All right, this was written at 12:30am and typed up at 1:00am. Any typos are the fault of my tired brain stretching it's creative legs. Thought you all might like to poke this a bit.

Not a songfic, though the song is essential. It's very cheesy and cheap and poorly-made, but what do you expect for a half an hour's worth of work in the middle of the night?

Any punctuation or lack thereof in the lyrics is unimportant, so pay it no mind. Except for the ellipes (. . .) - those are important.


ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT

It's the middle of the night, and a woman lies abed under too many coverlets for the warm night, burning with fever. A small noise breaks through the haze her mind is in, and she turns her head slightly, opening her eyes to see a small form by her bedside, wide eyes flickering in the light of a single candle.

"Mama? I can't sleep."

The woman tries to smile, but it comes out as a small huff of pain. Making an effort, she lifts her arm and caresses her daughter's cheek. A soft sound issues from her lips – a lullaby.

"Sleep, my child and peace attend thee,
All through the night.
Guardian angels G-d will send thee
All through the night."

It's hard to maintain her voice when the darkness and pain are calling to her, but she breathes as deeply as she can and continues.

"Soft the drowsy hours are creeping
Hill and dale in slumber sleeping
I my loving vigil keeping
All through the night."

She opens her eyes again to look at her daughter. She's still awake, head resting on the bed, eyes drooping. The woman strokes the baby-soft hair, cherishing the touch.

"While the moon her watch is keeping
All through the night"

It's getting harder for the woman to stay awake, but not through the power of the lullaby. She fights to keep her eyes open, to do this for her young daughter. The soft melody falters, but she strengthens again.

"O'er thy spirit gently stealing
Visions of delight revealing"

The dying woman can feel her breath failing, her heart and strength faltering. One last line, she thinks to herself.

"Breathes a pure and… holy feeling
All… through…"

Her hand slips slowly from her daughter's head, the song unfinished. It is enough to rouse her daughter from her doze.

"Mama? Mama!"

But mama doesn't answer, and it is the nurse who steps quietly from where she's been standing in the shadows to place a hand on the girl's head. She gazes at the peaceful face on the pillows, then picks the girl up and carries her to bed. She tucks her in, then smoothes a hand over a tear-stained cheek. Quietly, in a voice roughened by labor, she sings.

"Hark, a solemn bell is ringing,
Clear through the night."

She presses a kiss to the young forehead. Rising in a rustle of skirts, she returns to the deathbed of her late mistress. Sighing, she settles the body, laying it out to meet the L-rd.

"Thou, my love, art he'eanward winging
Home through the night.
Earthly dust from off thee shaken
Soul immortal shalt thou waken"

She takes the candle from the bedside as she turns to go, passing sepia-tone pictures on the walls of adventures past. Shaking her head to dry the tears that threaten, she turns for one last look into the dark room.

"With thy last dim journey taken
Home through the night."

She blows out the candle, and closes the door gently.


Well? Questions comments critique? You can see the full and complete song here, at http:// www. ireland-information. com/irishmusic/allthroughthenight. shtml (Wasn't sure which one will work - the first, if there is one, you an just click/copy-paste, the second you have to take spaces out. Sorry!)

(Too repetative in sentence structure, probably some typos, and just plain odd, I know. Anything else?)