O! my child! my child!
Peace! she is well—Sleep folds her in his
And each upheaving of his drowsy breast
Is like a billow upon pleasure’s sea,
Wafting her on to far Hesperides.
This is no healthy sleep that wraps her now,
Else would she waken at my anxious cry;
’Tis death-sleep, wretched man.
Let’s bear her hence.
Nay! let him now unwind his magic spells,
Or fall our vengeance on his guilty head.
Dismiss your fears, and cease your threats. Old man, Soon shall I prove how much you wrong my love; Thus do I call the spirit home again, And wave the slumber backward from her eyes.
passes to awaken her, but without
effect after long persistence.
Impostor! would you mock e’en Death itself,
Calling it sleep!—You see, Death mocks you back.
In vain! no further seek to blind our fears.
’Tis strange!... stand back, Sirs ... ’tis your influence Hath neutralized my power—stand off, I say!
[Continuing the passes in great agitation.
By Heaven!—It is too much—Let
fall the mask!
O villain! you have done your worst at last,
And ta’en the sweetest life in all the land;
But vengeance swift shall follow on your track.
Hold! hold! young man, talk not of vengeance here; This sleep shall pass and shame your blood-hot words— If it pass’d not the vengeance were forestall’d.
[A silence—continuing the passes.
O Mabel! Mabel! hear me where thou art!
Come to the lonely heart that yearns for thee,—
Come to the eyes that seek thee through salt tears!
Patience, Sirs, now methinks the sense returns;
A smile steals o’er her lips, and roseate hues
Make morning on her downy cheek again:
Back ... back—my anguish shall unwind the charm!
Sir, I acquit you—pity you—perceive You loved her, and have err’d against yourself; But cease these struggles that but mock us now, They nought avail—my child is dead!...
Life’s chalice is empty—pour in!
What?—Pour in Strength!
Strength for the struggle through good and ill;
Through good—that the soul may be upright still,
Unspoil’d by riches, unswerving in will,
To walk by the light of unvarnish’d truth,
Up the flower-border’d path of youth;—
Through ill—that the soul may stoutly hold
Its faith, its freedom through hunger and cold,
Steadfast and pure as the true men of old.
Strength for the sunshine, strength for the gloom,
Strength for the conflict, strength for the tomb;
Let not the heart feel a craven fear—
Draw from the fountain deep and clear;
Brim up Life’s chalice—pour in! pour in!
Pour in Strength!