The Impossible Thing

A DEMON, blacker in his skin than heart,
So great a charm was prompted to impart;
To one in love, that he the lady gained,
And full possession in the end obtained:
The bargain was, the lover should enjoy
The belle he wished, and who had proved so coy.
Said Satan, soon I'll make her lend an ear,
In ev'ry thing more complaisant appear;
But then, instead of what thou might'st expect,
To be obedient and let me direct,
The devil, having thus obliged a friend,
He'll thy commands obey, thou may'st depend,

The Illinois Village

O you who lose the art of hope,
Whose temples seem to shrine a lie,
Whose sidewalks are but stones of fear,
Who weep that Liberty must die,
Turn to the little prairie towns,
Your higher hope shall yet begin.
On every side awaits you there
Some gate where glory enters in.

Yet when I see the flocks of girls,
Watching the Sunday train go thro'
(As tho' the whole wide world went by)
With eyes that long to travel too,
I sigh, despite my soul made glad
By cloudy dresses and brown hair,

The Flowers

All the names I know from nurse:
Gardener's garters, Shepherd's purse,
Bachelor's buttons, Lady's smock,
And the Lady Hollyhock.

Fairy places, fairy things,
Fairy woods where the wild bee wings,
Tiny trees for tiny dames--
These must all be fairy names!

Tiny woods below whose boughs
Shady fairies weave a house;
Tiny tree-tops, rose or thyme,
Where the braver fairies climb!

Fair are grown-up people's trees,
But the fairest woods are these;
Where, if I were not so tall,

The Frost-King' Song II

Brighter shone the golden shadows;
On the cool wind softly came
The low, sweet tones of happy flowers,
Singing little Violet's name.
'Mong the green trees was it whispered,
And the bright waves bore it on
To the lonely forest flowers,
Where the glad news had not gone.

Thus the Frost-King lost his kingdom,
And his power to harm and blight.
Violet conquered, and his cold heart
Warmed with music, love, and light;
And his fair home, once so dreary,
Gay with lovely Elves and flowers,

The Fortune-Teller, a Gypsy Tale

LUBIN and KATE, as gossips tell,
Were Lovers many a day;
LUBIN the damsel lov'd so well,
That folks pretend to say
The silly, simple, doting Lad,
Was little less than loving mad:
A malady not known of late--
Among the little-loving Great!

KATE liked the youth; but woman-kind
Are sometimes giv'n to range.
And oft, the giddy Sex, we find,
(They know not why)
When most they promise, soonest change,
And still for conquest sigh:
So 'twas with KATE; she, ever roving

The Forest Path

Oh, the charm of idle dreaming
Where the dappled shadows dance,
All the leafy aisles are teeming
With the lure of old romance!

Down into the forest dipping,
Deep and deeper as we go,
One might fancy dryads slipping
Where the white-stemmed birches grow.

Lurking gnome and freakish fairy
In the fern may peep and hide . . .
Sure their whispers low and airy
Ring us in on every side!

Saw you where the pines are rocking
Nymph's white shoulder as she ran?
Lo, that music faint and mocking,

The Foolish Fir-Tree

A tale that the poet Rückert told
To German children, in days of old;
Disguised in a random, rollicking rhyme
Like a merry mummer of ancient time,
And sent, in its English dress, to please
The little folk of the Christmas trees.

A little fir grew in the midst of the wood
Contented and happy, as young trees should.
His body was straight and his boughs were clean;
And summer and winter the bountiful sheen
Of his needles bedecked him, from top to root,
In a beautiful, all-the-year, evergreen suit.

The flight of the crows

The autumn afternoon is dying o'er
The quiet western valley where I lie
Beneath the maples on the river shore,
Where tinted leaves, blue waters and fair sky
Environ all; and far above some birds are flying by

To seek their evening haven in the breast
And calm embrace of silence, while they sing
Te Deums to the night, invoking rest
For busy chirping voice and tired wing--
And in the hush of sleeping trees their sleeping cradles swing.

In forest arms the night will soonest creep,

The First Love Dream

Last night, mother, he told me so,
As we walked by the pebbly stream;
And I wake so happy--so wild with joy,
It seems like a fairy dream.
But his charming voice is ringing in my ear,
As a dream voice chould not be--
He's the best man, you know, in the whole wide world,
And he loves--he only love me.

Kiss me, mother, and share the joy
That has on my fortune smiled;
You have shared myu sorrows when e'er I wept,
Since I was a little child
Do you chide me now? what could your darling do,

The Filling of the Swamps

Hurrah for the storm-clouds sweeping!

Hurrah for the driving rain!

The dull earth out of her sleeping

Is wakened to life again.

There are mirrors of crystal shining

Whenever the cloud-wrack breaks,

And grass-clad banks are twining

A wreath for the fairy lakes - - -

Lakes that are links in an endless chain

For the water is out in the swamps again!

Hurrah for the red-gums standing

So high on the range above!


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