Imatges de pÓgina
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IX.

KATHLEEN.

O Norah, lay your basket down,

And rest your weary hand,
And come and hear me sing a song

Of our old Ireland.

There was a lord of Galaway,

A mighty lord was he;
And he did wed a second wife,

A maid of low degree.
But he was old, and she was young,

And so, in evil spite,
She baked the black bread for his kin,

And fed her own with white.

She whipped the maids and starved the kern,1

And drove away the poor; Ah, woe is me!" the old lord said,

“I rue my bargain sore !"
This lord he had a daughter fair,

Beloved of old and young,
And nightly round the shealing-fires

Of her the gleeman sung.
“As sweet and good is young Kathleen

As Eve before her fall;
So sang the harper at the fair,

So harped he in the hall.

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O come to me, my daughter dear!

Come sit upon my knee,
For looking in your face, Kathleen,

Your mother's own I see !"
He smoothed and smoothed her hair away,

He kissed her forehead fair : “It is my darling Mary's brow,

It is my darling's hair !"
O, then spake up the angry dame,

“Get up; get up,” quoth she, “I'll sell ye over Ireland,

I'll sell ye o'er the sea !”
She clipped her glossy hair away,

That none her rank might know,
She took away her gown of silk,

And gave her one of tow,3
And sent her down to Limerick town,

And to a seaman sold
This daughter of an Irish lord

For ten good pounds in gold.
The lord he smote upon his breast,

And tore his beard so gray ;
But he was old, and she was young,

And so she had her way.
Sure that same night the Banshee4 howled

To fright the evil dame,
And fairy folks, who loved Kathleen,

With funeral torches came.
She watched them glancing through the trees,

And glimmering down the hill;
They crept before the dead-vault door,

And there they all stood still!

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“Get up, old man ! the wake-lights shine 1"

“Ye murthering witch," quoth he, “So I'm rid of your tongue, I little care

If they shine for you or me.”
O, whoso brings my daughter back,

My gold and land shall have !"
O, then spake up his handsome page,

“No gold nor land I crave !
“But give to me your daughter dear,

Give sweet Kathleen to me,
Be she on sea or be she on land

I'll bring her back to thee.” “My daughter is a lady born,

And you of low degree,
But she shall be your bride the day

You bring her back to me."
He sailed east, he sailed west,

And far and long sailed he, Until he came to Boston town,

Across the great salt sea.
O, have ye seen the young Kathleen,

The flower of Ireland ?
Ye'll know her by her eyes so blue,

And by her snow-white hand !”
Out spake an ancient man, “I know

The maiden whom ye mean;
I bought her of a Limerick man,

And she is called Kathleen.
“No skill hath she in household work,

Her hands are soft and white, Yet well by loving looks and ways

She doth her cost requite."

So up they walked through Boston town,

And met a maiden fair, A little basket on her arm

So snowy-white and bare. Come hither, child, and say hast thou

This young man ever seen ?" They wept within each other's arms, The page and young

Kathleen. "O give to me this darling child,

And take my purse of gold.” “Nay, not by me,” her master said,

“Shall sweet Kathleen be sold. “ We loved her in the place of one

The Lord hath early ta'en ; But, since her heart's in Ireland,

We give her back again !”
Sure now they dwell in Ireland :

As you go up Claremore
Ye'll see their castle looking down

The pleasant Galway shore.
And the old lord's wife is dead and gone,

And a happy man is he,
For he sits beside his own Kathleen,
With her darling on his knee.

J. G. Whittier.

X.

DON QUIXOTE AND THE WINDMILLS.*

ENGAGED in this discourse, they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills which are in that plain ; and as soon as Don Quixote espied them, he said to his squire,1 “ Fortune disposes our affairs better than we ourselves could have desired : look yonder, friend Sancho Panza, where thou mayest discover somewhat more than thirty monstrous giants, whom I intend to encounter and slay; and with their spoils we will begin to enrich ourselves; for it is lawful war, and doing God good service to remove so wicked a generation from off the face of the earth." "What giants?” said Sancho Panza. “Those thou seest yonder," answered his master, “with their long arms; for some are wont to have them almost of the length of two leagues.” “Look, sir," answered Sancho, “those which appear yonder are not giants, but windmills; and what seem to be arms are the sails, which, whirled about by the wind, make the mill-stone go.” “It is very evident," answered Don Quixote, “ that thou art not versed in the business of adventures : they are giants; and if thou art afraid, get thee aside and pray, whilst I engage with them in fierce and unequal combat.” So saying, he clapped spurs to his steed, notwithstanding the cries his squire sent after him, assuring

By kind permission of Messrs. G. Routledge & Sons,

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