Aubrey de Vere.
SOFTLY, O midnight Hours!
Move softly oer the bowers
Where lies in happy sleep a girl so
For ye have power, men say,
Our hearts in sleep to sway,
And cage cold fancies in a moonlight snare.
ivory neck and arm
Enclasp a separate charm;
Hang oer her poised, but breathe nor sigh nor prayer:
ye may smile,
But hold your breath the while,
And let the wind sweep back your cloudy hair!
your glittering urns,
Ere yet the dawn returns,
And star with dew the lawn her feet shall tread;
Upon the air
Bid all the woods be calm,
Ambrosial dreams with healthful slumbers wed;
That so the Maiden
With smiles your care repay,
When from her couch she lifts her golden head;
Waking with earliest
Ere yet the misty herds
Leave warm mid the gray grass their dusky bed.
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