The fire upon the hearth is low,
And there is stillness everywhere,
And, like wing'd spirits, here and there
The firelight shadows fluttering go.
And as the shadows round me creep,
A childish treble breaks the gloom,
And softly from a further room
Comes: 'Now I lay me down to sleep.'
And, somehow, with that little pray'r
And that sweet treble in my ears,
My thought goes back to distant years,
And lingers with a dear one there:
And as I hear my child's amen,
My mother's faith comes back to me--
Crouched at her side I seem to be,
And mother holds my hands again.
Oh, for an hour in that dear place--
Oh, for the peace of that dear time--
Oh, for that childish trust sublime--
Oh, for a glimpse of mother's face!
Yet, as the shadows round me creep,
I do not seem to be alone--
Sweet magic of that treble tone
And 'Now I lay me down to sleep!'