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« Get thee back to the bed so warm, No good comes of watching a storm.
“ What is it to thee, I fain would know,
That waves are roaring and wild winds blow?
“No lover of thine 's afloat to miss
The harbor-lights on a night like this."
“ But I heard a voice cry out my name ; Up from the sea on the wind it came !
“ Twice and thrice have I heard it call,
On her pillow the sister tossed her head, “ Hall of the Heron is safe,” she said.
“ In the tautest schooner that ever swam He rides at anchor in Annisquam.
“And if in peril from swamping sea
But the girl heard only the wind and tide,
“O sister Rhoda, there's something wrong ;
I hear it again, so loud and long.
** Annie! Annie!' I hear it call,
And the voice is the voice of Estwick Hall !”
Up sprang the elder, with eyes aflame, “ Thou liest! He never would call thy name !
“ If he did, I would pray the wind and sea To keep him forever from thee and me!”
Then out of the sea blew a dreadful blast;
The young girl hushed on her lips a groan,
The solemn joy of her heart's release
“Dearest !” she whispered, under breath, “ Life was a lie, but true is death.
“ The love I hid from myself away
Shall crown me now in the light of day.
“My ears shall never to wooer list, Never by lover my lips be kissed.
“ Sacred to thee am I henceforth, Thou in heaven and I on earth !”
She came and stood by her sister's bed : “ Hall of the Heron is dead !” she said.
6. The wind and the waves their work have done, We shall see him no more beneath the sun.
178 THE DISCOVERER OF THE NORTH CAPE
“ Little will reck that heart of thine,
“ I, for his sake, were he but here,
Could hem and 'broider thy bridal gear,
“Though hands should tremble, and eyes be wet, And stitch for stitch in my heart be set.
“But now my soul with his soul I wed; Thine the living, and mine the dead !”
John Greenleaf Whittier.
THE DISCOVERER OF THE NORTH CAPE
A Leaf from King Alfred's Orosius
OTHERE, the old sea-captain,
Who dwelt in Helgoland,
Which he held in his brown right hand.
His figure was tall and stately,
Like a boy's his eye appeared ;
Gleamed in his tawny beard.
Hearty and hale was Othere,
His cheek had the color of oak;
Like the sea-tide on a beach,
As unto the King he spoke.
And Alfred, King of the Saxons,
his knees, And wrote down the wondrous tale Of him who was first to sail
Into the Arctic seas.
“ So far I live to the northward,
No man lives north of me; To the east are wild mountain-chains, And beyond them meres and plains ;
To the westward all is sea.
6 So far I live to the northward,
From the harbor of Skeringes-hale, If you only sailed by day, With a fair wind all the way,
More than a month would you sail.
“I own six hundred reindeer,
With sheep and swine beside ;
of walrus hide.
“I ploughed the land with horses,
heart was ill at ease, For the old seafaring men Came to me now and then,
With their sagas of the seas,
180 THE DISCOVERER OF THE NORTH CAPE
“ Of Iceland and of Greenland,
And the stormy Hebrides,
For thinking of those seas.
« To the northward stretched the desert,
How far I fain would know;
As far as the whale-ships go.
6 To the west of me was the ocean,
To the right the desolate shore,
Till after three days more.
“The days grew longer and longer,
Till they became as one,
Of the red midnight sun.
66 And then uprose
Upon the water's edge,
Whose form is like a wedge.
56 The sea was rough and stormy,
The tempest howled and wailed,