Signe, my flower, my lily fair!
SIGNE. [In subdued, but happy wonderment.]
I am dear to him—I!
As none other I swear.
And is it I that can bind your will!
And is it I that your heart can fill!
Oh, dare I believe you?
Indeed you may.
List to me, Signe! The years sped away,
But faithful was I in my thoughts to you,
My fairest flowers, ye sisters two.
My own heart I could not clearly read.
When I left, my Signe was but a child,
A fairy elf, like the creatures wild
Who play, while we sleep, in wood and mead.
But in Solhoug’s hall to-day, right loud
My heart spake, and right clearly;
It told me that Margit’s a lady proud,
Whilst you’re the sweet maiden I love most dearly.
SIGNE. [Who has only half listened to his words.]
I mind me, we sat in the hearth’s red glow,
One winter evening—’tis long ago—
And you sang to me of the maiden fair
Whom the neckan had lured to his watery lair.
There she forgot both father and mother,
There she forgot both sister and brother;
Heaven and earth and her Christian speech,
And her God, she forgot them all and each.
But close by the strand a stripling stood
And he was heartsore and heavy of mood.
He struck from his harpstrings notes of woe,
That wide o’er the waters rang loud, rang low.
The spell-bound maid in the tarn so deep,
His strains awoke from her heavy sleep,
The neckan must grant her release from his rule,
She rose through the lilies afloat on the pool—
Then looked she to heaven while on green earth she trod,
And wakened once more to her faith and her God.
Signe, my fairest of flowers!
That I, too, have lived in a world of dreams.
But the strange deep words you to-night have spoken,
Of the power of love, have my slumber broken.
The heavens seemed never so blue to me,
Never the world so fair;
I can understand, as I roam with thee,
The song of the birds in air.
So mighty is love—it stirs in the breast
Thought and longings and happy unrest.
But come, let us both to your sister go.
Would you tell her—?
Everything she must know.
Then go you alone;—I feel that my cheek
Would be hot with blushes to hear you speak.
So be it, I go.