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And dropped them in, and how the eager waves
And all who heard it shuddered and turned pale 415 At the despairing cry, and “ They are gone,'
She said, “ gone – gone forever. Cruel ones!
To love so well. Why took ye not my life? 420 Ye cannot know what ye have done.” She spake
And hurried to her chamber, and the guests
The brothers followed to the maiden's bower,
But with a calm demeanor, as they came, 425 She met them at the door. “ The wrong is great,"
She said, “that ye have done me, but no power
Go, then. I need you not.” They, overawed,
Darkening beside the mountain, suddenly
She paced her chamber, murmuring as she walked
To roam and rest! Am I to long for you, 440 And think how strangely beautiful ye are,
Yet never see you more? And dearer yet,
445 Looking the tenderest love, and voices soft
As ripple of light waves along the shore,
That dwells within, and vainly shall I pine 450 To hear your sweet low voices. Haply now
Ye miss me in your deep-sea home, and think
And glaring lights, its withering heats, its frosts, 455 Cruel and killing, its delirious strifes,
And all its feverish passions, till I die.”
So mourned she the long night, and when the
Brightened the mountains, from her lattice looked
The maiden on a world that was to her 460 A desolate and dreary waste.
She passed in wandering by the brook that oft
joice, 465 Fortunate stream!” she said, " and dance along
Thy bed, and make thy course one ceaseless strain
Brought her to her lone chamber, and she knelt 470 And prayed, with many tears, to Him whose hand
Touches the wounded heart and it is healed.
For those with whom her lot was henceforth cest, 175 And that in acts of mercy shr might lose
The sense of her own sorrow.. When she rose
A weight was lifted from her heart. She sought
At morn she woke to a new life. Her days 480 Henceforth were given to quiet tasks of good
In the great world. Men hearkened to her words,
Can make the cares and toils of daily life. 485 Still did she love to haunt the springs and
And call them forth to daylight. From afar 490 She bade men bring the rivers on long rows
Of pillared arches to the sultry town,
Their weary hands, she showed them how to tame 495 The rushing stream, and make him drive the
wheel That whirls the humming millstone and that
wields The ponderous sledge. The waters of the cloud, That drench the hillside in the time of rains,
Were gathered at her bidding into pools,
In glimmering rivulets, to refresh the vales,
So passed her life, a long and blameless life, And far and near her name was named with love 479. In the new life to which Sella awakes, one notes that it is the old world in which she had lived endowed now with those gifts which her ripened soul brought from the ideal world in which she had hoped to lose herself.
505 And reverence. Still she kept, as age came on,
Her stately presence; still her eyes looked forth
So oft in childhood. Still she kept her fair 510 Unwrinkled features, though her locks were white.
A hundred times had summer since her birth
A hundred cities mourned her, and her death 515 Saddened the pastoral valleys. By the brook,
That bickering ran beside the cottage door
The marble base, forming a little isle, 520 And there the flowers that love the running stream,
Iris and orchis, and the cardinal flower,
THE LITTLE PEOPLE OF THE SNOW.
[In this tender fancy Bryant has treated the personality of the snow with a kinder, more sympathetic touch than poets have been wont to give it. With many the cruelty of cold or its treacherous nature is most significant. Hans Christian Andersen, for example, in the story of The Ice Maiden has taken a similar theme, but has emphasized the seductive treachery of the Spirit of Cold. Here Bryant has given the true fairy, innocent of evil purpose, yet inflicting grievous wrong through its nature; sorrowing over the dead Eva, but without the remorse of human beings. The time of the story is placed in legendary antiquity by the exclusion of historic times in lines 35–41, and the antiquity is still more positively affirmed by the lines at the close accounting for our not now seeing the Little People of the Snow. The children had asked for a fairy tale, and it is made more real by being placed at so ethereal a distance.]
Alice. One of your old world stories, Uncle
Such as you tell us by the winter fire,
Nay now, nay;
And I am older, two good years, than he; to No, let us have a tale of elves that ride By night with jingling reins, or gnomes of the
To spin, till Willy's eyes forget to wink, 8. Goody Cut-purse, or Moll Cut-purse, was a famous highway woman of Shakspere's time who robbed people as auda: ciously as did Jack Sheppard.