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At her quiet tread
Sinks the aching head
That longed for rest,
Rugged paths seem smooth'd,
Pain to peace is sooth'd,
Upon her breast.

Bright stars her veil do stud,
The pale moon sheds a flood
Of silver sheen;
Alike on good and bad,
On weeping eyes and glad,
Shines she serene.

Beneath the star-light pale,
Watching the Queen Moon sail
Through the dim sky,
With deep Night all around,
Without an Earthly sound
Thus would I die!


WHEN I think I deserve particularly well of
myself, and have earned the right to enjoy a
little treat, I stroll from Covent-garden into the
City of London, after business-hours there, on
a Saturday, orbetter yeton a Sunday, and
roam about its deserted nooks and corners. It is
necessary to the full enjoyment of these journeys
that they should be made in summer-time, for
then the retired spots that I love to haunt, are
at their idlest and dullest. A gentle fall of rain
is not objectionable, and a warm mist sets off
my favourite retreats to decided advantage.

Among these, City Churchyards hold a high
place. Such strange churchyards hide in the City
of London; churchyards sometimes so entirely
detached from churches, always so pressed upon
by houses; so small, so rank, so silent, so
forgotten, except by the few people who ever look
down into them from their smoky windows. As
I stand peeping in through the iron gates and
rails, I can peel the rusty metal off, like bark
from an old tree. The illegible tombstones are
all lop-sided, the grave-mounds lost their shape
in the rains of a hundred years ago, the
Lombardy Poplar or Plane-Tree that was once a
drysalter's daughter and several common
councilmen, has withered like those worthies, and its
departed leaves are dust beneath it. Contagion
of slow ruin overhangs the place. The
discoloured tiled roofs of the environing buildings
stand so awry, that they can hardly be proof
against any stress of weather. Old crazy stacks
of chimneys seem to look down as they overhang,
dubiously calculating how far they will have to
fall. In an angle of the walls, what was once the
tool-house of the grave-digger rots away,
encrusted with toadstools. Pipes and spouts for
carrying off the rain from the encompassing
gables, broken or feloniously cut for old lead long
ago, now let the rain drip and splash as it lists
upon the weedy earth. Sometimes there is a rusty
pump somewhere near, and, as I look in at the
rails and meditate, I hear it working under an
unknown hand with a creaking protest: as though
the departed in the churchyard urged, " Let us
lie here in peace; don't suck us up and drink us!"

One of my best beloved churchyards, I call the
churchyard of Saint Ghastly Grim; touching
what men in general call it, I have no information.
It lies at the heart of the City, and
the Blackwall Railway shrieks at it daily. It
is a small small churchyard, with a ferocious
strong spiked iron gate, like a jail. This gate
is ornamented with skulls and cross-bones, larger
than the life, wrought in stone; but it likewise
came into the mind of Saint Ghastly Grim, that
to stick iron spikes a-top of the stone skulls, as
though they were impaled, would be a pleasant
device. Therefore the skulls grin aloft horribly,
thrust through and through with iron spears.
Hence, there is attraction of repulsion for me in
Saint Ghastly Grim, and, having often
contemplated it in the daylight and the dark, I once felt
drawn towards it in a thunderstorm at midnight.
"Why not?" I said, in self excuse. " I have
been to see the Colosseum by the light of the
moon; is it worse to go to see Saint Ghastly
Grim by the light of the lightning?" I repaired
to the Saint in a hackney cab, and found the
skulls most effective, having the air of a public
execution, and seeming, as the lightning flashed,
to wink and grin with the pain of the spikes.
Having no other person to whom to impart
my satisfaction, I communicated it to the driver.
So far from being responsive, he surveyed me
he was naturally a bottle-nosed red-faced man
with a blanched countenance. And as he drove
me back, he ever and again glanced in over his
shoulder through the little front window of his
carriage, as mistrusting that I was a fare
originally from a grave in the churchyard of Saint
Ghastly Grim, who might have flitted home again
without paying.

Sometimes, the queer Hall of some queer
Company gives upon a churchyard such as this,
and, when the Livery dine, you may hear them
(if you are looking in through the iron rails,
which you never are when I am) toasting their
own Worshipful prosperity. Sometimes, a
wholesale house of business, requiring much
room for stowage, will occupy one or two or
even all three sides of the enclosing space, and
the backs of bales of goods will lumber up the
windows, as if they were holding some crowded
trade-meeting of themselves within. Sometimes,
the commanding windows are all blank,
and show no more sign of life than the graves
belownot so much, for they tell of what
once upon a time was life undoubtedly. Such
was the surrounding of one City churchyard
that I saw last summer, on a Volunteering
Saturday evening towards eight of the clock,
when with astonishment I beheld an old old
man and an old old woman in it, making hay.
Yes, of all occupations in this world, making
hay! It was a very confined patch of churchyard
lying between Gracechurch-street and the
Tower, capable of yielding, say an apronful of
hay. By what means the old old man and
woman had got into it, with an almost toothless
haymaking rake, I could not fathom. No
open window was within view; no window at
all was within view, sufficiently near the ground