The lights have faded from the little casement,
As though her closing eyes had brought on night;
And now she dreams--Ah! dreams supremely bright,
While silence reigns around from roof to basement.
And slow the moon is mounting up the sky,
Drawing Heaven's myriads in her queenly train,
Flinging rich largesse, as she passes by,
Of beauty freely over hill and plain.
Around the lattice creep the pure white roses,
And one light bough rests gently on the pane,
The diamond pane, through which the angel train
Gaze on the sister saint who there reposes;
The moonlight silvers softly o'er it now;
And round the eaves the south wind whispers lowly,
Waving the leaves like curls on maiden's brow;
The peace and stillness make the place seem holy.
The little garden where she daily strays,
Sleeps like the precinct of a place enchanted;
And many a flower by her own dear hands planted,
Waves mystically 'neath the starry rays.
There is such strange still beauty in the spot,
That in the misty moonshine oft it seems
A vision that the waking eye sees not,
But some fair plesaunce blooming up in dreams.
The dew distillèd perfumes richly rise,
And float unseen about the silent air,
Breathing a balmy sweetness everywhere,
Like some blest secret fresh from Paradise;
Upon the soul dim thoughts of Eden press,
Within the stillness of this inner shrine,
Where Nature has unveil'd her loveliness,
And to the angels bared her soul divine.
There is no sound upon the ear of Night;
The distant watch-dog's bay hath sunk to rest;
The thrush is brooding o'er his quiet nest;
And the light clouds sweep on with noiseless flight.
O heart, why beat so wildly--she will hear,
And start from slumber in serene surprise--
Away! away! why longer linger here
To mar the silence with thy swelling sighs!