Hector

A poem by John Frederick Freeman

Sleep, sleep, you great and dim trees, sleeping on
The still warm, tender cheek of night,
And with her cloudy hair

Brushed: sleep, for the violent wind is gone;
Only remains soft easeful light,
And shadow everywhere,

And few pale stars. Hardly has eve begun
Dreaming of day renewed and bright
With beams than day's more fair;

Scarce the full circle of the day is run,
Nor the yellow moon to her full height
Risen through the misty air.

But from the increasing shadowiness is spun
A shadowy shape growing clear to sight,
And fading. Was it Hector there,

Great-helmed, severe?--and as the last sun shone
Seeming in solemn splendour dight
Such as dream heroes bear;

And such his shape as heroes stare upon
In sleep's tumultuary fight
When a cry's heard, "Beware!" ...

--'Twas Hector, but the moment-splendour's gone:
Shadow fast deepens into night,
Night spreads--cold, wide, bare.

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