Songs Of The Night Watches, - The Morning Watch.

A poem by Jean Ingelow

THE COMING IN OF THE "MERMAIDEN."

The moon is bleached as white as wool,
And just dropping under;
Every star is gone but three,
And they hang far asunder, -
There's a sea-ghost all in gray,
A tall shape of wonder!

I am not satisfied with sleep, -
The night is not ended.
But look how the sea-ghost comes,
With wan skirts extended,
Stealing up in this weird hour,
When light and dark are blended.

A vessel! To the old pier end
Her happy course she's keeping;
I heard them name her yesterday:
Some were pale with weeping;
Some with their heart-hunger sighed,
She's in, - and they are sleeping.

O! now with fancied greetings blest,
They comfort their long aching:
The sea of sleep hath borne to them
What would not come with waking,
And the dreams shall most be true
In their blissful breaking.

The stars are gone, the rose-bloom comes, -
No blush of maid is sweeter;
The red sun, half way out of bed,
Shall be the first to greet her.
None tell the news, yet sleepers wake,
And rise, and run to meet her.

Their lost they have, they hold; from pain
A keener bliss they borrow.
How natural is joy, my heart!
How easy after sorrow!
For once, the best is come that hope
Promised them "to-morrow."

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