Eugene Field

(2 September 1850 - 4 November 1895 / St Louis / Missouri / United States)

In The Firelight


The fire upon the hearth is low,
And there is stillness everywhere,
While like winged spirits, here and there,
The firelight shadows fluttering go.
And as the shadows round me creep,
A childish treble breaks the gloom,
And softly from a further room
Comes, "Now I lay me down to sleep."

And somehow, with that little prayer
And that sweet treble in my ears,
My thoughts go back to distant years
And linger with a loved one there;
And as I hear my child's amen,
My mother's faith comes back to me,--
Crouched at her side I seem to be,
And Mother holds my hands again.

Oh, for an hour in that dear place!
Oh, for the peace of that dear time!
Oh, for that childish trust sublime!
Oh, for a glimpse of Mother's face!
Yet, as the shadows round me creep,
I do not seem to be alone,--
Sweet magic of that treble tone,
And "Now I lay me down to sleep."

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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