So the little blind elf with his feathered shaft
Did more than the sword could do,
For he conquered and took with his magical craft
Her heart and her castle, too.
On my soul the toll of bell
Trembles. Thou art calmly sleeping
While my weary heart is weeping:
I cannot listen to thy knell:
Sleep and rest:
Sorrow shall not pain thy breast,
Pangs and pains that pierce the mortal
Cannot enter at the portal
Of the Mansion of the Blest:
Sleep and rest.
Heart that nevermore will beat
At the footsteps of thy lover;
All thy cares and fears are over.
In thy silent winding-sheet
In the garden and the dell
Where thou lov’dst to stroll and meet me,
Nevermore thy kiss shall greet me,
Nevermore, O Isabel!
We shall meet—
Where the wings of angels beat:
When my toils and cares are over,
Thou shalt greet again thy lover—
Robed and crowned at Jesus’ feet
We shall meet.
Watch and wait
At the narrow, golden gate;
Watch my coming,—wait my greeting,
For my years are few and fleeting
And my love shall not abate:
Watch and wait.
O my darling Isabel;
Till we meet in the supernal
Mansion and with love eternal
In the golden city dwell,
BYRON AND THE ANGEL
“Why this fever—why this sighing?—
Why this restless longing—dying
For—a something—dreamy something,
Undefined, and yet defying
All the pride and power of manhood?
“O these years of sin and sorrow!
Smiling while the iron harrow
Of a keen and biting longing
Tears and quivers in the marrow
Of my being every moment—
Of my very inmost being.
“What to me the mad ambition
For men’s praise and proud position—
Struggling, fighting to the summit
Of its vain and earthly mission,
To lie down on bed of ashes—
Bed of barren, bitter ashes?
“Cure this fever? I have tried it;
Smothered, drenched it and defied it
With a will of brass and iron;
Every smile and look denied it;
Yet it heeded not denying,
And it mocks at my defying
While my very soul is dying.
“Is there balm in Gilead?—tell me!
Nay—no balm to soothe and quell me?
Must I tremble in this fever?
Death, O lift thy hand and fell me;
Let me sink to rest forever
Where this burning cometh never.
“Sometimes when this restless madness
Softens down to mellow sadness,
I look back on sun-lit valleys
Where my boyish heart of gladness
Nestled without pain or longing—
Nestled softly in a vision
Full of love and hope’s fruition,
Lulled by morning songs of spring-time.