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THE SLEEP. [The Seraphim, and other Poems. 1838.]

“He giveth His beloved sleep.” Psalm cxxvii, 2. Of all the thoughts of God that are Borne inward into souls afar, Along the Psalmist's music deep, Now tell me if that any is, For gift or grace, surpassing this: “He giveth His beloved-sleep?"

What would we give to our beloved?
The hero's heart to be unmoved,
The poet's star-tuned harp to sweep,
The patriot's voice to teach and rouse,
The monarch's crown to light the brows?
He giveth His beloved-sleep.

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,
Who 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 noises!
O men, with wailing in your voices!
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,
Or cloud is floated overhead,
He giveth His beloved-sleep.

Ay, men may wonder while they scan
A living, thinking, feeling man
Confirmed in such a rest to keep;
But angels say, and through the word
I think their happy smile is heard-
“He giveth His beloved-sleep.”

For me, my heart that erst did go
Most like a tired child at a show,
That sees through tears the mummers leap,
Would now its wearied vision close,
Would childlike on His love repose
Who giveth His beloved -- sleep.

And friends, dear friends, when it shall
That this low breath is gone from me,
And round my bier ye come to weep,
Let One, most loving of you all,
Say “Not a tear must o'er her fall!
"He giveth His beloved sleep.”

THE ROMAUNT OF THE PAGE.

[Finden's Tableaux for 1839.] A KNIGHT of gallant deeds

And a young page at his side, From the holy war in Palestine

Did slow and thoughtful ride, As each were a palmer and told for beads

The dews of the eventide.

“O young page,” said the knight,

“A noble page art thou! Thou fearest not to steep in blood

The curls upon thy brow; And once in the tent, and twice in the fight,

Didst ward me a mortal blow.”

“O brave knight,” said the page,

“Or ere we hither came,
We talked in tent, we talked in field,

Of the bloody battle-game;
But here, below this greenwood bough,

I cannot speak the same.

“Our troop is far behind,

The woodland calm is new;
Our steeds, with slow grass-muffled hoofs

Tread deep the shadows through;
And, in my mind, some blessing kind

Is dropping with the dew.

“The woodland calm is pure

I cannot choose but have
A thought, from these, o' the beechen-trees

Which in our England wave,
And of the little finches fine
Which sang there while in Palestine

The warrior-hilt we drave.

“Methinks, a moment gone,

I heard my mother pray!
I heard, Sir Knight, the prayer for me

Wherein she passed away;
And I know the heavens are leaning down

To hear what I shall say."

The page spake calm and high,

As of no mean degree; Perhaps he felt in nature's broad

Full heart, his own was free: And the knight looked up to his lifted eye,

Then answered smilingly,
“Sir Page, I pray your grace!

Certes, I meant not so
To cross your pastoral mood, Sir Page,

With the crook of the battle-bow;
But a knight may speak of a lady's face,
I ween, in any mood or place,

If the grasses die or grow. "And this I meant to say, —

My lady's face shall shine
As ladies' faces use, to greet

My page from Palestine;
Or, speak she fair or prank she gay,

She is no lady of mine.

“And this I meant to fear

Her bower may suit thee ill;
For, sooth, in that same field and tent,

Thy talk was somewhat still:
And fitter thy hand for my knightly spear

Than thy tongue for my lady's will!”

Slowly and thankfully

The young page bowed his head;
His large eyes seemed to muse a smile,

Until he blushed instead,
And no lady in her bower, pardie,

Could blush more sudden red:
“Sir Knight,—thy lady's bower to me

Is suited well,” he said.

Beati, beati mortui !
From the convent on the sea,
One mile off, or scarce so nigh,
Swells the dirge as clear and high
As if that, over brake and lea,
Bodily the wind did carry
The great altar of Saint Mary,
And the fifty tapers burning o'er it,
And the Lady Abbess dead before it,
And the chanting nuns whom yesterweek
Her voice did charge and bless,-
Chanting steady, chanting meek,
Chanting with a solemn breath,
Because that they are thinking less
Upon the dead than upon death.
Beati, beati mortui!
Now the vision in the sound
Wheeleth on the wind around;
Now it sweepeth back, away-
The uplands will not let it stay
To dark the western sun:
Mortui !-away at last, –

Or ere the page's blush is past!
And the knight heard all, and the page heard none.

“A boon, thou noble knight,

If ever I served thee!
Though thou art a knight and I am a page,

Now grant a boon to me;
And tell me sooth, if dark or bright,
If little loved or loved aright

Be the face of thy ladye.”

Gloomily looked the knight

“As a son thou hast served me,

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