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There was no human eye had seen
And soon the ruffian had consumed
One eve beside the alehouse fire
When in there came a labouring man
He sate him down by Jaspar's side,
For, spite of honest toil, the world
His toil a little earned, and he
Long, with his wife and little ones,
And saw their looks of wretchedness, And felt what wretches feel.
Their landlord, a hard man, that day
He leaned his head upon his hand,
"Nay-why so downcast ?" Jaspar cried, "Come-cheer up, Jonathan!
Drink, neighbour, drink! 'twill warm thy heartCome! come! take courage, man!"
He took the cup that Jaspar gave,
And down he drained it quick; "I have a wife," said Jonathan, "And she is deadly sick.
"She has no bed to lie upon,
"Our landlord he goes home to-night,
I would that I were in my grave,
"In vain I prayed him to forbear, Though wealth enough has he! God be to him as merciless
As he has been to me!"
When Jaspar saw the poor man's soul
He plied him with the heartening cup,
"This landlord on his homeward road
"Twere easy now to meet: The road is lonesome, Jonathan! And vengeance, man! is sweet."
He listened to the tempter's voice,
Along the lonely road they went,
They sate them down beside the stream,
The night was calm, the night was dark, No star was in the sky;
The wind it waved the willow-boughs, The stream flowed quietly.
The night was calm, the air was still,
""Tis weary waiting here," he cried, "And now the hour is late; Methinks he will not come to-night—
No longer let us wait.”
"Have patience, man!" the ruffian said, "A little we may wait;
But longer shall his wife expect
Then Jonathan grew sick at heart:
"My conscience yet is clear! Jaspar-it is not yet too lateI will not linger here."
"How now!" cried Jaspar, "why, I thought Thy conscience was asleep;
No more such qualms !-the night is dark,
"What matters that," said Jonathan,
"We are safe enough," said Jaspar then, "If that be all thy fear!
Nor eye above, nor eye below,
That instant as the murderer spake,
It hung upon the willow-tree,
It gave to view the poplar-isle,
The traveller who journeys there,
A madman who has made his home
His cheek is pale, his eye is wild,
And fearful are his dreams at night,
The summer suns, the winter storms,
For heavy is the weight of blood
N Linden, when the sun was low, All bloodless lay th' untrodden snow, And dark as winter was the flow
Of Iser, rolling rapidly.