The Angel That Presided O'Er My Birth

The Angel that presided o'er my birth
Said, 'Little creature, form'd of Joy and Mirth,
'Go love without the help of any Thing on Earth.'

by William Blake.

It Was Wrong To Do This, Said The Angel

'It was wrong to do this,' said the angel.
'You should live like a flower,
Holding malice like a puppy,
Waging war like a lambkin.'

'Not so,' quoth the man
Who had no fear of spirits;
'It is only wrong for angels
Who can live like the flowers,
Holding malice like the puppies,
Waging war like the lambkins.'

by Stephen Crane.

"It Was Wrong To Do This," Said The Angel

"It was wrong to do this," said the angel.
"You should live like a flower,
Holding malice like a puppy,
Waging war like a lambkin."

"Not so," quoth the man
Who had no fear of spirits;
"It is only wrong for angels
Who can live like the flowers,
Holding malice like the puppies,
Waging war like the lambkins."

by Stephen Crane.

The Angel Of Life

LIFE’S Angel watched a happy child at play,
Wreathing the riches of the blushing May:
His eye was cloudless as the heavens above,
But there was pity in her look of love.

The flowers he gathered bloomed their brief bright hour,
Then rained their petals in a silent shower:
The boy looked up at her with strange surprise,
And sadder grew the pity in her eyes.

by Richard Rowe.

A new young angel carried by her wings

‘Nova angeletta sovra l'ale accorta'

A new young angel carried by her wings
descended from the sky to the green bank,
there where I passed, alone, to my destiny,
When she saw I was without companion,
or guard, she stretched a noose, woven of silk,
in the grass, with which the way was turfed.
Then I was captured: and later it did not displease me,
so sweet a light issued from her eyes.

Translated by: A. S. Kline

by Francesco Petrarch.

The Guardian Angel

WHEN my good-nights and prayers are said
And I am safe tucked up in bed,
I know my guardian angel stands
And holds my soul between his hands.


I cannot see his wings of light
Because I keep my eyes shut tight,
For, if I open them, I know
My pretty angel has to go.


But through the darkness I can hear
His white wings rustling very near;
I know it is his darling wings,
Not Mother folding up my things!

by Edith Nesbit.

A Song In The Night: I Would I Were An Angel Strong,

I would I were an angel strong,
An angel of the sun, hasting along!

I would I were just come awake,
A child outbursting from night's dusky brake!

Or lark whose inward, upward fate
Mocks every wall that masks the heavenly gate!

Or hopeful cock whose clarion clear
Shrills ten times ere a film of dawn appear!

Or but a glowworm: even then
My light would come straight from the Light of Men!

I am a dead seed, dark and slow:
Father of larks and children, make me grow.

by George MacDonald.

I dreamt a dream! What can it mean?
And that I was a maiden Queen
Guarded by an Angel mild:
Witless woe was ne'er beguiled!

And I wept both night and day,
And he wiped my tears away;
And I wept both day and night,
And hid from him my heart's delight.

So he took his wings, and fled;
Then the morn blushed rosy red.
I dried my tears, and armed my fears
With ten-thousand shields and spears.

Soon my Angel came again;
I was armed, he came in vain;
For the time of youth was fled,
And grey hairs were on my head.

by William Blake.

At midnight an angel was crossing the sky,
And quietly he sang;
The moon and the stars and the concourse of clouds
Paid heed to his heavenly song.

He sang of the bliss of the innocent souls
In heavenly gardens above;
Of almighty God he sang out, and his praise
Was pure and sincere.

He bore in his arms a young soul
To our valley of sorrow and tears;
The young soul remembered the heavenly song
So vivid and yet without words.

And long did it struggle on earth,
With wondrous desire imbued;
But none of the tedious songs of our earth
Could rival celestial song.

by Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov.

The Hour Of The Angel

Sooner or late--in earnest or in jest--
(But the stakes are no jest) Ithuriel's Hour
Will spring on us, for the first time, the test
Of our sole unbacked competence and power
Up to the limit of our years and dower
Of judgment--or beyond. But here we have
Prepared long since our garland or our grave.

For, at that hour, the sum of all our past,
Act, habit, thought, and passion, shall be cast
In one addition, be it more or less,
And as that reading runs so shall we do;
Meeting, astounded, victory at the last,
Or, first and last, our own unworthiness.
And none can change us though they die to save!

by Rudyard Kipling.

An Angel In The House

How sweet it were, if without feeble fright,
Or dying of the dreadful beauteous sight,
An angel came to us, and we could bear
To see him issue from the silent air
At evening in our room, and bend on ours
His divine eyes, and bring us from his bowers
News of dear friends, and children who have never
Been dead indeed,--as we shall know forever.
Alas! we think not what we daily see
About our hearths,--angels that are to be,
Or may be if they will, and we prepare
Their souls and ours to meet in happy air;--
A child, a friend, a wife whose soft heart sings
In unison with ours, breeding its future wings.

by James Henry Leigh Hunt.

Sonnet 60: When My Good Angel Guides Me

When my good angel guides me to the place,
Where all my good I do in Stella see,
That heav'n of joys throws only down on me
Thunder'd disdains and lightnings of disgrace:

But when the rugg'st step of Fortune's race
Makes me fall from her sight, then sweetly she
With words, wherein the Muses' treasures be,
Shows love and pity to my absent case.

Now I, wit-beaten long by hardest Fate,
So dull am, that I cannot look into
The ground of this fierce Love and lovely hate:

Then some good body tell me how I do,
Whose presence absence, absence presence is;
Blist in my curse, and cursed in my bliss.

by Sir Philip Sidney.

To My Guardian Angel

Merciful spirit! who thy bright throne above
Hast left, to wander through this dismal earth
With me, poor child of sin!—Angel of love!
Whose guardian wings hung o'er me from my birth,
And who still walk'st unwearied by my side,
How oft, O thou compassionate! must thou mourn
Over the wayward deeds, the thoughts of pride,
That thy pure eyes behold. Yet not aside
From thy sad task dost thou in anger turn;
But patiently, thou hast but gazed and sighed,
And followed still, striving with the divine
Powers of thy soul for mastery over mine;
And though all line of human hope be past,
Still fondly watching, hoping, to the last.

by Frances Anne Kemble.

The Angel Of The Sombre Cowl

When sight and sound, by Pain's oppressive hand,
Were dimmed, and low the shaded night-light burned,
A Presence came beside my bed, and yearned
To clasp and bear me to another land.
But whispered gently, 'It is not so planned.'
In sweet compassion was the soft glance turned
On mine, till senses quickened and I learned
The tenderness within the eyes that scanned.

O Angel of the Sombre Cowl! close fold
My hand and lead me into peace,' I prayed;
But with a glowing glance of love untold,
Alone to the Unknown he passed. Now stayed
Is former dread; whatever life may hold,
I follow to the end, all unafraid.

by Alma Frances McCollum.

The Angel And The Clown

I saw wild domes and bowers
And smoking incense towers
And mad exotic flowers
In Illinois.
Where ragged ditches ran
Now springs of Heaven began
Celestial drink for man
In Illinois.

There stood beside the town
Beneath its incense-crown
An angel and a clown
In Illinois.
He was as Clowns are:
She was snow and star
With eyes that looked afar
In Illinois.

I asked, "How came this place
Of antique Asian grace
Amid our callow race
In Illinois?"
Said Clown and Angel fair:
"By laughter and by prayer,
By casting off all care
In Illinois."

by Vachel Lindsay.

I Heard An Angel

I heard an Angel singing
When the day was springing,
'Mercy, Pity, Peace
Is the world's release.'

Thus he sung all day
Over the new mown hay,
Till the sun went down
And haycocks looked brown.

I heard a Devil curse
Over the heath and the furze,
'Mercy could be no more,
If there was nobody poor,

And pity no more could be,
If all were as happy as we.'
At his curse the sun went down,
And the heavens gave a frown.

Down pour'd the heavy rain
Over the new reap'd grain ...
And Miseries' increase
Is Mercy, Pity, Peace.

by William Blake.

The Angel Of Death

Discard greed and temptations, forget your travels to near and far;
The bandit of death is blowing his trumpet and indulging in looting day and night;
Why are you roaming from place to place with all your paraphernalia;
Not even a twig will eventually go with you when your death arrives;
Your riches and grand life style are all left behind when the angel of death loads you on his back;

Do not feel proud of your swords and shields;
They will abandon you on seeing the spear of death;
Alone in a desert would you then eat the dust of the grave;
In that desert, indeed Nazeer, not even an insect would care to visit you;
Your riches and grand life style are all left behind when the angel of death loads you on his back.

by Nazeer Akbarabadi.

The Child-Angel

They clamour and fight, they doubt and despair, they know no end
to their wrangling.
Let your life come amongst them like a flame of light, my
child, unflickering and pure, and delight them into silence.
They are cruel in their greed and their envy, their words are like
hidden knives thirsting for blood.
Go and stand amidst their scowling hearts, my child, and let
your gentle eyes fall upon them like the forgiving peace of the
evening over the strife of the day.
Let them see your face, my child, and thus know the meaning
of all things; let them love you and thus love each other.
Come and take your seat in the bosom of the limitless, my
child. At sunrise open and raise your heart like a blossoming
flower, and at sunset bend your head and in silence complete the
worship of the day.

by Rabindranath Tagore.

The Angel Of Pain

Angel of Pain, I think thy face
Will be, in all the heavenly place,
The sweetest face that I shall see,
The swiftest face to smile on me.
All other angels faint and tire;
Joy wearies, and forsakes desire;
Hope falters, face to face with Fate,
And dies because it cannot wait;
And Love cuts short each loving day,
Because fond hearts cannot obey
That subtlest law which measures bliss
By what it is content to miss.
But thou, O loving, faithful Pain-
Hated, reproached, rejected, slain-
Dost only closer cling and bless
In sweeter, stronger steadfastness.
Dear, patient angel, to thine own
Thou comest, and art never known
Till late, in some lone twilight place
The light of thy transfigured face
Sudden shines out, and, speechless, they
Know they have walked with Christ all day.

by Helen Hunt Jackson.

The Man To The Angel

I HAVE wept a million tears:
Pure and proud one, where are thine,
What the gain though all thy years
In unbroken beauty shine?

All your beauty cannot win
Truth we learn in pain and sighs:
You can never enter in
To the circle of the wise.

They are but the slaves of light
Who have never known the gloom,
And between the dark and bright
Willed in freedom their own doom.

Think not in your pureness there,
That our pain but follows sin:
There are fires for those who dare
Seek the throne of might to win.

Pure one, from your pride refrain:
Dark and lost amid the strife
I am myriad years of pain
Nearer to the fount of life.

When defiance fierce is thrown
At the god to whom you bow,
Rest the lips of the Unknown
Tenderest upon my brow.

by George William Russell.

The Slumber Angel

When day is ended, and grey twilight flies
On silent wings across the tired land,
The slumber angel cometh from the skies-
The slumber angel of the peaceful eyes,
And with the scarlet poppies in his hand.

His robes are dappled like the moonlit seas,
His hair in waves of silver floats afar;
He weareth lotus-bloom and sweet heartsease,
With tassels of the rustling green fir trees,
As down the dusk he steps from star to star.

Above the world he swings his curfew bell,
And sleep falls soft on golden heads and white;
The daisies curl their leaves beneath his spell,
The prisoner who wearies in his cell
Forgets awhile, and dreams throughout the night.


Even so, in peace, comes that great Lord of rest
Who crowneth men with amaranthine flowers;
Who telleth them the truths they have but guessed,
Who giveth them the things they love the best,
Beyond this restless, rocking world of ours.

by Virna Sheard.

The Angel Of Patience

A FREE PARAPHRASE OF THE GERMAN.

To weary hearts, to mourning homes,
God's meekest Angel gently comes
No power has he to banish pain,
Or give us back our lost again;
And yet in tenderest love, our dear
And Heavenly Father sends him here.

There's quiet in that Angel's glance,
There 's rest in his still countenance!
He mocks no grief with idle cheer,
Nor wounds with words the mourner's ear;
But ills and woes he may not cure
He kindly trains us to endure.

Angel of Patience! sent to calm
Our feverish brows with cooling palm;
To lay the storms of hope and fear,
And reconcile life's smile and tear;
The throbs of wounded pride to still,
And make our own our Father's will.

O thou who mournest on thy way,
With longings for the close of day;
He walks with thee, that Angel kind,
And gently whispers, 'Be resigned
Bear up, bear on, the end shall tell
The dear Lord ordereth all things well!'

by John Greenleaf Whittier.

The Guardian Angel

I'm the spirit Enimalina, thy guardian angel, and
Drawn hither by a subtle law but few can understand—
The golden cord of sympathy, I leave the summer-land,
Thy aching brows with lilies to entwine.

I've watched thee late and early, I've watched thee on the
morn;
And when the sun has left the sky, and Luna like a lorn
Dejected maid has brought the hour most prized by hearts,
I thy aching brows with lilies have entwined.

I've watched thee in the battle with the many ills of Life,
And then when sleep has seized thee, only to renew the
strife
In dreams, has made, thy woe too rife, appear more keen
and rife,
I thy aching brows with lilies have entwined.

I've watched when dark and dreary has been thy horoscope;
And when thou strength has needed most with cark and
care to cope,
I've nerved thy arm, into thy heart have poured the oil of
hope—
I thy aching brows with lilies have entwined.


1878.

by Joseph Skipsey.

The Angel-Thief

TIME is a thief who leaves his tools behind him;
He comes by night, he vanishes at dawn;
We track his footsteps, but we never find him
Strong locks are broken, massive bolts are drawn,

And all around are left the bars and borers,
The splitting wedges and the prying keys,
Such aids as serve the soft-shod vault-explorers
To crack, wrench open, rifle as they please.

Ah, these are tools which Heaven in mercy lends us
When gathering rust has clenched our shackles fast,
Time is the angel-thief that Nature sends us
To break the cramping fetters of our past.

Mourn as we may for treasures he has taken,
Poor as we feel of hoarded wealth bereft,
More precious are those implements forsaken,
Found in the wreck his ruthless hands have left.

Some lever that a casket's hinge has broken
Pries off a bolt, and lo! our souls are free;
Each year some Open Sesame is spoken,
And every decade drops its master-key.

So as from year to year we count our treasure,
Our loss seems less, and larger look our gains;
Time's wrongs repaid in more than even measure,--
We lose our jewels, but we break our chains.

by Oliver Wendell Holmes.

When first we met she seemed so white
I feared her;
As one might near a spirit bright
I neared her;
An angel pure from heaven above
I dreamed her,
And far too good for human love
I deemed her.
A spirit free from mortal taint
I thought her,
And incense as unto a saint
I brought her.

Well, incense burning did not seem
To please her,
And insolence I feared she’d deem
To squeeze her;
Nor did I dare for that same why
To kiss her,
Lest, shocked, she’d cause my eager eye
To miss her.
I sickened thinking of some way
To win her,
When lo! she asked me, one fine day,
To dinner!

Twas thus that made of common flesh
I found her,
And in a mortal lover’s mesh
I wound her.
Embraces, kisses, loving looks
I gave her,
And buying bon-bons, flowers and books,
I save her;
For her few honest, human taints
I love her,
Nor would I change for all the saints
Above her
Those eyes, that little face, that so
Endear her,
And all the human joy I know
When near her;
And I am glad, when to my breast
I press her,
She’s just a woman, like the rest,
God bless her!

by Ellis Parker Butler.

Oh, was it a death-dream not dreamed through,
That eyed her like a foe?
Or only a sorrow left over from life,
Half-finished years ago?


How long was it since she died-who told?
Or yet what was death-who knew?
She said: 'I am come to Heaven at last,
And I'll do as the blessèd do.'


But the custom of earth was stronger than Heaven,
And the habit of life than death,
How should an anguish as old as thought
Be healed by the end of breath?


Tissue and nerve and pulse of her soul
Had absorbed the disease of woe.
The strangest of all the angels there
Was Joy. (Oh, the wretched know!)


'I am too tired with earth,' she said,
'To rest me in Paradise.
Give me a spot to creep away,
And close my heavy eyes.


'I must learn to be happy in Heaven,' she said,
'As we learned to suffer below.'-
'Our ways are not your ways,' he said,
'And ours the ways you go.'


As love, too wise for a word, puts by
All a woman's weak alarms,
Joy hushed her lips, and gathered her
Into his mighty arms.


He took her to his holy heart,
And there-for he held her fast-
The saddest spirit in the world,
Came to herself at last.

by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward.

I.

I SHALL not paint them. God them sees, and I:
No other can, nor need. They have no form,
I may not close with human kisses warm
Their eyes which shine afar or from on high,
But never will shine nearer till I die.
How long, how long! See, I am growing old;
I have quite ceased to note in my hair's fold
The silver threads that there in ambush lie;
Some angel faces bent from heaven would pine
To trace the sharp lines graven upon mine;
What matter? in the wrinkles ploughed by care
Let age tread after, sowing immortal seeds;
All this life's harvest yielded, wheat or weeds,
Is reaped, methinks: at my little field lies bare.

II.

BUT in the night time, 'twixt it and the stars,
The angel faces still come glimmering by;
No death-pale shadow, no averted eye
Marking the inevitable doom that bars
Me from them. Not a cloud their aspect mars;
And my sick spirit walks with them hand in hand
By the cool waters of a pleasant land:
Sings with them o'er again, without its jars,
The psalm of life, that ceased, as one by one
Their voices, dropping off, left mine alone
With dull monotonous wail to grieve the air.
O solitary love, that art so strong,
I think God will have pity on thee erelong,
And take thee where thou'lt find those angel faces fair.

by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik.

The Angel And The Child. (From Jean Reboul, The Baker Of Nismes)

An angel with a radiant face,
Above a cradle bent to look,
Seemed his own image there to trace,
As in the waters of a brook.

'Dear child! who me resemblest so,'
It whispered, 'come, O come with me!
Happy together let us go,
The earth unworthy is of thee!

'Here none to perfect bliss attain;
The soul in pleasure suffering lies;
Joy hath an undertone of pain,
And even the happiest hours their sighs.

'Fear doth at every portal knock;
Never a day serene and pure
From the o'ershadowing tempest's shock
Hath made the morrow's dawn secure.

'What then, shall sorrows and shall fears
Come to disturb so pure a brow?
And with the bitterness of tears
These eyes of azure troubled grow?

'Ah no! into the fields of space,
Away shalt thou escape with me;
And Providence will grant thee grace
Of all the days that were to be.

'Let no one in thy dwelling cower,
In sombre vestments draped and veiled;
But let them welcome thy last hour,
As thy first moments once they hailed.

'Without a cloud be there each brow;
There let the grave no shadow cast;
When one is pure as thou art now,
The fairest day is still the last.'

And waving wide his wings of white,
The angel, at these words, had sped
Towards the eternal realms of light!--
Poor mother! see, thy son is dead!

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Down the white ward with slow, unswerving tread
He came ere break of day--
A cowl was drawn about his down-bent head,
His misty robes were grey.

And no man even knew that he went by,
None saw or heard him pass;
Softly he moved as clouds drift down the sky,
Or shadows cross the grass.

Close to a little bed where one lay low,
At last he took his stand,
And touched the head that tossed in restless woe
With gentle, outstretched hand.

'When bitterness,' he said, 'is at an end,
And joy grows far and dim,
I am the angel whom the Lord doth send
To lead men on to Him.

'Past the innumerable stars, my friend,
Past all the winds that blow,
We, too, must travel to our journey's end.
Arise! And let us go!'

'Stay! Stay!' the other cried. 'I know thy face!
Death is thy dreaded name!'
'Nay--I am known as 'Love' in that far place,'
He said, 'from whence I came.'

But still the other cried, with moan and tear,
'I fear the dark--and thee!'
'There is no dark,' the angel said, 'nor fear,
For those who go with me.

'There is no loneliness, and nevermore
The shadow-haunted night,
When we pass out beyond Life's swinging door
The road,' he said, 'is bright.'

Then backward slipped the cowl from off his head,
Downward the robe of grey;
A radiant presence by the lowly bed
Greeted the breaking day.

* * * * *

Within the long white ward one lay alone,
None watched by him awhile,
But some who passed him said, in whispered tone,
'See--on his lips--the smile!'

by Virna Sheard.

The Swamp Angel

There is a coal-black Angel
With a thick Afric lip,
And he dwells (like the hunted and harried)
In a swamp where the green frogs dip.
But his face is against a City
Which is over a bay of the sea,
And he breathes with a breath that is
blastment,
And dooms by a far decree.

By night there is fear in the City,
Through the darkness a star soareth on;
There's a scream that screams up to the zenith,
Then the poise of a meteor lone--
Lighting far the pale fright of the faces,
And downward the coming is seen;
Then the rush, and the burst, and the havoc,
And wails and shrieks between.

It comes like the thief in the gloaming;
It comes, and none may foretell
The place of the coming--the glaring;
They live in a sleepless spell
That wizens, and withers, and whitens;
It ages the young, and the bloom
Of the maiden is ashes of roses--
The Swamp Angel broods in his gloom.

Swift is his messengers' going,
But slowly he saps their halls,
As if by delay deluding.
They move from their crumbling walls
Farther and farther away;
But the Angel sends after and after,
By night with the flame of his ray--
By night with the voice of his screaming--
Sends after them, stone by stone,
And farther walls fall, farther portals,
And weed follows weed through the Town.

Is this the proud City? the scorner
Which never would yield the ground?
Which mocked at the coal-black Angel?
The cup of despair goes round.
Vainly he calls upon Michael
(The white man's seraph was he,)
For Michael has fled from his tower
To the Angel over the sea.
Who weeps for the woeful City
Let him weep for our guilty kind;
Who joys at her wild despairing--
Christ, the Forgiver, convert his mind.

by Herman Melville.

A Pastoral Betwixt David, Thirsis, And The Angel Gabriel, Upon The Birth Of Our Saviour

DAVID.
What means yon apparition in the sky,
Thirsis, that dazzles every shepherd's eye?
I slumbering was when from yon glorious cloud
Came gliding music heavenly, sweet, and loud,
With sacred raptures which my bosom fires,
And with celestial joy my soul inspires;
It soothes the native horrors of the night,
And gladdens nature more than dawning light.

THIRSIS.
But hold, see hither through the yielding air
An angel comes: for mighty news prepare.

ANGEL GABRIEL.
Rejoice, ye swains, anticipate the morn
With songs of praise; for lo! a Saviour's born.
With joyful haste to Bethlehem repair,
And you will find the almighty infant there;
Wrapp'd in a swaddling band you'll find your king,
And in a manger laid, to him your praises bring.

CHORUS OF ANGELS.
To God who in the highest dwells,
Immortal glory be;
Let peace be in the humble cells
Of Adam's progeny.

DAVID.
No more the year shall wintry horrors bring;
Fix'd in the indulgence of eternal spring,
Immortal green shall clothe the hills and vales,
And odorous sweets shall load the balmy gales;
The silver brooks shall in soft murmurs tell
The joy that shall their oozy channels swell.
Feed on, my flocks, and crop the tender grass,
Let blooming joy appear on every face;
For lo! this blessed, this propitious morn,
The Saviour of lost mankind is born.

THIRSIS.
Thou fairest morn that ever sprang from night,
Or deck'd the opening skies with rosy light,
Well mayst thou shine with a distinguish'd ray,
Since here Emmanuel condescends to stay.
Our fears, our guilt, our darkness to dispel,
And save us from the horrid jaws of hell.
Who from his throne descended, matchless love!
To guide poor mortals to bless'd seats above:
But come without delay, let us be gone,
Shepherd, let's go, and humbly kiss the Son.

by James Thomson.

The Parting Soul And Her Guardian Angel

(Written during sickness).

Soul—
Oh! say must I leave this world of light
With its sparkling streams and sunshine bright,
Its budding flowers, its glorious sky?
Vain ’tis to ask me—I cannot die!

Angel—
But, sister, list! in the realms above,
That happy home of eternal love,
Are flowers more fair, and skies more clear
Than those thou dost cling to so fondly here.

Soul—
Ah! yes, but to reach that home of light
I must pass through the fearful vale of night;
And my soul with alarm doth shuddering cry—
O angel, I tell thee, I dare not die!

Angel—
Ah! mortal beloved, in that path untried
Will I be, as ever, still at thy side,
Through gloom to guide till, death’s shadows passed,
Thou nearest, unharmed, God’s throne at last.

Soul—
Alas! too many close ties of love
Around my wavering heart are wove!
Fond, tender voices, press me to stay—
Think’st thou from them I would pass away?
Daily my mother, with anguish wild,
Bends o’er the couch of her dying child,
And one, nearer still, with silent tears,
Betrays his anguish, his gloomy fears—
Yes, even now, while to thee I speak,
Are hot drops falling upon my cheek;
Think you I’d break from so close a tie?
No, my guardian angel, I cannot die!

Angel—
Poor child of earth! how closely clings
Thy heart to earth and to earthly things!
Wilt thou still revolt if I whisper low
That thy Father in Heaven wills it so—
Wills that with Him thou should’st henceforth dwell,
To pray for those whom thou lovest so well,
Till a time shall come when you’ll meet again,
To forget for ever life’s grief and pain?

Soul—
Spirit, thy words have a potent power
O’er my sinking heart in this awful hour,
And thy soft-breathed hopes, with magic might.
Have chased from my soul the shades of night.
Console the dear ones I part from now,
Who hang o’er my couch with pallid brow,
Tell them we’ll meet in yon shining sky—
And, Saviour tender, now let me die!

by Rosanna Eleanor Leprohon.

You call me an angel of love and of light,
A being of goodness and heavenly fire,
Sent out from God’s kingdom to guide you aright,
In paths where your spirits may mount and aspire.
You say that I glow like a star on its course,
Like a ray from the alter, a spark from the source.

Now list to my answer; let all the world hear it;
I speak unafraid what I know to be true:
A pure, faithful love is the creative spirit
Which makes women angels! I live in but you.
We are bound soul to soul by life’s holiest laws;
If I am an angel – why, you are the cause.

As my ship skims the sea, I look up from the deck.
Fair, firm at the wheel shines Love’s beautiful form,
And shall I curse the barque that last night went to wreck,
By the Pilot abandoned to darkness and storm?
My craft is no stauncher, she too had been lost –
Had the wheelman deserted, or slept at his post.

I laid down the wealth of my soul at your feet
(Some woman does this for some man every day) .
No desperate creature who walks in the street,
Has a wickeder heart that I might have, I say,
Had you wantonly misused the treasures you woon,
-As so many men with heart riches have done.

This flame from God’s altar, this holy love flame,
That burns like sweet incense for ever for you,
Might now be a wild conflagration of shame,
Had you tortured my heart, or been base or untrue.
For angels and devils are cast in one mould,
Till love guides them upward, or downward, I hold.

I tell you the women who make fervent wives
And sweet tender mothers, had Fate been less fair,
Are the women who might have abandoned their lives
To the madness that springs from and ends in despair.
As the fire on the hearth which sheds brightness around,
Neglected, may level the walls to the ground.

The world makes grave errors in judging these things,
Great good and great evil are born in one breast.
Love horns us and hoofs us – or gives us our wings,
And the best could be worst, as the worst could be best.
You must thank your own worth for what I grew to be,
For the demon lurked under the angel in me.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

Dedicated To My Sister, Mrs. Sarah A. Ayres.

One beautiful evening in summer,
Ere the sunbeams had vanished from sight,
When they stooped down to kiss the green prairies,
And bid all the flowers ' Good-night' ;

When the last lingering rays that descended
Fell full in the waterfall's face,
And caught the bright ripples, while dancing,
To give them a parting embrace;

Sad and doubting I sat by the brook-side,
And gazed on expiring Day,
Until Thought fell asleep in my bosom
And Memory flew softly away.

The clouds that hung lightly above me
Wore colors of beauty untold:
Displaying, in exquisite blending,
Their crimson and purple and gold.

The Breeze had forgotten its murmur,
The Zephyr had banished its sigh,
And echoes of heavenly anthems
Seemed dropping from harps in the sky.

Anon came the dim, dreamy twilight
To bend o'er our wild-flower track;
For, like truants, the sunbeams strayed earthward,
While darkness kept drawing them back.

Soon the long, waving grass of the meadow,
The waterfall sparkling and bright,
The trees and the church on the hill-side,
Were hid by the curtain of Night.

Then I sighed, in the fullness of sadness,
To think that the sunbeams had died,
Until white pinions fluttered around me,
And low whispers woke at my side :

' The gloom that the Night casts o'er nature
The splendor of Day ever mars,
But 'tis only the darkness, O mortal!
Can bring out the light of the stars.

' The soul, like the heavens above thee,
Has its seasons of sunlight and gloom;
And often the mental horizon
Is clouded by thoughts of the tomb.

' When the beams of Prosperity gladden,
Our troubles are laid in the dust ;
And 'tis only Adversity's mantle
Can bring out the starlight of Trust.

'Go ! learn of this emblem a lesson,—
Let Faith find a home in thy breast,
And Contentment will follow her footsteps,
And sing all repinings to rest.'

There was silence,—I gazed all around me
For the source of those whispers of love;
But naught met my wandering vision
Save the stars looking down from above.

Since then, when earth-shadows enfold me,
New strength to my spirit is given;
For I know it is only the darkness
Can brhvg oat the starlight of heaven.

by Kate Harrington.

The Angel In The House. Book Ii. The Prologue.

I Her sons pursue the butterflies,
Her baby daughter mocks the doves
With throbbing coo; in his fond eyes
She's Venus with her little Loves;
Her footfall dignifies the earth,
Her form's the native-land of grace,
And, lo, his coming lights with mirth
Its court and capital her face!
Full proud her favour makes her lord,
And that her flatter'd bosom knows.
She takes his arm without a word,
In lanes of laurel and of rose.
Ten years to-day has she been his.
He but begins to understand,
He says, the dignity and bliss
She gave him when she gave her hand.
She, answering, says, he disenchants
The past, though that was perfect; he
Rejoins, the present nothing wants
But briefness to be ecstasy.
He lauds her charms; her beauty's glow
Wins from the spoiler Time new rays;
Bright looks reply, approving so
Beauty's elixir vitæ, praise.
Upon a beech he bids her mark
Where, ten years since, he carved her name;
It grows there with the growing bark,
And in his heart it grows the same.
For that her soft arm presses his
Close to her fond, maternal breast;
He tells her, each new kindness is
The effectual sum of all the rest!
And, whilst the cushat, mocking, coo'd,
They blest the days they had been wed,
At cost of those in which he woo'd,
Till everything was three times said;
And words were growing vain, when Briggs,
Factotum, Footman, Butler, Groom,
Who press'd the cyder, fed the pigs,
Preserv'd the rabbits, drove the brougham,
And help'd, at need, to mow the lawns,
And sweep the paths and thatch the hay,
Here brought the Post down, Mrs. Vaughan's
Sole rival, but, for once, to-day,
Scarce look'd at; for the ‘Second Book,’
Till this tenth festival kept close,
Was thus commenced, while o'er them shook
The laurel married with the rose.

II
‘The pulse of War, whose bloody heats
‘Sane purposes insanely work,
‘Now with fraternal frenzy beats,
‘And binds the Christian to the Turk,
‘And shrieking fifes’—


III
But, with a roar,
In rush'd the Loves; the tallest roll'd
A hedgehog from his pinafore,
Which saved his fingers; Baby, bold,
Touch'd it, and stared, and scream'd for life,
And stretch'd her hand for Vaughan to kiss,
Who hugg'd his Pet, and ask'd his wife,
‘Is this for love, or love for this?’
But she turn'd pale, for, lo, the beast,
Found stock-still in the rabbit-trap,
And feigning so to be deceased,
And laid by Frank upon her lap,
Unglobed himself, and show'd his snout,
And fell, scatt'ring the Loves amain,
With shriek, with laughter, and with shout;
And, peace at last restored again,
The Bard, who this untimely hitch
Bore with a calm magnanimous,
(The hedgehog roll'd into a ditch,
And Venus sooth'd), proceeded thus:

by Coventry Patmore.

The Guardian-Angel

A PICTURE AT FANO.

I.

Dear and great Angel, wouldst thou only leave
That child, when thou hast done with him, for me!
Let me sit all the day here, that when eve
Shall find performed thy special ministry,
And time come for departure, thou, suspending
Thy flight, mayst see another child for tending,
Another still, to quiet and retrieve.

II.

Then I shall feel thee step one step, no more,
From where thou standest now, to where I gaze,
---And suddenly my head is covered o'er
With those wings, white above the child who prays
Now on that tomb---and I shall feel thee guarding
Me, out of all the world; for me, discarding
Yon heaven thy home, that waits and opes its door.

III.

I would not look up thither past thy head
Because the door opes, like that child, I know,
For I should have thy gracious face instead,
Thou bird of God! And wilt thou bend me low
Like him, and lay, like his, my hands together,
And lift them up to pray, and gently tether
Me, as thy lamb there, with thy garment's spread?

IV.

If this was ever granted, I would rest
My bead beneath thine, while thy healing hands
Close-covered both my eyes beside thy breast,
Pressing the brain, which too much thought expands,
Back to its proper size again, and smoothing
Distortion down till every nerve had soothing,
And all lay quiet, happy and suppressed.

V.

How soon all worldly wrong would be repaired!
I think how I should view the earth and skies
And sea, when once again my brow was bared
After thy healing, with such different eyes.
O world, as God has made it! All is beauty:
And knowing this, is love, and love is duty.
What further may be sought for or declared?

VI.

Guercino drew this angel I saw teach
(Alfred, dear friend!)---that little child to pray,
Holding the little hands up, each to each
Pressed gently,---with his own head turned away
Over the earth where so much lay before him
Of work to do, though heaven was opening o'er him,
And he was left at Fano by the beach.

VII.

We were at Fano, and three times we went
To sit and see him in his chapel there,
And drink his beauty to our soul's content
---My angel with me too: and since I care
For dear Guercino's fame (to which in power
And glory comes this picture for a dower,
Fraught with a pathos so magnificent)---

VIII.

And since he did not work thus earnestly
At all times, and has else endured some wrong---
I took one thought his picture struck from me,
And spread it out, translating it to song.
My love is here. Where are you, dear old friend?
How rolls the Wairoa at your world's far end?
This is Ancona, yonder is the sea.

by Robert Browning.

Guardian-Angel, The

A PICTURE AT FANO.

I.

Dear and great Angel, wouldst thou only leave
That child, when thou hast done with him, for me!
Let me sit all the day here, that when eve
Shall find performed thy special ministry,
And time come for departure, thou, suspending
Thy flight, mayst see another child for tending,
Another still, to quiet and retrieve.

II.

Then I shall feel thee step one step, no more,
From where thou standest now, to where I gaze,
---And suddenly my head is covered o'er
With those wings, white above the child who prays
Now on that tomb---and I shall feel thee guarding
Me, out of all the world; for me, discarding
Yon heaven thy home, that waits and opes its door.

III.

I would not look up thither past thy head
Because the door opes, like that child, I know,
For I should have thy gracious face instead,
Thou bird of God! And wilt thou bend me low
Like him, and lay, like his, my hands together,
And lift them up to pray, and gently tether
Me, as thy lamb there, with thy garment's spread?

IV.

If this was ever granted, I would rest
My bead beneath thine, while thy healing hands
Close-covered both my eyes beside thy breast,
Pressing the brain, which too much thought expands,
Back to its proper size again, and smoothing
Distortion down till every nerve had soothing,
And all lay quiet, happy and suppressed.

V.

How soon all worldly wrong would be repaired!
I think how I should view the earth and skies
And sea, when once again my brow was bared
After thy healing, with such different eyes.
O world, as God has made it! All is beauty:
And knowing this, is love, and love is duty.
What further may be sought for or declared?

VI.

Guercino drew this angel I saw teach
(Alfred, dear friend!)---that little child to pray,
Holding the little hands up, each to each
Pressed gently,---with his own head turned away
Over the earth where so much lay before him
Of work to do, though heaven was opening o'er him,
And he was left at Fano by the beach.

VII.

We were at Fano, and three times we went
To sit and see him in his chapel there,
And drink his beauty to our soul's content
---My angel with me too: and since I care
For dear Guercino's fame (to which in power
And glory comes this picture for a dower,
Fraught with a pathos so magnificent)---

VIII.

And since he did not work thus earnestly
At all times, and has else endured some wrong---
I took one thought his picture struck from me,
And spread it out, translating it to song.
My love is here. Where are you, dear old friend?
How rolls the Wairoa at your world's far end?
This is Ancona, yonder is the sea.

by Robert Browning.

The Avenging Angel

1 When the last faint red of the day is dead,
2 And the dim, far heaven is lit
3 With the silvern cars
4 Of the orient stars,
5 And the winged winds whimper and flit;

6 Then I rise through the dome of my aerodrome,
7 Like a giant eagle in flight;
8 And I take my place
9 In the vengeful race
10 With the sinister fleets of night.

11 As I rise and rise in the cloudy skies,
12 No sound in the silence is heard,
13 Save the lonesome whirr
14 Of my engine's purr,
15 Like the wings of a monster bird.

16 And naught is seen save the vault, serene,
17 Of the vasty realms of night,
18 That vanish, aloof,
19 To eternity's roof,
20 As I mount in my ominous flight.

21 And I float and pause in the fleecy gauze,
22 Like a bird in a nest of down;
23 While 'neath me in deeps
24 Of blackness, sleeps
25 The far, vast London town.

26 But I am not here, like a silvern sphere,
27 To glory the deeps of space,
28 But a sentinel, I,
29 In this tower of the sky,
30 Scanning the dim deep's face.

31 For, sudden, afar, like a luminous star,
32 Or a golden horn of the moon,
33 Or a yellow leaf
34 Of the forest's grief,
35 When the autumn winds are atune;

36 There is borne on my sight, down the spaces of night,
37 By the engines of evilment sped,
38 That wonderful, rare,
39 Vast ship of the air,
40 Beautiful, ominous, dread.

41 One instant she floats, most magic of boats,
42 Illusive, implacable, there;
43 Throned angel of ill,
44 On her crystal-built hill,
45 O'er a people's defenceless despair.

46 Then sudden, I rise, like a bolt through the skies,
47 To the very dim roofs of the world;
48 Till down in the grey,
49 I see my grim prey,
50 Like a pallid gold leaf, uncurled.

51 And I hover and swing, until swiftly I spring,
52 And drop like a falling star;
53 And again and again,
54 My death-dealing rain,
55 Hurl to the deeps afar.

56 Then I hover and listen, till I see the far glisten
57 Of a flame-flash blanching the night;
58 And I know that my hate,
59 That has lain in wait,
60 Has won in the grim air-fight.

61 Then I curve and slant, while my engines pant,
62 And the wings of my great bird tame;
63 While the sinister Hun,
64 In his ill, undone,
65 Goes out in a blinding flame.

by William Wilfred Campbell.

The Angel Of The Church

I.
Aye, strike with sacrilegious aim
The temple of the living God;
Hurl iron bolt and seething flame
Through aisles which holiest feet have trod;
Tear up the altar, spoil the tomb,
And, raging with demoniac ire,
Send down, in sudden crash of doom,
That grand, old, sky-sustaining spire.

II.

That spire, for full a hundred years,[1]
Hath been a people's point of sight;
That shrine hath warmed their souls to tears,
With strains well worthy Salem's height;
The sweet, clear music of its bells,
Made liquid soft in Southern air,
Still through the heart of memory swells,
And wakes the hopeful soul to prayer.

III.

Along the shores for many a mile,
Long ere they owned a beacon-mark,
It caught arid kept the Day-God's smile,
The guide for every wandering bark;[2]
Averting from our homes the scaith
Of fiery bolt, in storm-cloud driven,
The Pharos to the wandering faith,
It pointed every prayer to Heaven!

IV.

Well may ye, felons of the time,
Still loathing all that's pure and free,
Add this to many a thousand crime
'Gainst peace and sweet humanity:
Ye, who have wrapped our towns in flame,
Defiled our shrines, befouled our homes,
But fitly turn your murderous aim
Against Jehovah's ancient domes.

V.

Yet, though the grand old temple falls,
And downward sinks the lofty spire,
Our faith is stronger than our walls,
And soars above the storm and fire.
Ye shake no faith in souls made free
To tread the paths their fathers trod;
To fight and die for liberty,
Believing in the avenging God!

VI.

Think not, though long his anger stays,
His justice sleeps--His wrath is spent;
The arm of vengeance but delays,
To make more dread the punishment!
Each impious hand that lights the torch
Shall wither ere the bolt shall fall;
And the bright Angel of the Church,
With seraph shield avert the ball!

VII.

For still we deem, as taught of old,
That where the faith the altar builds,
God sends an angel from his fold,
Whose sleepless watch the temple shields,
And to his flock, with sweet accord,
Yields their fond choice, from THRONES and POWERS;
Thus, Michael, with his fiery sword
And golden shield, still champions ours!

VIII.

And he who smote the dragon down,
And chained him thousand years of time,
Need never fear the boa's frown,
Though loathsome in his spite and slime.
He, from the topmost height, surveys
And guards the shrines our fathers gave;
And we, who sleep beneath his gaze,
May well believe his power to save!

IX.

Yet, if it be that for our sin
Our angel's term of watch is o'er,
With proper prayer, true faith must win
The guardian watcher back once more I
Faith, brethren of the Church, and prayer--
In blood and sackcloth, if it need;
And still our spire shall rise in air,
Our temple, though our people bleed!

by William Gilmore Simms.

The Boy And The Angel

Morning, evening, noon and night,
``Praise God!; sang Theocrite.

Then to his poor trade he turned,
Whereby the daily meal was earned.

Hard he laboured, long and well;
O'er his work the boy's curls fell.

But ever, at each period,
He stopped and sang, ``Praise God!''

Then back again his curls he threw,
And cheerful turned to work anew.

Said Blaise, the listening monk, ``Well done;
``I doubt not thou art heard, my son:

``As well as if thy voice to-day
``Were praising God, the Pope's great way.

``This Easter Day, the Pope at Rome
``Praises God from Peter's dome.''

Said Theocrite, ``Would God that I
``Might praise him, that great way, and die!''

Night passed, day shone,
And Theocrite was gone.

With God a day endures alway,
A thousand years are but a day.

God said in heaven, ``Nor day nor night
``Now brings the voice of my delight.''

Then Gabriel, like a rainbow's birth,
Spread his wings and sank to earth;

Entered, in flesh, the empty cell,
Lived there, and played the craftsman well;

And morning, evening, noon and night,
Praised God in place of Theocrite.

And from a boy, to youth he grew:
The man put off the stripling's hue:

The man matured and fell away
Into the season of decay:

And ever o'er the trade he bent,
And ever lived on earth content.

(He did God's will; to him, all one
If on the earth or in the sun.)

God said, ``A praise is in mine ear;
``There is no doubt in it, no fear:

``So sing old worlds, and so
``New worlds that from my footstool go.

``Clearer loves sound other ways:
``I miss my little human praise.''

Then forth sprang Gabriel's wings, off fell
The flesh disguise, remained the cell.

'Twas Easter Day: he flew to Rome,
And paused above Saint Peter's dome.

In the tiring-room close by
The great outer gallery,

With his holy vestments dight,
Stood the new Pope, Theocrite:

And all his past career
Came back upon him clear,

Since when, a boy, he plied his trade,
Till on his life the sickness weighed;

And in his cell, when death drew near,
An angel in a dream brought cheer:

And rising from the sickness drear
He grew a priest, and now stood here.

To the East with praise he turned,
And on his sight the angel burned.

``I bore thee from thy craftsman's cell
``And set thee here; I did not well.

``Vainly I left my angel-sphere,
``Vain was thy dream of many a year.

``Thy voice's praise seemed weak; it dropped---
``Creation's chorus stopped!

``Go back and praise again
``The early way, while I remain.

``With that weak voice of our disdain,
``Take up creation's pausing strain.

``Back to the cell and poor employ:
``Resume the craftsman and the boy!''

Theocrite grew old at home;
A new Pope dwelt in Peter's dome.

One vanished as the other died:
They sought God side by side.

by Robert Browning.