Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

LEGEND OF ST. JODOCUS.

Translated from the German.

IN trial of his servant's truth,
One day came begging, as a youth
Of humble mien, in garments poor,
The Lord, to St. Jodocus' door.

"Give to him," St. Jodocus said;
"Open, good steward, thy store of bread."
"Here's but one loaf, my master, see,
Left for our dog, and thee, and me."

"Yet give to him," the abbot cried,

66

For us the Lord will still provide."
The sullen butler said no more,
But cut the loaf in pieces four.

"One for the abbot, one for me,
One for our dog, and one for thee,"
Unkindly to the youth he said,
And handed him his share of bread.

Again, in semblance yet more poor,
The Lord came to our abbot's door;
"Give, still," the good Jodocus said,
"Give him my little share of bread;
For us the good God still will care.”
And now he gives the abbot's share.

A hungered came the Lord again,
Nor asked he the third time in vain;
"Give now, O steward, thy little bit -
God will provide."— He yielded it.

More destitute and blind and lame,
The Lord yet for the fourth time came;

418

LEGEND OF ST. JODOCUS.

"Give," said Jodocus, "give again;
Doth not the dog's piece still remain ?
For He who doth the ravens feed
Will not forget us in our need."

The steward gives, the beggar goes;
Then through the air a clear voice rose:
"Thou true disciple of thy Lord,
Great is thy faith, take thy reward;
As thou believedst it should be,
So shall it happen unto thee."

[ocr errors]

The steward went to the open door-
Lo! onward toward the nearest shore
Four heavy-laden ships are borne,
With bread and fruit and wine and corn.

He to the strand runs joyfully,

And there no sailor can he see;

But to the shore a white wave rolled,

On which these words were traced in gold:

"Four ships are sent with large supply,
By Him who hears the raven's cry;
He sends them to the abbot good,
Who, this day, four times gave Him food.

"One, for the good man's self is sent;
Another for his dog is meant;
One for the steward is coming in;
One for the Sender's needy kin.”

2

ELIZABETH AND THE ROSES. — From the German.

KNOW you not the stately dame?

From Wurtburg's castled height she came,
And in her basket brings she store

To satisfy the hungry poor.

The pages and the courtiers high
Marked the expense with grudging eye;
And e'en the Landgrave's kitchen folk
In murmurs their displeasure spoke.

Artfully told in Ludwig's ear,
The lady's charities appear
A weighty evil, as through her
His household's rights endangered were.

And he forbade, with cruel mind,
Such pleasure to his lady kind;
Asking, in scorn, if it were meet
A princess should a beggar greet.

Long to her lord's stern will she bowed,
Till upward to the castle loud

The starving shrieked in their despair;
No longer then would she forbear.

Her maid she beckoned stealthily
To find for her the hidden key;
Then filled her basket running o'er,
And glided from the gate once more.

One of the mischief-loving train
Of courtiers spied her, nor in vain ;
Straight to the knight he made his way,
The gentle lady to betray.

420

ELIZABETH AND THE ROSES.

Stern Ludwig o'er the drawbridge passed,
And down the steep rock rode he fast,
With anger pale, as 't were with death,
Woe! woe! to poor Elizabeth!

She hears her husband's clanging spurs,
Kindling with rage his eye meets hers;
Trembling, she knows not what to dread,
Her faint limbs move not, droops her head,

And underneath her apron's folds
Her timid hand the basket holds;
She reads no mercy in his eyes,
Heart-broken upon God she cries.

But Ludwig breaks her silent prayer,
"Woman! what hast thou hidden there?"
And, curbing his wild rage no more,
The apron from the basket tore.

O miracle! therein are spread
Fairest of roses white and red;
Mercy in Ludwig's soul is born,
And fills the place of lordly scorn.

He cries, subdued his stubborn will,
"O purest, noblest, love me still!
Upon thy blessed errand hie,
Thy heart's kind impulse gratify."

And still she found her basket's store,
All veiled with roses, running o'er;
And safely through the valley trod,
She who had put her trust in God.

[blocks in formation]

FARE-THEE-WELL, our last and fairest!
Dear wee Willie, fare-thee-well!
God, who lent thee, hath recalled thee
Back with him and his to dwell.
Fifteen moons their silver lustre
Only o'er thy brow had shed,
When thy spirit joined the seraphs
And thy dust the dead.

Like a sunbeam, through our dwelling,

Shone thy presence bright and calm ; Thou didst add a zest to pleasure;

[ocr errors]

To our sorrows thou wert balm; Brighter beamed thine eyes than summer, And thy first attempt at speech Thrilled our heart-strings with a rapture Music ne'er could reach.

As we gazed upon thee sleeping,

With thy fine, fair locks outspread, Thou didst seem a little angel,

Who to earth from heaven had strayed; And, entranced, we watched the vision, Half in hope, and half affright, Lest what we deemed ours, and earthly, Should dissolve in light.

Snows o'ermantled hill and valley,
Sullen clouds begrimed the sky,
When the first drear doubt oppressed us,
That our child was doomed to die!
Through each long night-watch, the taper
Showed the hectic of his cheek;

And each anxious dawn behe'd him
More worn out and weak.

« ForrigeFortsæt »