The Two Lullabies.

A poem by H. P. Nichols

"Once songs as lullabies to thee I sung,
To sleep hath sung thee now an angel's tongue."

From the German of Ruckert.

A lovely babe was lying
Upon its mother's breast;
And she, with soft, low music.
Was hushing it to rest.

The song was sweet and gentle,
And loving in its tone;
And in its touching tenderness
A mother's love was shown.

And still it floated onward,
With melody so deep,
Till closed the dark-fringed eyelids,
The baby was asleep.

And still beside his cradle
She sang the same low hymn,
Till he smiled, as he was sleeping,
At angel fancies dim.

Years passed.--The helpless infant
Was now a happy boy;
And often rang his laughter,
In notes of heartfelt joy.

Upon his mother's bosom
I saw the child again;
And his little head was drooping
In weakness and in pain.

Back from his marble forehead
The hair streamed, golden bright;
But yet his dark eye sparkled
With more than mortal light.

And suddenly he whispered,
"What music sweet I hear!
'Tis not the song you used to sing
At night, O mother dear!

"But sweeter far, and softer,
Than notes you ever sung;
It is as if a silver bell
Its pleasant chimings rung.

"It tells of rest, dear mother,
Of slumber calm and deep;
And I am worn and weary,
And fain 'would sink to sleep.

"Darkness is closing round me--
You're fading from my sight--
I hear it still!--dear mother,
Kiss me once more--good-night!"

He slept; but angel voices
Had sung his lullaby;
And sweet shall be his waking
In our Father's home on high!

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