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priest. The Spokesman delivers an oration after the ancient custom, interlarded with quotations from the Bible; and invites the Saviour to be present at this marriage feast, as he was at the marriage feast in Cana of Galilee. The table is not sparingly set forth, and the feast gues cheerily on, Punch and brandy pass round between the courses, and here and there a pipe is smoked, while waiting for the next dish. They sit long at table; and then the dance begins. It is led off by the bride and the priest, who perform a solemn minuet together. Not till after midnight comes the Last Dance. The girls form a ring round the bride, to keep her from the hands of the married women, who endeavour to break through the magic circle and seize their new sister. After long struggling they succeed ; and the crown is taken from her head and the jewels from her neck, and her bodice is unlaced and her kirtle taken off; then, like a vestal virgin, clad all in white, she goes, but it is to her marriage chamber, not to her grave; and the wedding guests follow her with lighted candles in their hands. And this is a village bridal.

But I must not forget to speak of the suddenly changing seasons of the Northern clime. There is no long spring, gradually unfolding leaf and blossom; -no lingering autumn, pompous with many-coloured leaves. But winter and summer are wonderful, and pass into each other. The quail has hardly ceased piping in the corn, when winter from the folds of trailing clouds sows broadcast over the land snow, icicles, and rattling hail. The days wane apace, Ere long the sun bardly rises above the horizon, or does not rise at all. The moon and the stars shine through the day; only, at noon, they are pale and wan, and in the southern sky a red, fiery glow, as of sunset, burns along the horizon, and then goes out. And pleasantly, under the silver moon and twinkling stars, ring the steel shoes of the skaters on the frozen sea, and voices, and the sound of bells.

And now the Northern Lights begin to burn, faintly at first, like sunbeams playing in the waters of the blue sea. Then a soft crimson glow tinges the heavens. There is a blush on the cheek of night. The colours come and go, and change from crimson to gold, from gold to crimson. The snow is stained with rosy light. Twofold from the zenith, east and west, flames a fiery sword; and a broad band passes athwart the heavens, like a summer sunset. Soft purple clouds come sailing over the sky, and through their vapoury folds the winking stars shine white as silver.. With such pomp as this is Merry Christmas ushered in, though only a single star heralded the first Christmas. And iv memory of that day the Swedish persants dance on straw; and the peasant girls throw straws at the timbered roof of the hall, and for every one that sticks in a crack shall a groomsman come to their wedding. Merry indeed is Christmas-time for Swedish peasants : brandy and nut-brown ale in wooden bowls; and the great Yulecake, crowned with a cheese and garlanded with apples, and upholding a three-armed candlestick over the Christmas feast.

And now leafy mid-summer, full of blossoms and the song of nightingales, is come! In every village there is a Maypole fifty feet high, with wreaths and roses and ribands streaming in the wind, and a noisy weathercock on top. The sun does not set till ten o'clock at night; and the children are at play in the streets an hour later. The windows and doors are all open, and you may sit and read till midnight without a candle. O how beautiful is the summer night, which is not night, but a sunless yet unclouded day, descending upon earth with dews, and shadows, and refreshing coolness! How beautiful the long, mild twilight, which unites to-day with yesterday! How beautiful the silent hour, when Morning and Evening thus sit together, hand in hand, beneath the starless sky of midnight! Froin che church tower in the public square the bell tolls the hour, with a soft, musical chime; and the watchman, whose watch-tower is the belfry, blows a blast in his horn, for each stroke of the hammer, and four times, to the four corners of the heavens, in a sonorous voice he chants,

Ho! watchman, ho!

Twelve is the clock !
God keep our town
From fire and brand,
And hostile hand!
Twelve is the clock !"

From his swallow's nest in the belfry he can see the sun all night long; and

E

with roses,

farther north the priest stands at his door in the warm midnight, and lights his pipe with a common burning glass.

I trust that these remarks will not be deemed irrelevant to the poem, but will. lead to a clearer understanding of it. The translation is literal, perhaps to a fault. In no instance have I done the author a wrong, by introducing into his work any supposed improvements or embellishments of my own. I have preserved even the measure ; in which, it must be confessed, the motions of the English Muse are not unlike those of a prisoner dancing to the music of his chains; and perhaps, as Dr. Johnson said of the dancing dog," the wonder is not that she should do it so well, but that she should do it at all.”

Esaias Tegnér, the author of this poem, was born in the parish of By, in Wärmland, in the year 1782. In 1799 he entered the Universiiy of Lund, as a student; and in 1812 was appointed Professor of Greek in that institution. In 1824 he became Bishop of Wexiö, which office he still holds. He is the glory and boast of Sweden, and stands first among all her poets, living or dead. His principal work is Frithiofs Saga, one of the musi remarkable poems of the age. Bishop Tegnér is a prophet, honoured in his oirn country, adding one more to the list of great names that adorn her history. PENTECOST, day of rejoicing, had come. The church of the village Gleaming stood in the morning's sheen. On the spire of the belfry, Tipped with a vane of metal, the friendly flames of the spring-sun Glanced like the tongues of fire, beheld by Apostles aforetime. Clear was the heaven and blue, and May, with her cap crowned Stood in her holiday dress in the fields, and the wind and the

brooklet Murmured gladness and peace, God's-peace ! with lips rosy-tinted Whispered the race of the flowers, and merry on balancing branches Birds were singing their carol, a jubilant hymn to the Highest. Swept and clean was the churchyard. Adorned like a leaf-woven

arbour Stood its old-fashioned gate ; and within upon each cross of iron Hung was a fragrant garland, new twined by the hands of affection. Even the dial, that stood on a hillock among the departed, (There full a hundred years had it stood,) was embellished with

blossoms. Like to the patriarch hoary, the sage of his kith and the hamlet, Who on his birth-day is crowned by children and children's

children, So stood the ancient prophet, and mute with his pencil of iron Marked on the tablet of stone, and measured the time and its

changes, While all around at his feet an eternity slumbered in quiet. Also the church within was adorned, for this was the season When the young, their parents' hope, and the loved ones of heaven, Should at the foot of the altar renew the vows of their baptism. Therefore each nook and corner was swept and cleaned, and the

dust was Blown from the walls and ceiling, and from the oil-painted benches. There stood the church like a garden ; the Feast of the Leafy

Pavilions* * The Feast of the Tabernacles; in Swedish, Löfhyddohögtiden, the Leaf huts’-high-tide,

Suwwe in living presentment. From noble arms on the church wall Grew forth a cluster of leaves, and the preacher's pulpit of oak-wood Budded once more anew, as aforetime the rod before Aaron. Wreathed thereon was the Bible with leaves, and the dove, washed

with silver, Under its canopy fastened, had on it a necklace of wild flowers. But in front of the choir, round the altar-piece painted by Hörberg, * Crept a garland gigantic; and bright-curling tresses of angels Peeped, like the sun from a cloud, from out of the shadowy leaf

work. Likewise the lustre of brass, new-polished, blinked from the ceiling, And for lights there were lilies of Pentecost set in the sockets.

Loud rang the bells already; the thronging crowd was assembled Far from valleys and hills, to list to the holy preaching. Hark! then roll forth at once the mighty tones from the organ, Hover like voices from God, aloft like invisible spirits. Like as Elias in heaven, when he cast off from him his mantle, Even so cast off the soul its garments of earth ; and with one voice Chimed in the congregation,

and sang an anthem immortal Of the sublime Wallio, t of David's harp in the North-land Tuned to the choral of Luther; the song on its powerful pinions Took every living soul, and lifted it gently to heaven, And every face did shine like the Holy One's face upon Tabor. Lo! there entered then into the church the Reverend Teacher. Father he hight and he was in the parish ; a christianly plainness Clothed from his head to his feet the old man of seventy winters. Friendly was he to behold, and glad as the heralding angel Walked he among the crowds, but still a contemplative grandeur Lay on his forehead as clear, as on moss-covered grave-stone a

sunbeam. As in his inspiration (an evening twilight that faintly Gleams in the human soul, even now, from the day of creation Th’ Artist, the friend of heaven, imagines St. John when in Patmos, Gray, with his eyes uplifted to heaven, so seemed then the old man; Such was the glance of his eye, and such were his tresses of silver. All the congregation arose in the pews that were numbered. But with a cordial look, to the right and the left hand, the old man Nodding all hail and peace, disappeared in the innermost chancel.

Simply and solemnly now proceeded the Christian service, Singing and prayer, and at last an ardent discourse from the old Many a moving word and warning, that out of the heart came, Fell like the dew of the morning, like manna on those in the desert. Afterwards, when all was finished, the Teacher reëntered the

chancel, * The peasant-painter of Sweden. He is known chiefly by his altar-pieces in the village churches.

+ A distinguished pulpit-orator and poet. He is particularly remarkable for the beauty and sublimity of his psalms.

man.

Followed therein by the young. On the right hand the boys had

their places, Delicate figures, with close-curling hair and cheeks rosy-blooming. But on the left hand of these, there stood the tremulous lilies, Tinged with the blushing light of the morning, the diffident

maidens, Folding their hands in prayer, and their eyes cast down on the

pavement. Now came, with question and answer, the Catechism. In the

beginning Answered the children with troubled and faltering voice, but the

old man's Glances of kindness encouraged them soon, and the doctrines

eternai Flowed, like the waters of fountains, so clear from lips unpolluteii

. Whene'er the answer was closed, and as oft as they named the

Redeemer, Lowly louted

the boys, and lowly the maidens all courtesied. Friendly the Teacher stood, like an angel of light there among then, And to the children explained he the holy, the highest, in few words. Thorough, yet simple and clear, for sublimity always is simple, Both in sermon and song, a child can seize on its meaning. Even as the green-growing bud is unfolded when Spring-tide

approaches, Leaf by leaf is developed, and, warmed by the radiant sunshine, Blushes with purple and gold, till at last the perfected blossom Opens its odorous chalice, and rocks with its crown in the breezes, So was unfolded here the Christian lore of salvation, Line by line from the soul of childhood. The fathers and mothers Stood behind them in tears, and were glad at each well-worded

answer.

Now went the old man up to the altar ;-and straightway

transfigured (So did it seem unto me) was then the affectionate Teacher. Like the Lord's Prophet sublime, and awful as Death and

Judgment Stood he, the God-commissioned, the soul-searcher, earthward

descending. Glances, sharp as a sword, into hearts, that to him were transparent, Shot he; his voice was deep, was low like the thunder afar off. So on a sudden transfigured he stood there, he spake and he

questioned. “ This is the faith of the Fathers, the faith the Apostles delivered, This is moreover the faith whereunto I baptized you, while still ye Lay on your mothers' breasts, and nearer the portals of heaven. Slumbering received you then the Holy Church in its bosom; Wakened from sleep are ye now, and the light in its radiant

splendour

ye, before

a

Rains from the heaven downward ;-to-day on the threshold of

childhood Kindly she frees you again, to examine and make your election, For she knows nought of compulsion, and only conviction desireth. This is the hour of your trial, the turning-point of existence, Seed for the ccming days ; without revocation departeth Now from your lips the confession; Bethink

ye make answer! Think not, O think notwith guile to deceive the questioning Teacher. Sharp is his eye to-day, and a curse ever rests upon falsehood. Enter not with a lie on Life's journey; the multitude hears you, Brothers and sisters and parents, what dear upon earth is and holy Standeth before your sight as a witness; the Judge everlasting, Looks from the sun down upon you, and angels in waiting beside him Grave your confession in letters of fire, upon tablets eternal. Thus then,-believe ye in God, in the Father who this world created ? Him who redeemed it, the Son, and the Spirit where both are united ? Will ye promise me here, (a holy promise !) to cherish God more than all things earthly, and every man as a brother? Will ye promise me here, to confirm your faith by your living, Th' heavenly faith of affection! to hope, to forgive, and to suffer, Be what it may your condition, and walk before God in uprightness ? Will ye promise me this before God and man?”—with a clear voice Answered the young men Yes! and Yes! with lips softly-breathing Answered the maidens eke. Then dissolved from the brow of the

Teacher Clouds with the thunders therein,and hespakein accents moregentle, Soft as the evening's breath, as harps by Babylon's rivers. “Hail, then, hail to you all! To the heirdom of heaven be ye

welcome. Children no more from this day, but by covenant brothers and sisters ! Yet,-for what reason not children? Of such is the kingdom of

heaven. Here upon earth an assemblage of children, in heaven one Father, Ruling them all as his household,- forgiving in turn and chastising, That is of human life a picture, as Scripture has taught us. Blessed are the pure before God! Upon purity and upon virtue Resteth the Christian Faith; she herself from on high is descended. Strong as a man and pure as a child, is the sum of the doctrine Which the Divine One taught, and suffered and died on the cross

for. 0! as ye wander this day from childhood's sacred asylum Downward and ever downward, and deeper in Age's chill valley, 0! how soon will ye come,-too soon!--and long to turn backward Up to its hill-tops again, to the sun-illumined, where Judgment Stood like a father before you, and Pardon, clad like a mother, Gave you her hand to kiss, and the loving heart was forgiven. Life was a play, and your hands grasped after the roses of heaven! Seventy years have I lived already; the Father eternal

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