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And no more their lamentation might the maidens hold aback,

But the sound of their bitter mourning was as if red-handed wrack

Ban wild in the Burg of the Niblungs, and the fire were master of all.

Then the voice of Gunnar, the war-king, cried out o'er the weeping hall: 160

'' Wail on, O women forsaken, for the mightiest woman born!

Now the hearth is cold and joyless, and the waste bed lieth forlorn.

Wail on, but amid your weeping lay hand to the glorious dead,

That not alone for an hour may lie Queen Brynhild's head:

For here have been heavy tidings, and the Mightiest under shield

Is laid on the bale high-builded in the Niblungs' hallowed field.

Fare forth! for he abideth, and we do Allfather wrong

If the shining Valhall's pavement await their feet o'erlong."

Then they took the body of Brynhild in the raiment that she wore,

And out through the gate of the Niblungs the holy corpse they bore, 170

And thence forth to the mead of the people, and the high-built shielded bale:

Then afresh in the open meadows breaks forth the women's wail

When they see the bed of Sigurd and the glittering of his gear;

And fresh is the wail of the people as Brynhild draweth anear,

And the tidings go before her that for twain the bale is built,

That for twain is the oak-wood shielded and the pleasant odours spilt.

There is peace on the bale of Sigurd, and

the gods look down from on high, And they see the lids of the Volsung close shut

against the sky, As he lies with his shield beside him in the

hauberk all of gold, That has not its like in the heavens, nor has

earth of its fellow told; ISO And forth from the Helm of Aweingn are the

sunbeams flashing wide,

14 Or the Helm of Dread, won by the slaying of I he dragon Fafnlr.

And the sheathed Wrath of Sigurd lies still

by his mighty side. Then cometh an elder of days, a man of the

ancient times, Who is long past sorrow and joy, and the

steep of the bale he climbs; And he kneeleth down by Sigurd, and bareth

the Wrath to the sun That the beams are gathered about it, and

from hilt to blood-point run, And wide o 'er the plain of the Niblungs doth

the Light of the Branstock glare, Till the wondering mountain-shepherds on that

star of noontide stare, And fear for many an evil; but the ancient

man stands still With the war-flame on his shoulder, nor thinks

of good or of ill, 190 Till the feet of Brynhild's bearers on the topmost bale are laid. And her bed is (light11 by Sigurd's; then he

sinks the pale white blade And lays it 'twixt the sleepers, and leaves them

there alone— He, the last that shall ever behold them,—and

his days are well-nigh done.

Then is silence over the plain; in the noon

shine the torches pale, As the best of the Niblung Earl-folk'" bear fire

to the builded bale: Then a wind in the we3t ariseth, and the white

flames leap on high, And with one voice crieth the people a great

and mighty cry, And men cast up hands to the Heavens, and

pray without a word, As they that have seen God's visage, and the

voice of the Father have heard. 200

They are gone—the lovely, the mighty, the

hope of the ancient Earth: It shall labour and bear the burden as before

that day of their birth; It shall groan in its blind abiding for the day

that Sigurd hath sped, And the hour that Brynhild hath hastened, and

the dawn that waketh the dead; It shall yearn, and be oft-times holpen, and

forget their deeds no more, Till the new sun beams on Baldur, and the

happy sealess shore.*

is prepared

10 The nobles, or warriors, as opposed to the churls.

* Alluding to the new heaven, that is to arise after the Twilight of the Gods, when Raldur the Good shall be released from Hel and I reign in the seats of the old gods.


I heard men saying, Leave hope and praying,
All days shall be as all have been;
To-day and to-morrow bring fear and sorrow.
The never-ending toil between.

When Earth was younger mid toil and hunger,
In hope we strove, and our hands were strong;
Then great men led us, with words they fed us,
And bade us right the earthly wrong. 8

Go read in story their deeds and glory,
Their names amidst the namelesB dead;
Turn then from lying to us slow-dying
In that good world to which they led;

Where fast and faster our iron master,
The thing we made, for ever drives,
Bids us grind treasure and fashion pleasure
For other hopes and other lives. 16

Where home is a hovel and dull we grovel,
Forgetting that the world is fair;
Where no babe we cherish, lest its very soul

Where mirth is crime, and love a snare.

Who now shall lead us, what god shall heed us
As we lie in the hell our hands have wont
For us are no rulers but fools and befoolers,
The great are fallen, the wise men gone. 24

I heard men saying, Leave tears and praying,
The sharp knife heedeth not the sheep;
Are we not stronger than the rich and the

When day breaks over dreams and sleep t

Come, shoulder to shoulder ere the world grows older!

Help lies in nought but thee and me;

Hope is before us, the long years that bore us

Bore leaders more than men may be. 32

Let dead hearts tarry and trade and marry,
And trembling nurse their dreams of mirth,
While we the living our lives are giving
To bring the bright new world to birth.

Come, shoulder to shoulder ere earth grows older!

The Cause spreads over land and sea;
Now the world shaketb, and fear awaketh,
And joy at last for thee and me. 40

• This poem, now printed In Morris's Poems by thr Woii, was first published. In 1885, In a pamphlet called Chants for Hoetalist*. "The Cans,'" mentioned in the last stanza Is of rour«i> Socialism, in which Morris was niurh Interested In his later life.

BURNE (1837-1909)

When the hounds of spring are on winter's traces,

The mother of monthat in meadow or plain Fills the shadows and windy places

With lisp of leaves and ripple of rain; And the brown bright nightingale amorous Is half assuaged for Itylus,1 For the Thracian ships and the foreign faces,

The tongueless vigil, and all the pain. 8

Come with bows bent and with emptying of quivers,

Maiden most perfect, lady of light. With a noise of winds and many rivers,

With a clamour of waters, and with might; Bind on thy sandals, 0 thou most fleet. Over the splendour and speed of thy feet; For the faint cast quickens, the wan west shivers,

Round the feet of the day and the feet of the night. 16

Where shall we find her, how shall we sing to her,

Fold our hands round her knees, and cling? O that man's heart were as fire and could

spring to her, Fire, or the strength of the streams that


For the stars and the winds are unto her
As raiment, as songs of the harp-player;
For the risen stars and the fallen cling to her.
And the southwest-wind and the west-wind
sing. 24

For winter's rains and ruins are over,

And all the season of snows and sins; The days dividing lover and lover,

The light that loses, the night that wins; And time remembered is grief forgotten, And frosts are slain and flowers begotten, And in green underwood and cover

Blossom by blossom the spring begins. 32

The full streams feed on flower of rushes,
Ripe grasses trammel a travelling foot,

! Artemis, or Diana, the goddess of the moon; also the goddess of the bunt—see next stanza. Compare Shelley's Prnmctheim fnftoimrf. It, '-•07.

i Alluding to the old Thracian legend "t Philomela and Procne.

The faint fresh flame of the young year flushes

From leaf to flower and flower to fruit;
And fruit and leaf are as gold and fire,
And the oat is heard above the lyre,t
And the hoofed heel of a satyr crushes

The chestnut-husk at the chestnut-root. 40

And Pan by noon and Bacchus by night, fleeter of foot than the fleet-foot kid, Follows with dancing and fills with delight

The Maenad and the Bassarid;2
And soft as lips that laugh and hide,
The laughing leaves of the trees divide,
And screen from seeing and leave in sight
The god pursuing, the maiden hid. 48

The ivy falls with the Bacchanal's hair
Over her eyebrows hiding her eyes;

The wild vine slipping down leaves bare
Her bright breast shortening into sighs;

The wild vine slips with the weight of its leaves,

But the berried ivy catches and cleaves
To the limbs that glitter, the feet that scare
The wolf that follows, the fawn that flies. 5«


Let us go hence, my songs; she will not hear.
Let us go hence together without fear;
Keep silence now, for singing-time is over,
And over all old things and all things dear.
She loves not you nor me as all we love her.
Yea, though we sang as angels in her ear,

She would not hear. 7

Let us rise up and part; she will not know.
Let us go seaward as the great winds go,
Full of blown sand and foam; what help is

There is no help, for all these things are so,
And all the world is bitter as a tear;
And how these things are, though ye strove to

She would not know. 14

Let us go home and hence; she will not weep. We gave love many dreams and days to keep, Flowers without scent, and fruits that would not grow,

Saying, "If thou wilt, thrust in thy sickle and reap.''

B Names for bacchanals, or frenzied votaries of Bacchus.

: Thnt 1r. pastoral, out-of-door music takes the place of indoor, festal sons: fan supplants Apollo. An out is a shepherd's pipe made of iin oat stem.

All is reaped now; no grass is left to mow; And we that sowed, though all we fell on sleep,

She would not weep. -1

Let us go hence and rest; she will not love.
She shall not hear us if we sing hereof,
Xor see love's ways, how sore they are and

Come hence, let be, lie still; it is enough.
Love is a barren sea, bitter and deep;
And though she saw all heaven in flower above,
She would not love. 28

Lot us give up, go down; she will not care.
Though all the stars made gold of all the air,
And the sea moving saw before it move
One moon-flower making all the foam-flowers

Though all those waves went over us, and drove
Deep down the stifling lips and drowning hair,
She would not care. 35

Let us go hence, go hence; she will not see.
Sing all once more together; surely she.
She, too, remembering days and words that

Will turn a little toward us, sighing; but we,
We are hence, we are gone, as though we had

not been there. Xay, and though all men seeing had pity on me. She would not see. 42


(after The Proclamation In Rome Ok The Christian Faith)

Vicisli, Galil(re

I have lived long enough, having seen one thing, that love hath an end;

Goddess and maiden and queen, be near me now and befriend.

Thou art more than the day or the morrow, tho seasons that laugh or that weep;

For these give joy and sorrow; but thou, Proserpina, sleep.

Sweet is the treading of wine, and sweet the feet of the dove;

♦ Proserpine, or Proserpina, was the Roman goddess of death and the under world. The Latin motto set before this poem means "Thou hast conquered, Oalllean." The words are traditionally ascribed to the dying Kmperor Julian—Julian "the apostate," who had been brought up as a Christian but who reverted to paganism after his accession to the throne. The poem attempts to portray the sentiment of expiring paganism: Swinburne called It "the death-sons of spiritual decadence."

But a goodlier gift is thine than foam of the grapes or love.

Yea, is not even Apollo, with hair and harpstring of gold,

A bitter God to follow, a beautiful God to behold!

I am sick of singing; the bays burn deep and chafe; I am fain

To rest a little from praise and grievous pleasure and pain. 10

For the Gods we know not of, who give us our daily breath,

We know they are cruel as love or life, and lovely as death.

0 Gods dethroned and deceased, cast forth,

wiped out in a dayl

From your wrath is the world released, redeemed from your chains, men say.

New Gods are crowned in the city, their flowers have broken your rods;

They are merciful, clothed with pity, the young compassionate Gods.

But for me their new device is barren, the days are bare;

Things long past over suffice, and men forgotten that were.

Time and the Gods are at strife: ye dwell in the midst thereof,

Draining a little life from the barren breasts of love. 20

1 say to you, cease, take rest; yea, I say to you

all, be at peace, Till the bitter milk of her breast and the barren bosom shall cease. Wilt thou yet take all, Galilean! but these thou

shalt not take, The laurel, the palms, and the pecan, the breasts

of the nymphs in the brake; Breasts more soft than a dove's, that tremble

with tenderer breath; And all the wings of the Loves, and all the joy

before death; All the feet of the hours that sound as a single


Dropped and deep in the flowers, with strings

that flicker like fire. More than these wilt thou give, things fairer

than all these things! Nay, for a little we live, and life hath mutable

wings. 30 A little while and we die; shall life not thrive

as it may!

For no man under the sky lives twice, outliving his day.

And grief is a grievous thing, and a man hath enough of his tears:

Why should he labour and bring fresh grief to

blacken his years? Thou hast conquered, O pale Galilean; the world

has grown gray from thy breath; We have drunken of things Lethean, and fed

on the fulness of death. Laurel is green for a season, and love is sweet

for a day;

But love grows bitter with treason, and laurel

outlives not May. Sleep, shall we sleep after all? for the world

is not sweet in the end; For the old faiths loosen and fall, the new

years ruin and rend. 40 Fate is a sea without shore, and the soul is a

rock that abides; But her ears are vexed with the roar and her

face with the foam of the tides. O lips that the live blood faints in, the leavings

of racks and rods!

0 ghastly glories of saints, dead limbs of gib

beted Gods!

Though all men abase them before you in spirit, and all knees bend,

1 kneel not, neither adore you, but standing,

look to the end. All delicate days and pleasant, all spirits and

sorrows are cast Far out with the foam of the present that

sweeps to the surf of the past; Where beyond the extreme sea-wall, and between the remote sea-gates, Waste water washes, and tall shij.^ founder.

and deep death waits: BO Where, mighty with deepening sides, clad about

with the seas as with wings, And impelled of invisible tides, and fulfilled

of unspeakable things, White-eyed and poisonous-finned, shark-toothed

and serpentine-curled, Rolls, under the whitening wind of the future,

the wave of the world. The depths stand naked in sunder behind it,

the storms flee away; In the hollow before it the thunder is taken

and snared as a prey; In its sides is the north-wind bound; and its

salt is of all men's tears; With light of ruin, and sound of changes, and

pulse of years; With travail of day after day, and with trouble

of hour upon hour; And bitter as blood is the spray; and the

crests are as fangs that devour: 60 And its vapour and storm of its steam as the

sighing of spirits to be;

And its noise as the noise in a dream; and its

depth as the roots of the sea: And the height of its heads as the height of the

utmost stars of the air; And the ends of the earth at the might thereof

tremble, and time is made bare. Will ye bridle the deep sea with reins, will ye

chasten the high sea with rodsf Will ye take her to chain her with chains, who

is older than all ye Gods! All ye as a wind shall go by, as a fire shall ye

pass and be past; Ye are Gods, and behold ye shall die, and the

waves be upon you at last. In the darkness of time, in the deeps of the

years, in the changes of things, Ye shall sleep as a slain man sleeps, and the

world shall forget you for kings. 70 Though the feet of thine high priests tread

where thy lords and our forefathers trod, Though these that were Gods are dead, and

thou being dead art a God, Though before thee the throned Cytherean be

fallen, and hidden her head, Yet thy kingdom shall pass, Galilean, thy dead

shall go down to thee dead. Of the maiden thy mother, men sing as a goddess with grace clad around; Thou art throned where another was king;

where another was queen she is crowned. Yea, once we had sight of another; but now

she is queen, say these. Not as thine, not as thine was our mother, a

blossom of flowering seas,* Clothed round with the world's desire as with

raiment, and fair as the foam, And fleeter than kindled fire, and a goddess

and mother of Borne. 80 For thine came pale and a maiden, and sister

to sorrow; but ours, Her deep hair heavily laden with odour and

colour of flowers, White rose of the rose-white water, a silver

splendour, a flame, Bent down unto us that besought her, and earth

grew sweet with her name. For thine came weeping, a slave among slaves,

and rejected; but she Came flushed from the full-flushed wave, and

imperial, her foot on the sea, And the wonderful waters knew her, the winds

and the viewless ways, And the roses grew rosier, and bluer the seablue stream of the bays. Ye are fallen, our lords, by what token? we wist

that ye should not fall.

l Venus, horn of the foam.

Ye were all so fair that are broken; and one more fair than ye all. 90

But I turn to her still, having seen she shall surely abide in the end;

Goddess and maiden and queen, be near me now and befriend.

0 daughter of earth, of my mother, her crown

and blossom of birth,

1 am also, I also, thy brother; I go as I came

unto earth.

In the night where thine eyes are as moons are

in heaven, the night where thou art, Where the silence is more than all tunes, where

sleep overflows from the heart, Where the poppies are sweet as the rose in our

world, and the red rose is white, And the wind falls faint as it blows with the

fume of the flowers of the night, And the murmur of spirits that sleep in the

shadow of Gods from afar Grows dim in thine ears and deep as the deep

dim soul of a star, 100 In the sweet low light of thy face, under heavens untrod by the sun, Let my soul with their souls find place, and

forget what is done and undone. Thou art more than the Gods who number the

days of our temporal breath; For these give labour and slumber; but thou,

Proserpina, death. Therefore now at thy feet I abide for a season

in silence. I know

1 shall die as my fathers died, and sleep as they

sleep; even so. For the glass of the years is brittle wherein we

gaze for a span; A little soul for a little bears up this corpse

which is man.2 So long I endure, no longer; and laugh not

again, neither weep. For there is no God found stronger than death;

and death is a sleep. 110


Between the green bud and the red
Youth sat and sang by Time, and shed
From eyes and tresses flowers and tears,
From heart and spirit hopes and fears,

2 Adapted from Eplctetus.

• Swinburne's Bonos Before Sunrtae, published In 1871, and dedicated to Joseph Mazzinl. the Italian patriot, are a noteworthy contribution to the jroetry of political and religions freedom. Tbey were mainly Inspired by the long struggle for a free and united Italy. The partial union of Italy, effected In 1861, was completed by the occupation of Rome In 1870. but the government was monarchical, and not republican, as the more ardent revolutionists had hoped.

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