Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

October Thoughts--1862

A solemn, tender melancholy-
A soft emotion, sweet and holy;
A sense of stillness and repose,
O'er my worn heart and spirit flows.
I feel the breathing calm that lies
On earth, and sea, and sleeping skies,
Upon the yellow voiceless woods,
Where fading Nature mournful broods;
The stubble-field, brown, silent, bare-
Not even a gleaner wandering there.
I seem by the death-couch to stand
Of some grey Father of the land,
Whose fading hue, and failing breath,
And voiceless lips, give sign of death.
And hark! 'mid twilight shadows dim,
The robin chaunts his funeral hymn.
Now, o'er the landscape slowly sailing-
Robes of mist around her trailing-
Comes the Night, bright, mild, and gracious;
Through the blue ethereal spacious,
Walks the full-orbed moon in splendour-
Chaste, serene, and meekly tender.
Dost thou gaze-Heaven's fairest daughter-
On western fields of cruel slaughter;
Fall thy beams, with weeping grace,
On many a pale and gory face,
In purple pools of blood reflected-
Whence peace and mercy fly rejected?
Dost thou, beauteous orb benign,
On the patriot captive shine,
And on that more than regal head
Thy gentle, soothing, influence shed?
And while on prison-couch he lies,
Tracing thy course through midnight skies,
Oh! whisper in his wakeful ear
With spirit voice soft words of cheer-
And say that Liberty divine,
Shall call him yet to guard her shrine.
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