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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 53 pages of information about Ballads.

In all the land of the tribe was neither fish nor fruit,
And the deepest pit of popoi stood empty to the foot. {2a}
The clans upon the left and the clans upon the right
Now oiled their carven maces and scoured their daggers bright;
They gat them to the thicket, to the deepest of the shade,
And lay with sleepless eyes in the deadly ambuscade. 
And oft in the starry even the song of morning rose,
What time the oven smoked in the country of their foes;
For oft to loving hearts, and waiting ears and sight,
The lads that went to forage returned not with the night. 
Now first the children sickened, and then the women paled,
And the great arms of the warrior no more for war availed. 
Hushed was the deep drum, discarded was the dance;
And those that met the priest now glanced at him askance. 
The priest was a man of years, his eyes were ruby-red, {2b}
He neither feared the dark nor the terrors of the dead,
He knew the songs of races, the names of ancient date;
And the beard upon his bosom would have bought the chief’s estate. 
He dwelt in a high-built lodge, hard by the roaring shore,
Raised on a noble terrace and with tikis {2c} at the door. 
Within it was full of riches, for he served his nation well,
And full of the sound of breakers, like the hollow of a shell. 
For weeks he let them perish, gave never a helping sign,
But sat on his oiled platform to commune with the divine,
But sat on his high terrace, with the tikis by his side,
And stared on the blue ocean, like a parrot, ruby-eyed. 
Dawn as yellow as sulphur leaped on the mountain height: 
Out on the round of the sea the gems of the morning light,
Up from the round of the sea the streamers of the sun; —
But down in the depths of the valley the day was not begun. 
In the blue of the woody twilight burned red the cocoa-husk,
And the women and men of the clan went forth to bathe in the dusk,
A word that began to go round, a word, a whisper, a start: 
Hope that leaped in the bosom, fear that knocked on the heart: 
“See, the priest is not risen—­look, for his door is fast! 
He is going to name the victims; he is going to help us at last.”

Thrice rose the sun to noon; and ever, like one of the dead,
The priest lay still in his house with the roar of the sea in his head;
There was never a foot on the floor, there was never a whisper of speech;
Only the leering tikis stared on the blinding beach. 
Again were the mountains fired, again the morning broke;
And all the houses lay still, but the house of the priest awoke. 
Close in their covering roofs lay and trembled the clan,
But the aged, red-eyed priest ran forth like a lunatic man;
And the village panted to see him in the jewels of death again,
In the silver beards of the old and the hair of women slain. 
Frenzy shook in his limbs, frenzy shone in his eyes,

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