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Aemmerik and Koit looked deeply into each
other's brown eyes, and when the fading sun
passed from her hand into his, their hands were
pressed together and their lips met. But one
eye that never slumbers had observed what took
place in the still midnight, and Old Father said,
'I am well pleased with your performance of
your duty, and desire that you should both be
happy; so take one another, and hold your office
as man and wife.'

"But both replied from one mouth: 'Father,
mar not our joy. Let us always remain lovers,
for we have found our happiness in wooing, and
our love is now fresh and young.'

"And Old Father granted their prayer, and
blessed their resolve. Only during four weeks
in the year do they both meet at midnight, and
then Aemmerik brings the extinguished sun
to the hand of her lover, the pressure of the
hand and the kiss follow, and Aemmerik's cheek
glows, and its rosy red is reflected in the sky,
until Koit has rekindled the light, and the
golden radiance in the sky announces the
approaching sunrise. And Old Father still
honours the meeting by adorning the fields with
the fairest flowers, and the nightingales in jest
cry to Aemmerik, as she reposes on the bosom
of Koit, 'Laisk tüduk, laisk tüduk! öpik!'
(Tardy maiden, tardy maiden, night has lasted
too long!)"


POOR Margaret's window is alight;
    Poor Margaret sits alone;
Though long into the silent night,
    And far the world is gone.
She lives in shadow till her blood
    Grows blackened, soul and all;
Upon her head a mourning hood,
    Upon her heart a pall.

The stars come nightly out of heaven
    Old darkness to beguile;
For her there is no healing given
    To their sweet spirit-smile.
That honey dew of sleep the skies
    In blessed balm let fall,
Comes not to her poor tired eyes,
    Though it be sent for all.

At some dead flower, with fragrance faint,
    Her life opes like a book;
Some old sweet music makes its plaint,
    And, from the grave's dim nook,
The buried bud of hopes laid low,
    Flowers in the night full-blown;
And little things of long ago
    Come back to her full-grown.

Her heart is wandering in a whirl,
    And she must seek the tomb
Where lies her long-lost little girl.
    Oh well with them for whom
Love's morning star comes round so fair
    As evening star of faith,
Already up and shining, ere
    The dark of coming death.

But Margaret cannot reach a hand
    Beyond the dark of death;
Her spirit swoons in that high land
    Where breathes no human breath:
She cannot look upon the grave
    As one eternal shore,
From which a soul may take the wave
    For heaven, to sail or soar.

Across that deep no sail unfurled
    For her, no wings put forth;
She tries to reach the other world
    By groping through the earth.
Twas there the child went underground,
    They parted in that place;
And ever since the mother found
    The door shut in her face.

Though many effacing springs have wrapped
    With green the dark grave-bed,
'Twas there the breaking heartstrings snapped,
    As she let down her dead;
And there she gropes with wild heart yet,
    For years, and years, and years;
Poor Margaret! and there she'll let
    Her sorrows loose in tears.

All the young mother in her old voice
    Its waking moan will make;
A young aurora light her eyes
    With radiance gone to wreck!
And then at dawn she will return
    To her old self again,
Eyes dim and dry, heart grey and dern,
    And querulous in her pain.

"We never loved each other much,
    I and my poor good-man;
But on the child we lavish'd such
    A love as overran
All boundaries, loving her the more
    Because our love was pent;
Striving as two seas try to pour
    Their strength through one small rent.

"For children come to still link hands,
    When souls have fallen apart;
And hide the rift when either stands
    At distance heart from heart.
So on our little one we'd look,
    Press hands with fonder grasp,
As though we closed some holy book
    Softly with golden clasp.

"And as the dark earth offers up
    Her little winterling
The crocus, pleading with its cup
    Of hoarded gold, to bring
Down all the grey heaven's golden shower
    Of spring to warm the sod;
So did we lift the winsome flower
    That sprang from our dark clod.

"Our little Golden-heart, her name,
    And all things sweet and calm,
And pure and fragrant, round her came
    With gifts of bloom and balm.
And there she grew, my queen of all,
    Golden, and saintly white,
Just as at summer's smiling call
    The lily stands alight

"To knee or nipple grew the goal
    Of her wee stately walk;
The voice of my own silent soul
    Was her dear baby-talk.
Then darklingly she pined and failed.
    And looking on our dead,
The father wailed awhile and ailed,
Turned to the wall and said:

"''Tis dark and still our house of life,
    The fire is burning low,