Imágenes de páginas

First Angel.

We may reprove
The world for this, not only her :
Let me approach to breathe away

This dust o' the heart with holy air.
Second Angel.

Stand off! She sleeps, and did not pray. First Angel.

Did none pray for her ?
Second Angel

'Ay, a child, -
Who never, praying, wept before :
While, in a mother undefiled,
Prayer goeth on in sleep, as true

And pauseless as the pulses do:
First Angel.

Then I approach. Second Angel.

It is not WILLED. First Angel.

One word : is she redeemed ?
Second Angel.

No more !
The place is filled.

[Angels vanish. Evil Spirit in a Nun's garb by the bed. Forbear that dream-forbear that dream ! too near to

heaven it leaned. Onora, in sleep. Nay, leave me this—but only this ! 't is but a dream,

sweet fiend ! Evil Spirit. It is a thought. Onora, in sleep.

A sleeping thought-most innocent of good : It doth the Devil no harm, sweet fiend ! it cannot, if it


I say in it no holy hymn, I do no holy work,
I scarcely hear the sabbath-bell that chimeth from the

Evil Spirit.
Forbear that dream-forbear that dream !
Onora, in sleep:

Nay, let me dream at least.
That far-off bell, it may be took for viol at a feast :
I only walk among the fields, beneath the autumn-sun,

my dead father, hand in hand, as I have often done. Evil Spirit. Forbear that dream-forbear that dream ! Onora, in sleep.

Nay, sweet fiend, let me go ! I never more can walk with him, oh, never more but so! For they have tied my father's feet beneath the kirkyard

stone, Oh, deep and straight, oh, very straight ! they move at

nights alone : And then he calleth through my dreams, he calleth

tenderly, “Come forth, my daughter, my beloved, and walk the

fields with me!” Evil Spirit Forbear that dream, or else disprove its pureness by a

sign. Onora, in sleep. Speak on, thou shalt be satisfied, my word shall answer

thine. I heard a bird which used to sing when I a child was

praying, I see the poppies in the corn I used to sport away in : What shall I do-tread down the dew and pull the

blossoms blowing ? Or clap my wicked hands to fright the finches from the Evil Spirit. Thou shalt do something harder still. Stand up where

rowen ?

thou dost stand Among the fields of Dreamland with thy father hand in

hand, And clear and slow repeat the vow, declare its cause and

kind, Which not to break, in sleep or wake thou bearest on thy

mind. Onora, in sleep. I bear a vow of sinful kind, a vow for mournful cause; I vowed it deep, I vowed it strong, the spirits laughed

applause : The spirits trailed alone the pines low laughter like a

breeze, While, high atween their swinging tops, the stars appeared

to freeze. Evil Spirit. More calm and free, speak out to me why such a vow

was made. Onora, in sleep. Because that God decreed my death and I shrank back

afraid. Have patience, 0 dead father mine ! I did not fear to

dieI wish I were a young dead child and had thy company ! I wish I lay beside thy feet, a buried three-year child, And wearing only a kiss of thine upon my lips that

smiled! The linden-tree that covers thee might so have shadowed

twain, For death itself I did not fear-'t is love that makes the

pain : Love feareth death. I was no child, I was betrothed

that day ; I wore a troth-kiss on my lips I could not give away.

How could I bear to lie content and still beneath a stone, And feel mine own betrothed go by--alas! no more

mine own, Go leading by in wedding pomp some lovely lady brave, With cheeks that blushed as red as rose, while mine were

white in grave ? How could I bear to sit in heaven, on e'er so high a

throne, And hear him say to her—to her! that else he loveth

none? Though e'er so high I sat above, though e'er so low he

spake, As clear as thunder I should hear the new oath he might

take, That hers, forsooth, were heavenly eyes--ah me, while

very dim

Some heavenly eyes (indeed of heaven !) would darken

down to him !
Evil Spirit.
Who told thee thou wast called to death ?
Onora, in sleep.

I sat all night beside thee; The grey owl on the ruined wall shut both his eyes to

hide thee, And ever he flapped his heavy wing all brokenly and

weak, And the long grass waved against the sky, around his

gasping beak. I sat beside thee all the night, while the moonlight lay

forlorn Strewn round us like a dead world's shroud in ghastly

fragments torn : And through the night, and through the hush, and over

the flapping wing, We heard beside the Heavenly Gate the angels murmurWe heard them say, “Put day to day, and count the days

to seven, And God will draw Onora up the golden stairs of

heaven; “And yet the Evil ones have leave that purpose to defer, For if she has no need of Him, He has no need of her.”

Evil Spirit.
Speak out to me, speak bold and free.
Onora; in sleep.

And then I heard thee say“I count upon my rosary brown the hours thou hast to

stay ; Yet God permits us Evil ones to put by that decree, Since if thou hast no need of Him, He has no need of

thee. And if thou wilt forego the sight of angels, verily Thy true love gazing on thy face shall guess what angels


Nor bride shall pass, save thee”... Alas !-my father's

hand 's a-cold, The meadows seem ... Evil Spirit.

Forbear the dream, or let the vow be told. Onora, in sleep. I vowed upon thy rosary brown, this string of antique

beads, By charnel lichens overgrown, and dank among the

weeds, This rosary brown which is thine own,-lost soul of

buried nun ! Who, lost by vow, wouldst 'render now all souls alike

undone, I vowed upon thy rosary brown,-and, till such vow

should break, A pledge always of living days 't was hung around my


« AnteriorContinuar »