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The Yule Guest
by [?]

And Yanna by the yule log
Sat in the empty hall,
And watched the goblin firelight
Caper upon the wall:

The goblins of the hearthstone,
Who teach the wind to sing,
Who dance the frozen yule away
And usher back the spring;

The goblins of the Northland,
Who teach the gulls to scream,
Who dance the autumn into dust,
The ages into dream.

Like the tall corn was Yanna,
Bending and smooth and fair,–
His Yanna of the sea-gray eyes
And harvest-yellow hair.

Child of the low-voiced people
Who dwell among the hills,
She had the lonely calm and poise
Of life that waits and wills.

Only to-night a little
With grave regard she smiled,
Remembering the morn she woke
And ceased to be a child.

Outside, the ghostly rampikes,
Those armies of the moon,
Stood while the ranks of stars drew on
To that more spacious noon,–

While over them in silence
Waved on the dusk afar
The gold flags of the Northern light
Streaming with ancient war.

And when below the headland
The riders of the foam
Up from the misty border rode
The wild gray horses home,

And woke the wintry mountains
With thunder on the shore,
Out of the night there came a weird
And cried at Yanna’s door.

“O Yanna, Adrianna,
They buried me away
In the blue fathoms of the deep,
Beyond the outer bay.

“But in the yule, O Yanna,
Up from the round dim sea
And reeling dungeons of the fog,
I am come back to thee!”

The wind slept in the forest,
The moon was white and high,
Only the shifting snow awoke
To hear the yule guest cry.

“O Yanna, Yanna, Yanna,
Be quick and let me in!
For bitter is the trackless way
And far that I have been!”

Then Yanna by the yule log
Starts from her dream to hear
A voice that bids her brooding heart
Shudder with joy and fear.

The wind is up a moment
And whistles at the eaves,
And in his troubled iron dream
The ocean moans and heaves.

She trembles at the door-lock
That he is come again,
And frees the wooden bolt for one
No barrier could detain.

“O Garvin, bonny Garvin,
So late, so late you come!”
The yule log crumbles down and throws
Strange figures on the gloom;

But in the moonlight pouring
Through the half-open door
Stands the gray guest of yule and casts
No shadow on the floor.

The change that is upon him
She knows not in her haste;
About him her strong arms with glad
Impetuous tears are laced.

She’s led him to the fireside,
And set the wide oak chair,
And with her warm hands brushed away
The sea-rime from his hair.

“O Garvin, I have waited,–
Have watched the red sun sink,
And clouds of sail come flocking in
Over the world’s gray brink,

“With stories of encounter
On plank and mast and spar;
But never the brave barque I launched
And waved across the bar.

“How come you so unsignalled,
When I have watched so well?
Where rides the Adrianna
With my name on boat and bell?”

“O Yanna, golden Yanna,
The Adrianna lies
With the sea dredging through her ports,
The white sand through her eyes.

“And strange unearthly creatures
Make marvel of her hull,
Where far below the gulfs of storm
There is eternal lull.

“O Yanna, Adrianna,
This midnight I am here,
Because one night of all my life
At yule tide of the year,