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She has a bosom as white as snow,
She knows how much it is best to show,
Trust her not,
She is fooling thee.
She gives thee a garland woven fair,
It is a fool's cap for thee to wear,
Trust her not,
She is fooling thee!
The Gnipen, or Wood-Spirit.
A NORWEGIAN LEGEND.
In the twilight morn of the waning year
And his tread you might hear o'er the leaves dry
From Drontheim towards the north.
Lustily sang he, I trow, and well;
Nor of man nor of ghost had he fear:
For the monk he may dwell in Drontheim's cell,
But Swain's is the forest drear.
And still as he goes the green trees fade-
But the Gnipen he marked him as he stood
And the boughs so good of the merry greenwood, They trembled as he spoke.
"Now by our joyous greenwood king,
Who loves old Norway's pine,
The birds they shall sing where green boughs spring, For all that axe of thine."
The Gnipen has donned him a cowl so grey-
And he said, "By my fay, the woodsman to-day
So Swain, he took of his woodsman's food
When by him there stood, in the merry greenwood,
A monk in his sandalled shoon.
"O tell me, O tell me, thou woodsman bold,
O tell me eftsoon, I pray :
For since bells have toll'd o'er wood and o'er wold When monks arise to pray,
"I have wander'd alone in the greenwood bower;
"Little reck I of the monkish vow,
Of thy cowl, and thy beads so fair;
Though in cloister, I trow, there is feasting enow, And the forest is wild and bare.
"Yet an thou hadst toiled one day with me To cleave the gnarled oak,
Small woe would it be 'neath the greenwood tree To roam since morning broke."
"Though I bear of St. Francis the rigid yoke
And, woodsman, my stroke might fell the oak,
Then loud laughed Swain, in scornful cheer:
"But fells it yon oak ere close of day,
Whose branches o'er us tower,
May the Gnipen grey bear my soul away
At the chime of evening hour!"
He recked not that friar of his smile or his frown, And never word he spoke;
But he sat him down in the shadow brown
Of the lofty gnarled oak.
Now sank the sun to northern men,
And sank on Drontheim's tower;
And there wanted then but nine strokes or ten To the chime of evening hour.
Then sprang from the ground that friar, and spake, As his axe on high did shine :
"For my rule I'll take, and the greenwood's sake, This single stroke of mine."
The oak he has struck it but once and no more,
And it fell with the roar on the rocky shore
And darker grew that friar grey,
And tall as Drontheim's tower;
And he vanish'd away with Swain that day,
And he set him on high in the forest drear,
And still as the hailstones o'er him patter,
He hears the loud clatter, while still his teeth chatter,
In the biting evening blast.
Robin Hood and the Bishop.
SOME they will talk of bold Robin Hood,
And some of barons bold;
But I'll tell you how he serv'd the bishop of Hereford,
When he robb'd him of his gold.
As it befel in merry Barnsdale,
All under the green-wood tree,
The bishop of Hereford was to come by,
"Come, kill me a ven'son," said bold Robin Hood, "Come, kill me a good fat deer,
The bishop of Hereford is to dine with me to-day, And he shall pay well for his cheer."
"We'll kill a fat ven'son," said bold Robin Hood, "And dress it by the highway side;
And we will watch the bishop narrowly,
Robin Hood dress'd himself in shepherd's attire,
And, when the bishop of Hereford came by,
"O what is the matter?" then said the bishop,
"Or for whom do you make this a-do?
Or why do you kill the king's ven❜son,