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Female Scriptural Characters: Ruth And Naomi

No. V.

By Mrs. R. Hyneman

What do I gaze on? nothing: look again.
Two forms are slowly shadowed on my sight—
Two insulated phantoms of the brain.—Childe Harold.

Through the long lapse of ages, and the dim
And indistinct, and faintly-pencilled past,
What forms approach me? surely not of earth;
And yet they seem earth-born, but oh, how fair!
A heavenly halo rests upon that brow,
And in those dove-like eyes there gleams a fire
Unknown to earth, so passionless, so pure,
That bird-like voice comes on the whispering gale,
Like some sweet melody we've heard in dreams:
“Nay, urge me not, my mother, nor entreat
Thy daughter to return from following thee;
For whither thou dost wend thy weary steps
There will I follow; where thou lay’st thy head
Shall mine repose; thy people shall be mine;
And He, the God whom thou dost truly love,
Shall be my only God; where thou diest
I too will die, and there will I be buried.
I cannot leave thee, mother; in my heart
There springs a well of such deep tenderness,
A fountain, gushing with such earnest love,
Earnest, untiring love for thee, as springs
Only from God! then urge me not to go.
Oh, mother! I will watch by thee, as thou
Did’st watch in his weak infancy and youth,
Him, the departed! And when, faint and sad,
Thou pausest by the way, my voice shall bring
Back to thy heart the memories of the past;
And I will sing the lays my Mahlon loved,
And soothe thee into slumber.”

Let slumber fall lightly
On eyelids opprest,
And evening bring brightly
Its season of rest.

The weary day cometh
With toil and with sorrow,
But Hope nightly beameth
With Joy for the morrow.

Then slumber falls lightly
On eyelids opprest,
And evening brings brightly
Its season of rest.

The bright stars above us
Shed around their pure light,
Like eyes that still love us,
Keeping watch through the night.

Then slumber falls lightly
On eyelids opprest,
And evening brings brightly
Its season of rest.

                                  Love never yet
Shone with such pure unselfishness, as when
It prompted that frail, gentle one, to leave
Her childhood’s home, her fondly cherished friends,
And follow that lone mourner. Who can trace
Thy fate, fair daughter of the Moabites,
And fail to think of her, who held a place,
A mother’s sacred place, in thy young heart?
And thou hadst thy reward; even here, on earth;
When Bethlehem-Judah’s gates received ye both,
Weary, and sad, and travel-soiled, and faint,
Ye passed from penury, and hopeless grief,
To an immortal name.