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Sleep, sleep to-day, tormenting cares,

Of earth and folly born! Solemnly sang the village choir

On that sweet Sabbath morn.

Through the closed blinds the golden sun

Poured in a dusty beam, Like the celestial ladder seen

By Jacob in his dream.

And ever and anon, the wind,

Sweet-scented with the hay, Turned o'er the hymn-book's fluttering leaves

That on the window lay.

Long was the good man's sermon,

Yet it seemed not so to me;
For he spake of Ruth the beautiful,

And still I thought of thee.

Long was the prayer he uttered,

Yet it seemed not so to me ;
For in my heart I prayed with him,

And still I thought of thee.

But now, alas ! the place seems changed ;

Thou art no longer here :
Part of the sunshine of the scene

With thee did disappear.

Though thoughts, deep-rooted in my heart,

Like pine-trees dark and high, Subdue the light of noon, and breathe

A low and ceaseless sigh ;

This memory brightens o'er the past,

As when the sun, concealed
Behind some cloud that near us hangs,

Shines on a distant field.


This is the Arsenal. From floor to ceiling,

Like a huge organ, rise the burnished arms ; But from their silent pipes no anthem pealing

Startles the villages with strange alarms.

Ah! what a sound will rise, how wild and dreary,

When the death-angel touches those swift keys ! What loud lament and dismal Miserere

Will mingle with their awful symphonies !

I hear even now the infinite fierce chorus,

The cries of agony, the endless groan, Which, through the ages that have gone before us,

In long reverberations reach our own.

On helm and harness rings the Saxon hammer,

Through Cimbric forest roars the Norseman's

song, And loud, amid the universal clamor,

O'er distant deserts sounds the Tartar gong.

I hear the Florentine, who from his palace

Wheels out his battle-bell with dreadful din, And Aztec priests upon their teocallis

Beat the wild war-drams made of serpent's skin;

The tumult of each sacked and burning village ;

The shout that every prayer for mercy drowns ; The soldiers' revels in the midst of pillage ;

The wail of famine in beleaguered towns ;

The bursting shell, the gateway wrenched asunder,

The rattling musketry, the clashing blade ; And ever and anon, in tones of thunder,

The diapason of the cannonade.

Is it, О man, with such discordant noises,

With such accursed instruments as these, Thou drownest Nature's sweet and kindly voices,

And jarrest the celestial harmonies ?

Were half the


that fills the world with terror, Were half the wealth, bestowed on camps and


Given to redeem the human mind from

error, There were no need of arsenals nor forts :

The warrior's name would be a name abhorred!

And every nation, that should lift again Its hand against a brother, on its forehead

Would wear forevermore the curse of Cain !


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