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Nor all the gods beside
Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine;
So, when the sun in bed,
Pillows his chin upon an orient wave,
grave; And the yellow-skirted fays Fly after the night-steeds, leaving their
But see, the Virgin blest
attending; And all about the courtly stable Bright-harnessed angels sit in order serviceable.
John Milton A MOTHER IN EGYPT
About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: and all the first-born in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first-born of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the first-born of the maid-servant that is behind the mill.
Is the noise of grief in the palace over the
river For this silent one at
side? There came a hush in the night, and he rose
with his hands a-quiver Like lotus petals adrift on the swing of the
tide. O small cold hands, the day groweth old for
sleeping! O small still feet, rise up, for the hour is
late! Rise up, my son, for I hear them mourning
and weeping In the temple down by the gate!
Hushed is the face that was wont to brighten
with laughter When I sang at the mill; And silence unbroken shall greet the sorDo you not heed, do you not bear?- in the
rowful dawns hereafter,The house shall be still. Voice after voice takes up the burden of wailing
high priest's house by the wall. But mine is the grief, and their sorrow is all
unvailing Will he awake at their call ?
Something I saw of the broad dim wings
half folding The passionless brow. Something I saw of the sword that the shad
owy hands were holding, What matters it now? I held you close, dear face, as I knelt and
harkened To the wind that cried last night like a soul
in sin, When the broad bright stars dropped down
and the soft sky darkened And the presence moved therein.
I have heard men speak in the market-place
of the city, Low-voiced, in a breath, Of a God who is stronger than ours, and
who knows not changing nor pity, Whose anger is death. Nothing I know of the lords of the outland But Amud is gentle and Hathor the mother
is mild, And who would descend from the light of
the Peaceful Places To war on a child ?
Yet here he lies, with a scarlet pomegranate
petal Blown down on his cheek. The slow sun sinks to the sand like a shield
of some burnished metal, But he does not speak. I have called, I have sung, but he neither
will hear nor waken; So lightly, so whitely, he lies in the curve
of my arm, Like a feather let fall from the bird the
arrow hath taken, Who could see him, and harm?
“The swallow flies home to her sleep in the
eaves of the altar, And the crane to her nest.” So do we sing o'er the mill, and why, ah,
why should I falter, Since he goes to his rest ? Does he play in their flowers as he played Do the gods smile downward and love him
among these with his mother?
and give him their care? Guard him well, O ye gods, till I come; lest
the wrath of that Other Should reach to him there.
Marjorie L. C. Pickthall
As Joseph was a-waukin',
He heard an angel sing,
Of Christ our heavenly King.
6 His birth-bed shall be neither
In housen nor in hall,
But in the oxen's stall.
• He neither shall be rocked
In silver nor in gold,
That lieth in the mould.
“ He neither shall be washen
With white wine nor with red,