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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Via Crucis (1906). V. Good-Night

William Hall (1838– )

GOOD-NIGHT! Good-night!—no long farewell,

A brief adieu we wave to thee;

Toll o’er thee no wild funeral knell,

Wail out no threnody;

Good-night! Good-night!

Where evil none molests or harms,

Nor racking cares disturb the breast,

—Into the Everlasting Arms

We give thee—take thy rest!

While we through lone night-watches toil,

’Mid howling blast, and drenching spray,

Attempting tasks our efforts foil,

Waiting the lingering day,

—Thou, upon some empyrean height,

Stand’st girt with spirits of the Blest,

To help us in the weary fight,

Whisper of welcome rest;

And as fair morn uplifts the veil

From off night’s sombre, stormy brow,

Thine it may be the first to hail

Our homeward-veering prow;

Good-night! Good-night!

Good-night! Good-night!—this is but sleep

That gently creepeth o’er thy brain,—

Drink the bland potion, large and deep,

Cure for life’s long sore pain;

Good-night! Good-night!

Sleep!—nay, but rather thou dost wake

From life’s wild feverish fretful dream;

From off thee the illusions shake

Wherewith the night-hours teem:

—’Tis we who sleep, we, we alone!

Prey of vain visionary fears;—

For thee the phantom mists are flown,

The splendent dawn appears,

—Driving to dark Oblivion’s caves

The spectral forms wherewith we fight,

The airy dreams fond hope still waves

Before the baffled sight;

Good-night! Good-night!

Good-night!—some blest celestial band

Ev’n now may greet thee with good-morn.

And welcome to the Heavenly strand

A spirit newly born.

As insect waked from wintry trance

By the mild breath of quickening Spring,

To join its fellows’ blithesome dance

On light-plumed feathery wing:

So thou, thy proper peers among,

A wingèd thing of light and fire,

Art one with the Throne-circling throng,

The fair seraphic choir;

Good-night! Good-night!