Narrative and Lyric Poems (first series) for use in the Lower School eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 179 pages of information about Narrative and Lyric Poems (first series) for use in the Lower School.
  He groined[18] his arches and matched his beams;
  Slender and clear were his crystal spars 185
  As the lashes of light that trim the stars;
  He sculptured every summer delight
  In his halls and chambers out of sight;
  Sometimes his tinkling waters slipt
  Down through a frost-leaved forest-crypt.[19] 190
  Long, sparkling aisles of steel-stemmed trees
  Bending to counterfeit a breeze;
  Sometimes the roof no fretwork knew
  But silvery mosses that downward grew;
  Sometimes it was carved in sharp relief[20] 195
  With quaint arabesques[21] of ice-fern leaf;
  Sometimes it was simply smooth and clear
  For the gladness of heaven to shine through, and here
  He had caught the nodding bulrush-tops
  And hung them thickly with diamond drops, 200
  Which crystalled the beams of moon and sun,
  And made a star of every one: 
  So mortal builder’s most rare device
  Could match this winter-palace of ice;
  ’T was as if every image that mirrored lay 205
  In his depths serene through the summer day,
  Each flitting shadow of earth and sky,
    Lest the happy model should be lost,
  Had been mimicked in fairy masonry
    By the elfin builders of the frost. 210

  Within the hall are song and laughter,
    The cheeks of Christmas glow red and jolly,
  And sprouting is every corbel[22] and rafter
    With the lightsome green of ivy and holly;
  Through the deep gulf[23] of the chimney wide 215
  Wallows the Yule-log’s[24] roaring tide;
  The broad flame-pennons droop and flap
    And belly and tug as a flag in the wind;
  Like a locust shrills the imprisoned sap,
    Hunted to death in its galleries blind; 220
  And swift little troops of silent sparks,
    Now pausing, now scattering away as in fear,
  Go threading the soot-forest’s tangled darks
  Like herds of startled deer.

  But the wind without was eager and sharp, 225
  Of Sir Launfal’s gray hair it makes a harp,
      And rattles and wrings
      The icy strings,
  Singing, in dreary monotone,
  A Christmas carol of its own, 230
  Whose burden[25] still, as he might guess,
  Was—­“Shelterless, shelterless, shelterless!”

  The voice of the seneschal[26] flared like a torch
  As he shouted the wanderer away from the porch,
  And he sat in the gateway and saw all night 235
    The great hall-fire, so cheery and bold,
    Through the window-slits of the castle old,
  Build out its piers of ruddy light
  Against the drift of the cold.



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Narrative and Lyric Poems (first series) for use in the Lower School from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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