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THE SKELETON IN ARMOUR.

When on the white-sea strand,
Waving his armed hand,
Saw we old Hildebrand,

With twenty horsemen.

" Then launched they to the blast,
Bent like a reed each mast,
Yet we were gaining fast,

When the wind failed us ;
And with a sudden flaw
Came round the gusty Skaw,
So that our foe we saw

Laugh as he hailed us.

“ And as to catch the gale

Round veered the flapping sail, Death! was the helmsman's hail,

Death without quarter ! Mid-ships with iron keel Struck we her ribs of steel; Down her black hulk did reel

Through the black water!

“As with his wings aslant,

Sails the fierce cormorant,
Seeking some rocky haunt,

With his prey laden ;
So toward the open main,
Beating to sea again,
Through the wild hurricane,

Bore I the maiden.

“ Three weeks we westward bore, And when the storm was o'er, Cloud-like we saw the shore

Stretching to lee-ward;

There for my lady's bower
Built I the lofty tower,
Which, to this very hour,

Stands looking sea-ward.

“ There lived we many years ;

Time dried the maiden's tears;
She had forgot her fears,

She was a mother ;
Death closed her mild blue eyes,
Under that tower she lies;
Ne'er shall the sun arise

On such another !

“Still grew my bosom then,

Still as a stagnant fen !
Hateful to me were men,

The sun-light hateful!
In the vast forest here,
Clad in my warlike gear,
Fell I upon my spear,

0, death was grateful !

“ Thus, seamed with many scars

Bursting these prison bars,
Up to its native stars

My soul ascended !
There from the flowing bowl
Deep drinks the warrior's soul,
Skoal! to the Northland ! skoal ! " *

-Thus the tale ended.

* In Scandinavia this is the customary salutation when drinking a health. I have slightly changed the orthography of the word, in order to preserve the correct pronunciation.

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It was the schooner Hesperus,

That sailed the wintry sea;
And the skipper had taken his little daughter,

To bear him company.

Blue were her eyes as the fairy-flax,

Her cheeks like the dawn of day, And her bosom white as the hawthorn buds,

That ope in the month of May.

The skipper he stood beside the helm,

His pipe was in his mouth, And he watched how the veering flaw did blow

The smoke now West, now South.

Then up and spake an old Sailor,

Had sailed the Spanish Main, “I pray thee, put into yonder port,

For I fear a hurricane.

“ Last night, the moon had a golden ring,

And to-night no moon we see !”
The skipper, he blew a whiff from his pipe,

And a scornful laugh laughed he.

Colder and louder blew the wind,

A gale from the North-east; The snow fell hissing in the brine,

And the billows frothed like yeast.

Down came the storm, and smote amain

The vessel in its strength ; She shuddered and paused, like a frighted steed,

Then leaped her cable's length.

“Come hither! come hither ! my little daughter,

And do not tremble so ;
For I can weather the roughest gale

That ever wind did blow."

He wrapped her warm in his seaman's coat

Against the stinging blast;
He cut a rope from a broken spar,

And bound her to the mast.

THE WRECK OF THE HESPERUS.

“O father! I hear the church-bells ring,

0
say,
what
may

it be?
“ 'Tis a fog-bell on a rock-bound coast !”

And he steered for the open sea.

“O father! I hear the sound of guns,

O say, what may it be?” “Some ship in distress, that cannot live

In such an angry sea !”

“O father! I see a gleaming light,

O say, what may it be?”
But the father answered never a word,

A frozen corpse was he.

Lashed to the helm, all stiff and stark,

With his face turned to the skies, The lantern gleamed through the gleaming snow

On his fixed and glassy eyes.

Then the maiden clasped her hands and prayed

That saved she might be; And she thought of Christ, who stilled the wave,

On the Lake of Galilee.

And fast through the midnight dark and drear,

Through the whistling sleet and snow, Like a sheeted ghost, the vessel swept

Towards the reef of Norman's Woe.

And ever the fitful gusts between

A sound came from the land ;
It was the sound of the trampling surf,

On the rocks and the hard sea-sand.

The breakers were right beneath her bows,

She drifted a dreary wreck,
And a whooping billow swept the crew

Like icicles from her deck.

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