In my youth hope hired
In my heart a tent;
Promised me a fortune,
Never paid her rent.
Bankrupt is my tenant—
This I know at length—
Why then to expel her
Do I lack the strength?
This poem is in the public domain.
Fairy-like on earth advancing,
All transforming, all entrancing,
Playing on their way and dancing,
Silver stars from sky are dropping,
Little fairies skipping, hopping,
On the roofs and turrets popping,
Crowns with diamonds set.
Greeting nature’s silver wedding,
Argent splendor they are shedding,
And a bridal veil outspreading,
Like a silver net;
Till town-alleys, foul and tainted,
Turn cathedral-aisles ensainted,
Carved with gorgeous, ermine-painted,
Have you heard the linnet trilling,
To discover did you try
What is hidden in her carol—
Does she sing or does she cry?
I am singing like the linnet,
When my heart does pine and long;
Love, and pain, and joy, and sorrow,
All are hidden in my song.
The Rabbi tells his old, old tale,
The pupils seated round.
“…And thus, my boys, no holy oil
In the Temple could be found.
The heathens left no oil to light
The Lord’s eternal lamp;
At last one jar, one single jar,
Was found with the high priest’s stamp.
Its oil could only last one day—
But God hath wondrous ways;
For lo! a miracle occurred:
It burned for eight whole days.”
The tale was ended, but the boys,
All open-eyed and dumb,