Sleep then ever! Neither singing of sweet birds
shall break your slumber,
Neither fall of dew, nor sunshine, dance of leaves, nor drift of snow,
Charm those dropt lids more to open, nor the tranquil bosoms cumber
With one care for things below!
It is something, the assurance, that you ne’er
shall feel like sorrow,
Weep no past and dread no future—know not sighing, feel not pain—
Nor a day that looketh forward to a mournfuller to-morrow—
“Clouds returning after rain!”
No, far off, the daylight breaketh, in its beams each
“What though clouds,” they sigh, “be gathered dark and stormy to the
Though the light our eyes forsaketh, fresh and sweet behold it breaketh
Into endless day for you!”
KATIE, AGED FIVE YEARS.
(ASLEEP IN THE DAYTIME.)
All rough winds are hushed and silent, golden light
the meadow steepeth,
And the last October roses daily wax more pale and fair;
They have laid a gathered blossom on the breast of one who sleepeth
With a sunbeam on her hair.
Calm, and draped in snowy raiment she lies still,
as one that dreameth,
And a grave sweet smile hath parted dimpled lips that may not speak;
Slanting down that narrow sunbeam like a ray of glory gleameth
On the sainted brow and cheek.
There is silence! They who watch her, speak no
word of grief or wailing,
In a strange unwonted calmness they gaze on and cannot cease,
Though the pulse of life beat faintly, thought shrink back, and hope be
They, like Aaron, “hold their peace.”
While they gaze on her, the deep bell with its long
slow pauses soundeth;
Long they hearken—father—mother—love has nothing more to say:
Beating time to feet of Angels leading her where love aboundeth
Tolls the heavy bell this day.
Still in silence to its tolling they count over all
To lie near their hearts and soothe them in all sorrows and all fears;
Her short life lies spread before them, but they cannot tell her
Easily as tell her years.
Only daughter—Ah! how fondly Thought around
that lost name lingers,
Oft when lone your mother sitteth, she shall weep and droop her head,
She shall mourn her baby-sempstress, with those imitative fingers,
Drawing out her aimless thread.
In your father’s Future cometh many a sad uncheered
But in sleep shall three fair faces heavenly-calm towards him lean—
Like a threefold cord shall draw him through the weariness of sorrow,
Nearer to the things unseen.
With the closing of your eyelids close the dreams
And so ends the fairest chapter in the records of their way:
Therefore—O thou God most holy—God of rest and consolation,
Be Thou near to them this day!