Late at eve they were toiling on Harribee bank,
For in harvest men neer should be idle:
Towards them rode Waldemar, meagre and lank,
And he lingerd and drew up his bridle.
Success to your labour; and have ye to night
Seen any thing pass ye, while reaping?
Yes, yes; said a peasant, I saw something white,
Just now, through the corn-stubble creeping.
Which way did it go? Why methought to the beach.
Then off went Waldemar bounding;
A few minutes after, they heard a faint screech,
And the horn of the hunter resounding.
Then back came he, laughing in horrible tone,
And the blood in their veins ran the colder,
When they saw that a fresh-slaughterd mermaid was thrown
Athwart his proud barbs dappled shoulder.
Said he, I have chasd her for seven score years,
As she landed to drink at the fountains.
No more did he deign to their terrified ears,
But gallopd away to the mountains.