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Men from the Northland,
Men from the Southland,
Haste empty-handed;
No more than manhood
Bring they, and hands.

Dark hair and fair hair, Red blood and blue blood, There shall be mingled; Force of the ferment Makes the New Man.

Pick of all kindreds,
Kings' blood shall theirs be,
Shoots of the eldest
Stock upon Midgard,
Sons of the poor.

Four weeks they sailed, a speck in sky-shut

seas, Life, where was never life that knew itself, But tumbled lubber-like in blowing whales; Thought, where the like had never been

before Since Thought primeval brooded the abyss; Alone as men were never in the world. They saw the icy foundlings of the sea, White cliffs of silence, beautiful by day, Or looming, sudden-perilous, at night In monstrous bush; or sometimes in the dark The waves broke ominous with paly gleams Crushed by the prow in sparkles of cold fire. Then came green stripes of sea that prom

ised land But brought it not, and on the thirtieth day Low in the west were wooded shores like

cloud. They shouted as men shout with sudden

hope; But Biörn was silent, such strange loss

there is Between the dream's fulfilment and the

dream, Such sad abatement in the goal attained. Then Gudrida, that was a prophetess, Rapt with strange influence from Atlantis,

sang: Her words: the vision was the dreaming


Them waits the New Land;
They shall subdue it,
Leaving their sons' sons
Space for the body,
Space for the soul.

Leaving their sons' sons All things save song-craft, Plant long in growing, Thrusting its tap-root Deep in the Gone.

Here men shall grow up Strong from self-helping; Eyes for the present Bring they as eagles', Blind to the Past.

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So his iron mace he lifted, smote with

might and main, And the idol, on the pavement tumbling,

burst in twain.

“ He seeks not me, but I seek oft in vain For bim who shall my voiceful reeds con


And make them utter their melodious pain; He flies the immortal gift, for well be

knows His life of life must with its overflows Flood the unthankful pipe, nor come again.

• Thou fool, who dost my harmless subjects

wrong, 'T is not the singer's wish that makes the

song: The rhythmic beauty wanders dumb, how

long, Nor stoops to any daintiest instrument, Till, found its mated lips, their sweet con

sent Makes mortal breath than Time and Fate

more strong."

And this fount, its sole daughter,
To the woodland was granted
To pour holy water
And win benediction;
In summer-noon flushes,
When all the wood hushes,
Blue dragon-flies knitting
To and fro in the sun,
With sidelong jerk flitting
Sink down on the rushes,
And, motionless sitting,
Hear it bubble and run,
Hear its low inward singing,
With level wings swinging
On green tasselled rushes,
To dream in the sun.



This poem, written apparently in the winter of 1849–50, was to have been included in the projected work, The Nooning.


'Tis a woodland enchanted !
By no sadder spirit
Than blackbirds and thrushes,
That whistle to cheer it
All day in the bushes,
This woodland is haunted:
And in a small clearing,
Beyond sight or hearing
Of human annoyance,
The little fount gushes,
First smoothly, then dashes
And gurgles and flashes,
To the maples and ashes
Confiding its joyance;
Unconscious confiding,
Then, silent and glossy,
Slips winding and hiding
Through alder-stems mossy,
Through gossamer roots
Fine as nerves,
That tremble, as shoots
Through their magnetized curves
The allurement delicious
Of the water's capricious
Thrills, gushes, and swerves.

'T is a woodland enchanted !

a The great August noonlight ! Through myriad rifts slanted, Leaf and bole thickly sprinkles With flickering gold; There, in warm August gloaming, With quick, silent brightenings, From meadow-lands roaming, The firefly twinkles His fitful heat-lightnings; There the magical moonlight With meek, saintly glory Steeps summit and wold; There whippoorwills plain in the soli

tudes boary With lone cries that wander Now hither, now yonder, Like souls doomed of old To a mild purgatory; But through noonlight and moonlight The little fount tinkles Its silver saints’-bells, That no sprite ill-boding May make his abode in Those innocent dells.


'T is a woodland enchanted !
When the phebe scarce whistles
Once an hour to his fellow,
And, where red lilies flaunted,
Balloons from the thistles
Tell summer's disasters,
The butterflies yellow,
As canght in an eddy
Of air's silent ocean,


'T is a woodland enchanted ! I am writing no fiction;

Sink, waver, and steady
O'er goats’-beard and asters,
Like souls of dead flowers,
With aimless emotion
Still lingering unready
To leave their old bowers;
And the fount is no dumber,
But still gleams and flashes,
And gurgles and plashes,
To the measure of summer;
The butterflies hear it,
And spell-bound are holden,
Still balancing near it
O’er the goats-beard so golden.

And o'er it
A birch hangs delighted,
Dipping, dipping, dipping its tremulous

Pure as the fountain, once
I came to the place,
(How dare I draw nearer ?)
Ì bent o'er its mirror,
And saw a child's face
Mid locks of bright gold in it;
Yes, pure as this fountain once-
Since, how much error!
Too holy a mirror
For the man to behold in it
His harsh, bearded countenance!


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Have sway;

'T is a woodland enchanted!
A vast silver willow,
I know not how planted,
(This wood is enchanted,
Ànd full of surprises,)
Stands stemming a billow,
A motionless billow
Of ankle-deep mosses;
Two great roots it crosses
To make a round basin,
And there the Fount rises;
Ah, too pure a mirror
For one sick of error
To see his sad face in!
No dew-drop is stiller
In its lupin-leaf setting
Than this water moss-bounded;
But a tiny sand-pillar
From the bottom keeps jetting,
And mermaid ne'er sounded
Through the wreaths of a shell,
Down amid crimson dulses
In some cavern of ocean,
A melody sweeter
Than the delicate pulses,
The soft, noiseless metre,
The pause and the swell
Of that musical motion:
I recall it, not see it;
Could vision be clearer ?
Half I 'm fain to draw nearer
Half tempted to flee it;
The sleeping Past wake not,
One forward step take not,
Ah! break not
That quietude rare!
By my step unaffrighted
A thrush hops before it,

Luck flees from the cold one, But leaps to the bold one Half-way; Why should I be daunted ? Still the smooth mirror glances, Still the amber sand dances, One look, then away! O magical glass! Canst keep in thy bosom Shades of leaf and of blossom When summer days pass, So that when thy wave hardens It shapes as it pleases, Unharmed by the breezes, Its fine hanging gardens ? Hast those in thy keeping, And canst not uncover, Enchantedly sleeping, The old shade of thy lover? It is there! I have found it! He wakes, the long sleeper! The pool is grown deeper, The sand dance is ending, The white floor sinks, blending With skies that below me Are deepening and bending, And a child's face alone That seems not to know me, With hair that fades golden In the heaven-glow round it, Looks up at my own; Ah, glimpse through the portal

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