« 前へ次へ »
The moonlight falls upon her face,
Upraised in fervour meek,
That duty done, the harmless maid
Disposed herself to rest ;
No trouble in her breast.
But when upon the pillow then,
Composed, she laid her head, She little thought what unseen Powers
Kept watch beside her bed.
A double ward had she that night,
When evil near her drew;
And Eleëmon's too.
Their charge it was to keep her safe
From all unholy things; And o'er her while she slept, they spread
The shadow of their wings.
So when an Evil Dream drew nigh
They barr’d him from access, Nor suffer'd him to reach her with
A breath of sinfulness.
But with his instigations they
A hallowing influence blent,
Subserve to their intent.
Thus while in troubled sleep she lay,
Strange impulses were given,
And now the nightingale hath ceased
Her strain, who all night long
A rich and rapturous song.
The storks on roof and dome and tower
Forbear their clattering din,
Of daily life begin.
Then as from dreams that seem'd no dreams
The wondering Maid awoke,
If some Good Angel spoke.
According with her dreams, it said,
“So, Cyra, must it be;
This was no dream full well she knew;
For open-eyed she lay, Conscious of thought and wakefulness,
And in the light of day; And twice it spake, if doubt had been,
To do all doubt away.
Alas! but how shall she make known
This late and sudden change ?
How will her Father brook a turn
That must to all seem shame? How bear to think that vulgar tongues
Are busy with her name?
That she should for a voice, a dream, .
Expose herself to be the theme
Of wonder and of scorn; . .
The Nuns even now are all alert;
The altar hath been drest,
And there the sable vest.
And there the Priests are robing now;
The Singers in their station ;
The stir of expectation!
Thro' every gate the people pour, And guests on roof and porch and tower
Expectant take their place; The streets are swarming, and the church
Already fills apace.
Speak, then, she must: her heart she felt
This night had changed its choice;
Nor dared the Maiden disobey, Nor did she wish to (sooth to say),
That sweet and welcome voice.
Her Father comes : she studies not
For gloss, or for pretence; The plain straight course will Cyra take, (Which none without remorse forsake,)
Of truth and innocence.
“O Father, hear me patiently !”
The blushing Maiden said ;
But surely not for dread;
“If all my wishes have till now
Found favour in thy sight,
Hath been my best delight,
The visions of this night ?
“I stood in a dream at the altar, .
And Eleëmon thy freedman
“ Thou, Father, gavest me to him,
With thy free and full consent; And, .. why should I dissemble it? ..
Methought I was content.
“ Months then and years were crowded
In the course of that busy night;
I claspt a baby to my breart,
“ Yea, I was fruitful as a vine; Our heavenly Parent me and mine
In all things seem'd to bless ; Our ways were ways of peace, our paths
Were paths of pleasantness.
“ When I taught lisping lips to pray
The joy it was to me,