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The only words that Avarice could utter,
“There's not enough, enough, yet in my store!" While Envy, as she scanned the glittering sight, Groaned as she gnashed her yellow teeth with spite,
“She's more than I, more, still forever more!"
Thus, each in her own fashion, as they wandered,
When suddenly, to their surprise,
The God Desire stood before their eyes.
behestChoose therefore at your own sweet will and pleasure, Honors or treasure !
Or in one word, whatever you'd like best.
Receive-the other, the same boon redoubled !”
Imagine how our amiable pair,
Were mutually troubled !
What boots it, oh, Desire, to me to have
Crowns, treasures, all the goods that heart can crave, Or power divine bestow, Since still another must have always more?"
So each, lest she should speak before
He was enraged in such a way,
With two such beauties in the public road;
Scarce able to be civil even,
Envy at last the silence broke,
And smiling, with malignant sneer,
Who stood in expectation by,
“I would be blinded of one eye!"
'Twas the fisher's wife at her neighbor's door,
And she cried, as she wrung her hands, “O Nora, get your cloak and hood,
And haste with me o'er the sands."
Now a kind man was the fisherman,
And a lucky man was he;
From the Bay of Cromarty.
And the wife had plenty on her board,
And the babe in her arms was fair;
And her brow was black with care.
And she stood at her neighbor's door and cried,
"Oh, woe is me this night!
And left me an ugly sprite.
The wealth of the world to me;
And his teeth like pearls of the sea !
“I went to look for his father's boat,
When I heard the stroke of the oar; And I left him cooing soft in his bed,
As the bird in her nest by the door.
"And there was the father fair in sight,
And pulling hard to the land;
Ere his keel had struck the sand.
“But the fairies had time to steal my babe,
And leave me in his place
And never a smile on his face."
And Nora took her cloak and hood,
And softly by the hand
Across the yellow sand.
"Nay, do not rave, and talk so wild;"
'Twas Nora thus that spoke; “We must have our wits to work against
The arts of fairy folk.
“There's a charm to help us in our need,
But its power we can not try, With the black cloud hanging o'er the brow,
And the salt tear in the eye.
"For wicked things may gibe and grin
With noisy cheer and shout,
Has power to drive them out.
“And if this sprite we can but please
Till he laughs with merry glee, We shall break the spell that holds him here,
And keeps the babe from your knee."
So the mother wiped her tears away,
And patiently and long
With cunning trick and song.
They blew a blast on the fisher's horn,
Each curious prank they tried; They rocked the cradle where he lay,
As a boat is rocked on the tide.
But there the hateful creature kept,
In place of the human child;
And never once he smiled.
Then Nora cried, "Take yonder egg
That lies upon the shelf,
Like tiny cups of delf.”
And the mother took the sea-mew's egg,
And broke in twain the shell, And made of it two tiny cups,
And filled them at the well.
She filled them up as Nora bade,
And set them on the coals: And the imp grew still, for he ne'er had seen
In fairy-land such bowls.
And when the water bubbled and boiled,
Like a fountain in its play, Mirth bubbled up to his lips, and he laughed
Till he laughed himself away!
And the mother turned about, and felt
The heart in her bosom leap ; For the imp was gone, and there in his place
Lay her baby fast asleep.
And Nora said to her neighbor, “Now
There sure can be no doubt
Drive evil spirits out!
“And who can say but the dismal frown
And the doleful sigh are the sin
"O Mary, go and call the cattle home,
Across the sands o' Dee;"
And all alone went she.
The creeping tide came up along the sand,
As far as eye could see;
And never home came she.
“Oh, is it weed, or fish, or floating hair-
Above the nets at sea ?
Among the stakes on Dee."
They rowed her in across the rolling foam,
To her grave beside the sea;