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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII. 1876–79.

Sweden: Dalecarlia

Scene in a Dalecarlian Mine

By Felicia Hemans (1793–1835)

“HASTE, with your torches, haste! make firelight round!”

They speed, they press,—what hath the miner found!

Relic or treasure, giant sword of old?

Gems bedded deep, rich veins of burning gold?

Not so,—the dead, the dead! An awe-struck band,

In silence gathering round the silent stand,

Chained by one feeling, hushing e’en their breath,

Before the thing that, in the might of death,

Fearful, yet beautiful, amidst them lay,—

A sleeper, dreaming not!—a youth with hair

Making a sunny gleam (how sadly fair!)

O’er his cold brow; no shadow of decay

Had touched those pale bright features, yet he wore

A mien of other days, a garb of yore.

Who could unfold that mystery? From the throng

A woman wildly broke; her eye was dim,

As if through many tears, through vigils long,

Through weary strainings;—all had been for him!

Those two had loved! And there he lay, the dead,

In his youth’s flower, and she, the living, stood

With her gray hair, whence hue and gloss had fled,

And wasted form, and cheek, whose flushing blood

Had long since ebbed,—a meeting sad and strange!

O, are not meetings in this world of change

Sadder than partings oft! She stood there, still

And mute and gazing, all her soul to fill

With the loved face once more,—the young, fair face,

Midst that rude cavern touched with sculpture’s grace,

By torchlight and by death; until at last

From her deep heart the spirit of the past

Gushed in low broken tones: “And there thou art!

And thus we meet, that loved, and did but part

As for a few brief hours!—My friend, my friend!

First love, and only one! is this the end

Of hope deferred, youth blighted! Yet thy brow

Still wears its own proud beauty, and thy cheek

Smiles,—how unchanged!—while I, the worn and weak

And faded,—O, thou wouldst but scorn me now,

If thou couldst look on me!—a withered leaf,

Seared, though for thy sake, by the blast of grief!

Better to see thee thus! For thou didst go,

Bearing my image on thy heart, I know,

Unto the dead. My Ulric! through the night

How have I called thee! With the morning light

How have I watched for thee!—wept, wandered, prayed,

Met the fierce mountain-tempest, undismayed,

In search of thee! Bound my worn life to one,

One torturing hope! Now let me die! ’T is gone.

Take thy betrothed!” And on his breast she fell,—

O, since their youth’s last passionate farewell,

How changed in all but love!—the true, the strong,

Joining in death whom life had parted long!

They had one grave,—one lonely bridal-bed,—

No friend, no kinsman, there a tear to shed!

His name had ceased; her heart outlived each tie,

Once more to look on that dead face—and die!