A FAEBIE ROMANCE. 267
might be false to us, the earth would never prove a traitor. But most of our preparations were, in their immediate aim at least, frustrated.
We rose, that fatal morning, by day-break. We had rested from all labour the day before, and now were fresh as the lark. We bathed in cold spring water, and dressed ourselves in clean garments, with a sense of preparation, as for a solemn festivity. When we had broken our fast, I took an old lyre, which I had found in the tower and had myself repaired, and sung for the last time the two ballads of which I have said so much already. I followed them with this, for a closing song :—
Oh, well for him who breaks his dream
"With the blow that ends the strife; And, waking, knows the peace that flows
Around the pain of life!
"We are dead, my brothers! Our bodies clasp,
As an armour, our souls about; This hand is the battle-axe I grasp,
And this my hammer stout.
Fear not, my brothers, for we are dead;
No noise can break our rest; The calm of the grave is about the head,
And the heart heaves not the breast.
And our life we throw to our people back,
To live with, a further store; We leave it them, that there be no lack
In the land where we live no more.