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They wrote the story on a column,
And on the great church-window painted
The same, to make the world acquainted
How their children were stolen away,
And there it stands to this very day.
And I must not omit to say
That in Transylvania there's a tribe
Of alien people who ascribe
The outlandish ways and dress
On which their neighbours lay such stress,
To their fathers and mothers having risen
Out of some subterraneous prison
Into which they were trepanned
Long time ago in a mighty band
Out of Hamelin town in Brunswick land,
But how or why, they don't understand.

So, Willy, let me and you be wipers
Of scores out with all men-especially pipers !
And, whether they pipe us free from rats or

from mice,
If we've promised them aught, let us keep our



[164] I SPRANG to the stirrup, and Joris, and he; II galloped, Dirck galloped, we galloped all three; “Good speed!” cried the watch, as the gate-bolts un

drew; “Speed!" echoed the wall to us galloping through; Behind shut the postern, the lights sank to rest, And into the midnight we galloped abreast.

Not a word to each other; we kept the great pace Neck by neck, stride by stride, never changing our

place; I turned in my saddle and made its girths tight, Then shortened each stirrup, and set the pique right, Rebuckled the cheek-strap, chained slacker the bit, Nor galloped less steadily Roland a whit.

'Twas moonset at starting; but while we drew near
Lokern, the cocks crew and twilight dawned clear;
At Boom, a great yellow star came out to see;
At Düffield, 'twas morning as plain as could be;
And from Mecheln church-steeple we heard the half-

So Joris broke silence with, “Yet there is time!"

At Aerschot, up leaped of a sudden the sun,
And against him the cattle stood black every one,
To stare thro' the mist at us galloping past,
And I saw my stout galloper Roland at last,
With resolute shoulders, each butting away
The haze, as some bluff river headland its spray.
And his low head and crest, just one sharp ear bent

For my voice, and the other pricked out on his track;
And one eye's black intelligence,-ever that glance
O'er its white edge at me, his own master, askance!
And the thick heavy spume-flakes which aye and anon
His fierce lips shook upwards in galloping on.
By Hasselt, Dirck groaned; and cried Joris, “Stay

spur! “Your Roos galloped bravely, the fault's not in her, "We'll remember at Aix"—for one heard the quick

wheeze Of her chest, saw the stretched neck and staggering


And sunk tail, and horrible heave of the flank,
As down on her haunches she shuddered and sank.

So we were left galloping, Joris and I,
Past Looz and past Tongres, no cloud in the sky;
The broad sun above laughed a pitiless laugh,
'Neath our feet broke the brittle bright stubble like

chaff; Till over by Dalhem a dome-spire sprang white, And “Gallop,” gasped Joris, "for Aix is in sight!"

“How they'll greet us!"-and all in a moment his roan Rolled neck and croup over, lay dead as a stone; And there was my Roland to bear the whole weight Of the news which alone could save Aix from her fate, With his nostrils like pits full of blood to the brim, And with circles of red for his eye-sockets' rim.

Then I cast loose my buffcoat, each holster let fall.
Shook off both my jack-boots, let go belt and all,
Stood up in the stirrup, leaned, patted his ear,
Called my Roland his pet-name, my horse without

peer; Clapped my hands, laughed and sang, any noise, bad

or good, Till at length into Aix Roland galloped and stood.

And all I remember is, friends flocking round
As I sate with his head 'twixt my knees on the ground,
And no voice but was praising this Roland of mine,
As I poured down his throat our last measure of wine,
Which (the burgesses voted by common consent)
Was no more than his due who brought good news

from Ghent.

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Florence, 15— I COULD have painted pictures like that youth's 1 Ye praise so. How my soul springs up! No bar Stayed me—ah, thought which saddens while it

soothes! -Never did fate forbid me, star by star, To outburst on your night with all my gift

Of fires from God: nor would my flesh have shrunk From seconding my soul, with eyes uplift

And wide to heaven, or, straight like thunder, sunk To the centre, of an instant; or around

Turned calmly and inquisitive, to scan The licence and the limit, space and bound,

Allowed to truth made visible in man. And, like that youth ye praise so, all I saw,

Over the canvas could my hand have flung, Each face obedient to its passion's law,

Each passion clear proclaimed without a tongue; . Whether Hope rose at once in all the blood,

A-tiptoe for the blessing of embrace,
Or Rapture drooped the eyes, as when her brood

Pull down the nesting dove's heart to its place;
Or Confidence lit swift the forehead up,

And locked the mouth fast, like a castle braved, O human faces, hath it split, my cup?

What did ye give me that I have not saved?
Nor will I say I have not dreamed (how well!)

Of going—1, in each new picture, -forth,
As, making new hearts beat and bosoms swell,

To Pope or Kaiser, East, West, South, or North, Bound for the calmly-satisfied great State,

Or glad aspiring little burgh, it went,
Flowers cast upon the car which bore the freight,

Through old streets named afresh from the event, Till it reached home, where learned age should greet My face, and youth, the star not yet distinct

Above his hair, lie learning at my feet!

Oh, thus to live, I and my picture, linked With love about, and praise, till life should end,

And then not go to heaven, but linger here, Here on my earth, earth's every man my friend,

The thought grew frightful, 'twas so wildly dear! But a voice changed it. Glimpses of such sights

Have scared me, like the revels through a door Of some strange house of idols at its rites!

This world seemed not the world it was before: Mixed with my loving trusting ones, there trooped

... Who summoned those cold faces that begun To press on me and judge me? Though I stooped

Shrinking, as from the soldiery a nun,
They drew me forth, and spite of me... enough!

These buy and sell our pictures, take and give,
Count them for garniture and household-stuff,

And where they live needs must our pictures live And see their faces, listen to their prate,

Partakers of their daily pettiness, Discussed of,—“This I love, or this I hate,

“This likes me more, and this affects me less!" Wherefore I chose my portion. If at whiles

My heart sinks, as monotonous I paint These endless cloisters and eternal aisles

With the same series, Virgin, Babe and Saint, With the same cold calm beautiful regard,

At least no merchant traffics in my heart; The sanctuary's gloom at least shall ward

Vain tongues from where my pictures stand apart: Only prayer breaks the silence of the shrine

While, blackening in the daily candle-smoke, They moulder on the damp wall's travertine,

'Mid echoes the light footstep never woke. So, die my pictures! surely, gently die!

O youth,men praise so,-holds their praise its worth? Blown harshly, keeps the trump its golden cry?

Tastes sweet the water with such specks of earth?

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