« PreviousContinue »
THE CHILD ASLEEP.
FROM THE FRENCH OF CLOTILDE DE SURVILLE.
Sweet babe! true portrait of thy father's face,
Sleep on the bosom, that thy lips have pressed! Sleep, little one ; and closely, gently place
Thy drowsy eyelid on thy mother's breast.
Upon that tender eye, my little friend,
Soft sleep shall come, that cometh not to me! I watch to see thee, nourish thee, defend ;
'T is sweet to watch for thee, — alone for thee.
His arms fall down ; sleep sits upon his brow;
His eye is closed; he sleeps, nor dreams of harm. Wore not his cheek the apple’s ruddy glow,
Would you not say he slept on Death's cold arm?
Awake, my boy ! -I tremble with affright!
Awake, and chase this fatal thought !- unclose Thine eye but for one moment on the light!
Even at the price of thine, give me repose !
Sweet error ! — he but slept, — I breathe again; —
Come gentle dreams, the hour of sleep beguile ! O! when shall he, for whom I sigh in vain,
Beside me watch to see thy waking smile?
FROM THE ANGLO-SAXON.
For thee was a house built Ere thou wert born, For thee was a mould meant Ere thou of mother camest. But it is not made ready, Nor its depth measured, Nor is it seen How long it shall be.
Now I bring thee
Thy house is not
Doorless is that house,
There thou art fast detained, And Death hath the key. Loathsome is that earth-house, And grim within to dwell. There thou shalt dwell, And worrns shall divide thee.
Thus thou art laid, And leavest thy friends ; Thou hast no friend, Who will come to thee, Who will ever see How that house pleaseth thee ; Who will ever open The door for thee And descend after thee, For soon thou art loathsome And hateful to see.