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THE ANGEL AND THE CHILD.
Upon a barren steep,
Above a stormy deep, I saw an Angel watching the wild sea; * Earth was that barren steep, " Time was that stormy deep, And the opposing shore-Eternity!
• Why dost thou watch the wave?
Thy feet the waters lave,
•Unscathed I watch the wave,
Time not the Angel's grave, . I wait until the ocean ebbs away.'
Hushed on the Angel's breast
I saw an Infant rest,
* What is the Infant prest,
O Angel, to thy breast?'. • The child God gave me in the Long Ago.
· Mine all upon the earth, . The Angel's angel-birth, Smiling each terror from the howling wild.' • Never may I forget
The dream that haunts me yet, Of Patience nursing Hope—the Angel and the Child.
Sir E. Bulwer Lytton.
An empty sky, a world of heather,
Purple of foxglove, yellow of broom; We two among them wading together,
Shaking out honey, treading perfume. We two walk till the purple dieth
And short dry grass under foot is brown, But one little streak at a distance lieth,
Green like a ribbon to prank the down. Hey the green ribbon ! we kneeled beside it,
We parted the grasses dewy and sheen; Drop over drop there filtered and slided,
A tiny bright beck that trickled between.
But one sunt dry a
Hand in hand while the sun peered over,
We lapped the grass on that youngling spring; Swept back its rushes, smoothed its clover,
And said • Let us follow it westering !'
Sing on! we sing in the glorious weather,
Till one steps over the tiny strand, So narrow in sooth, that still together
On either brink we go hand in hand.
The beck grows wider, the hands must sever.
On either margin, our songs all done, We move apart, while she singeth ever,
Taking the course of the stooping sun.
He prays, Come over-I may not follow;
I cry · Return'—but he cannot come:
Our hands are hanging, our hearts are numb.
No second crossing that ripple's flow :
Come ere it darkens—ah, no! ah, no!
The beck grows wider and swift and deep :
The loud beck drowns them; we walk and weep.
* A yellow moon in splendour drooping,
A tired queen with her state opprest,
Lies she soft on the waves at rest.
We two walk on in our grassy places
On either marge of the moonlit flood,
Where joy is withered, blossom and bud.
A rose flush tender, a thrill, a quiver,
When golden gleams to the tree-tops glide; · A flashing edge for the milk-white river,
The beck a river—with still sleek tide.
A braver swell, a swifter sliding;
The river hasteth, her banks recede : Winglike sails on her bosom gliding
Bear down the lily and drown the reed. Stately prows are rising and bowing,
Shouts of mariners winnow the air, And level sands for banks endowing
The tiny green ribbon that showed so fair. While, O my heart! as white sails shiver,
And crowds are passing, and banks stretch wide, How hard to follow, with lips that quiver,
That moving speck on the far-off side. Farther, farther— I see it-know it
My eyes brim over, it melts away:
As I walk desolate day by day.
A knowledge greater than grief can dim-
Yea better-e'en better than I love him.
The awful river so dread to see,
Are bridged by his thoughts that cross to me.'
Rise! for the day is passing,
And you lie dreaming on;
And forth to the fight are gone :
Each man has some part to play; The Past and the Future are nothing,
In the face of the stern To-day.
Rise from your dreams of the Future
Of gaining some hard-fought field; Of storming some airy fortress,
Or bidding some giant yield; Your future has deeds of glory,
Of honour (God grant it may !) But your arm will never be stronger,
Or the need so great as To-day.
Rise! if the Past detains you,
Her sunshine and storms forget;
As those of a vain regret :
Cast her phantom arms away,
Of a nobler strife To-day.
The sound that you scarcely hear
Arise! for the foe is here!