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The cat sits purring at her side, bees hum in sunshine

warm ; But look! she starts, she lifts her face, she shades

it with her arm. And hark! a train of horsemen, with sound of dog

and horn Come leaping o'er the ditches, come trampling down

the corn! Merrily rang the bridle reins, and scarf and plume

streamed gay, As fast beside her father's gate the riders held their

way ; And one was brave in scarlet cloak, with golden spur

on heel, And as he checked his foaming steed the maiden

checked her wheel. “All hail among thy roses, the fairest rose to me! For weary months in secret my heart has longed for

thee!What noble knight was this? What words for

modest maiden's ear? She dropped a lowly courtesy of bashfulness and fear. She lifted up her spinning-wheel; she fain would

seek the door, Trembling in every limb, her cheek with blushes

crimsoned o'er. “Nay, fear me not,” the rider said, “ I offer heart

and hand, Bear witness there, good Danish knights, who round

about me stand. “I grant you time to think of this, to answer as you may, For to-morrow, little Elsie, shall bring another day.' He spoke the old phrase slyly, as glancing round

his train He saw his merry followers seek to hide their smiles

in vain.

“The snow of pearls I'll scatter in your curls of

golden hair, I'll line with fur the velvets of the kirtle that you wear; All precious gems shall twine your neck, and in a

chariot gay

You shall ride, my little Elsie, behind four steeds of

grey. And harps shall sound, and flutes shall play, and

brazen lamps shall glow, On marble floors your feet shall weave the dances to

and fro, At frosty eventide for us the blazing hearth shall

shine, While, at our ease, we play at draughts, and drink

the blood-red wine.' Then Elsie raised her head and met the wooer face

to face; A roguish smile shone in her eye, and on her lip found

place, Back from her low white forehead the curls of gold

she threw, And lifted


eyes to his, steady and clearand blue. “I am a lowly peasant, and you a gallant knight, I will not trust a love that soon may cool and turn and

slight, If you would keep me, henceforth be a peasant, not

a lord ; I bid you hang upon the wall your tried and trusted

sword.” To please you, Elsie, I will lay keen Dynadal away, And in its place will swing the scythe and mow your

father's hay.” “Nay, but your gallant scarlet cloak my eyes can

never bear; A Vadmal coat, so plain and grey, is all that you

must wear,


“Well, Vadmal will I wear for you,” the rider gaily

spoke, And on the Lord's high altar I'll lay my scarlet

cloak." “ But mark,” she said, “no stately horse my peasant

love must ride, A yoke of steers before the plough is all that he must

guide.” The knight looked down upon his steed: “Well, let

him wander free; No other man must ride the horse that has been

backed by me. Henceforth I'll tread the furrow, and to thy oxen talk, If only little Elsie beside my plough will walk.” You must take from out your cellar cask of wine and

flask and can; The homely mead I brew you may serve a peasant Most willingly, fair Elsie, I'll drink that mead of

thine, And leave my minstrel's thirsty throat to drain my

generous wine." “Now break your shield asunder, and shatter sign

and boss, Unmeet for peasant-wedded arms, your knightly

knee across, And pull me down your castle from top to basement wall, And let your plough track furrows in the ruins of your

hall!” Then smiled he with a lofty pride ; right well at last

he knew The maiden of the spinning-wheel was to his troth

plight true. “Ah, roguish little Elsie! you act your part quite well; You know that I must bear my shield, and in my

castle dwell!

well repay;


“The lions ramping on that shield between the hearts

aflame, Keep watch o'er Denmark's honour, and guard her

ancient name; Few know that I am Volmer; I dwell in yonder towers, Who ploughs them ploughs up Denmark, this goodly

home of ours ! “I tempt no more, fair Elsie! your heart I know is true, Would God that all our maidens were good and pure

as you ! Well have you pleased your monarch, and he shall God's peace! Farewell! To-morrow will bring

another day!” He lifted up his bridle hand, he spurred his good

steed then, And like a whirl-blast swept away with all his gallant The steel hoofs beat the rocky path; again on winds

of morn The wood resounds with the cry of hounds and blare

of hunter's horn. “Thou true and ever faithful !” the listening Henrik

cried ; And, leaping o'er the green hedge, he stood by Elsie's

side. None saw the fond embracing, save, shining from afar, The Golden Goose that watched them from the tower

of Valdemar. Oh, darling girls of Denmark ! of all the flowers that

throng, Her vales of spring the fairest, I sing for you my song. No praise as yours so bravely rewards the singer's

skill; Thank God! of maids like Elsie the land has plentystill!

Whittier (after the Danish of C. Winter).


S a twig trembles, which a bird

Lights , then leaves unbent,
So is my memory thrilled and stirred ;-

I only know she came and went.

As clasps some lake by gusts unriven,

The blue dome's measureless content, So my soul held that moment's heaven;

I only know she came and went.

As, at one bound, our swift spring heaps

The orchards full of bloom and scent, So clove her May my wintry sleeps ;

I only know she came and went.

An angel stood and met my gaze,

Through the low doorway of my tent; The tent is struck, the vision stays;

I only know she came and went.

Oh, when the room grows slowly dim,

And life's last oil is nearly spent, One gush of light these eyes will brim, Only to think she came and went.


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