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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Gerald Griffin 1803–40


SLEEP that like the couched dove

Broods o’er the weary eye,

Dreams that with soft heavings move

The heart of memory,

Labor’s guerdon, golden rest,

Wrap thee in its downy vest,—

Fall like comfort on thy brain

And sing the hush song to thy pain!

Far from thee be startling fears,

And dreams the guilty dream;

No banshee scare thy drowsy ears

With her ill-omen’d scream;

But tones of fairy minstrelsy

Float like the ghosts of sound o’er thee,

Soft as the chapel’s distant bell,

And lull thee to a sweet farewell.

Ye for whom the ashy hearth

The fearful housewife clears,

Ye whose tiny sounds of mirth

The nighted carman hears,

Ye whose pygmy hammers make

The wonderers of the cottage wake,

Noiseless be your airy flight,

Silent as the still moonlight.

Silent go, and harmless come,

Fairies of the stream:

Ye, who love the winter gloom

Or the gay moonbeam,

Hither bring your drowsy store

Gather’d from the bright lusmore;

Shake o’er temples, soft and deep,

The comfort of the poor man, sleep.