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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 257 pages of information about The Germ.
  To close my eyes, and shut it out from sight. 
  Then, sitting down, I hid my face; but this
  Only increased the dread; and so I gazed
  With open eyes into my dream again. 
  The mists had thickened, and had grown quite black
  Over the sun; and darkness closed round me. 
  (Thy father said it thundered towards the morn.)
  But soon, far off, I saw a dull green light
  Break though the clouds, which fell across the earth,
  Like death upon a bad man’s upturned face. 
  Sudden it burst with fifty forked darts
  In one white flash, so dazzling bright it seemed
  To hide the landscape in one blaze of light. 
  When the loud crash that came down with it had
  Rolled its long echo into stillness, through
  The calm dark silence came a plaintive sound;
  And, looking towards the tree, I saw that it
  Was scorched with the lightning; and there stood
  Close to its foot a solitary sheep
  Bleating upon the edge of a deep pit,
  Unseen till now, choked up with briars and thorns;
  And into this a little snow white lamb,
  Like to thine own, had fallen.  It was dead
  And cold, and must have lain there very long;
  While, all the time, the mother had stood by,
  Helpless, and moaning with a piteous bleat. 
  The lamb had struggled much to free itself,
  For many cruel thorns had torn its head
  And bleeding feet; and one had pierced its side,
  From which flowed blood and water.  Strange the things
  We see in dreams, and hard to understand;—­
  For, stooping down to raise its lifeless head,
  I thought it changed into the quiet face
  Of my own child.  Then I awoke, and saw
  The dim moon shining through the watery clouds
  On thee awake within thy little bed.”

  Then Jesus, looking up, said quietly: 
  “We read that God will speak to those he loves
  Sometimes in visions.  He might speak to thee
  Of things to come his mercy partly veils
  From thee, my mother; or perhaps, the thought
  Floated across thy mind of what we read
  Aloud before we went to rest last night;—­
  I mean that passage in Isaias’ book,
  Which tells about the patient suffering lamb,
  And which it seems that no one understands.” 
  Then Mary bent her face to the child’s brow,
  And kissed him twice, and, parting back his hair,
  Kissed him again.  And Jesus felt her tears
  Drop warm upon his cheek, and he looked sad
  When silently he put his hand again
  Within his mother’s.  As they came, they went,
  Hand in hand homeward. 
  With Mary and with Joseph, till the time
  When all the things should be fulfilled in him
  Which God had spoken by his prophets’ mouth
  Long since; and God was with him, and God’s grace.

A Pause of Thought

  I looked for that which is not, nor can be,
    And hope deferred made my heart sick, in truth;
    But years must pass before a hope of youth
      Is resigned utterly.

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