Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century
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Alfred H. Miles, ed.  The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
 
Via Crucis (1906).
V. Good-Night
By William Hall (1838– )
 
I.
GOOD-NIGHT! Good-night!—no long farewell,
  A brief adieu we wave to thee;
Toll o’er thee no wild funeral knell,
  Wail out no threnody;
                    Good-night! Good-night!        5
 
Where evil none molests or harms,
  Nor racking cares disturb the breast,
—Into the Everlasting Arms
  We give thee—take thy rest!
 
While we through lone night-watches toil,        10
  ’Mid howling blast, and drenching spray,
Attempting tasks our efforts foil,
  Waiting the lingering day,
 
—Thou, upon some empyrean height,
  Stand’st girt with spirits of the Blest,        15
To help us in the weary fight,
  Whisper of welcome rest;
 
And as fair morn uplifts the veil
  From off night’s sombre, stormy brow,
Thine it may be the first to hail        20
  Our homeward-veering prow;
                    Good-night! Good-night!
 
II.
Good-night! Good-night!—this is but sleep
  That gently creepeth o’er thy brain,—
Drink the bland potion, large and deep,        25
  Cure for life’s long sore pain;
                    Good-night! Good-night!
 
Sleep!—nay, but rather thou dost wake
  From life’s wild feverish fretful dream;
From off thee the illusions shake        30
  Wherewith the night-hours teem:
 
—’Tis we who sleep, we, we alone!
  Prey of vain visionary fears;—
For thee the phantom mists are flown,
  The splendent dawn appears,        35
 
—Driving to dark Oblivion’s caves
  The spectral forms wherewith we fight,
The airy dreams fond hope still waves
  Before the baffled sight;
                    Good-night! Good-night!        40
 
III.
Good-night!—some blest celestial band
  Ev’n now may greet thee with good-morn.
And welcome to the Heavenly strand
  A spirit newly born.
 
As insect waked from wintry trance        45
  By the mild breath of quickening Spring,
To join its fellows’ blithesome dance
  On light-plumed feathery wing:
 
So thou, thy proper peers among,
  A wingèd thing of light and fire,        50
Art one with the Throne-circling throng,
  The fair seraphic choir;
                    Good-night! Good-night!
 
 
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