A Poem of Felicia Hemans in The Bijou, 1829/The Sleepers

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For works with similar titles, see The Sleepers.
For other versions of this work, see The Sleepers (Felicia Hemans).



Sleep!—let thy mother's spirit bless her child,
And let thy sisters, to the dreaming land,
Greet thee with song!—each gentle voice be there
Of early fondness—each familiar face—
Only th' unkind be absent!

Oh! lightly, lightly tread!
A holy thing is sleep,
On the worn spirit shed,
And eyes that wake to weep:

A holy thing from heaven,
A gracious dewy cloud,
A covering mantle, given
The weary to enshroud.

Oh! lightly, lightly tread!
Revere the pale still brow,
The meekly-drooping head,
The long hairs willowy flow!

Ye know not what ye do,
That call the slumberer back,
From the world unseen by you,
Unto Life's dim faded track.

Her soul is far away,
In her childhood's land perchance,
Where her young sister's play,
Where shines her mother's glance.

Some old sweet native sound
Her spirit haply weaves;
A harmony profound
Of woods with all their leaves:

A murmur of the sea,
A laughing tone of streams:—
Long may her sojourn be
In the music-land of dreams!

Each voice of love is there,
Each gleam of beauty fled,
Each lost one still more fair—
Oh! lightly, lightly tread!