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That way no more ! and ill beseems it me,
Who came a welcomer in herald's guise,
Singing of glory, and futurity,
To wander back on such unhealthful road,
Plucking the poisons of self-harm! And ill
Such intertwine beseems triumphal wreaths
Strew'd before thy advancing !

Nor do thou,
Sage Bard ! impair the memory of that hour
Of thy communion with my nobler mind
By pity or grief, already felt too long !
Nor let my words import more blame than needs.
The tumult rose and ceased : for peace is nigh
Where wisdom's voice has found a listening heart.
Amid the howl of more than wintry storms,
The halcyon hears the voice of vernal hours
Already on the wing.

Eve following eve, Dear tranquil time, when the sweet sense of Home Is sweetest ! moments for their own sake hail'd And more desired, more precious, for thy song, In silence listening, like a devout child, My soul lay passive, by thy various strain Driven as in surges now. beneath the stars, With momentary stars of my own birth, Fair constellated foam, still darting off Into the darkness; now a tranquil sea, Outspread and bright, yet swelling to the moon.

And when–O Friend ! my comforter and guide ! Strong in thyself, and powerful to give strength !

Thy long sustained Song finally closed,
And thy deep voice had ceased—yet thou thyself
Wert still before my eyes, and round us both
That happy vision of beloved faces—
Scarce conscious, and yet conscious of its close
I sate, my being blended in one thought
(Thought was it? or aspiration ? or resolve?)
Absorb’d, yet hanging still upon the sound-
And when I rose, I found myself in prayer.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL.*

I.
THE shepherds went their hasty way,

And found the lowly stable-shed
Where the Virgin-Mother lay:

And now they check'd their eager tread,
For to the Babe, that at her bosom clung,
A mother's song the Virgin-Mother sung.

II.

They told her how a glorious light,

Streaming from a heavenly throng, Around them shone, suspending night!

While sweeter than a mother's song, Blest Angels heralded the Saviour's birth, Glory to God on high ! and Peace on Earth.

III.

She listen'd to the tale divine,

And closer still the Babe she prest;

Morning Post, December 25, 1799.

And while she cried, the Babe is mine!

The milk rush'd faster to her breast :
Joy rose within her, like a summer's morn;
Peace, Peace on Earth! the Prince of Peace is
born.

IV.
Thou Mother of the Prince of Peace,

Poor, simple, and of low estate !
That strife should vanish, battle cease,

O why should this thy soul elate ? Sweet music's loudest note, the poet's story, — Didst thou ne'er love to hear of fame and glory?

V.

And is not War a youthful king,

A stately hero clad in mail ? Beneath his footsteps.laurels spring ;

Him Earth's majestic monarchs hail Their friend, their playmate ! and his bold bright

eye Compels the maiden's love-confessing sigh.

VI.

“ Tell this in some more courtly scene,

To maids and youths in robes of state !
I am a woman poor and mean,

And therefore is my soul elate.
War is a ruffian, all with guilt defiled, *
That from the aged father tears his child !

* A ruffian thief with gore

defiled-1799

VII.

A murderous fiend, * by fiends adored,

He kills the sire and starves the son ; The husband kills, and from her board

Steals all his widow's toil had won; Plunders God's world of beauty; rends away All safety from the night, all comfort from the day.

VIII. “ Then wisely is my soul elate,

That strife should vanish, battle cease : I'm poor and of a low estate,

The Mother of the Prince of Peace. Joy rises in me, like a summer's morn: Peace, Peace on Earth! the Prince of Peace is born."

[ix. Strange prophecy ! could half the screams

Of half the men that since have died To realize War's kingly dreams

Have risen at once in one vast tide, The choral music of Heaven's multitude Had been o’erpower'd and lost amid the uproar

rude ! ]

THE VIRGIN'S CRADLE-HYMN.† [About thirteen years ago or more, travelling through the middle parts of Germany, I saw a little print of the Virgin and Child in the small public-house

* Thief.-1799.

+ Courier, August 30, 1811.

of a Catholic village with the following beautiful Latin
lines under it, which I transcribed. They may be
easily adapted to the air of the famous Sicilian Hymn,
Adeste fideles, læti triumphantes, by the omission of a
few notes.]
DORMI, Jesu ! Mater ridet

Quæ tam dulcem somnum videt,
Dormi, Jesu ! blandule !
Si non dormis, Mater plorat,
Inter fila cantans orat,

Blande, veni, somnule.

ENGLISH

Sleep, sweet babe ! my cares beguiling :
Mother sits beside thee smiling;

Sleep, my darling, tenderly !
If thou sleep not, mother mourneth,
Singing as her wheel she turneth :

Come, soft slumber, balmily!

TRANSLATION OF A PASSAGE

OF

THE

IN OTTFRIED'S METRICAL PARAPHRASE

GOSPEL

*

[This paraphrase, written about the time of Charlemagne, is by no means deficient in occasional passages of considerable poetic merit. There is a flow and a tender enthusiasm in the following lines which even in the translation will not, I flatter myself, fail to interest the reader. Ottfried is describing the circum

* Printed in Biographia Literaria, London, 1817, i. 204

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