Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 5/The angel and the infant
THE ANGEL AND THE INFANT.
(FROM THE FRENCH OF JEAN REBOULLÉ, OF NISMES.)
An angel over a cradle stood;
His visage shone with a radiant gleam;
And he seem’d on his own fair form to brood
In the mirror pure of a crystal stream.
“Oh, come to my home, sweet babe so fair!”
He murmur’d; “Come, come with me now!
Ah, we shall be happy together there;
The earth is unworthy of such as thou.
“Its gladness is never without alloy;
Some pang from its best delights will rise;
A wail still rings through its shouts of joy,
And all its pleasures are clogg’d with sighs.
“O’er every feast is the fear of doom;
No sky so clear and serene, but may
Be blacken’d and riven with storm and gloom
Before the dawn of another day.
“On that pure brow shall the trouble pass
Of hopes deceived, and of haunting fears?
Shall those blue eyes be bedimm’d, alas!
By the bitter rain of regretful tears?
“No, no! dear babe, through the fields of space
Thou wilt fly with me to a brighter sphere;
God will not exact, in His boundless grace,
The days that else thou hadst linger’d here.
“No soil of sorrow, no taint of sin,
From thy sojourn here on thy robes shall rest,
The smiles that usher’d thy young life in
Shall follow thee home to yon region blest.
“On thy forehead no cloud shall a shadow fling,
Nor the darkness there of the grave forecast;
Of so unspotted and pure a thing
The loveliest morning is still its last.”
And, slowly unfolding his wings snow-white,
The angel ceased, and aloft he fled
To the blest abodes of eternal light.
Alas! poor mother! Thy boy is dead!