
There dwelt an iron nature in the grain :
The glittering axe was broken in their arms,
Their arms were shattered to the shoulder-blade.
Our enemies have fallen, but this shall grow
A night of Summer from the heat, a breadth
Of Autumn, dropping fruits of power; and rolled
With music in the growing breeze of Time,
The tops shall strike from star to star, the fangs
Shall move the stony bases of the world.
TOU must wake and call me early, call me early, mother dear; To-morrow ’ill be the happiest time of all the glad New
year; Of all the glad New-year, mother, the maddest, merriest day; For I’m to be Queen o’ the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'
There's many a black, black eye, they say, but none so bright as
mine; There's Margaret and Mary, there's Kate and Caroline: But none so fair as little Alice in all the land, they say: So I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'
I sleep so sound all night, mother, that I shall never wake,
If you do not call me loud when the day begins to break :
But I must gather knots of flowers, and buds and garlands gay,
For I'm to be Queen of the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'
As I came up the valley, whom think ye should I see,
But Robin leaning on the bridge beneath the hazel-tree?
He thought of that sharp look, mother, I gave him yesterday, –
But I'm to be Queen o’ the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'
He thought I was a ghost, mother, for I was all in white,
And I ran by him without speaking, like a flash of light.
They call me cruel-hearted, but I care not what they say,
For I’m to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'
They say he's dying all for love, but that can never be :
They say his heart is breaking, mother, — what is that to me?
There's many a bolder lad ’ill woo me any summer day,
And I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'
Little Effie shall go with me to-morrow to the green,
And you 'll be there, too, mother, to see me made the Queen :
For the shepherd lads on every side ’ill come from far away,
And I’m to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'
The honeysuckle round the porch has woven its wavy bowers, And by the meadow-trenches blow the faint sweet cuckoo-flowers ; And the wild marsh-marigold shines like fire in swamps and
hollows gray, And I'm to be Queen o’the May, mother, I’m to be Queen o'