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The Angels’ Vigil


“For He will give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.”—Psalm 91:11-12.

Soft! I hear the angels’ tread
Flit like clouds around her bed,
See! how noiselessly they glide,
Resting on air by the slumberer’s side.
Their heavenly forms are bending now
To gaze on the youthful sleeper’s brow;
To smile on her dreams which are passing by
Like stars on the midnight canopy.
Does she know there are angels watching there,
That they raise her up with celestial care?
Does she know that God’s protecting power,
Has given them charge in this dark hour?
Within their radiant wings enclosing,
See, the maiden still reposing
While they bear her up—afar
In their spiritual car;
<<128>>Rising, floating, slowly blending,
Thro’ the vault of heaven ascending;
Far from earth, and far from night,
To that domain of cloudless night,
To that most High, Eternal King,
They bear her with untiring wing;
For the gates of heaven are theirs to keep,
Those angels who have the charge of sleep;
On, on, thro’ regions of light they float,
Chanting with low, melodious note,
The wonders of night in celestial hymn,
Which is echo’d by thousands of Seraphim,
Till the whole ethereal vault is ringing
With the hymns that the angels of night are singing.
”Ah, me!” exclaimed the sleeping maid,
When the heavenly vision began to fade,
And she woke to earth, as the morning light
Dispell’d the dream of her spirit’s flight,
”Have the angels indeed had charge of me,
Bathing my soul in such ecstasy?
Did I dwell ‘neath the shadow of God most High,
Did He answer the prayer? did He treasure the sigh?
Yes, yes, methinks I still can see
Unearthly forms encircling me;
So pure, so spirit-like, those hands
That bore me up to other lands.
Oh, glorious were the beings there,
One soul of love—one voice of prayer!
All blending into one full beam
Of glory, like my blissful dream.”

R. E. S.

April 12, 1848.