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A drowsy bugle, wasting thoughts of flowers,
Where sat the lone wood-pigeon.
But ere long, All sense of these things faded, as the spell, Breathing from that high gorgeous tale, grew strong On my chain’d soul—'twas not the leaves I heard; —A Syrian wind the lion-banner stirr'd, Through its proud floating folds—'twas not the brook, Singing in secret through its grassy glen— A wild shrill trumpet of the Saracen Peal’d from the desert's lonely heart, and shook The burning air.—Like clouds when winds are high, O'er glittering sands flew steeds of Araby, And tents rose up, and sudden lance and spear Flash'd where a fountain's diamond wave lay clear, Shadow’d by graceful palm-trees.—Then the shout Of merry England's joy swell'd freely out, Sent through an Eastern heaven, whose glorious hue
Made shields dark mirrors to its depths of blue;
And harps were there—I heard their sounding strings, As the waste echoed to the mirth of kings.
The bright masque faded—unto life's worn track
My heart so leapt to that sweet laughter's tone.
EVENING PRAYER AT A GIRLS’ SCHOOL.
“Now in thy youth, beseech of Him,
Hush ' 'tis a holy hour—the quiet room
A faint and starry radiance, through the gloom
With all their clust'ring locks, untouch'd by care,
And bow’d, as flowers are bow’d with night—in prayer.
Gaze on, 'tis lovely —childhood's lip and cheek,
And fragile things, as but for sunshine wrought?
EVENING PRAYER AT A GIRLS’ SCHOOL. 147
—Thou seest what grief must nurture for the sky,
What death must fashion for eternity
Oh! joyous creatures, that will sink to rest,
As birds with slumber's honey-dew oppress'd,
Lift up your hearts!—though yet no sorrow lies
Dark in the summer-heaven of those clear eyes;
Though fresh within your breasts th’ untroubled springs
And o'er your sleep bright shadows, from the wings
Yet in those flute-like voices, mingling low,
ls woman's tenderness—how soon her woe
Her lot is on you—silent tears to weep,
148 EVENING PRAYER AT A GIRLS’ SCHOOL.
Her lot is on you—to be found untir’d,
And take the thought of this calm vesper time,