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O, then she hears the lark in the skies,
And thinks, " What is it to God he says?"

And she stumbles, and falls, and cannot rise,
For the water stifles her downward face.

The little brook flows on, as before,

The little lark sings with as sweet a sound;

The little babe crows at the cottage door; And the red rose blooms, but Christel lies drown'd.

Come in softly, this is the room;

Is not that an innocent face?
Yes, those flowers give a faint perfume,—

Think child, of Heaven, and the Lord His grace.

Three at the right, and three at the left,
Two at the feet, and two at the head,

The tapers burn. The friends bereft,

Have cried till their eyes are swollen and red.

Who would have thought it when little Christel
PonderM on what the preacher had told?

But the good wise God does all things well,
And the fair young creature lies dead and cold.

VI.

Then a little stream crept into the place,

And rippled up to the coffin's side,
And touch'd the corpse on its pale round face,

And kiss'd the eyes till they trembled wide:

Saying, " I am a river of joy from Heaven;

You help'd the brook, and I help you,
I sprinkle your brow with life-drops seven,

I bathe your eyes with healing dew."

Then a rose-branch in through the window came, And colourM her cheeks and lips with red;

"I remember, and Heaven does the same," Was all that the faithful rose-branch.said.

Then a bright small form to her cold neck clung,
It breath'd on her, till her breast did fill,

Saying, " I am a cherub, fond and young,
And I saw who breathed on the baby's mill."

Then little Christel sat up and smil'd,

And said, " Who put these flowers in my hand?" And rubb'd her eyes, poor innocent child;

Not being able to understand.

VII.

But soon she heard the big bell of the Church

Give the hour, which made her say, "Ah! I have slept and dream'd in the porch;

It is a very drowsy day."

Anon

LXXXVII

KING ROBERT OF SICILY

"He hath put down the mighty from their seat"

Robert of Sicily, brother of Pope Urbane
And Valmond, emperor of Allemaine,
Apparell'd in magnificent attire,
With retinue of many a knight and squire,

On St. John's Eve, at vespers, proudly sat

And heard the priests chant the Magnificat,

And as he listened, o'er and o'er again

Repeated, like a burden, or refrain,

He caught the words " Deposuit potentes

De sede, et exaltavit humiles ;"

And slowly lifting up his kingly head,

He, to a learned clerk beside him, said,

"What mean these words?" The clerk made

answer meet, "He has put down the mighty from their seat, And has exalted them of low degree." Thereat king Robert mutterM scornfully, "'Tis well that such seditious words are sung Only by priests, and in the Latin tongue: For unto priests and people be it known, There is no power can push me from my throne." And leaning back he yawn'd and fell asleep, Lull'd by the chant, monotonous and deep.

When he awoke it was already night,

The church was empty, and there was no light,

Save where the lamps, that glimmer'd few and faint,

Lighted a little space before some saint.

He started from his seat and gazed around,

He saw no living thing and heard no sound;

He grop'd toward the door, but it was lock'd—

He cried aloud, and listen'd, and then knock'd,

And utter'd awful threat'nings and complaints,

And imprecations upon men and saints.

The sounds re-echoed from the roof and walls,

As if dead priests were laughing in their stalls.

At length the sexton, hearing from without
The tumult of the knocking, and the shout,
And thinking thieves were in the house of prayer,
Came with his lantern, asking—" Who is there?"
Half choked with rage, king Robert fiercely said,
"Open: 'tis I, the king, art thou afraid?"
The frighten'd sexton flung the portal wide;
A man rush'd by him at a single stride—
Haggard, half naked, without hat or cloak—
Who neither turn'd, nor look'd at him, nor spoke,
But leap'd into the blackness of the night,
And, like a spectre, vanish'd from the sight.

Robert of Sicily, brother of Pope Urbane
And Valmond, emperor of Allemaine,
Despoil'd of his magnificent attire,
Bareheaded, breathless, and besprent with mire,
With sense of wrong and outrage desperate,
Strode on, and thunderM at the palace gate,
Rush'd thro' the court-yard, thrusting in his rage
To right and left each seneschal and page,
Until at last he reach'd the banquet room,
Blazing with light, and breathing with perfume.

There on the dais sat another king,
Wearing his robes, his crown, his signet ring;
King Robert's self in features, form, and height,
But all transfigured with angelic light!
It was an angel; and his presence there
With a divine effulgence fill'd the air,
An exaltation piercing the disguise,
Though none the hidden angel recognise.
A moment speechless, motionless, amazed,

The throneless monarch on the angel gazed:

Who met his looks of anger and surprise

With the divine compassion of his eyes;

Then said, "Who art thou? and why com'st thou

here?"
To which king Robert answer'd, with a sneer,
"I am the king, and come to claim my own
From an impostor, who usurps my throne."
The angel answer'd, with unruffled brow,
"Nay, not the king, but the king's jester; thou
Henceforth shalt wear the bells and scallop'd cape,
And for thy counsellor shalt lead an ape,
Thou shalt obey my servants when they call,
And wait upon my henchmen in the hall."
Deaf to king Robert's threats, and cries, and prayers,
They thrust him from the hall, and down the stairs,
It was no dream; the world he lov'd so much,
Had turn'd to dust and ashes at his touch.

Days came and went, and now return'd again
To Sicily, the old Saturnian reign;
Under the angel's governance benign
The happy island danced with corn and wine;
And deep within the mountain's burning breast
Enceladus the giant was at rest.
Meanwhile king Robert yielded to his fate,
Sullen, and silent, and disconsolate;
Dress'd in the motley garb that jesters wear,
Close shaven above the ears, with vacant stare,
His only friend the ape, his only food
What others left,—he still was unsubdued.
And when the angel met him on his way,
And half in earnest, half in jest would say,

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