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What do we give to our beloved ?
A little faith, all undisproved, -
A little dust to overweep,
And bitter memories, to make
The whole earth blasted for our sake,
“He giveth his beloved sleep."
“Sleep soft, beloved !” we sometimes say, That now lies sleeping
But have no tune to charm away
Sad dreams that through the eyelids creep ;
But never doleful dream again
Shall break the happy slumber when
“He giveth his beloved sleep."
O earth, so full of dreary noise !
O men, with wailing in your voice !
O delvèd gold the wailers heap!
O strife, O curse, that o'er it fall!
God strikes a silence through you all,
And “ giveth his beloved sleep."
His dews drop mutely on the hill,
His cloud above it saileth still,
Though on its slope men sow and reap ;
More softly than the dew is shed,
Would now its wearied vision close,
Would childlike on his love repose
ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING.
KING HENRY. How many thousand of my
poorest subjects "He giveth his beloved sleep.” – Psalm cxxvi. 2. Are at this hour asleep! - O sleep! O gentle Of all the thoughts of God that are
sleep! Borne inward unto souls afar,
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee, Among the Psalmist's music deep,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down, Now tell me if that any is,
And steep my senses in forgetfulness? For gift or grace, surpassing this, -
Why rather, sleep. liest thou in smoky cribs, “He giveth his beloved sleep" ?
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
And hushed with buzzing night-flies to thy What would we give to our beloved ?
slumber, The hero's heart, to be unmoved,
| Than in the perfumed chambers of the great, The poet's star-tuned harp, to sweep, - Under the canopies of costly state, The patriot's voice, to teach and rouse, - And lulled with sounds of sweetest melody? The monarch's crown, to light the brows? O thou dull god ! why liest thou with the vile, “He giveth his beloved sleep."
In loathsome beds, and leav'st the kingly couch • Press — throng.
| A watch-case, or a comunon 'larum-bell?
SIR PHILIP SIDNEY.
Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast
Canst thou not bear them up Seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains Through starlit skies, far from this planet dim In cradle of the rude imperious surge,
And sorrowful, e'en while they sleep, to Him And in the visitation of the winds,
Who drank for us the cup, Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
O night! Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them The cup of wrath, for hearts in faith contrite ? With deafening clamors in the slippery clouds, That, with the hurly, death itself awakes ?
To Him, for them who slept Canst thou, O partial sleep! give thy repose
| A babe all holy on his mother's knee, To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude ;
And froin that hour to cross-crowned Calvary, And in the calmest and most stillest night,
In all our sorrow wept, With all appliances and means to boot,
O night! Deny it to a king? Then, happy low, lie down : That on our souls might dawn Heaven's cheering Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
Go, lay their little heads
Close to that human heart, with love divine SLEEPLESSNESS.
Deep-breathing, while his arms immortal twine
Around them, as he sheds, A FLOCK of sheep that leisurely pass by
O night! One after one ; the sound of rain, and bees
On them a brother's grace of God's own bound. Murmuring; the fall of rivers, winds and seas, Smooth fields, white sheets of water, and pure
less might. sky; -
Let them immortal wake I've thought of all by turns, and still I lie | Among the deathless flowers of Paradise, Sleepless ; and soon the small birds' melodies Where angel songs of welcome with surprise Must hear, first uttered from my orchard trees, This their last sleep may break, And the first cuckoo's melancholy cry.
( night! Even thus last night, and two nights more, I lay, And to celestial joy their kindred souls invite. And could not win thee, Sleep, by any stealth : So do not let me wear to-night away :
There can come no sorrow ;
fresh thoughts and joyous health! i In one unfading morrow,
Would we could sleep as they, YES! bear them to their rest;
So stainless and so calm, - at rest with Thee, The rosy babe, tired with the glare of day, And only wake in immortality ! The prattler, fallen asleep e'en in his play ;
Bear us with them away,
To that ethereal, holier, happier height.
GEORGE WASHINGTON BETHUNE.
Yet must they wake again,
Canst thou not bear them far
The candles flare
EMILY CHUBBUCK JUDSON.
The dusty day is done,
Our life is twofold ; sleep hath its own world, Is there no magic in the touch
A boundary between the things misnamed Of fingers thou dost love so much ?
Death and existence : sleep hath its own world, Fain would they scatter poppies o'er thee now;
| And a wide realm of wild reality, Or, with its mute caress,
And dreams in their development have breatlı, The tremulous lip some soft nepenthe press
| And tears, and tortures, and the touch of joy ; Upon thy weary lid and aching brow;
They leave a weight upon our waking thoughts, While prayerful watch I keep,
They take a weight from off our waking toils, Sleep, love, sleep!
They do divide our being ; they become
A portion of ourselves as of our time, On the pagoda spire
And look like heralds of eternity; The bells are swinging,
They pars like spirits of the past, — they speak Their little golden circlet in a flutter
Like sibyls of the future ; they have power, With tales the wooing winds have dared to utter, The tyranny of pleasure and of pain ; Till all are ringing,
They make us what we were not, - what they As if a choir
will, Of golden-nested birds in heaven were singing, And shake us with the vision that's gone by, And with a lulling sound
The dread of vanished shadows. - Are they so ? The music floats around,
Is not the past all shadow ? What are they? And drops like balm into the drowsy ear ; Creations of the mind ? - The mind can make Commingling with the hum
Substances, and people planets of its own Of the Sepoy's distant drum,
With beings brighter than have been, and give And lazy beetle ever droning near.
A breath to forms which can outlive all flesh. Sounds these of deepest silence born,
I would recall a vision which I dreamed Like night made visible by morn ;
Perchance in sleep, — for in itself a thought, So silent that I sometimes start
A slumbering thought, is capable of years,
And curdles a long life into one hour.
I saw two beings in the hues of youth
Standing upon a hill, a gentle hill, The lizard, with his mouse-like eyes,
Green and of a mild declivity, the last Peeps froin the mortise in surprise
As 't were the cape of a long ridge of such, At such strange quiet after day's harsh din; Save that there was no sea to lave its base, Then boldly ventures out,
But a most living landscape, and the wave And looks about,
Of woods and cornfields, and the abodes of men And with his hollow feet
Scattered at intervals, and wreathing smoke Treals his small evening beat,
Arising from such rustic roofs ; the hill Darting upon his prey
Was crowned with a peculiar diadem In such a tricky, winsome sort of way,
Of trees, in circular array, so fixed, His delicate marauding seems no sin.
Not by the sport of nature, but of inan : And still the curtains swing,
These two, a maiden and a youth, were there But noiselessly ;
Gazing, – the one on all that was beneath The bells a melancholy murmur ring,
Fair as herself, — but the boy gazed on her ; As tears were in the sky:
And both were young, and one was beautiful ; More heavily the shadows fall,
And both were young, -- yet not alike in youth. Like the black foldings of a pall,
As the sweet moon on the horizon's verge, Where juts the rough beam from the wall ; The maid was on the eve of womanhood;
The boy had fewer summers, but his heart | Was traced, and then it faded, as it came ;
For they did part with mutual sniles ; he passed He had no breath, no being, but in hers; From out the massy gate of that old Hall, She was his voice; he did not speak to her, And mounting on his steed he went his way ; But trembled on her words ; she was his sight, And ne'er repassed that hoary threshold more. For his eye followed hers, and saw with hers, Which colored all his objects ;--- he had ceased
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream. To live within himself : she was his life,
The boy was sprung to manhood ; in the wilds The ocean to the river of his thoughts,
Of fiery climes he made himself a home, Which terminated all ; upon a tone,
And his soul drank their sunbeams; he was girt A touch of hers, his blood would ebb and flow, with strange and dusky aspects ; he was not And his cheek change tempestuously, — his heart Himself like what he had been ; on the sea Unknowing of its cause of agony.
And on the shore he was a wanderer ;
Reposing from the noontide sultriness,
Of ruined walls that had survived the names Of a time-honored race. It was a name Of those who reared them ; by his sleeping side Which pleased him, and yet pleased him not, - Stood camels grazing, and some goodly steeds and why?
Were fastened near a fountain ; and a man, Time taught him a deep answer — when she Clad in a flowing garb, did watch the while, loved
While many of his tribe slumbered around : Another ; even now she loved another,
And they were canopied by the blue sky, And on the suinmit of that hill she stood, So cloudless, clear, and purely beautiful, Looking afar if yet her lover's steed
That God alone was to be seen in heaven. Kept pace with her expectancy, and flew.
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream, A change came o'er the spirit of my dream. The lady of his love was wed with one There was an ancient mansion, and before
Who did not love her better : in her home, Its walls there was a steed caparisoned ;
A thousand leagues from his, -- her native home, Within an antique oratory stood
She dwelt, begirt with growinę infancy, The boy of whom I spake; - he was alone,
Daughters and sons of beauty, -- but behold ! And pale, and pacing to and fro : anon
Upon her face there was the tint of grief, He sate him down, and seized a pen, and traced The settled shadow of an inward strife, Words which I could not guess of; then he leaned And an unquiet drooping of the eye, His bowed head on his hands and shook, as As if its lid were charged with unshed tears. 't were
What could her grief be? - she had all she loved, With a convulsion, — then arose again,
And he who had so loved her was not there And with his teeth and quivering hands did tear To trouble with bad hopes, or evil wish, What he had written, but he shed no tears,
Or ill-repressed affliction, her pure thoughts. And he did calın himself, and fix his brow | What could her grief be? - she had loved him Into a kind of quiet ; as he paused,
not, The lady of his love re-entered there ;
Nor given him cause to deem himself beloved, She was serene and smiling then, and yet
Nor could he be a part of that which preyed She knew she was by him beloved ; she knew — Upon her mind - a spectre of the past. For quickly comes such knowledge - that his heart
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream. Was darkened with her shadow, and she saw The wanderer was returned. – I saw him stand That he was wretched, but she saw not all. Before an altar – with a gentle bride ; He rose, and with a cold and gentle grasp Her face was fair, but was not that which made He took her hand ; a moment o'er his face The starlight of his boyhood ;- as he stood A tablet of unutterable thoughts
Even at the altar, o'er his brow there came
The selfsame aspect and the quivering shock | My dream was past ; it had no further change. That in the antique oratory shook
It was of a strange order, that the doom His bosom in its solitude ; and then
Of these two creatures should be thus traced out As in that hour — a moment o'er his face Almost like a reality, — the one The tablet of unutterable thoughts
To end in madness — both in misery. Was traced, — and then it faded as it came,
FROM "EDWIN THE FAIR."
This life, and all that it contains, to him But the old mansion, and the accustomed hall, Is but a tissue of illuminous dreams And the remembered chambers, and the place, Filled with book-wisdom, pictured thought and The day, the hour, the sunshine, and the shade, love All things pertaining to that place and hour, That on its own creations spends itself. And her who was his destiny, came back
All things he understands, and nothing does. And thrust themselves between him and the Profusely eloquent in copious praise light;
Of action, he will talk to you as one What business had they there at such a time? Whose wisdom lay in dealings and transactions ;
Yet so much action as might tie his shoe A change came o'er the spirit of my dream. Cannot his will command ; himself alone The lady of his love ; - 0, she was changed,
By his own wisdoni not a jot the gainer. As by the sickness of the soul ! her mind
| Of silence, and the hundred thousand things Had wandered from its dwelling, and her eyes,
| 'T is better not to mention, he will speak,
FROM "THE EXCURSION," BOOK I. Of others' sight familiar were to hers. And this the world calls frenzy ; but the wise O, MANY are the poets that are sown Have a far deeper madness, and the glance By nature ; men endowed with highest gifts, Of melancholy is a fearful gift;
The vision and the faculty divine ; What is it but the telescope of truth,
Yet wanting the accomplishment of verse Which strips the distance of its fantasies, (Which, in the docile season of their youth, And brings life near in utter nakedness,
It was denied them to acquire, through lack
of culture and the inspiring aid of books,
Or a nice backwardness afraid of shame),
Nor having e'er, as life advanced, been led
By circumstance to take unto the height Or were at war with him ; he was a mark
The measure of themselves, these favored beings,
All but a scattered few, live out their time, For blight and desolation, compassed round
Husbanding that which they possess within, With hatred and contention ; pain was mixed In all which was served up to him, until,
And go to the grave, unthought of. Strongest
minds Like to the Pontic monarch of old days,
Are often those of whom the noisy world
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH. Through that which had been death to many men, And made him friends of mountains : with the stars
THE POET OF NATURE.
He had no times of study, and no place ;
His soul was like the wind-harp, which he loved, A marvel and a secret. - Be it so.
And sounded only when the spirit blew,