The Sleeping Village.
Pale, still, and cold, on roof and wall,
And flood the empty street.
How still! The dust lies all unstirred;
No sound of rolling wheels is heard,
No tread of passing feet.
Where traffic hurried to and fro,
Only the night-winds come and go,
Whirling the dead leaves by.
The cold lake laps its pebbled shore;
And round each closely bolted door
The frost creeps silently.
The village sleeps___O blessed rest!
With hard hands folded on its breast,
Lies overburdened Toil;
Grief smiles in dreams, its woe forgot;
Pale want forgets its dreary lot;
The springs of Care uncoil.
The fevers that infest the day
Yield to the night, and sink away
To pulse soft and even.
E'en Joy is still; Love nestles deep
In clasping arms, whose touch makes sleep
A calm as sweet as heaven.
The night grows deeper; colder falls
The moonlight on the silent walls;
Still creeps the stealthy frost;
And deeper grows the calm of rest
In throbbing brain and troubled breast
By day so passion-tost.
O blessings priceless, Night and Sleep!
Did never close the eyes that weep;
Did struggle never cease;
Did ne'er the balm of Rest come down
Upon the weary, toiling town___
Then death were sole release.
__Ellen P. Allerton.
Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)