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Poem by William Cullen Bryant

A Northern Legend

From the German of Uhland

There sits a lovely maiden,
    The ocean murmuring nigh;
She throws the hook, and watches;
    The fishes pass it by.

A ring, with a red jewel,
    Is sparkling on her hand;
Upon the hook she binds it,
    And flings it from the land.

Uprises from the water
    A hand like ivory fair.
What gleams upon its finger?
    The golden ring is there.

Uprises from the bottom
    A young and handsome knight;
In golden scales he rises,
    That glitter in the light.

The maid is pale with terrorЧ
    "Nay, Knight of Ocean, nay,
It was not thee I wanted;
    Let go the ring, I pray."

"Ah, maiden, not to fishes
    The bait of gold is thrown;
The ring shall never leave me,
    And thou must be my own."

William Cullen Bryant

William Cullen Bryant's other poems:
  1. An Indian Story
  2. Hymn of the City
  3. The Living Lost
  4. The Death of Lincoln
  5. To a Cloud

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