Gerald Griffin

(12 December 1803 - 12 June 1840 / Limerick / Ireland)

Nocturne - Poem by Gerald Griffin

Sleep that like the couched dove
Broods o'er the weary eye,
Dreams that with soft heavings move
The heart of memory,
Labor's guerdon, golden rest,
Wrap thee in its downy vest, -
Fall like comfort on thy brain
And sing the hush song to thy pain!

Far from thee be startling fears,
And dreams the guilty dream;
No banshee scare thy drowsy ears
With her ill-omen'd scream;
But tones of fairy minstrelsy
Float like the ghosts of sound o'er thee,
Soft as the chapel's distant bell,
And lull thee to a sweet farewell.

Ye for whom the ashy hearth
The fearful housewife clears,
Ye whose tiny sounds of mirth
The nighted carman hears,
Ye whose pygmy hammers make
The wonderers of the cottage wake,
Noiseless be your airy flight,
Silent as the still moonlight.

Silent go, and harmless come,
Fairies of the stream:
Ye, who love the winter gloom
Or the gay moonbeam,
Hither bring your drowsy store
Gather'd from the bright lusmore;
Shake o'er temples, soft and deep,
The comfort of the poor man, sleep.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010

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