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Sometimes

Verse 1
When the world is on your shoulders
And the sun don't wanna shine
Better days around the corner
But your running out of time

Bridge
Negative thinking has got my mind sinking
I wonder if the pain will ever stop
You gotta try to and look ahead
Thats what the people always say
But am i ever gonna make it to the top
Will i drop
So ima keep going
Coz i gotta keep showing
That i know a better day will always come
And then i know that i can make it
When i see the clouds breaking
Coz they tell me the battling is done for the sun
Check it out

CHORUS
Sometimes
When you feel that you can't go on
You gotta give it what you got
Even though its not a lot
Never think that your the only one
well well well
Sometimes
When you know theres a better day
You gotta pick yourself up
With a little bit of luck
You can chase the blues away
well well well

Verse 2
When the world is on your shoulders
Don't let it get you down
You gotta pull yourself together
Coz your time will come around

Bridge
Negative thinking has got my mind sinking
I wonder if the pain will ever stop
You gotta try to and look ahead
Thats what the people always say
But am i ever gonna make it to the top
Will i drop
So ima keep going
Coz i gotta keep showing
That i know a better day will always come
And then i know that i can make it
When i see the clouds breaking
Coz they tell me the battling is done for the sun
Check it out

Chorus

But your running out of time
And you can't expect a miracle
Look and you will find
That everything is beautiful

Chorus x3

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I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues

I gotta right to sing the blues
I gotta right to feel low-down
I gotta right to hang around
Down around the river
A certain gal in this old town
Keeps draggin my poor (old) heart around
All I see, for me is - misery
I gotta right to sing the blues
I gotta right to moan and sigh
I gotta right to sit and cry
Down around the river
I know the deep blue sea
Will soon be callin me
It must be love - say what you choose
I gotta right to sing the blues

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Im Not Finished

[J-Boog:]
Man how this happen
Listen
Baby I know I messed up
And I know you wanna leave
But I wanna do things different this time
Baby please dont go
Hear what I gotta say

[Omarion:]
I remember like it was yesterday
I had everything under control
I stayed out all night with my boys
I took advantage of your love
Then one day you beat my game
Now suddenly
Everything has changed
Never thought that you would go
Oh no
But now I'm missing you so

[Chorus]
If I gotta spend another day without you
I dont know what I might do
I dont wanna think of livin' without you
Cause baby

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Feel A Whole Lot Better

The reason why,
Oh I cant say
I had to let you go babe,
And right away
After what you did,
I cant stay on
And Ill probably feel a whole lot better
When youre gone
Baby for a long time,
You had me believe
That your love was all mine,
And thats the way it would be
But I didnt know,
That you were puttin me on
And Ill probably feel a whole lot better
When youre gone, oh when youre gone
Now I got to say,
That its not like before
And Im not gonna play,
Youre game any more
After what you did,
I cant stay on
And Ill probably feel a whole lot better
When youre gone
Ill probably feel a whole lot better
When youre gone,
Oh when youre gone
Oh when youre gone

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I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues

Harold arlen / ted koehler
I gotta right to sing the blues
I gotta right to moan inside
I gotta right to sit and cry
Down around the river
A certain man in this little town
Keeps draggin my poor heart around
All I see for me is misery
I gotta right to sing the blues
I gotta right to moan inside
I gotta right to sit and cry
Down around the river
A certain man in this little town
Soon that deep blue sea
Will be callin me
It must be love say what you choose
I gotta right to sing the blues
I gotta right to sing the blues
I gotta right to moan and cry
I gotta sit and sigh
Down around the river
Soon that deep blue sea
Will be callin me
It must be love say what you choose
I gotta right to sing the blues
Theres nothing left for me
Im full of misery
I gotta right to sing the blues

song performed by Billie HolidayReport problemRelated quotes
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You Want What You Want

Verse 1:
Too much of any thing can
Bring you down
Rather live in excess than to die and drown
You better have a damn good soul for going in the ground
As long as you can swim, as long as you can be
Chorus:
You want what you want when you want it
You'll do anything just to have it
When you finally see that you got it
You don't want it anymore
You take candy from a baby
And you call yourself a lady?
And when your desires faded
Do you want me anymore?
Verse 2:
If i would let you live in me
How deep inside would you have to be
Before you realized you couldn't breathe
I wouldn't want to see what i be when you leave
Chorus:
You want what you want when you want it
You'll do anything just to have it
When you finally see that you got it
You don't want it anymore
You take candy from a baby
And you call yourself a lady?
And when your deseires faded
Do you want me anymore?
Repeat chorus 3x
You want what you want

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It's Not Perfect.

Sometimes the artist makes a fools mistake.
A contract that demands plenty for so little.
Me personally I do this for free currently because I have a job that pays the bills.
It is a hobby to me, always has been.
I work with my back, shoulders, arms, as well as my hands.
Time limited sticks me behind so many others.
Yet I don't care, for I do not desire fame and fortunes.
But instead actually enjoy what I do.
I feel as if I making glue that holds a painting together.
The creation of something all in ones mind.
A satisfying feeling envelopes me as I write them one at a time.
A victory upon this paper, this is something I indeed savor.
I do reread and reread trying to perfect each and everyone of them.
But for the sake of being correct.
Even though I know each one has its own flaws.
That is what make it really unique.
Even when the favored critique tells I'm wrong.
Sometimes thats the way I still want it.

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Neon Nights

[Verse I]
Oh No
Here it comes again
Cant remember when
We came so close to love before
Hold on
Good things never last
Nothings in the past
It always seems to come again
Again and again
Again and again oh yeahno
[Verse II]
Cry out
To legions of the grave
Time again to save us
From the jackals of the dream
Ride out
Protectors of the realm
Captain at the helm
Who sail across the sea of lights
[Bridge]
Circles and rings
Dragons and kings
Weaving a shock and a spell
Blessed by the night
Holy and bright
Called by the toll of the bell
[Chorus]
Bloody angels fast descending
Moving on a never bending line
Phantom figures reap forever
On a shadow shining ever bright
Neon Nights!
Neon Nights!
Alright
[Verse III]
Cry out
To legions of the grave
Time again to save us
From the jackals of the dream
Ride out
Protectors of the realm
Captains at the helm
Who sail across the sea of lights
[Chorus]
Again and again
Again and again and again
Neon Nights!
Neon Nights!
Neon Nights!
Alright

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I Ain't Got Nothin' But Time

HANK WILLIAMS (MGM 11768, 1954)
Little girl, if you're feeling low
And you got no place to go
Just give me a ring
Some joy I will bring
'Cause I ain't got nothin' but time
Well, I ain't got nothin' but time
So baby, if you wanna shine
If you take time to look
My number's in the book
And you can call me any time
I'm footloose and I'm fancy free
So baby, just come along with me
Grab your dancin' shoes
We'll go and lose them blues
'Cause I ain't got nothin' but time
If you say so babe, we'll stay all night
Don't worry, 'cause I ain't got no wife
Any time you wanna go
Good gal, just let me know
'Cause I ain't got nothin' but time
No use to sit at home and fine
And let someone trouble your mind
Just come along with me
There's more fish in the sea
And I ain't got nothin' but time
Now baby, just come on and smile
You'll find that life is still worth while
If you just look around
And watch the fellars in this town
That for you ain't got nothin' but time
Lord, I ain't got nothin' but time
So baby, if you wants to shine
If you take time to look
My number's in the book
And you can call me any time

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Million Different Ways

Every time I go down your street
I pray we'll meet
I look around and nothing's changed
But all this time has separated us
Press rewind and stop the tape
Let's play it from the start
And pause before we part
We'll lay it down again
Chorus:
So whatever you wanna do
And whatever you're gonna say
From the minute you find that you know that
There's a million different ways
So whatever you wanna do
And whatever you're gonna say
From the minute you find that you know that
There's a million different ways
To love me (to love me)
To love you (to love you)
To love me (to love me)
To love you (to love you)
To love me (to love me)
To love you (to love you)
To love me (to love me)
Dadadadada
And now we're face to face
We can't find words to communicate
We can't go on
Hiding there's something wrong
Press rewind and stop the tape
Replay it from the past
Confusing what we had
Can't try it out again
Chorus:
So whatever you wanna do
And whatever you're gonna say
From the minute you find that you know that
There's a million different ways
So whatever you wanna do
And whatever you're gonna say
From the minute you find that you know that
There's a million different ways
To love me (to love me)
To love you (to love you)
To love me (to love me)
Nobody's ever come close to us
Confident this time we might pull through
But the.....
I can't hear you
Chorus:
So whatever you wanna do
And whatever you're gonna say
From the minute you find that you know that
There's a million different ways
So whatever you wanna do
And whatever you're gonna say
From the minute you find that you know that
There's a million different ways
To love me (to love me)
To love you (to love you)
To love me (to love me)
To love you (to love you)
To love me (to love me)
To love you (to love you)
To love me (to love me)
To love you (to love you)
To love me (to love me)
To love you (to love you)
To love me (to love me)
repeat to fade

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Patrick White

A Little Thought In A Big Space

A little thought in a big space, I'm falling
through my own immensities here at my desk,
one of my Icarian propensities for plunging into things.
My voice intimidated by the violence of the silence within.
I'm on the dark side of my eyes.
No one's ever been here before.
No window, no wall, no door,
I'm on the threshold of my homelessness again.
I'm looking at stars, but I feel like rain.
I'm talking to ghosts that I don't remember.
Might be the wrong medium, but it's the right seance.
I don't even know what I'm doing here myself
but it seems I'm free to go or stay as I wish.
I'm wearing my shadow like a candling parachute
that didn't step back from the edge in time.
No point in pretending you're an airborne dandelion
when you feel like a rock with a message
someone just threw like the moon through a mirror
disguised as a sky the night birds keep flying into blind.

No one asks your name here on this pyre of a sky burial
if your birth certificate says you were born in fire.
Desire anything you like. It was all written in smoke
before you came. And these words that are saying me here
have been out of the aviary of the lantern for light years.
Who knows where the light goes or what if falls upon?
Trying to shine in a dark time without taking anything away
from the lunar eclipses that aren't in need of enlightenment.
Don't know if I'm a solar flare, a firefly, a matchbook,
or a lightning bolt that keeps stressing my starmud out
by sneaking up on it from behind and overdoing things a bit.

If you find yourself trying to pry the flowers open
with a crowbar or a koan, and it's nightfall, it's
time to turn your hourglass in for a waterclock
and see how the stars emerge out of nothing
as soon as you deepen the dark with a more acute sense of timing
that let's everything happen spontaneously by itself.
Even if you're the lighthouse of your dreams
that doesn't mean you're the nightwatchman
keeping his third eye on you in the shadows
like a theft of fire you can get away with
this second time around with only a warning.

If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.
And if you did, whining about it in your sleep
isn't going to help and who's Spartan enough these days
to stash the fox under their tunic to keep
from being caught while it eats them alive?
If you want to be a dragon you've got to learn
to swallow people's hearts like hot coals as if they were chocolates,
without wincing. The stars don't come out
like emergency candles you've been saving
for exactly this kind of situation. And if
you really want to know the truth about illumination,
try and blow one out. Quick, now, look
and see immediately into the clear light of the void
what it's like to shine without a metaphoric reflection.

The stars here don't hide their nakedness under a cloak
of black holes and dwarfs that take it all in
but give nothing back like the second hand clothes
of serpents shedding their skin. One size fits all
like a bubble in a watershed of dark worlds
dazzled by how much a single eye can contain
whether it's hanging from the lip of a flower in the fall
or going down the drain in spring. I know
you hit it like a snowflake on a furnace
and do your damnedest not to cry. Thing is
as unique among billions as you think you are,
there's not a star in the sky that isn't a rite of passage.

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Words Of Hope

Hope to hold on,
Hope to believe in,
Hope to faith,
Hope to trust,
Hope to endure,
Hope to God,

In Jesus name.

In all trouble days,
in worry mind,
in pain and sorrow,

Every circumtances if you
can pray, all your cares will
fly away.

REST

Experience the love of God
just breathe, feel the miracle
flow to the air.

Copyright (C) Jocelyn Dunbar
10th of May 2006
3: 37 P.M.

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The Poet Friend Of Mine

the last time i saw him
he wore thick glasses
but it did not deter him
from being interested
with what he cannot see
without it.

he uses his hands to feel.
he embraces all those that he love
he keeps his imagination alive

from far
i only read his poems

his words are all alive
like water
filling in the cracks of life

like clouds
taking subtle shapes
and always transient

his spirit spreads throughout
the universe
his mind my mind too
after that moment when a certain light
arrives
and flickers and then forever gone
in the vastness of air

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An_thology - Acrostic Sonnet

Adjoined is an anthology to bring
New enjoyment, world-view versed in rhyme,
Natural reflections over time
Engendered by a mind whose soul would sing
A word or two to string in golden ring
Necklace bound by no known chain, whose chime
Never fails to tune a bell sublime.
Emotions, shared, reverberate. Time’s swing
At last is counterbalanced, and its sting
No longer palls as phrases fuse and climb
Now past all past experience, masqued mime: -
Enchanted insight’s flight on poet’s wing!
Just twenty six the soldiers are whose line
Rekindles hope for scope, draws from each sign.

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Nobody

Tom johnston
Evil ways of practice may surround you
Callin on your inner core of life
But your father was just a complex man of busness
And your mother merely portioned out your fright
But run the risk of a sudden loss
You got no mama to bear your cross beside you
Uh huh, uh huh
As midnight angels shine their wings
And time begins just bo build a wall around you
Nobody, nobody gonna take my love away from me
Nobody, nobody gonna take my love away from me
Settin out on a voyage down to jenner
Ive given all Ive got to help the cause
Need a place just to settle out my pressures
A place where you and I can sit and pause
So I can see the sky at night
Without a fear of hidden light to blind me
Mm, mm
And so you see the path is clear
And changes will be swayed around me
Nobody, nobody gonna take my love away from me
Nobody, nobody gonna take my love away from me

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My mirror, My walkway

On summer evenings I go walking through the streets
Over my London Bridge, across the mississippi river
The place where I am to stay
When my beach is far away

Some nights I just strut across
With lingering stress on my mind
Other dawns I stop to watch the sunrise
Some evenings, I go to the right spot
And I look down into a large mirror
I catch the sun bidding me farewll

As I look into my mirror
As I see the sky
I catch my reflection in the sun's eyes

Sometimes, when I'm caught inbetween
I hear some commoners comment, then insult my bridge and mirror
If it's six feet long and falling, who cares?
If it's the city sewage dump, who cares?

On summer evenings and autumn dawns
I walk over my London Bridge
Across my mississippi river
I stop to look into my mirror
And I catch a glimpse of a life
A life that's nowhere to be found
Except within the depths of my heart

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You Dont Know Me At All

I woke up this morning with an attitude
Looked at the headline,
Put me in a real bad mood
Sitting here in limbo
Trying to stay sane
Between the end of the summer
And the coming of the blessed rains
And I feel dirty, all the way down
I feel dirty, baby, like this pretty town
I gave you everything on a silver tray
Could have been a fool for ever,
But Im not made that way
And after all these years,
I figure its time to say goodbye
Im doing you a favor,
I will not help you live a lie
And believe me
If you think Im gonna catch you when you fall
You dont know me,
You dont know me at all
I closed up the curtains
Learned to confess
Baby, I knew better
But you were such a pretty mess
You took my breath away
And now I want it back
Ah, you shouldve killed me,
You always looked so good in black
And after all these twisted roads
That weve been down together
I think its time to say goodbye
And believe me
If you think Im gonna get down and
Crawl
You dont know me,
You don t know me at all
Ohh, ohh
(really catchy guitar part!)
And after all these years,
I figure its time to say goodbye
Im doing us a favor baby
You know I cannot live a lie
And when you need me
And you think Im gonna
Be there when you call
You dont know me
You dont know me at all
You dont know me at all
Not at all
You dont know me at all
You dont know me at all...

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Dirty World

[chorus - lil wayne]
Its a dirty world but it still spins
Ya cant do nothin about it but try to live in it
You cant live too large or live too small
Its a fix, but 2-2-6 gone still ball
[lil wayne]
No mater what, them people gonna always watch us
And them dirty judges gonna keekp on tryin to knock us
Playa haters everwhere, cant trust ya own peeps
And the feds got us with this new thing called conspiracy
Them dirty scamps throwin crosses, real niggas dyin
They put a limit to our flossin, dont wanna see us shine
But close ya eyes, it aint nothin, look the other way
This for my mother, lost my father just the other day
Im seein niggas get shot up, hell I got shot, too
Man, you hate me and I hate you, look what this world do
Now watch ya mouth when people ? ? ? ? seein they brains boil
Look I dont curse but in this verse nigga f*ck the world
Chorus 2x
[turk]
Niggas be wantin to kill ya, when ya on top they tryin to still ya
Surrounded by playa haters, how you gonna make a million?
Own boys be tryin to take ya spot, you think its cool but its not
Niggas be tryin to plot on what ya got
If you rich you better leave it low
Its a dirty old world, nigga, if you didnt know
Dont tell ya business to hoes cuz theyll cross you up
Tell they oldman you got her, hell try to chop you up
Watch ya back at all times, its a dirty world
Niggas get left and found over boy and girl
F*ck playin the game raw, I play it smart nigga
Think Im gonna get caught up nigga? I wont nigga
I keep my eyes wide, and dont trust no nigga or b*tch
These days, nigga, ya cant trust ya own click
Aint that some sh*t? this world nothin nice
Niggas hatin if you got it, its all gravy when ya trife
Chorus 2x
[juvenile]
Them b*tches got a nigga trapped, they aint givin a sh*t
But theyll give it to them japs, they buy property and dont even pay no tax
Ride nothin but lexus and lacs
The same treatment we ask, a destination of blacks
Give us a ballot of names, and expect us to vote
The way I see it, we losin out anyway this sh*t go
Show me a politician and Ill show you a crook
Show me a police officer that go by the book
Theyll plant dope on ya, go to court on ya
Give ya 99 years and slam the door on ya
Angola, the free man bout it, he dont play
Nigga get outta line, ship em to camp j
Food stamps and welfare done been cut now
They done f*cked the medi-care up, so niggas stuck now
Bet ya before the week out another nigga get killed
Bet ya pendleton dont give a f*ck how a nigga feel
We fallin like bricks, and they flyin like birdies
This world needs to take a bath cuz its too dirty
Chorus 2 ? x
[the b.g.]
Ya know this world so dirty, believe it aint clean at all
I gotta be a lil man and stand tall
Yall niggas jackin for they habit, they cant keep it up
F*ck with the wrong niggas sh*t, you get ya head bust
I only trust niggas that I know down with me
I see straight through cut-throat niggas easily
They tryin to snatch me, cuz they know Im what ya used to be
Cuz Im a major fu-uh-factor to c-m-b
But I keep a chopper thats damn near as big as me
Cuz I refuse to let any nigga still me
Thatll be stripes for a nigga on the f*ckin streets
Reppin off me, sayin they chopped the b.g.
I get some weed and just roll up
This world tore up, niggas on that dope, sick, fold up
My click rich wrapped in diamonds and pearls
Ya gotta be strapped, bein rich in this dirty world
Chorus 4x

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Santa Claus Goes Straight To The Ghetto

( ) = santa voice
[ ] = squeaky kid voice
Intro: bad a$$
Is that the black santa claus? (ho ho ho! merry christmas!)
I want a super nintendo ... yeah, sega genesis, yeah,
Street fighter 2, all these games...
[mommy! is that the black santa claus?
That is the black santa claus! mommee! mommee! mommee!]
Verse 1: dat nigga daz
Its 12.30 am, christmas eve
Im out with the gangstas and thieves
Celebratin, postin up with eggnog [head up up] in my cup
[put rudolph and moses] lil bang-bangin and coastin
Down the block but be careful for the heart, because its posted
Some stay to this day that christmas aint nothing but another day
But, out of respect, I gotta give the lord his day
Tell me, tell me, where do the homies and bums got to sleep? {nowhere}
Where do hungry and the needy-greedys got to eat? {but who cares? }
Life is so crucial and cold, [its worse] for the children
In this world they hopes and dreams cant afford
The young and old churches and spiritual dreams, seasonal things
Heard throughout the ghetto reaches gangstas and dope-fiends, huh
cause those who aint able get it now can finally get it
cause the ghetto santa claus has sprinkled the hood and now we ballin
Livin to a new year of better thangs
Celebrate it with some champagne, ha ha, check it ...
Chorus: nate dogg
Santa claus ... is coming straight to the ghetto ...
Bridge: snoop doggy dogg
Now on the first day of christmas, my homeboy gave to me
A sack of the krazy glue and told me to smoke it up slowly
Now on the second day of christmas, my homeboy gave to me
A fifth of hendog and told me to take my mind off that weed
Now by the third day of christmas, my big homeboy gave to me
A whole lot of everything, and it wasnt nuthin but game to me
Verse 2: bad a$$
Back then, you woke up to the sound of i saw mama kissing santa
Made you remenisce on the old fashion christmas days
Gifts, miss a fat man jolly with joy
Down ya chimney with toys for lil girls and boys
Pumped up, I jumped up before the sun peeped in
And hoped to catch a santa claus creepin down my hall
Ran to the window, put my eyes to the sky
To see if I could see the sleigh that parlayed and pushed a fat guy
I sigh, aint no sign, but everything under this tree in my house is mine
My bike, that, and this plastic ninell do fine till next year come
I try to see the same thing, they got us brain washed dumb
And when you find, it aint no santa, christmas still mean a lot
cause its the time to get together and give all you got
You got food, good moods, and whats better than together with your people
When wishers give a toast by the tree, its merry christmas
Chorus
Verse 3: snoop doggy dogg (starts during chorus)
(dont get too close because you might get shot ...
Welcome to the ghetto ...)
Santa claus on the ceiling, jack frost chillin
Pinch the grinch for being a holiday villain
Seasons greetings, all the proceedings
Are brought to you by the church house where well be eatin
Chestnuts roastin on an open fire
Singin my jingle, where is kris kringle
I didnt pop, I aint even shouted
I even stayed in the house, where the homies tried to sneak me out
And all I want for christmas is my 6-4 chevrolet
And a granddaughter for her grandmother beverly
Aint that somethin? nah, aint that nothin
How its christmas time and my rhymes steady bumpin
Everybody happy, hair still nappy
Gonna steal a gift for my old grandpappy
Catch me giving out turkeys at the church-house
Dont try to work me, just stand in the line and everything gon be fine
Holla at ya folks, boy, its goin down
Aint no help from no elves, just tha dogg pound
And we passin out gifts, blazin up spliffs
Christmas on the row, can you dig it? {can you dig it}
Chorus
Verse 4: tray deee
Christmas eve, by the leaves, every 6 with the year
Girls and boys full off joy with the season cheer
Smell the sky, hella pies and cakes gettin baked
To be ate after everything gone off your plate
But wait, not tonight its straight beans and rice
On the table, are we able to proceed tonight?
I wonder what the morns bringin so its hard to doze off
Three o clock in my socks I crack the dope song
Hopin when I open the door Ill see santa
Now who the hell is this in this blue bandana
Messin with the boxes thats up under the three
Look like santa claus been crossed to a woman to me
Now Im comin to see, the whole picture gettin clearer
How we have messed; I says best get nearer
Mirror, mirror, please, its seemed Ive be deceived
And thank the same trick for the gifts I receive
So I creep back, and act like I aint even peeped it
Thisll be me and moms private secret
Chorus till fade

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Kensington Garden

______ Campos, ubi Troja fuit.
Virg.


Where Kensington, high o'er the neighbouring lands
Midst greens and sweets, a regal fabric, stands,
And sees each spring, luxuriant in her bowers,
A snow of blossoms, and a wild of flowers,
The dames of Britain oft in crowds repair
To gravel walks, and unpolluted air.
Here, while the town in damps and darkness lies,
They breathe in sun-shine, and see azure skies;
Each walk, with robes of various dyes bespread,
Seems from afar a moving tulip-bed,
Where rich brocades and glossy damasks glow,
And chints, the rival of the showery bow.
Here England's daughter, darling of the land,
Sometimes, surrounded with her virgin band,
Gleams through the shades. She, towering o'er the rest,
Stands fairest of the fairer kind confest,
Form'd to gain hearts, that Brunswick's cause deny'd,
And charm a people to her father's side.
Long have these groves to royal guests been known,
Nor Nassau first prefer'd them to a throne.
Ere Norman banners wav'd in British air;
Ere lordly Hubba with the golden hair
Pour'd in his Danes; ere elder Julius came;
Or Dardan Brutus gave our isle a name;
A prince of Albion's lineage grac'd the wood,
The scene of wars, and stain'd with lovers' blood.
You, who thro' gazing crowds, your captive throng,
Throw pangs and passions, as you move along,
Turn on the left, ye fair, your radiant eyes,
Where all unlevel'd the gay garden lies:
If generous anguish for another's pains
Ere heav'd your hearts, or shiver'd through your veins,
Look down attentive on the pleasing dale,
And listen to my melancholy tale.
That hollow space, were now in living rows
Line above line the yew's sad verdure grows,
Was, ere the planter's hand its beauty gave,
A common pit, a rude unfashion'd cave.
The landscape now so sweet we well may praise:
But far, far sweeter in its ancient days,
Far sweeter was it, when its peopled ground
With fairy domes and dazzling towers was crown'd.
Where in the midst those verdant pillars spring,
Rose the proud palace of the Elfin king;
For every edge of vegetable green,
In happier years a crowded street was seen;
Nor all those leaves that now the prospect grace,
Could match the numbers of its pygmy race,
What urg'd this mighty empire to its fate,
A tale of woe and wonder, I relate.
When Albion rul'd the land, whose lineage came
From Neptune mingling with a mortal dame,
Their midnight pranks the sprightly fairies play'd
On every hill, and danc'd in every shade.
But, foes to sun-shine, most they took delight
In dells and dales conceal'd from human sight:
There hew'd their houses in the arching rock;
Or scoop'd the bosom of the blasted oak;
Or heard, o'ershadow'd by some shelving hill,
The distant murmurs of the falling rill.
They, rich in pilfer'd spoils, indulg'd their mirth,
And pity'd the huge wretched sons of Earth.
Ev'n now, 'tis said, the hinds o'erhear their strain,
And strive to view their airy forms in vain:
They to their cells at man's approach repair,
Like the shy leveret, or the mother-hare,
The whilst poor mortals startle at the sound
Of unseen footsteps on the haunted ground.
Amid this garden, then with woods o'ergrown,
Stood the lov'd seat of royal Oberon.

From every region to his palace-gate
Came peers and princes of the fairy state,
Who, rank'd in council round the sacred shade,
Their monarch's will and great behests obey'd.
From Thames' fair banks, by lofty towers adorn'd,
With loads of plunder oft his chiefs return'd:
Hence in proud robes, and colours bright and gay,
Shone every knight and every lovely fay.
Whoe'er on Powell's dazzling stage display'd,
Hath fam'd king Pepin and his court survey'd,
May guess, if old by modern things we trace,
The pomp and splendour of the fairy-race.
By magic fenc'd, by spells encompass'd round,
No mortal touch'd this interdicted ground;
No mortal enter'd, those alone who came
Stol'n from the couch of some terrestrial dame:
For oft of babes they robb'd the matron's bed,
And left some sickly changeling in their stead.

It chanc'd a youth of Albion's royal blood
Was foster'd here, the wonder of the wood.

Milkah for wiles above her peers renown'd,
Deep-skill'd in charms and many a mystic sound,
As through the regal dome she sought for prey,
Observ'd the infant Albion where he lay
In mantles broider'd o'er with georgeous pride,
And stole him from the sleeping mother's side.
Who now but Milkah triumphs in her mind!
Ah, wretched nymph, to future evils blind!
The time shall come when thou shalt dearly pay
The theft, hard-hearted! of that guilty day:

Thou in thy turn shalt like the queen repine,
And all her sorrows doubled shall be thine:
He who adorns thy house, the lovely boy
Who now adorns it, shall at length destroy.

Two hundred moons in their pale course had seen
The gay-rob'd fairies glimmer on the green,
And Albion now had reach'd in youthful prime
To nineteen years, as mortals measure time.
Flush'd with resistless charms he fir'd to love
Each nymph and little Dryad of the grove;
For skilful Milkah spar'd not to employ
Her utmost art to rear the princely boy;

Each supple limb she swath'd, and tender bone,
And to the Elfin standard kept him down;
She robb'd dwarf-elders of their fragrant fruit,
And fed him early with the daisy's root,
Whence through his veins the powerful juices ran,
And form'd in beauteous miniature the man.
Yet still, two inches taller than the rest,
His lofty port his human birth confest;
A foot in height, how stately did he show!
How look superior on the crowd below!
What knight like him could toss the rushy lance!
Who move so graceful in the mazy dance!
A shape so nice, or features half so fair,
What elf could boast! or such a flow of hair!
Bright Kenna saw, a princess born to reign,
And felt the charmer burn in every vein.
She, heiress to this empire's potent lord,
Prais'd like the stars, and next the Moon ador'd.
She, whom at distance thrones and princedoms view'd,
To whom proud Oriel and Azuriel sued,
In her high palace languish'd, void of joy,
And pin'd in secret for a mortal boy.
He too was smitten, and discreetly strove
By courtly deeds to gain the virgin's love.
For her he cull'd the fairest flower that grew,
Ere morning suns had drain'd their fragrant dew;
He chas'd the hornet in his mid-day flight,
And brought her glow-worms in the noon of night;
When on ripe fruits she cast a wishing eye,
Did ever Albion think the tree too high!

He show'd her where the pregnant goldfinch hung,
And the wren-mother brooding o'er her young;
To her th' inscription on their eggs he read,
(Admire, ye clerks, the youth whom Milkah bred)
To her he show'd each herb of virtuous juice,
Their powers distinguish'd, and describ'd their use:
All vain their powers, alas! to Kenna prove,
And well sung Ovid, ``There's no herb for love.''
As when a ghost, enlarg'd from realms below,
Seeks its old friend to tell some secret woe,

The poor shade shivering stands, and must not break
His painful silence, till the mortal speak:
So far'd it with the little love-sick maid,
Forbid to utter, what her eyes betray'd.
He saw her anguish, and reveal'd his flame,
And spar'd the blushes of the tongue-ty'd dame.
The day would fail me, should I reckon o'er
The sighs they lavish'd, and the oaths they swore
In words so melting, that compar'd with those
The nicest courtship of terrestrial beaux
Would sound like compliments, from country clowns
To red cheek'd sweet-hearts in their home-spun gowns.
All in a lawn of many a various hue
A bed of flowers (a fairy forest) grew;

'Twas here one noon, the gaudiest of the May,
The still, the secret, silent, hour of day,
Beneath a lofty tulip's ample shade
Sat the young lover and th' immortal maid.
They thought all fairies slept, ah, luckless pair!
Hid, but in vain, in the Sun's noon-tide glare!

When Albion, leaning on his Kenna's breast,
Thus all the softness of his soul exprest:
``All things are hush'd. The Sun's meridian rays
Veil the horizon in one mighty blaze:
Nor moon nor star in Heaven's blue arch is seen
With kindly rays to silver o'er the green,
Grateful to fairy eyes; they secret take
Their rest, and only wretched mortals wake.
This dead of day I fly to thee alone,
A world to me, a multitude in one.

Oh, sweet as dew-drops on these flowery lawns,
When the sky opens, and the evening dawns!
Straight as the pink, that towers so high in air,
Soft as the blow-bell! as the daisy, fair!
Blest be the hour, when first I was convey'd
An infant captive to this blissful shade!
And blest the hand that did my form refine,
And shrunk my stature to a match with thine!
Glad I for thee renounce my royal birth,
And all the giant-daughters of the Earth.
Thou, if thy breast with equal ardour burn,
Renounce thy kind, and love for love return.
So from us two, combin'd by nuptial ties,
A race unknown of demi-gods shall rise.
O speak, my love! my vows with vows repay,
And sweetly swear my rising fears away.''
To whom (the shining azure of her eyes
More brighten'd) thus th' enamour'd maid replies:

``By all the stars, and first the glorious Moon,
I swear, and by the head of Oberon,

A dreadful oath! no prince of fairy line
Shall e'er in wedlock plight his vows with mine.
Where-e'er my footsteps in the dance are seen,
May toadstools rise, and mildews blast the green,
May the keen east-wind blight my favourite flowers,
And snakes and spotted adders haunt my bowers.
Confin'd whole ages in an hemlock shade
There rather pine I a neglected maid,
Or worse, exil'd from Cynthia's gentle rays,
Parch in the sun a thousand summer-days,
Than any prince, a prince of fairy line,
In sacred wedlock plight his vows with mine.''
She ended: and with lips of rosy hue
Dipp'd five times over in ambrosial dew,
Stifled his words. When, from his covert rear'd,
The frowning brow of Oberon appear'd.
A sun-flower's trunk was near, whence (killing sight!)
The monarch issued, half an ell in height:
Full on the pair a furious look he cast,
Nor spoke; but gave his bugle-horn a blast,

That through the woodland echoed far and wide,
And drew a swarm of subjects to his side.
A hundred chosen knights, in war renown'd,
Drive Albion banish'd from the sacred ground;
And twice ten myriads guard the bright abodes,
Where the proud king, amidst his demi-gods,
For Kenna's sudden bridal bids prepare,
And to Azuriel gives the weeping fair.
If fame in arms, with ancient birth combin'd,
A faultless beauty, and a spotless mind,

To love and praise can generous souls incline,
That love, Azuriel, and that praise, was thine.
Blood only less than royal fill'd thy veins,
Proud was thy roof, and large thy fair domains.
Where now the skies high Holland-House invades,
And short-liv'd Warwick sadden'd all the shades,
Thy dwelling stood: nor did in him afford
A nobler owner, or a lovelier lord.
For thee a hundred fields produc'd their store,
And by thy name ten thousand vassals swore;
So lov'd thy name, that, at their monarch's choice,
All fairy shouted with a general voice.
Oriel alone a secret rage supprest,
That from his bosom heav'd the golden vest.
Along the banks of Thame his empire ran,
Wide was his range, and populous his clan.
When cleanly servants, if we trust old tales,
Beside their wages had good fairy vails,
Whole heaps of silver tokens, nightly paid,
The careful wife, or the neat dairy-maid,

Sunk not his stores. With smiles and powerful bribes
He gain'd the leaders of his neighbour tribes,
And ere the night the face of Heaven had chang'd,
Beneath his banners half the fairies rang'd.
Meanwhile, driven back to Earth, a lonely way
The chearless Albion wander'd half the day,
A long, long journey, choak'd with brakes and thorns
Ill-measur'd by ten thousand barley-corns.
Tir'd out at length a spreading stream he spy'd
Fed by old Thame, a daughter of the tide:

'Twas then a spreading stream, though now, its fame
Obscur'd, it bears the Creek's inglorious name,
And creeps, as through contracted bounds it strays,
A leap for boys in these degenerate days.
On the clear crystal's verdant bank he stood,
And thrice look'd backward on the fatal wood,
And thrice he groan'd, and thrice he beat his breast,
And thus in tears his kindred gods addrest.

``If true, ye watery powers, my lineage came
From Neptune mingling with a mortal dame;

Down to his court, with coral garlands crown'd,
Through all your grottoes waft my plaintive sound,
And urge the god, whose trident shakes the Earth,
To grace his offspring, and assert my birth.''
He said. A gentle Naiad heard his prayer,
And, touch'd with pity for a lover's care,
Shoots to the sea, where low beneath the tides
Old Neptune in th' unfathom'd deep resides.
Rouz'd at the news, the sea's stern sultan swore
Revenge, and scarce from present arms forbore;

But first the nymph his harbinger he sends,
And to her care the favourite boy commends.
As thro' the Thames her backward course she guides,
Driv'n up his current by the refluent tides,
Along his banks the pygmy legions spread
She spies, and haughty Oriel at their head,
Soon with wrong'd Albion's name the host she fires,
And counts the ocean's god, among his sires;
``The ocean's god, by whom shall be o'erthrown,
(Styx heard his oath) the tyrant Oberon.

See here beneath a toadstool's deadly gloom
Lies Albion: him the Fates your leader doom.
Hear, and obey; 'tis Neptune's powerful call,
By him Azuriel and his king shall fall.''
She said. They bow'd: and on their shields up-bore
With shouts their new saluted emperor.
E'en Oriel smil'd: at least to smile he strove,
And hopes of vengeance triumph'd over love.

See now the mourner of the lonely shade
By gods protected, and by hosts obey'd,

A slave, a chief, by fickle Fortune's play,
In the short course of one revolving day,
What wonder if the youth, so strangely blest,
Felt his heart flutter in his little breast!
His thick embattled troops, with secret pride,
He views extended half an acre wide;
More light he treads, more tall he seems to rise,
And struts a straw-breadth nearer to the skies.
O for thy Muse, great Bard, whose lofty strains
In battle join'd the Pygmies and the Cranes;

Each gaudy knight, had I that warmth divine,
Each colour'd legion in my verse should shine.
But simple I, and innocent of art,
The tale, that sooth'd my infant years, impart,
The tale I heard whole winter-eves, untir'd,
And sing the battles, that my nurse inspir'd.
Now the shrill corn-pipes, echoing loud to arms,
To rank and file reduce the straggling swarms,
Thick rows of spears at once, with sudden glare,
A grove of needles, glitter in the air;

Loose in the winds small ribbon-streamers flow,
Dipt in all colours of the heavenly-bow,
And the gay host, that now its march pursues,
Gleams o'er the meadows in a thousand hues.
On Buda's plains thus formidably bright,
Shone Asia's sons, a pleasing dreadful sight.
In various robes their silken troops were seen,
The blue, the red, and prophet's sacred green:
When blooming Brunswick, near the Danube's flood,
First stain'd his maiden sword in Turkish blood.

Unseen and silent march the slow brigades
Through pathless wilds, and unfrequented shades.
In hope already vanquish'd by surprise,
In Albion's power the fairy empire lies;
Already has he seiz'd on Kenna's charms,
And the glad beauty trembles in his arms.
The march concludes: and now in prospect near,
But fenc'd with arms, the hostile towers appear,
For Oberon, or Druids falsely sing,
Wore his prime visier in a magic ring,

A subtle spright, that opening plots foretold
By sudden dimness on the beamy gold.
Hence, in a cresent form'd, his legions bright
With beating bosoms waited for the fight;
To charge their foes they march, a glittering band,
And in their van doth bold Azuriel stand.
What rage that hour did Albion's soul possess,
Let chiefs imagine, and let lovers guess!
Forth issuing from his ranks, that strove in vain
To check his course, athwart the dreadful plain

He strides indignant: and with haughty cries
To single fight the fairy prince defies.
Forbear! rash youth, th' unequal war to try;
Nor, sprung from mortals, with immortals vie.
No god stands ready to avert thy doom,
Nor yet thy grandsire of the waves is come.
My words are vain -- no words the wretch can move,
By Beauty dazzled, and bewitch'd by Love:
He longs, he burns, to win the glorious prize,
And sees no danger, while he sees her eyes.

Now from each host the eager warriors start.
And furious Albion flings his hasty dart,
'Twas feather'd from the bee's transparent wing,
And its shaft ended in a hornet's sting;
But, tost in rage, it flew without a wound,
High o'er the foe, and guiltless pierc'd the ground.
Not so Azuriel's: with unerring aim,
Too near the needle-pointed javelin came,
Drove through the seven-fold shield, and silken vest,
And lightly ras'd the lover's ivory breast.

Rouz'd at the smart, and rising to the blow,
With his keen sword he cleaves his fairy foe,
Sheer from the shoulder to the waste he cleaves,
And of one arm the tottering trunk bereaves.
His useless steel brave Albion wields no more,
But sternly smiles, and thinks the combat o'er:
So had it been, had aught of mortal strain,
Or less than fairy, felt the deadly pain.
But empyreal forms, howe'er in fight
Gash'd and dismember'd, easily unite.

As some frail cup of China's purest mold,
With azure varnish'd, and bedropt with gold,
Though broke, if cur'd by some nice virgin's hands,
In its old strength and pristine beauty stands;
The tumults of the boiling bohea braves,
And holds secure the coffee's sable waves:
So did Azuriel's arm, if Fame say true,
Rejoin the vital trunk whence first it grew;
And, whilst in wonder fix'd poor Albion stood,
Plung'd the curs'd sabre in his heart's warm blood.
The golden broidery, tender Milkah wove,
The breast, to Kenna sacred and to Love,
Lie rent and mangled: and the gaping wound
Pours out a flood of purple on the ground.
The jetty lustre sickens in his eyes:
On his cold cheeks the bloomy freshness dies;
``Oh Kenna, Kenna,'' thrice he try'd to say,
``Kenna, farewel!'' and sigh'd his soul away.
His fall the Dryads with loud shrieks deplore,
By sister Naiads echo'd from the shore,

Thence down to Neptune's secret realms convey'd,
Through grotts, and glooms, and many a coral shade.
The sea's great sire, with looks denouncing war,
The trident shakes, and mounts the pearly car:
With one stern frown the wide-spread deep deforms,
And works the madding ocean into storms.
O'er foaming mountains, and through bursting tides,
Now high, now low, the bounding chariot rides,
Till through the Thames in a loud whirlwind's roar
It shoots, and lands him on the destin'd shore.

Now fix'd on earth his towering stature stood,
Hung o'er the mountains, and o'erlook'd the wood.
To Brumpton's grove one ample stride he took,
(The valleys trembled, and the forests shook)
The next huge step reach'd the devoted shade,
Where choak'd in blood was wretched Albion laid:
Where now the vanquish'd, with the victors join'd,
Beneath the regal banners stood combin'd.
Th' embattled dwarfs with rage and scorn he past,
And on their town his eye vindictive cast.

In deep foundations his strong trident cleaves.
And high in air th' up-rooted empire heaves;
On his broad engine the vast ruin hung,
Which on the foe with force divine he flung:
Aghast the legions, in th' approaching shade,
Th' inverted spires and rocking domes survey'd,
That, downward tumbling on the host below,
Crush'd the whole nation at one dreadful blow.
Towers, arms, nymphs, warriors, are together lost,
And a whole empire falls to sooth said Albion's ghost.

Such was the period, long restrain'd by Fate,
And such the downfall of the fairy state.
This dale, a pleasing region, not unblest,
This dale possest they; and had still possest;
Had not their monarch, with a father's pride,
Rent from her lord th' inviolable bride,
Rash to dissolve the contract seal'd above,
The solemn vows and sacred bonds of love.
Now, where his elves so sprightly danc'd the round,
No violet breathes, nor daisy paints the ground,

His towers and people fill one common grave,
A shapeless ruin, and a barren cave.
Beneath huge hills of smoking piles he lay
Stunn'd and confounded a whole summer's day,
At length awak'd (for what can long restrain
Unbody'd spirits!) but awak'd in pain:
And as he saw the desolated wood,
And the dark den where once his empire stood,
Grief chill'd his heart: to his half-open'd eyes
In every oak a Neptune seem'd to rise:

He fled: and left, with all his trembling peers,
The long possession of a thousand years.
Through bush, through brake, through groves, and gloomy dales,
Through dank and dry, o'er streams and flowery vales,
Direct they fled; but often look'd behind,
And stopt and started at each rustling wind.
Wing'd with like fear, his abdicated bands
Disperse and wander into different lands.
Part hid beneath the Peak's deep caverns lie,
In silent glooms, impervious to the sky;

Part on fair Avon's margin seek repose,
Whose stream o'er Britain's midmost region flows,
Where formidable Neptune never came,
And seas and oceans are but known by fame:
Some to dark woods and secret shade retreat:
And some on mountains choose their airy seat.
There haply by the ruddy damsel seen,
Or shepherd-boy, they featly foot the green,
While from their steps a circling verdure springs;
But fly from towns, and dread the courts of kings.
Mean-while said Kenna, loth to quit the grove,
Hung o'er the body of her breathless love,
Try'd every art, (vain arts!) to change his doom,
And vow'd (vain vows!) to join him in the tomb.
What could she do? the Fates alike deny
The dead to live, or fairy forms to die.
An herb there grows (the same old Homer tells
Ulysses bore to rival Circe's spells)
Its root is ebon-black, but sends to light
A stem that bends with flowrets milky white,

Moly the plant, which gods and fairies know,
But secret kept from mortal men below.
On his pale limbs its virtuous juice she shed,
And murmur'd mystic numbers o'er the dead,
When lo! the little shape by magic power
Grew less and less, contracted to a flower;
A flower, that first in this sweet garden smil'd,
To virgins sacred, and the Snow-drop styl'd.
The new-born plant with sweet regret she view'd,
Warm'd with her sighs, and with her tears bedew'd,

Its ripen'd seeds from bank to bank convey'd,
And with her lover whiten'd half the shade.
Thus won from death each spring she sees him grow,
And glorious in the vegetable snow,
Which now increas'd through wide Britannia's plains,
Its parent's warmth and spotless name retains,
First leader of the flowery race aspires,
And foremost catches the Sun's genial fires,
'Mid frosts and snows triumphant dares appear,
Mingles the seasons, and leads on the year.

Deserted now of all the pigmy race,
Nor man nor fairy touch'd this guilty place.
In heaps on heaps, for many a rolling age,
It lay accurs'd, the mark of Neptune's rage,
Till great Nassau recloath'd the desert shade,
Thence sacred to Britannia's monarchs made.
'Twas then the green-rob'd nymph, fair Kenna came,
(Kenna that gave the neighbouring town its name)
Proud when she saw th' ennobled garden shine,
With nymphs and heroes of her lover's line,
She vow'd to grace the mansions once her own.
And picture out in plants the fairy town.
To far-fam'd Wise her flight unseen she sped,
And with gay prospects fill'd the craftsman's head,
Soft in his fancy drew a pleasing scheme,
And plann'd that landscape in a morning dream.
With the sweet view the sire of gardens fir'd,
Attempts the labour by the nymph inspir'd,
The walls and streets in rows of yew designs,
And forms the town in all its ancient lines;

The corner trees he lifts more high in air,
And girds the palace with a verdant square;
Nor knows, while round he views the rising scenes,
He builds a city as he plants his greens.

With a sad pleasure the aërial maid
This image of her ancient realms survey'd,
How chang'd, how fall'n from its primeval pride!
Yet here each moon, the hour her lover dy'd,
Each moon his solemn obsequies she pays,
And leads the dance beneath pale Cynthia's rays;

Pleas'd in these shades to head her fairy train,
And grace the groves where Albion's kinsmen reign.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Golden Legend: IV. The Road To Hirschau

PRINCE HENRY _and_ ELSIE, _with their attendants, on
horseback._

_Elsie._ Onward and onward the highway runs
to the distant city, impatiently bearing
Tidings of human joy and disaster, of love and of
hate, of doing and daring!

_Prince Henry._ This life of ours is a wild aeolian
harp of many a joyous strain,
But under them all there runs a loud perpetual wail,
as of souls in pain.

_Elsie._ Faith alone can interpret life, and the heart
that aches and bleeds with the stigma
Of pain, alone bears the likeness of Christ, and can
comprehend its dark enigma.

_Prince Henry._ Man is selfish, and seeketh pleasure
with little care of what may betide;
Else why am I travelling here beside thee, a demon
that rides by an angel's side?

_Elsie._ All the hedges are white with dust, and
the great dog under the creaking wain
Hangs his head in the lazy heat, while onward the
horses toil and strain

_Prince Henry._ Now they stop at the wayside inn,
and the wagoner laughs with the landlord's daughter,
While out of the dripping trough the horses distend
their leathern sides with water.

_Elsie._ All through life there are wayside inns,
where man may refresh his soul with love;
Even the lowest may quench his thirst at rivulets fed
by springs from above.

_Prince Henry._ Yonder, where rises the cross of
stone, our journey along the highway ends,
And over the fields, by a bridle path, down into the
broad green valley descends.

_Elsie._ I am not sorry to leave behind the beaten
road with its dust and heat;
The air will be sweeter far, and the turf will be softer
under our horses' feet.

(_They turn down a green lane._)

_Elsie._ Sweet is the air with the budding haws,
and the valley stretching for miles below
Is white with blossoming cheery trees, as if just covered
with lightest snow.

_Prince Henry._ Over our heads a white cascade is
gleaming against the distant hill;
We cannot hear it, nor see it move, but it hangs like
a banner when winds are still.

_Elsie._ Damp and cool is this deep ravine, and
cool the sound of the brook by our side!
What is this castle that rises above us, and lords it
over a land so wide?

_Prince Henry._ It is the home of the Counts of
Calva; well have I known these scenes of old,
Well I remember each tower and turret, remember the
brooklet, the wood, and the wold.

_Elsie._ Hark! from the little village below us the
bells of the church are ringing for rain!
Priests and peasants in long procession come forth
and kneel on the arid plain.

_Prince Henry._ They have not long to wait, for I
see in the south uprising a little cloud,
That before the sun shall be set will cover the sky
above us as with a shroud.

(_They pass on._)

* * * * *

THE CONVENT OF HIRSCHAU IN THE BLACK FOREST.

* * * * *

_The Convent cellar._ FRIAR CLAUS _comes in with a
light and a basket of empty flagons._

_Friar Claus._ I always enter this sacred place
With a thoughtful, solemn, and reverent pace,
Pausing long enough on each stair
To breathe an ejaculatory prayer,
And a benediction on the vines
That produce these various sorts of wines!

For my part, I am well content
That we have got through with the tedious Lent!
Fasting is all very well for those
Who have to contend with invisible foes;
But I am quite sure it does not agree
With a quiet, peaceable man like me,
Who am not of that nervous and meagre kind
That are always distressed in body and mind!
And at times it really does me good
To come down among this brotherhood,
Dwelling forever under ground,
Silent, contemplative, round and sound;
Each one old, and brown with mould,
But filled to the lips with the ardor of youth,
With the latent power and love of truth,
And with virtues fervent and manifold.

I have heard it said, that at Easter-tide,
When buds are swelling on every side,
And the sap begins to move in the vine.
Then in all the cellars, far and wide,
The oldest, as well as the newest, wine
Begins to stir itself, and ferment,
With a kind of revolt and discontent
At being so long in darkness pent,
And fain would burst from its sombre tun
To bask on the hillside in the sun;
As in the bosom of us poor friars,
The tumult of half-subdued desires
For the world that we have left behind
Disturbs at times all peace of mind!
And now that we have lived through Lent,
My duty it is, as often before,
To open awhile the prison-door,
And give these restless spirits vent.

Now here is a cask that stands alone,
And has stood a hundred years or more,
Its beard of cobwebs, long and hoar,
Trailing and sweeping along the floor,
Like Barbarossa, who sits in his cave,
Taciturn, sombre, sedate, and grave,
Till his beard has grown through the table of stone!
It is of the quick and not of the dead!
In its veins the blood is hot and red,
And a heart still beats in those ribs of oak
That time may have tamed, but has not broke;
It comes from Bacharach on the Rhine,
Is one of the three best kinds of wine,
And costs some hundred florins the ohm;
But that I do not consider dear,
When I remember that every year
Four butts are sent to the Pope of Rome.
And whenever a goblet thereof I drain,
The old rhyme keeps running in my brain:

At Bacharach on the Rhine,
At Hochheim on the Main,
And at Wuerzburg on the Stein,
Grow the three best kinds of wine!

They are all good wines, and better far
Than those of the Neckar, or those of the Ahr
In particular, Wuerzburg well may boast
Of its blessed wine of the Holy Ghost,
Which of all wines I like the most.
This I shall draw for the Abbot's drinking,
Who seems to be much of my way of thinking.

(_Fills a flagon._)

Ah! how the streamlet laughs and sings!
What a delicious fragrance springs
From the deep flagon, while it fills,
As of hyacinths and daffodils!
Between this cask and the Abbot's lips
Many have been the sips and slips;
Many have been the draughts of wine,
On their way to his, that have stopped at mine;
And many a time my soul has hankered
For a deep draught out of his silver tankard,
When it should have been busy with other affairs,
Less with its longings and more with its prayers.
But now there is no such awkward condition,
No danger of death and eternal perdition;
So here's to the Abbot and Brothers all,
Who dwell in this convent of Peter and Paul!

(_He drinks._)

O cordial delicious! O soother of pain!
It flashes like sunshine into my brain!
A benison rest on the Bishop who sends
Such a fudder of wine as this to his friends!

And now a flagon for such as may ask
A draught from the noble Bacharach cask,
And I will be gone, though I know full well
The cellar's a cheerfuller place than the cell.
Behold where he stands, all sound and good,
Brown and old in his oaken hood;
Silent he seems externally
As any Carthusian monk may be;
But within, what a spirit of deep unrest!
What a seething and simmering in his breast!
As if the heaving of his great heart
Would burst his belt of oak apart!
Let me unloose this button of wood,
And quiet a little his turbulent mood.

(_Sets it running._)

See! how its currents gleam and shine,
As if they had caught the purple hues
Of autumn sunsets on the Rhine,
Descending and mingling with the dews;
Or as if the grapes were stained with the blood
Of the innocent boy, who, some years back,
Was taken and crucified by the Jews,
In that ancient town of Bacharach;
Perdition upon those infidel Jews,
In that ancient town of Bacharach!
The beautiful town, that gives us wine
With the fragrant odor of Muscadine!
I should deem it wrong to let this pass
Without first touching my lips to the glass,
For here in the midst of the current I stand,
Like the stone Pfalz in the midst of the river
Taking toll upon either hand,
And much more grateful to the giver.

(_He drinks._)

Here, now, is a very inferior kind,
Such as in any town you may find,
Such as one might imagine would suit
The rascal who drank wine out of a boot,
And, after all, it was not a crime,
For he won thereby Dorf Hueffelsheim.
A jolly old toper! who at a pull
Could drink a postilion's jack boot full,
And ask with a laugh, when that was done,
If the fellow had left the other one!
This wine is as good as we can afford
To the friars, who sit at the lower board,
And cannot distinguish bad from good,
And are far better off than if they could,
Being rather the rude disciples of beer
Than of anything more refined and dear!

(_Fills the other flagon and departs._)

* * * * *

THE SCRIPTORIUM.

FRIAR PACIFICUS _transcribing and illuminating._

_Friar Pacificus_ It is growing dark! Yet one line more,
And then my work for today is o'er.
I come again to the name of the Lord!
Ere I that awful name record,
That is spoken so lightly among men,
Let me pause awhile, and wash my pen;
Pure from blemish and blot must it be
When it writes that word of mystery!

Thus have I labored on and on,
Nearly through the Gospel of John.
Can it be that from the lips
Of this same gentle Evangelist,
That Christ himself perhaps has kissed,
Came the dread Apocalypse!
It has a very awful look,
As it stands there at the end of the book,
Like the sun in an eclipse.
Ah me! when I think of that vision divine,
Think of writing it, line by line,
I stand in awe of the terrible curse,
Like the trump of doom, in the closing verse!
God forgive me! if ever I
Take aught from the book of that Prophecy,
Lest my part too should be taken away
From the Book of Life on the Judgment Day.

This is well written, though I say it!
I should not be afraid to display it,
In open day, on the selfsame shelf
With the writings of St Thecla herself,
Or of Theodosius, who of old
Wrote the Gospels in letters of gold!
That goodly folio standing yonder,
Without a single blot or blunder,
Would not bear away the palm from mine,
If we should compare them line for line.

There, now, is an initial letter!
King Rene himself never made a better!
Finished down to the leaf and the snail,
Down to the eyes on the peacock's tail!
And now, as I turn the volume over,
And see what lies between cover and cover,
What treasures of art these pages hold,
All ablaze with crimson and gold,
God forgive me! I seem to feel
A certain satisfaction steal
Into my heart, and into my brain,
As if my talent had not lain
Wrapped in a napkin, and all in vain.
Yes, I might almost say to the Lord,
Here is a copy of thy Word,
Written out with much toil and pain;
Take it, O Lord, and let it be
As something I have done for thee!

(_He looks from the window._)

How sweet the air is! How fair the scene!
I wish I had as lovely a green
To paint my landscapes and my leaves!
How the swallows twitter under the eaves!
There, now, there is one in her nest;
I can just catch a glimpse of her head and breast,
And will sketch her thus, in her quiet nook,
In the margin of my Gospel book.

(_He makes a sketch._)

I can see no more. Through the valley yonder
A shower is passing; I hear the thunder
Mutter its curses in the air,
The Devil's own and only prayer!
The dusty road is brown with rain,
And speeding on with might and main,
Hitherward rides a gallant train.
They do not parley, they cannot wait,
But hurry in at the convent gate.
What a fair lady! and beside her
What a handsome, graceful, noble rider!
Now she gives him her hand to alight;
They will beg a shelter for the night.
I will go down to the corridor,
And try to see that face once more;
It will do for the face of some beautiful Saint,
Or for one of the Maries I shall paint.

(_Goes out._)

* * * * *

THE CLOISTERS.

* * * * *

_The_ ABBOT ERNESTUS _pacing to and fro._

_Abbot._ Slowly, slowly up the wall
Steals the sunshine, steals the shade;
Evening damps begin to fall,
Evening shadows are displayed.
Round me, o'er me, everywhere,
All the sky is grand with clouds,
And athwart the evening air
Wheel the swallows home in crowds.
Shafts of sunshine from the west
Paint the dusky windows red;
Darker shadows, deeper rest,
Underneath and overhead.
Darker, darker, and more wan,
In my breast the shadows fall;
Upward steals the life of man,
As the sunshine from the wall.
From the wall into the sky,
From the roof along the spire;
Ah, the souls of those that die
Are but sunbeams lifted higher.

(_Enter_ PRINCE HENRY.)

_Prince Henry._ Christ is arisen!

_Abbot._ Amen! he is arisen!
His peace be with you!

_Prince Henry._ Here it reigns forever!
The peace of God, that passeth understanding,
Reigns in these cloisters and these corridors,
Are you Ernestus, Abbot of the convent?

_Abbot._ I am.

_Prince Henry._ And I Prince Henry of Hoheneck,
Who crave your hospitality to-night.

_Abbot._ You are thrice welcome to our humble walls.
You do us honor; and we shall requite it,
I fear, but poorly, entertaining you
With Paschal eggs, and our poor convent wine,
The remnants of our Easter holidays.

_Prince Henry._ How fares it with the holy monks of Hirschau?
Are all things well with them?

_Abbot._ All things are well.

_Prince Henry._ A noble convent! I have known it long
By the report of travellers. I now see
Their commendations lag behind the truth.
You lie here in the valley of the Nagold
As in a nest: and the still river, gliding
Along its bed, is like an admonition
How all things pass. Your lands are rich and ample,
And your revenues large. God's benediction
Rests on your convent.

_Abbot._ By our charities
We strive to merit it. Our Lord and Master,
When he departed, left us in his will,
As our best legacy on earth, the poor!
These we have always with us; had we not,
Our hearts would grow as hard as are these stones.

_Prince Henry._ If I remember right, the Counts of Calva
Founded your convent.

_Abbot._ Even as you say.

_Prince Henry._ And, if I err not, it is very old.

_Abbot._ Within these cloisters lie already buried
Twelve holy Abbots. Underneath the flags
On which we stand, the Abbot William lies,
Of blessed memory.

_Prince Henry._ And whose tomb is that,
Which bears the brass escutcheon?

_Abbot._ A benefactor's.
Conrad, a Count of Calva, he who stood
Godfather to our bells.

_Prince Henry._ Your monks are learned
And holy men, I trust.

_Abbot._ There are among them
Learned and holy men. Yet in this age
We need another Hildebrand, to shake
And purify us like a mighty wind.
The world is wicked, and sometimes I wonder
God does not lose his patience with it wholly,
And shatter it like glass! Even here, at times,
Within these walls, where all should be at peace,
I have my trials. Time has laid his hand
Upon my heart, gently, not smiting it,
But as a harper lays his open palm
Upon his harp, to deaden its vibrations.
Ashes are on my head, and on my lips
Sackcloth, and in my breast a heaviness
And weariness of life, that makes me ready
To say to the dead Abbots under us,
'Make room for me!' Only I see the dusk
Of evening twilight coming, and have not
Completed half my task; and so at times
The thought of my shortcomings in this life
Falls like a shadow on the life to come.

_Prince Henry._ We must all die, and not the old alone;
The young have no exemption from that doom.

_Abbot._ Ah, yes! the young may die, but the old must!
That is the difference.

_Prince Henry._ I have heard much laud
Of your transcribers. Your Scriptorium
Is famous among all, your manuscripts
Praised for their beauty and their excellence.

_Abbot._ That is indeed our boast. If you desire it,
You shall behold these treasures. And meanwhile
Shall the Refectorarius bestow
Your horses and attendants for the night.

(_They go in. The Vesper-bell rings._)

* * * * *

THE CHAPEL.

* * * * *

_Vespers; after which the monks retire, a chorister
leading an old monk who is blind_.

_Prince Henry._ They are all gone, save one who lingers,
Absorbed in deep and silent prayer.
As if his heart could find no rest,
At times he beats his heaving breast
With clenched and convulsive fingers,
Then lifts them trembling in the air.
A chorister, with golden hair,
Guides hitherward his heavy pace.
Can it be so? Or does my sight
Deceive me in the uncertain light?
Ah no! I recognize that face,
Though Time has touched it in his flight,
And changed the auburn hair to white.
It is Count Hugo of the Rhine,
The deadliest foe of all our race,
And hateful unto me and mine!

_The Blind Monk_. Who is it that doth stand so near
His whispered words I almost hear?

_Prince Henry_. I am Prince Henry of Hoheneck,
And you, Count Hugo of the Rhine!
I know you, and I see the scar,
The brand upon your forehead, shine
And redden like a baleful star!

_The Blind Monk_. Count Hugo once, but now the wreck
Of what I was. O Hoheneck!
The passionate will, the pride, the wrath
That bore me headlong on my path,
Stumbled and staggered into fear,
And failed me in my mad career,
As a tired steed some evil-doer,
Alone upon a desolate moor,
Bewildered, lost, deserted, blind,
And hearing loud and close behind
The o'ertaking steps of his pursuer.
Then suddenly, from the dark there came
A voice that called me by my name,
And said to me, 'Kneel down and pray!'
And so my terror passed away,
Passed utterly away forever.
Contrition, penitence, remorse,
Came on me, with o'erwhelming force;
A hope, a longing, an endeavor,
By days of penance and nights of prayer,
To frustrate and defeat despair!
Calm, deep, and still is now my heart.
With tranquil waters overflowed;
A lake whose unseen fountains start,
Where once the hot volcano glowed.
And you, O Prince of Hoheneck!
Have known me in that earlier time,
A man of violence and crime,
Whose passions brooked no curb nor check.
Behold me now, in gentler mood,
One of this holy brotherhood.
Give me your hand; here let me kneel;
Make your reproaches sharp as steel;
Spurn me, and smite me on each cheek;
No violence can harm the meek,
There is no wound Christ cannot heal!
Yes; lift your princely hand, and take
Revenge, if 't is revenge you seek,
Then pardon me, for Jesus' sake!

_Prince Henry._ Arise, Count Hugo! let there be
No farther strife nor enmity
Between us twain; we both have erred!
Too rash in act, too wroth in word,
From the beginning have we stood
In fierce, defiant attitude,
Each thoughtless of the other's right,
And each reliant on his might.
But now our souls are more subdued;
The hand of God, and not in vain,
Has touched us with the fire of pain.
Let us kneel down, and side by side
Pray, till our souls are purified,
And pardon will not be denied!

(_They kneel._)

* * * * *

THE REFECTORY.

* * * * *

_Gaudiolum of Monks at midnight. LUCIFER disguised
as a Friar._

_Friar Paul (sings)._ Ave! color vini clari,
Dulcis potus, non aman,
Tua nos inebriari
Digneris potentia!

_Friar Cuthbert._ Not so much noise, my worthy freres,
You'll disturb the Abbot at his prayers.

_Friar Paul (sings)._ O! quam placens in colore!
O! quam fragrans in odore!
O! quam sapidum in ore!
Dulce linguse vinculum!

_Friar Cuthbert._ I should think your tongue had
broken its chain!

_Friar Paul (sings)._ Felix venter quern intrabis!
Felix guttur quod rigabis!
Felix os quod tu lavabis!
Et beata labia!

_Friar Cuthbert._ Peace! I say, peace!
Will you never cease!
You will rouse up the Abbot, I tell you again!

_Friar John._ No danger! to-night he will let us alone,
As I happen to know he has guests of his own.

_Friar Cuthbert._ Who are they?

_Friar John._ A German Prince and his train,
Who arrived here just before the rain.
There is with him a damsel fair to see,
As slender and graceful as a reed!
When she alighted from her steed,
It seemed like a blossom blown from a tree.

_Friar Cuthbert._ None of your pale-faced girls for me!

(_Kisses the girl at his side_.)

_Friar John._ Come, old fellow, drink down to your peg!
do not drink any farther, I beg!

_Friar Paul (sings)._ In the days of gold,
The days of old,
Cross of wood
And bishop of gold!

_Friar Cuthbert (to the girl)._ What an infernal racket and din!
No need not blush so, that's no sin.
You look very holy in this disguise,
Though there's something wicked in your eyes!

_Friar Paul (continues.)_ Now we have changed
That law so good,
To cross of gold
And bishop of wood!

_Friar Cuthbert._ I like your sweet face under a hood.
Sister! how came you into this way?

_Girl._ It was you, Friar Cuthbert, who led me astray.
Have you forgotten that day in June,
When the church was so cool in the afternoon,
And I came in to confess my sins?
That is where my ruin begins.

_Friar John._ What is the name of yonder friar,
With an eye that glows like a coal of fire,
And such a black mass of tangled hair?

_Friar Paul._ He who is sitting there,
With a rollicking,
Devil may care,
Free and easy look and air,
As if he were used to such feasting and frollicking?

_Friar John._ The same.

_Friar Paul._ He's a stranger. You had better ask his name,
And where he is going, and whence he came.

_Friar John._ Hallo! Sir Friar!

_Friar Paul._ You must raise your voice a little higher,
He does not seem to hear what you say.
Now, try again! He is looking this way.

_Friar John._ Hallo! Sir Friar,
We wish to inquire
Whence you came, and where you are going,
And anything else that is worth the knowing.
So be so good as to open your head.

_Lucifer._ I am a Frenchman born and bred,
Going on a pilgrimage to Rome.
My home
Is the convent of St. Gildas de Rhuys,
Of which, very like, you never have heard.

_Monks._ Never a word!

_Lucifer._ You must know, then, it is in the diocese
Called the Diocese of Vannes,
In the province of Brittany.
From the gray rocks of Morbihan
It overlooks the angry sea;
The very seashore where,
In his great despair,
Abbot Abelard walked to and fro,
Filling the night with woe,
And wailing aloud to the merciless seas
The name of his sweet Heloise!
Whilst overhead
The convent windows gleamed as red
As the fiery eyes of the monks within,
Who with jovial din
Gave themselves up to all kinds of sin!
Ha! that is a convent! that is an abbey!
Over the doors,
None of your death-heads carved in wood,
None of your Saints looking pious and good,
None of your Patriarchs old and shabby!
But the heads and tusks of boars,
And the cells
Hung all round with the fells
of the fallow-deer,
And then what cheer!
What jolly, fat friars,
Sitting round the great, roaring fires,
Roaring louder than they,
With their strong wines,
And their concubines,
And never a bell,
With its swagger and swell,
Calling you up with a start of affright
In the dead of night,
To send you grumbling down dark stairs,
To mumble your prayers,
But the cheery crow
Of cocks in the yard below,
After daybreak, an hour or so,
And the barking of deep-mouthed hounds,
These are the sounds
That, instead of bells, salute the ear.
And then all day
Up and away
Through the forest, hunting the deer!
Ah, my friends! I'm afraid that here
You are a little too pious, a little too tame,
And the more is the shame,
It is the greatest folly
Not to be jolly;
That's what I think!
Come, drink, drink,
Drink, and die game!

_Monks,_ And your Abbot What's-his-name?

_Lucifer._ Abelard!

_Monks._ Did he drink hard?

_Lucifer._ O, no! Not he!
He was a dry old fellow,
Without juice enough to get thoroughly mellow.
There he stood,
Lowering at us in sullen mood,
As if he had come into Brittany
Just to reform our brotherhood!

(_A roar of laughter_.)

But you see
It never would do!
For some of us knew a thing or two,
In the Abbey of St. Gildas de Rhuys!
For instance, the great ado
With old Fulbert's niece,
The young and lovely Heloise!

_Friar John._ Stop there, if you please,
Till we drink to the fair Heloise.

_All (drinking and shouting)._ Heloise! Heloise!

(_The Chapel-bell tolls_.)

_Lucifer (starting)._ What is that bell for? Are you such asses
As to keep up the fashion of midnight masses?

_Friar Cuthbert._ It is only a poor, unfortunate brother,
Who is gifted with most miraculous powers
Of getting up at all sorts of hours,
And, by way of penance and Christian meekness,
Of creeping silently out of his cell
To take a pull at that hideous bell;
So that all the monks who are lying awake
May murmur some kind of prayer for his sake,
And adapted to his peculiar weakness!

_Friar John._ From frailty and fall--

_All._ Good Lord, deliver us all!

_Friar Cuthbert._ And before the bell for matins sounds,
He takes his lantern, and goes the rounds,
Flashing it into our sleepy eyes,
Merely to say it is time to arise.
But enough of that. Go on, if you please,
With your story about St. Gildas de Rhuys.

_Lucifer._ Well, it finally came to pass
That, half in fun and half in malice,
One Sunday at Mass
We put some poison into the chalice.
But, either by accident or design,
Peter Abelard kept away
From the chapel that day,
And a poor, young friar, who in his stead
Drank the sacramental wine,
Fell on the steps of the altar, dead!
But look! do you see at the window there
That face, with a look of grief and despair,
That ghastly face, as of one in pain?

_Monks._ Who? where?

_Lucifer._ As I spoke, it vanished away again.

_Friar Cuthbert._ It is that nefarious
Siebald the Refectorarius.
That fellow is always playing the scout,
Creeping and peeping and prowling about;
And then he regales
The Abbot with Scandalous tales.

_Lucifer_. A spy in the convent? One of the brothers
Telling scandalous tales of the others?
Out upon him, the lazy loon!
I would put a stop to that pretty soon,
In a way he should rue it.

_Monks_. How shall we do it?

_Lucifer_. Do you, brother Paul,
Creep under the window, close to the wall,
And open it suddenly when I call.
Then seize the villain by the hair,
And hold him there,
And punish him soundly, once for all.

_Friar Cuthbert_. As St. Dustan of old,
We are told,
Once caught the Devil by the nose!

_Lucifer_. Ha! ha! that story is very clever,
But has no foundation whatsoever.
Quick! for I see his face again
Glaring in at the window pane;
Now! now! and do not spare your blows.

(FRIAR PAUL _opens the window suddenly, and seizes_
SIEBALD. _They beat him._)

_Friar Siebald_. Help! help! are you going to slay me?

_Friar Paul_. That will teach you again to betray me!

_Friar Siebald_. Mercy! mercy!

_Friar Paul_ (_shouting and beating_). Rumpas bellorum lorum,
Vim confer amorum
Morum verorum, rorun.
Tu plena polorum!

_Lucifer_. Who stands in the doorway yonder,
Stretching out his trembling hand,
Just as Abelard used to stand,
The flash of his keen, black eyes
Forerunning the thunder?

_The Monks (in confusion)_. The Abbot! the
Abbot!

_Friar Cuthbert (to the girl)_. Put on your disguise!

_Friar Francis_. Hide the great flagon
From the eyes of the dragon!

_Friar Cuthbert_. Pull the brown hood over your face,
Lest you bring me into disgrace!

_Abbot_. What means this revel and carouse?
Is this a tavern and drinking-house?
Are you Christian monks, or heathen devils,
To pollute this convent with your revels?
Were Peter Damian still upon earth,
To be shocked by such ungodly mirth,
He would write your names, with pen of gall,
In his Book of Gomorrah, one and all!
Away, you drunkards! to your cells,
And pray till you hear the matin-bells;
You, Brother Francis, and you, Brother Paul!
And as a penance mark each prayer
With the scourge upon your shoulders bare;
Nothing atones for such a sin
But the blood that follows the discipline.
And you, Brother Cuthbert, come with me
Alone into the sacristy;
You, who should be a guide to your brothers,
And are ten times worse than all the others,
For you I've a draught that has long been brewing
You shall do a penance worth the doing!
Away to your prayers, then, one and all!
I wonder the very, convent wall
Does not crumble and crush you in its fall!

* * * * *

THE NEIGHBORING NUNNERY.

* * * * *

_The_ ABBESS IRMINGARD _sitting with_ ELSIE _in the
moonlight._

_Irmingard_ The night is silent, the wind is still,
The moon is looking from yonder hill
Down upon convent, and grove, and garden;
The clouds have passed away from her face,
Leaving behind them no sorrowful trace,
Only the tender and quiet grace
Of one, whose heart had been healed with pardon!

And such am I. My soul within
Was dark with passion and soiled with sin.
But now its wounds are healed again;
Gone are the anguish, the terror, and pain;
For across that desolate land of woe,
O'er whose burning sands I was forced to go,
A wind from heaven began to blow;
And all my being trembled and shook,
As the leaves of the tree, or the grass of the field,
And I was healed, as the sick are healed,
When fanned by the leaves of the Holy Book!

As thou sittest in the moonlight there,
Its glory flooding thy golden hair,
And the only darkness that which lies
In the haunted chambers of thine eyes,
I feel my soul drawn unto thee,
Strangely, and strongly, and more and more,
As to one I have known and loved before;
For every soul is akin to me
That dwells in the land of mystery!
I am the Lady Irmingard,
Born of a noble race and name!
Many a wandering Suabian bard,
Whose life was dreary, and bleak, and hard,
Has found through me the way to fame.
Brief and bright were those days, and the night
Which followed was full of a lurid light.
Love, that of every woman's heart
Will have the whole, and not a part,
That is to her, in Nature's plan,
More than ambition is to man,
Her light, her life, her very breath,
With no alternative but death,
Found me a maiden soft and young,
Just from the convent's cloistered school,
And seated on my lowly stool,
Attentive while the minstrels sung.

Gallant, graceful, gentle, tall,
Fairest, noblest, best of all,
Was Walter of the Vogelweid,
And, whatsoever may betide,
Still I think of him with pride!
His song was of the summer-time
The very birds sang in his rhyme;
The sunshine, the delicious air,
The fragrance of the flowers, were there,
And I grew restless as I heard,
Restless and buoyant as a bird,
Down soft, aerial currents sailing,
O'er blossomed orchards, and fields in bloom,
And through the momentary gloom
Of shadows o'er the landscape trailing,
Yielding and borne I knew not where,
But feeling resistance unavailing.

And thus, unnoticed and apart,
And more by accident than choice.
I listened to that single voice
Until the chambers of my heart
Were filled with it by night and day,
One night,--it was a night in May,--
Within the garden, unawares,
Under the blossoms in the gloom,
I heard it utter my own name
With protestations and wild prayers;
And it rang through me, and became
Like the archangel's trump of doom,
Which the soul hears, and must obey;
And mine arose as from a tomb.
My former life now seemed to me
Such as hereafter death may be,
When in the great Eternity
We shall awake and find it day.

It was a dream, and would not stay;
A dream, that in a single night
Faded and vanished out of sight.
My father's anger followed fast
This passion, as a freshening blast
Seeks out and fans the fire, whose rage
It may increase, but not assuage.
And he exclaimed: 'No wandering bard
Shall win thy hand, O Irmingard!
For which Prince Henry of Hoheneck
By messenger and letter sues.'

Gently, but firmly, I replied:
'Henry of Hoheneck I discard!
Never the hand of Irmingard
Shall lie in his as the hand of a bride!'
This said I, Walter, for thy sake:
This said I, for I could not choose.
After a pause, my father spake
In that cold and deliberate tone
Which turns the hearer into stone,
And seems itself the act to be
That follows with such dread certainty;
'This, or the cloister and the veil!'
No other words than these he said,
But they were like a funeral wail;
My life was ended, my heart was dead.

That night from the castle-gate went down,
With silent, slow, and stealthy pace,
Two shadows, mounted on shadowy steeds,
Taking the narrow path that leads
Into the forest dense and brown,
In the leafy darkness of the place,
One could not distinguish form nor face,
Only a bulk without a shape,
A darker shadow in the shade;
One scarce could say it moved or stayed,
Thus it was we made our escape!
A foaming brook, with many a bound,
Followed us like a playful hound;
Then leaped before us, and in the hollow
Paused, and waited for us to follow,
And seemed impatient, and afraid
That our tardy flight should be betrayed
By the sound our horses' hoof-beats made,
And when we reached the plain below,
He paused a moment and drew rein
To look back at the castle again;
And we saw the windows all aglow
With lights, that were passing to and fro;
Our hearts with terror ceased to beat;
The brook crept silent to our feet;
We knew what most we feared to know.
Then suddenly horns began to blow;
And we heard a shout, and a heavy tramp,
And our horses snorted in the damp
Night-air of the meadows green and wide,
And in a moment, side by side,
So close, they must have seemed but one,
The shadows across the moonlight run,
And another came, and swept behind,
Like the shadow of clouds before the wind!

How I remember that breathless flight
Across the moors, in the summer night!
How under our feet the long, white road
Backward like a river flowed,
Sweeping with it fences and hedges,
Whilst farther away, and overhead,
Paler than I, with fear and dread,
The moon fled with us, as we fled
Along the forest's jagged edges!

All this I can remember well;
But of what afterward befell
I nothing farther can recall
Than a blind, desperate, headlong fall;
The rest is a blank and darkness all.
When I awoke out of this swoon,
The sun was shining, not the moon,
Making a cross upon the wall
With the bars of my windows narrow and tall;
And I prayed to it, as I had been wont to pray,
From early childhood, day by day,
Each morning, as in bed I lay!
I was lying again in my own room!
And I thanked God, in my fever and pain,
That those shadows on the midnight plain
Were gone, and could not come again!
I struggled no longer with my doom!
This happened many years ago.
I left my father's home to come
Like Catherine to her martyrdom,
For blindly I esteemed it so.
And when I heard the convent door
Behind me close, to ope no more,
I felt it smite me like a blow,
Through all my limbs a shudder ran,
And on my bruised spirit fell
The dampness of my narrow cell
As night-air on a wounded man,
Giving intolerable pain.

But now a better life began,
I felt the agony decrease
By slow degrees, then wholly cease,
Ending in perfect rest and peace!
It was not apathy, nor dulness,
That weighed and pressed upon my brain,
But the same passion I had given
To earth before, now turned to heaven
With all its overflowing fulness.

Alas! the world is full of peril!
The path that runs through the fairest meads,
On the sunniest side of the valley, leads
Into a region bleak and sterile!
Alike in the high-born and the lowly,
The will is feeble, and passion strong.
We cannot sever right from wrong;
Some falsehood mingles with all truth;
Nor is it strange the heart of youth
Should waver and comprehend but slowly
The things that are holy and unholy!

But in this sacred and calm retreat,
We are all well and safely shielded
From winds that blow, and waves that beat,
From the cold, and rain, and blighting heat,
To which the strongest hearts have yielded.
Here we stand as the Virgins Seven,
For our celestial bridegroom yearning;
Our hearts are lamps forever burning,
With a steady and unwavering flame,
Pointing upward, forever the same,
Steadily upward toward the Heaven!

The moon is hidden behind a cloud;
A sudden darkness fills the room,
And thy deep eyes, amid the gloom,
Shine like jewels in a shroud.
On the leaves is a sound of falling rain;
A bird, awakened in its nest,
Gives a faint twitter of unrest,
Then smoothes its plumes and sleeps again.

No other sounds than these I hear;
The hour of midnight must be near.
Thou art o'erspent with the day's fatigue
Of riding many a dusty league;
Sink, then, gently to thy slumber;
Me so many cares encumber,
So many ghosts, and forms of fright,
Have started from their graves to-night,
They have driven sleep from mine eyes away:
I will go down to the chapel and pray.

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