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Sweet sleep, with soft down
Weave thy brows an infant crown.
Sweet smiles, in the night
Sweet moans, dovelike sighs,
Sleep, sleep, happy child,
Sweet babe, in thy face
Holy image I can trace.
Wept for me, for thee, for all,
Smiles on thee, on me, on all;
'Twas on a Holy Thursday, their innocent faces clean, The children walking two and two, in red and blue and
green, Grey-headed beadles walked before, with wands as white
Till into the high dome of Paul's they like Thames' waters
O what a multitude they seemed, these flowers of London town!
Seated in companies they sit with radiance all their own. The hum of multitudes was there, but multitudes of lambs, Thousands of little boys and girls raising their innocent hands.
Now like a mighty wind they raise to Heaven the voice of song,
Or like harmonious thunderings the seats of Heaven
Beneath them sit the agèd men, wise guardians of the
Then cherish pity, lest you drive an angel from your door.
THE DIVINE IMAGE
To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
For Mercy has a human heart,
And Love, the human form divine,
Then every man, of every clime,
And all must love the human form,
ON ANOTHER'S SORROW
Can I see another's woe,
Can I see a falling tear,
Can a mother sit and hear
And can He who smiles on all
And not sit beside the nest,
And not sit both night and day,
He doth give His joy to all;
Think not thou canst sigh a sigh,
O! He gives to us His joy
THE BOOK OF THEL
Does the Eagle know what is in the pit:
Can Wisdom be put in a silver rod,
The daughters of [the] Seraphim led round their sunny flocks
All but the youngest: she in paleness sought the secret air,
'O life of this our spring! why fades the lotus of the water? Why fade these children of the spring, born but to smile and fall?
Ah! Thel is like a watery bow, and like a parting cloud; Like a reflection in a glass; like shadows in the water; Like dreams of infants, like a smile upon an infant's face; Like the dove's voice; like transient day; like music in the air.
Ah! gentle may I lay me down, and gentle rest my head, And gentle sleep the sleep of death, and gentle hear the voice
Of Him that walketh in the garden in the evening time.'
The Lily of the Valley, breathing in the humble grass, Answered the lovely maid and said: 'I am a wat'ry weed, And I am very small, and love to dwell in lowly vales; So weak, the gilded butterfly scarce perches on my head. Yet I am visited from heaven, and He that smiles on all Walks in the valley, and each morn over me spreads His
Saying, "Rejoice, thou humble grass, thou new-born lily flower,
Thou gentle maid of silent valleys and of modest brooks; For thou shalt be clothed in light, and fed with morning manna,
Till summer's heat melts thee beside the fountains and the springs,
To flourish in eternal vales." Then why should Thel complain?
Why should the mistress of the vales of Har utter a sigh?'
She ceased, and smiled in tears, then sat down in her silver shrine.
Thel answered: 'O thou little Virgin of the peaceful valley, Giving to those that cannot crave, the voiceless, the o'ertired;
Thy breath doth nourish the innocent lamb, he smells thy milky garments,
He crops thy flowers while thou sittest smiling in his face, Wiping his mild and meekin mouth from all contagious taints.
Thy wine doth purify the golden honey; thy perfume, Which thou dost scatter on every little blade of grass that springs,
Revives the milkèd cow, and tames the fire-breathing steed.
'Queen of the vales,' the Lily answered, 'ask the tender Cloud,
And it shall tell thee why it glitters in the morning sky, And why it scatters its bright beauty through the humid air.
Descend, O little Cloud, and hover before the eyes of Thel.'
The Cloud descended, and the Lily bowèd her modest head, And went to mind her numerous charge among the verdant