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Lights are shining, bells are tolling,
In the busy vale below;
Near me night's black clouds are rolling,
So I watch the river winding
That my dream was false and vain!
LOOMY and black are the cypress trees,
And the black clouds flit o'er the chill moonlight.
Silent is all save the dropping rain,
When slowly there cometh a mourning train; The lone churchyard is dark and dim,
And the mourners raise a funeral hymn :
Open, dark grave, and take her;
Though we have loved her so,
Yet we must now forsake her,
Love will no more awake her:
(Oh, bitter woe!)
Open thine arms and take her
To rest below!
"Vain is our mournful weeping,
Her gentle life is o'er;
Only the worm is creeping
Where she will soon be sleeping,
Nor joy nor love is keeping
For her in store!"
Gloomy and black are the cypress trees,
Slowly across the gleaming sky,
A crowd of white angels are passing by.
Like a cloud of incense their pinions rise,
But hush! for the silent glory is stirred, By a strain such as earth has never heard:
Open, O Heaven! we bear her,
This gentle maiden mild, Earth's griefs we gladly spare her, From earthly joys we tear her,
And to thine arms we bear her,
Thine own, thy child.
"Open, O Heaven! no morrow
No pain, no tears, no sorrow,
Sad life is past;
Shielded and safe from sorrow,
At home at last."
But the vision faded and all was still,
On the purple valley and distant hill.
No sound was there save the wailing breeze, The rain, and the rustling cypress trees.
PICTURES IN THE FIRE.
HAT is it you ask me, darling?
All my stories, child, you know;
Tell you glorious scenes of travel?
Yet strange sights in truth I witness,
Wondrous pictures, changing ever,
As I look into the fire.
There, last night, I saw a cavern,
And a knight in dismal armour
And his crest was all of flame.
As I gazed the dragon faded,
And, instead, sate Pluto crowned,
By a lake of burning fire;
Spirits dark were crouching round.
That was gone, and lo! before me,
As I watched the wreathèd pillars,