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"Well knew I my fair sister, and her unforgotten


Strange meeting one so beautiful in that bewildering place!

And like two solitary rills that by themselves flowed on,

And had been long divided—we melted into one.

"When that the shower was all wept out of our delightful tears,

And love rose in our hearts that had been buried there for years,

You well may think another shower straightway began to fall,

Even for our mother and our home to leave that heavenly hall!

"I may not tell the sobbing and weeping that was


And how the mortal Nourice left her Fairy in


But promised duly every year to visit the sad


As soon as by the forest-side the first pale primrose smiled.

"While they two were embracing, the palace it was gone,

And I and my dear sister stood by the Great Burial Stone;

While both of us our river saw in twilight glimmering by,

And knew at once the dark Cairngoun in his own silent sky."

The child hath long been speaking to one who may not hear,

For a deadly joy came suddenly upon a deadly fear, And though the mother fell not down, she lay on Mhairi's breast,

And her face was white as that of one whose soul has gone to rest.

She sits beneath the elder-shade in that long mortal


And piteously on her wan cheek looks down the gentle moon;

And when her senses are restored, whom sees she at her side,

But her believed in childhood to have wandered off and died!

In these small hands, so lily-white, is water from the spring,

And a grateful coolness drops from it as from an angel's wing,

And to her mother's pale lips her rosy lips are laid, While these long soft eyelashes drop tears on her hoary head.

She stirs not in her child's embrace, but yields her old grey hairs

Unto the heavenly dew of tears, the heavenly breath of prayers—

No voice hath she to bless her child till that strong fit go by,

But gazeth on the long-lost face, and then upon

the sky.

The Sabbath-morn was beautiful-and the long Sabbath-day

The evening-star rose beautiful when daylight died


Morn, day, and twilight, this lone glen flow'd over with delight,

But the fulness of all mortal joy hath bless'd the Sabbath-night.


A Harvest Song.

SICKLES Sound; on the ground
Fast the ripe ears fall

Every maiden's bonnet has blue blossoms on it-
Joy is over all.

Sickles ring,

Maidens sing

To the sickle's sound
Till the moon is beaming,
And the stubble gleaming,
Harvest songs go round.

All are springing,
All are singing

Every lisping thing;

Man and master meet:

From one dish they eat;

Each is now a king.

Hans and Michael
Whet the sickle,

Piping merrily.

Now they mow; each maiden
Soon with sheaves is laden,
Busy as a bee!

Now the blisses,

Now the kisses

Now the wit doth flow,
Till the beer is out;

Then with song and shout,

Hence they go, yo ho!

The First White Tress.

A SILVER tress is 'mid thy hair,

I never saw before,

The first that time hath woven there
To warn thee youth is o'er.

But think not I can love thee less,
Because thy youth departs;

Ah! no, that little silver tress
More closely binds our hearts.

It is decreed that youth must pass,
Why should it be deplored?
For in our child (as in a glass)
I see thy charms restored.


Thy gentle smile plays o'er her face,

And nut-brown is her hair:

Like thine, sweet love, ere I could trace
One tress of silver there.

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Christmas comes but once a year.

THOSE Christmas bells as sweetly chime,
As on the day when first they rung
So merrily in the olden time,

And far and wide their music flung,
Shaking the tall, grey, ivied tower
With all their deep melodious power;
They still proclaim to every ear,
Old Christmas comes but once a year.

And he came singing through the woods, And pluck'd the holly bright and green; Pull'd here and there the ivy buds;

Was sometimes hidden, sometimes seenHalf buried 'neath the mistletoe,

His long beard hung with flakes of snow;
And still he ever caroll'd clear,

Old Christmas comes but once a year.

The hall was then with holly crown'd,
'Twas on the wild-deer's antlers placed;
It hemm'd the batter'd armour round,
And every ancient trophy graced.


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