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“ I saw their little winning ways
Their grandsire's love engage; Methought they were the pride, the joy,
The crown of his old age.
- When from the Vision I awoke,
A voice was in my ear, A waking voice, .. I heard it twice;
No human tongue was near ;
“ No human utterance so could reach The secret soul, no human speech
So make the soul rejoice;
It was an Angel's voice !
" And thus in words distinct it said,
• So, Cyra, must it be !
Her cheek was like the new-blown rose,
While thus she told her tale;
For he, too, in the dreams of night,
Their offspring, courting his caress,
A lovely progeny, in whom,
His line should be prolong'd.
And he had heard a waking voice,
Which said it so must be,
A holiest eulogy :
- Her shall her husband praise, and her
Her children blest shall call ; Many daughters have done virtuously,
But thine excelleth them all ! ”
No marvel if his heart were moved ;
The dream he saw was one; He kiss'd his trembling child, and said,
66 The will of Heaven be done!”
Little did child or sire in this
The work of sorcery fear;
As little did Eleëmon think That the hand of Heaven was here.
From house to house, from street to street
The rapid rumour flies ;
Are lifted in surprise ;
Are busier now than eyes.
66 So sudden and so strange a change !
A Freedman, too, the choice! The shame, . . the scandal, . . and for what ?
A vision and a voice!
“ Had she not chosen the strait gate, .. The narrow way, .. the holy state, ..
The Sanctuary's abode ?
6 To carnal wishes would it turn
The mortified intent?
For this are Angels sent ?
“ A plain collusion! a device
Between the girl and youth !
To take such tale for truth!”
So judged the acrid and the austere,
And they whose evil heart Inclines them, in whate'er betides,
To take the evil part.
But others, whom a kindlier frame
To better thoughts inclined, Preserved, amid their wonderment,
An equitable mind.
They would not of Proterius thus
Injuriously misdeem,.. A grave good man, and with the wise
For wisdom in esteem.
No easy ear, or vain belief, Would he to falsehood lend; Nor ever might light motive him From well-weigh'd purpose bend.
And surely on his pious child,
Could no suspicion rest;
Above all fathers blest.
As dutiful as beautiful, Her praise was widely known, Being one who, as she grew in years,
Had still in goodness grown.
And what though Eleëmon were
A man of lowly birth?
- This was no doubtful thing," they said, “ For he had in the house been bred,
Nor e'er from thence removed ; But there from childhood had been known,
And trusted and approved.
“Such as he was his qualities
Might to the world excuse The Maid and Father for their choice, Without the vision and the voice, Had they been free to choose.
“ But Heaven by miracle had made
Its pleasure manifest;
All doubtful thoughts to rest.
Of Providence are best.”
The wondering City thus discoursed ;
To Abibas alone
Meantime the Church hath been prepared
For spousal celebration ;
Amazed at such mutation.