Felicia Dorothea Hemans

(25 September 1793 – 16 May 1835 / Liverpool, England)

The Nightingale


WHEN twilight's grey and pensive hour
Brings the low breeze, and shuts the flower,
And bids the solitary star
Shine in pale beauty from afar;

When gathering shades the landscape veil,
And peasants seek their village-dale,
And mists from river-wave arise,
And dew in every blossom lies;

When evening's primrose opes, to shed
Soft fragrance round her grassy bed;
When glow-worms in the wood-walk light
Their lamp, to cheer the traveller's sight;

At that calm hour, so still, so pale,
Awakes the lonely Nightingale;
And from a hermitage of shade
Fills with her voice the forest-glade.

And sweeter far that melting voice,
Than all which through the day rejoice;
And still shall bard and wanderer love
The twilight music of the grove.

Father in Heaven! oh! thus when day
With all its cares hath passed away,
And silent hours waft peace on earth,
And hush the louder strains of mirth;

Thus may sweet songs of praise and prayer
To Thee my spirit's offering bear;
Yon star, my signal, set on high,
For vesper-hymns of piety.

So may thy mercy and thy power
Protect me through the midnight hour;
And balmy sleep and visions blest
Smile on thy servant's bed of rest.

Submitted: Thursday, April 08, 2010

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