Hush! hush! through the azure expanse of the sky
Comes a low, gentle sound, 'twixt a laugh and a sigh;
And I rise from my writing, and look up on high,
And I kneel, for the first of God's angels is nigh!
Oh, how to describe what my rapt eyes descry!
For the blue of the sky is the blue of his eye;
And the white clouds, whose whiteness the snowflakes outvie,
Are the luminous pinions on which he doth fly!
And his garments of gold gleam at times like the pyre
Of the west, when the sun in a blaze doth expire;
Now tinged like the orange, now flaming with fire!
Half the crimson of roses and purple of Tyre.
And his voice, on whose accents the angels have hung,
He himself a bright angel, immortal and young,
Scatters melody sweeter the green buds among
Than the poet e'er wrote, or the nightingale sung.
It comes on the balm-bearing breath of the breeze,
And the odours that later will gladden the bees,
With a life and a freshness united to these,
From the rippling of waters and rustling of trees.
Like a swan to its young o'er the glass of a pond,
So to earth comes the angel, as graceful and fond;
While a bright beam of sunshine--his magical wand,
Strikes the fields at my feet, and the mountains beyond.
They waken--they start into life at a bound--
Flowers climb the tall hillocks, and cover the ground
With a nimbus of glory the mountains are crown'd,
As the rivulets rush to the ocean profound.
There is life on the earth, there is calm on the sea,
And the rough waves are smoothed, and the frozen are free;
And they gambol and ramble like boys, in their glee,
Round the shell-shining strand or the grass-bearing lea.
There is love for the young, there is life for the old,
And wealth for the needy, and heat for the cold;
For the dew scatters, nightly, its diamonds untold,
And the snowdrop its silver, the crocus its gold!
God!--whose goodness and greatness we bless and adore--
Be Thou praised for this angel--the first of the four--
To whose charge Thou has given the world's uttermost shore,
To guide it, and guard it, till time is no more!