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THE HAUNTED PALACE.
i. In the greenest of our valleys
By good angels tenanted, Once a fair and stately palace —
Radiant palace — reared its head.
It stood there!
Over fabric half so fair!
Banners—yellow, glorious, golden—
On its roof did float and flow
Time long ago);
In that sweet day,
A winged odour went away.
Wanderers in that happy valley,
Through two luminous windows, saw Spirits moving musically,
To a lute's well-tuned law,
The ruler of the realm was seen.
And all with pearl and ruby glowing
Was the fair palace door,
And sparkling evermore,
Was but to sing,
The wit and wisdom of their king.
But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
Assailed the monarch's high estate. (Ah, let us mourn !—for never morrow
Shall dawn upon him desolate !) And round about his home the glory
That blushed and bloomed, Is but a dim-remembered story
Of the old time entombed.
And travellers, now, within that valley,
Through the red-litten windows see Vast forms, that move fantastically
To a discordant melody;
Through the pale door
And laugh—but smile no more.
Thou would'st be loved ?— then let thy heart
From its present pathway part not! Being everything which now thou art,
Be nothing which thou art not. So with the world thy gentle ways,
Thy grace, thy more than beauty, Shall be an endless theme of praise,
And love—a simple duty.
Hear the sledges with the bells—
In the icy air of night!
With a crystalline delight; Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells From the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells— From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.
Hear the mellow wedding bells,
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!
Through the balmy air of night
How they ring out their delight!
From the molten-golden notes,
And all in tune, What a liquid ditty floats To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats On the moon! Oh, from out the sounding cells, What a gush of euphony voluminously wells! How it swells! How it dwells On the Future! how it tells Of the rapture that impels To the swinging and the ringing Of the bells, bells, bells,