Eugene Field

(2 September 1850 - 4 November 1895 / St Louis / Missouri / United States)

The wooing of the southland


(ALASKAN BALLAD)

The Northland reared his hoary head
And spied the Southland leagues away--
"Fairest of all fair brides," he said,
"Be thou my bride, I pray!"

Whereat the Southland laughed and cried:
"I'll bide beside my native sea,
And I shall never be thy bride
Till thou com'st wooing me!"

The Northland's heart was a heart of ice,
A diamond glacier, mountain high--
Oh, love is sweet at any price,
As well know you and I!

So gayly the Northland took his heart
And cast it in the wailing sea--
"Go, thou, with all thy cunning art,
And woo my bride for me!"

For many a night and for many a day,
And over the leagues that rolled between,
The true-heart messenger sped away
To woo the Southland queen.

But the sea wailed loud, and the sea wailed long,
While ever the Northland cried in glee:
"Oh, thou shalt sing us our bridal song,
When comes my bride, O sea!"

At the foot of the Southland's golden throne
The heart of the Northland ever throbs--
For that true-heart speaks in the waves that moan,
The songs that it sings are sobs.

Ever the Southland spurns the cries
Of the messenger pleading the Northland's part;
The summer shines in the Southland's eyes--
The winter bides in her heart!

And ever unto that far-off place
Which love doth render a hallowed spot,
The Northland turneth his honest face
And wonders she cometh not.

The sea wails loud, and the sea wails long,
As the ages of waiting drift slowly by,
But the sea shall sing no bridal song--
As well know you and I!

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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