Littell's Living Age/Volume 162/Issue 2099/A Mountain Home

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<poem> On the mountain stands the shieling,

   Where the good old miner dwells;

Green firs rustle, and the moonbeams

   Gild the mountain heights and fells.

In the shieling stands an armchair,

   Carven quaint and cunningly;

Happy he who rests within it,

   And that happy guest am I.

On the footstool sits the lassie,

   Leans upon my lap her head;

Eyes of blue, twin stars in heaven,

   Mouth as any rosebud red.

And the blue eyes gaze upon me,

   Limpid, large as midnight skies;

And the lily finger archly

   On the opening rosebud lies.

"No, the mother cannot see us –

   At her wheel she spins away;

Father hears not-he is singing

   To the zitter that old lay."

So the little maiden whispers,

   Softly, that none else may hear,

Whispers her profoundest secrets

   Unmistrusting in my ear.

Now that auntie's dead, we cannot

   Go again to Goslar, where

People flock to see the shooting:

   'Tis as merry as a fair.

And up here it's lonely, lonely,

   On the mountain bleak and drear;

For the snow lies deep in winter;

   We are buried half the year.

And, you know, I'm such a coward,

   Frightened like a very child

At the wicked mountain spirits,

   Goblins who by night run wild."

Suddenly the sweet voice ceases;

   Startled with a strange surprise

At her own words straight the maiden

   Covers with both hands her eyes.

Louder outdoors moans the fir-tree,

   And the wheel goes whirring round;

Snatches of the song come wafted

   With the zitter's fitful sound.

Fear not, pretty one, nor tremble

   At the evil spirits' might;

Angels, dearest child, are keeping

   Watch around thee day and night.