Listening Angels by Adelaide Anne Procter

Blue against the bluer Heavens
Stood the mountain, calm and still,
Two white Angels, bending earthward,
Leant upon the hill.

Listening leant those silent Angels,
And I also longed to hear
What sweet strain of earthly music
Thus could charm their ear.

I heard the sound of many trumpets
In a warlike march draw nigh;
Solemnly a mighty army
Passed in order by.

But the clang had ceased; the echoes
Soon had faded from the hill;
While the Angels, calm and earnest,
Leant and listened still.

Then I heard a fainter clamour,
Forge and wheel were clashing near
And the Reapers in the meadow
Singing loud and clear.

When the sunset came in glory,
And the toil of day was o’er,
Still the Angels leant in silence,
Listening as before.

Then, as daylight slowly vanished,
And the evening mists grew dim,
Solemnly from distant voices
Rose a vesper hymn.

When the chant was done, and lingering
Died upon the evening air,
From the hill the radiant Angels
Still were listening there.

Silent came the gathering darkness,
Bringing with it sleep and rest;
Save a little bird was singing
Near her leafy nest.

Through the sounds of war and labour
She had warbled all day long,
While the Angels leant and listened
Only to her song.

But the starry night was coming;
When she ceased her little lay
From the mountain top the Angels
Slowly passed away.

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