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Normale Version: Saint Elizabeth of Bohemia (2)
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Saint Elizabeth of Bohemia

"Would that we two were lying
Beneath the churchyard sod,
With our limbs at rest in the green earth's breast,
And our souls at home with God."
--Kingsley's Saint's Tragedy.


I

I never lay me down to sleep at night
But in my heart I sing that little song:
The angels hear it as, a pitying throng,
They touch my burning lids with fingers bright
As moonbeams, pale, impalpable, and light:
And when my daily pious tasks are done,
And all my patient prayers said one by one,
God hears it. Seems it sinful in His sight
That round my slow burnt-offering of quenched will
One quivering human sigh creeps wind-like still?
That when my orisons celestial fail
Rises one note of natural human wail?
Dear lord, spouse, hero, martyr, saint! erelong,
I trust, God will forgive my singing that poor song.


II

A year ago I bade my little son
Bear upon pilgrimage a heavy load
Of alms; he cried, half-fainting on the road,
"Mother, O mother, would the day were done!"
Him I reproved with tears, and said, "Go on!
Nor pause nor murmur till thy task be o'er."--
Would not God say to me the same, and more?
I will not sing that song. Thou, dearest one,
Husband--no, brother!--stretch thy steadfast hand
And let mine grasp it. Now, I also stand,
My woman weakness nerved to strength like thine;
We'll quaff life's aloe-cup as if 't were wine
Each to the other; journeying on apart,
Till at heaven's golden doors we two leap heart to heart.
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