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Darling, darling! what do I reply? Nothing, I can only listen.

"O love, I so love you,
I would we could merge
To one spirit, one body,
With no mine or thine-
To a union so perfect,
So close, and so single,
That naught could divide us
Again into two."

Hark at the bells again! surely they are ringing a wedding peal! See the precipice; one little step, and down, down, down! Ding dong, bell! Let them ring, for Christmas is coming, and Rudolf!

Yes, Rudolf is coming; he cannot disappoint me, after all the many stormy nights, and weary, waiting days. He is coming; will soon, yes, soon be here! Bright angels guard his feet from. hurt, and bring him safe to Blossom.

"Frae ilka danger keep him free,

O send me safe my somebody !" 2




Is it not time now, that you should come home to your poor little girl? Autumn, when we parted. And see! the snow is making wedding-cake of everywhere. Yes, Rudolf, wedding-cake; and the wedding-breakfast is spread and ready, only waiting, bonnie laddie, for the bridegroom, with his winning, winning smile, and his hair all sheen.

You said it would be but one, two, three months, and then-Oh, my darleen!

I shut my eyes; I seem to see you. I lean my brow upon my hands, and I think that I am resting against you. I fancy your

blessed hands are holding mine, dear.

Why how steadily the snow is falling, falling, and the bells keep on their clanging! Summer has gone, all gone; and autumn. Oh, how long you are in coming! Will you never, never come?

Steps, footsteps, come and go, but Rudolf's tarry. Why, why is it?

My head poor little Blossom's head! little Blossom's head! Mine, you know. 0 my poor head! What does it, can it all mean? The bells, the wedding-bells, ring on. Out in the frosty air they are pealing, and if they stop but a moment, it is only to begin again, louder, ever louder, in poor little Blossom's head. They puzzle, they frighten, they worry me and I did so look forward to my marriagepeal! Never mind; it's all right. "All's right with the world !" I don't care. Who cares? Nothing matters very much, you know.

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W. W. S. (From New Monthly Mag.) 2 Robert Burns.

Nothing. Sure, I'm just daft to fash myself for nothing.

mine, all mine, and I am his for ever.


Ha, ha, ha! see me, the

happiest, merriest girl alive! See how I dance and sing! Coo-ey!

"There's a bliss beyond all that the minstrel has told,
When two, that are link'd in one heavenly tie,
With heart never changing, and brow never cold,
Love on through all ills, and love on till they die !
One hour of a passion so sacred is worth

Whole ages of heartless and wand'ring bliss;
And oh if there be an elysium on earth,
It is this. It is this."

God what is it I hear?

Ding dong, bell, toll!

Who put the knell in the chimes? Ding dong bell, toll! Ding dong bell,

toll! Toll, toll, toll, toll, toll!

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Will those echoing bells never stop? What

is it they say? Silver chimes, do they call them? leaden, rather.

Stop them, or my brain will go.

But stay. Wait a moment.

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and excitement as of some one arriving!

Who else can it be, this coming guest, but Rudolf!

Surely it is he who will presently come gaily up the stair, and take his

girl, Rudolf's girl, to his heart!

coming. Music!

Who are these

Even now I hear his footstep

"And will I see his face again?

And will I hear him speak?

I'm down richt dizzy in the thocht,
In troth, I'm like to greet !"

coming with scared looks and hush'd voices?

Go! Leave me! I do not like it. take my resisting hand in yours, and

What is it you say? Why strive to stay my unceasing

walking up and down, here, there, and everywhere?

Leave me! I am but wiling away the time till Rudolf comes.

1 Moore: "Lalla Rookh."

8 Hamilton Aïdé.

"C. Rossetti.

Jean Adams.

Yes, Rudolf! What is there in that name to startle you? he will soon be here; even now I hear his footstep coming from far, far


Go! Rather stay those bells than try to stay Blossom: sure they deafen all other sounds with their ceaseless clanging.

What is it you are saying?

Rudolf is not coming! cannot, cannot come!

It is false the very bells even refuse to echo the hateful word this time; I tell you it is untrue.


True! True!! True!!!

For God's sake, stop them!

Listen to the chimes again!

Will they madden me? Go!

Scatter your untrue Christmas tidings where you will; but not to me shall you repeat the lie!

Rudolf-not-coming? Ha, ha, ha! I tell you he is coming.


"I will possess him or will die.

I will grow round him in his place.
Grow, live, die, looking on his face,
Die, dying clasped in his embrace." 1

Why do you shake your heads, and scan me over-pity-laden lashes? Away! I will have none of it! Keep your pity for the unhappy-they who need it; waste none of it on joyous, gladsome Blossom. See, I make the very house ring with my merry laugh! Who is there more to be envied than I?

Who weeps at,

Why those quivering lips and falling tears? Christmas time? the season of joy and peace on earth to all, but especially to me? Only wait a moment, and we, Rudolf and I, will dry those tears, and bring back the smiles again.

For the sake of Heaven, peace to those lowered whispers, veil

those sorrowful glances; I cannot bear them.

Tell me, is he here? Rudolf? Mine? Surely those tramping feet are his messengers, to tell me he is come, to prepare me for the meeting! He knows I'm waiting.

""Tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark

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Hush! not a sound! Let me catch the faintest movements that fall on my straining ears to tell me of my darling's coming. "Ah there was a time, when bliss

Shone o'er thy heart from ev'ry look of his ;
When but to see him, hear him, breathe the air

In which he dwelt, was the soul's fondest prayer."

! Tennyson: "Fatima."



3 Moore

Was! ha, ha, ha! Is! What have I do with the past? Mine is all in the present, aye, and the future. Oh, the glorious future! without a cloud to dim its brightness!

See the ring he gave me! Not till he, with his own dear hand, removes it for another, a plainer one, shall it be moved! Not till he, with his warm love lips, renews the kiss he left on mine, shall kiss there be pressed! Not till once again I feel his strong arm round me shall I be held to his beating heart!

Fly moments, fly! and bring to me my Rudolf! ha!

He is come!

I hear you say the blessed words, whisper though you may! Unhand me! Let me go! Keep me not a moment from mine own! Even now he wonders that I tarry. Open wide the door. Undraw the blinds. Undraw the blinds. curtains. Let in the sound of wedding-bells. mourning you welcome him? as for one dead?

Dead. Dead. Dead.

God those bells!

Fasten back the Is it to a house of

Piteously I entreat you let me go! Let-me-go! He is come you say? but he is ill, so ill? ha, ha, ha! the more reason that I should be by his side, in sickness or in health! ha, ha, ha! till death do us part! He is calling for me! hark, I hear him!

Keep me not!

He cannot hear me! See me !

Let me go!

He is dead!

Bah! what is dead? I do not believe you! I go!

Rudolf! My darling!! Rudolf !!!

Speak to me !

Can this be Rudolf? With closed eyes and dripping, dripping hair! God!

O Rudolf, open your dear, dear eyes: see your Blossom! (He does not stir.)

Rudolf, what have I done? Why won't you move? See, darling, I lay my head upon your breast, as I used to do, Rudolf. Rudolf!

God help!

O my bonnie, so long, so long away. Is this how you return to your little girl, your Blossom! No, no; you are sleeping, dearest; wake up, wake up, and take her to you!

See, he is only sleeping; he is tired, so tired, let him be.

Leave us, so that when he wakes my face may be the first to

meet his gaze, my eyes the first to look in his.

Go! He is so

Yet 'twas

weary; look, as a tired child waiting for the night. I pray the bells may not awaken him. You startled me at first. a likely mistake. Sleep is not unlike death.

Death. Death.
Ding, dong, bell, toll!
Ding, dong, bell, toll!

Rudolf, darling, do not heed


Ding, dong, bell, toll!
Toll, toll, toll, toll, toll.

the chimes; it is but the knell of the old year they are tolling. Soon will strike up marriage-bells; a wedding-peal; your's and mine, Rudolf.

They have left us, dear; we are quite alone. See, your wife so soon to be. Kiss her, sweetest, as she kisses you. Feel how warm her cheek is as it nestles close to yours. Ah, how cold, how very cold-you are. But you have come a long distance through the snow, no wonder. Rudolf, I do not want you to awaken sooner than you wish, only, dearest, won't you unclasp your dear hands a moment, and entwine them in your darling's once again. See, so -the icy chillness!

Do I disturb you, bonniest? Listen, then, and as I lay my head upon the pillow close beside you, I will sing a lullaby and lull you in your sleep

Sleep, sleep, my darling
Whilst I watch beside :
God, draw a curtain,
And the world divide
From you and me.
Gently, gently sleep!
Joy pillow my breast;
I am guarding you.

Rest, my Rudolf, rest !

Rudolf, are you still dreaming? or can you feel the throbbing of my heart as it answers yours? O Rudolf, you frighten me! It is unlike you to remain thus long so very still and white! and oh, though I can hear the beating of my own heart keeping time with the bells, pit-pat, ding-dong! yours, darling! yours is silent!. silent!! silent!!! Awake, awake, I cannot bear the awful stillness longer! Darling! Darling!! Darling!!!

O my God! he does not, will not, cannot hear! Help me! The room is going round! The floor sinks under me!

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Is it summer? is it winter? is it morning, noon, or night?

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