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THE ROMANCE OF THE SWAN'S NEST.

"Then, ay, then he shall kneel low, With the red-roan steed anear him

Which shall seem to understand,

Till I answer, ‘Rise and go!
For the world must love and fear him

Whom I gift with heart and hand.'

" Then he will arise so pale, I shall feel my own lips tremble

With a yes I must not say,

Nathless maiden-brave, Farewell,' I will utter, and dissemble

*Light to-morrow with to-day!'

“ Then he'll ride among the hills To the wide world past the river,

There to put away all wrong;

To make straight distorted wills, And to empty the broad quiver

Which the wicked bear along.

“ Three times shall a young foot-page Swim the stream and climb the mountain,

And kneel down beside my feet

* Lo, my master sends this gage, Lady, for thy pity's counting!

What wilt thou exchange for it?'

“ And the first time, I will send A white rosebud for a guerdon,

And the second time, a glove;

But the third time-I may bend From my pride, and answer— Pardon, If he comes to take my love.'

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING.

“Then the young foot-page will run, Then my lover will ride faster,

Till he kneeleth at my knee:

* I am a duke's eldest son, Thousand serfs do call me master,

But, O Love, I love but thee!'

“ He will kiss me on the mouth Then, and lead me as a lover

Through the crowds that praise his deeds:

And, when soul-tied by one troth, Unto him I will discover

That swan's nest among the reeds."

Little Ellie, with her smile Not yet ended, rose up gaily,

Tied the bonnet, donned the shoe,

And went homeward, round a mile, Just to see, as she did daily,

What more eggs were with the two.

Pushing through the elm-tree copse, Winding up the stream, light-hearted,

Where the osier pathway leads,

Past the boughs she stoops—and stops. Lo, the wild swan had deserted,

And a rat had gnawed the reeds !

Ellie went home sad and slow. If she found the lover ever,

With his red-roan steed of steeds,

Sooth I know not; but I know
She could never show him-never,
That swan's nest among the reeds!

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BEAUTIFUL children of the woods and fields!

That bloom by mountain streamlets 'mid the heather,

Or into clusters, 'neath the hazels, gather,Or where by hoary rocks you make your bields, And sweetly flourish on through summer weather

I love ye all!

ROBERT NICOLL.

Beautiful flowers! to me ye fresher seem

From the Almighty hand that fashioned all,

Than those that flourish by a garden wall; And I can image you, as in a dream, Fair, modest maidens, nursed in hamlets small:

I love ye all!

Beautiful things ye are, where'er ye grow!

The wild red rose-the speedwell's peeping eyes

Our own bluebell—the daisy, that doth rise Wherever sunbeams fall or winds do blow; And thousands more of blessed forms and dyes,

I love ye all!

Beautiful watchers! day and night ye wake!

The evening star grows dim and fades away,

And morning comes and goes, and then the day Within the arms of night its rest doth take; But ye are watchful wheresoe'er we stray,

I love ye all!

Beautiful objects of the wild-bee's love!

The wild-bird joys your opening bloom to see,

And in your native woods and wilds to be. All hearts, to nature true, ye strangely move; Ye are so passing fair-so passing free,

I love ye all!

Beautiful children of the glen and dell

The dingle deep—the moorland stretching wide,

And of the mossy fountain's sedgy side! Ye o'er my heart have thrown a lonesome spell; And though the worldling, scorning, may deride,

I love ye all!

ARTHUR HUGH CLOUGH

1819 - 1861.

THE STREAM OF LIFE.

O STREAM descending to the sea,

Thy mossy banks between, The flowrets blow, the grasses grow,

The leafy trees are green.

In garden plots the children play,

The fields the labourers till, And houses stand on either hand,

And thou descendest still.

O life descending into death,

Our waking eyes behold,
Parent and friend thy lapse attend,

Companions young and old.

Strong purposes our mind possess,

Our hearts affections fill, We toil and earn, we seek and learn,

And thou descendest still.

O end to which our currents tend,

Inevitable sea, To which we flow, what do we know,

What shall we guess of thee?

A roar we hear upon thy shore,

As we our course fulfil;
Scarce we divine a sun will shine
And be above us still.

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