The Northland reared his hoary head
And spied the Southland leagues away—
“Fairest of all fair brides,” he said,
“Be thou my bride, I pray!”
Whereat the Southland laughed and cried
“I’ll bide beside my native sea,
And I shall never be thy bride
’Til thou com’st wooing me!”
The Northland’s heart was a heart
A diamond glacier, mountain high—
Oh, love is sweet at my price,
As well know you and I!
So gayly the Northland took his heart;
And cast it in the wailing sea—
“Go, thou, with all my cunning art
And woo my bride for me!”
For many a night and for many a day,
And over the leagues that rolled between
The true heart messenger sped away
To woo the Southland queen.
But the sea wailed loud, and the sea wailed
While ever the Northland cried in glee:
“Oh, thou shalt sing us our bridal song,
When comes my bride, O sea!”
At the foot of the Southland’s golden
The heart of the Northland ever throbs—
For that true heart speaks in the waves that moan
The songs that it sings are sobs.
Ever the Southland spurns the cries
Of the messenger pleading the Northland’s
The summer shines in the Southland’s eyes—
The winter bides in her heart.
And ever unto that far-off place
Which love doth render a hallow spot,
The Northland turneth his honest face
And wonders she cometh not.
The sea wails loud, and the sea wails
As the ages of waiting drift slowly by,
But the sea shall sing no bridal song—
As well know you and I!
OLD DUTCH LOVE SONG.
I am not rich, and yet my wealth
Surpasseth human measure;
My store untold
Is not of gold
Nor any sordid treasure.
Let this one hoard his earthly pelf,
Another court ambition—
Not for a throne
Would I disown
My poor and proud condition!
The worldly gain achieved to-day
To-morrow may be flying—
The gifts of kings
Are fleeting things—
The gifts of love undying!
In her I love is all my wealth—
For her my sole endeavor;
No heart, I ween,
Hath fairer queen,
No liege such homage, ever!
(The exile Meliboeus finds Tityrus in possession of his own farm, restored to him by the emperor Augustus, and a conversation ensues. The poem is in praise of Augustus, peace and pastoral life.)
Tityrus, all in the shade of the wide-spreading beech tree reclining,
Sweet is that music you’ve made on your pipe that is oaten and slender;
Exiles from home, you beguile our hearts from their hopeless repining,
As you sing Amaryllis the while in pastorals tuneful and tender.