Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > The New Poetry: An Anthology
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  The New Poetry: An Anthology.  1917.
 
277. Cradle Song
 
By Josephine Preston Peabody
 
 
I
LORD GABRIEL, wilt thou not rejoice
When at last a little boy’s
  Cheek lies heavy as a rose,
  And his eyelids close?
 
Gabriel, when that hush may be,        5
This sweet hand all heedfully
  I’ll undo, for thee alone,
  From his mother’s own.
 
Then the far blue highways paven
With the burning stars of heaven        10
  He shall gladden with the sweet
  Hasting of his feet—
 
Feet so brightly bare and cool,
Leaping, as from pool to pool;
  From a little laughing boy        15
  Splashing rainbow joy!
 
Gabriel, wilt thou understand
How to keep his hovering hand—
  Never shut, as in a bond,
  From the bright beyond?        20
 
Nay, but though it cling and close
Tightly as a clinging rose,
  Clasp it only so—aright,
  Lest his heart take fright.
 
(Dormi, dormi, tu;        25
The dusk is hung with blue.)
 
II
Lord Michael, wilt not thou rejoice
When at last a little boy’s
  Heart, a shut-in murmuring bee,
  Turns him into thee?        30
 
Wilt thou heed thine armor well—
To take his hand from Gabriel,
  So his radiant cup of dream
  May not spill a gleam?
 
He will take thy heart in thrall,        35
Telling o’er thy breastplate all
  Colors, in his bubbling speech,
  With his hand to each.
 
(Dormi, dormi, tu,
Sapphire is the blue;        40
Pearl and beryl, they are called,
Chrysoprase and emerald,
Sard and amethyst.
Numbered so, and kissed.)
 
Ah, but find some angel word        45
For thy sharp, subduing sword!
  Yea, Lord Michael, make no doubt
  He will find it out:
 
(Dormi, dormi, tu!)
His eyes will look at you.        50
 
III
Last, a little morning space,
Lead him to that leafy place
  Where Our Lady sits awake,
  For all mothers’ sake.
 
Bosomed with the Blessèd One,        55
He shall mind her of her Son,
  Once so folded from all harms,
  In her shrining arms.
 
(In her veil of blue,
Dormi, dormi, tu.)        60
 
  So—and fare thee well.
  Softly—Gabriel …
When the first faint red shall come,
Bid the Day-star lead him home—
  For the bright world’s sake—        65
  To my heart, awake.
 

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