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And dropped them in, and how the eager waves
Gathered and drew them down: but at that word
The maiden shrieked — a broken-hearted shrieke

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!
'T is you who shut me out eternally
From that serener world which I had learned

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
Who yet had lingered silently withdrew.

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
Have ye to make it less, nor yet to soothe
My sorrow ; I shall bear it as I

The better for the hours that I have passed
430 In the calın region of the middle sea.

Go, then. I need you not.” They, overawed,
Withdrew from that grave presence. Then her

Broke forth a flood, as when the August cloud,

Darkening beside the mountain, suddenly
435 Melts into streams of rain. That weary night

She paced her chamber, murmuring as she walked
“O peaceful region of the middle sea!
O azure bowers and grots, in which Loved

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,
Ye gentle ones in whose sweet company
I trod the shelly pavements of the deep,
And swam its currents, creatures with calm eyes

445 Looking the tenderest love, and voices soft

As ripple of light waves along the shore,
Uttering the tenderest words! Oh! ne'er again
Shall I, in your mild aspects, read the peace

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
Of me with pity, as of one condemned
To haunt this upper world, with its harsh sounds

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


That day

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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
Had been her pathway to the sea, and still
Seemed, with its cheerful murmur, to invite
Her footsteps thither. " Well may'st thou re-

joice, 465 Fortunate stream!” she said, " and dance along

Thy bed, and make thy course one ceaseless strain
Of music, for thou journeyest toward the deep,
To which I shall return no more.The night

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.
With prayer there came new thoughts and new

She asked for patience and a deeper love

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

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A weight was lifted from her heart. She sought
Her couch, and slept a long and peaceful sleep.

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,
And wondered at their wisdom and obeyed,
And saw how beautiful the law of love

Can make the cares and toils of daily life. 485 Still did she love to haunt the springs and

As in her cheerful childhood, and she taught
The skill to pierce the soil and meet the veins
Of clear cold water winding underneath,

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,
And on the hot air of the summer fling
The spray of dashing fountains. To relieve

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,
500 And in the months of drought led forth again,

In glimmering rivulets, to refresh the vales,
Till the sky darkened with returning showers.

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
From under their calm brows as brightly clear
As the transparent wells by which she sat

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
Opened the water lily on the lakes,
So old traditions tell, before she died.

A hundred cities mourned her, and her death 515 Saddened the pastoral valleys. By the brook,

That bickering ran beside the cottage door
Where she was born, they reared her monument.
Ere long the current parted and flowed round

The marble base, forming a little isle, 520 And there the flowers that love the running stream,

Iris and orchis, and the cardinal flower,
Crowded and hung caressingly around
The stone engraved with Sella's honored name.



[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,
Till we all wonder it has grown so late.
Uncle John. The story of the witch that ground

to death
5 Two children in her mill, or will


The tale of Goody Cutpurse?

Nay now, nay;
Those stories are too childish, Uncle John,
Too childish even for little Willy here,

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

Or water-fairies, such as you know how

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.

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