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THE NORMAN BARON.
In his chamber, weak and dying,
In this fight was Death the gainer,
By his bed a monk was seated,
And, amid the tempest pealing,
In ths hall, the serf and vassal
And so loud these Saxon gleemen
Till at length the lays they chanted
Tears upon his eyelids glistened,
"Wassail for the kingly stranger
And the lightning showed the sainted
In that hour of deep contrition
All the pomp of earth had vanished,
Every vassal of his banner,
And, as on the sacred missal
Many centuries have been numbered
But the good deed, through the ages
RAIN IN SUMMER.
How beautiful is the rain!
How it clatters along the roofs,
Like the tramp of hoofs!
How it gushes and struggles out
From the throat of the overflowing spout 1
Across the window-pane
It pours and pours;
And swift and wide,
With a muddy tide,
Like a river down the gutter roars
The rain, the welcome rain J
The sick man from his chamber looks
He can feel the cool
Breath of each little pool;
His fevered brain
Grows calm again,
And he breathes a blessing on the rain.
From the neighboring school
Come the boys,
With more than their wonted noise
And down the wet streets
Sail their mimic fleets,
Till the treacherous pool
Ingulfs them in its whirling
And turbulent ocean.
In the country, on every side,
Where far and wide,
Like a leopard's tawny and spotted hide,
Stretches the plain,
To the dry grass and the drier grain
How welcome is the rain!
In the furrowed land
The toilsome and patient oxen stand;
Lifting the yoke-encumbered head,
With their dilated nostrils spread.
They silently inhale
The clover-scented gale,
And the vapors that arise
From the well-watered and smoking soil
For this rest in the furrow after toil
Their large and lustrous eyes
Seem to thank the Lord,
Near at hand,
From under the sheltering trees,
The farmer sees
His pastures, and his fields of grain,
As they bend their tops
To the numberless beating drops
Of the incessant rain.
He counts it as no sin
That he sees therein
Only his own thrift and gain.
These, and far more than these.
The Poet sees!
He can behold
Walking the fenceless fields of air:
And from each ample fold
Of the clouds about him rolled
The showery rain,
As the farmer scatters his grain.
He can behold
That have not yet been wholly told ;—
Have not been wholly sung nor said.
For his thought, that never stops,
Follows the water-drops
Down to the graves of the dead,
Down through chasms and gulfs profound,