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"The Day is Done"

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66 THE DAY IS DONE"

THE day is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted downward
From an eagle in his flight.

I see the lights of the village

Gleam through the rain and the mist, And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me That my soul cannot resist:

A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,

And resembles sorrow only

As the mist resembles the rain.

Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
And banish the thoughts of day.

Not from the grand old masters,
Not from the bards sublime,
Whose distant footsteps echo
Through the corridors of Time.

For, like strains of martial music,
Their mighty thoughts suggest
Life's endless toil and endeavor;
And to-night I long for rest.

Read from some humbler poet,

Whose songs gushed from his heart, As showers from the clouds of summer, Or tears from the eyelids start;

Who, through long days of labor,
And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music
Of wonderful melodies

Such songs have power to quiet
The restless pulse of care,
And come like the benediction
That follows after prayer.

Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,

And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The beauty of thy voice.

And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow [1807-1882]

THE BRIDGE

I STOOD On the bridge at midnight,
As the clocks were striking the hour,
And the moon rose o'er the city,
Behind the dark church-tower.

I saw her bright reflection

In the waters under me, Like a golden goblet falling And sinking into the sea.

And far in the hazy distance

Of that lovely night in June, The blaze of the flaming furnace Gleamed redder than the moon.

Among the long, black rafters

The wavering shadows lay,

And the current that came from the ocean
Seemed to lift and bear them away,

As, sweeping and eddying through them,

Rose the belated tide,

And, streaming into the moonlight,

The seaweed floated wide.

The Bridge

And like those waters rushing
Among the wooden piers,

A flood of thoughts came o'er me
That filled my eyes with tears.

How often, oh, how often,

In the days that had gone by,
I had stood on that bridge at midnight
And gazed on that wave and sky!

How often, oh, how often,

I had wished that the ebbing tide Would bear me away on its bosom O'er the ocean wild and wide!

For my heart was hot and restless,
And my life was full of care,
And the burden laid upon me
Seemed greater than I could bear.

But now it has fallen from me,
It is buried in the sea;
And only the sorrow of others
Throws its shadow over me.

Yet whenever I cross the river
On its bridge with wooden piers,
Like the odor of brine from the ocean
Comes the thought of other years.

And I think how many thousands
Of care-encumbered men,

Each bearing his burden of sorrow,
Have crossed the bridge since then.

I see the long procession

Still passing to and fro,

The young heart hot and restless,

And the old subdued and slow!

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And forever and forever,

As long as the river flows,
As long as the heart has passions,
As long as life has woes;

The moon and its broken reflection
And its shadow shall appear,

As the symbol of love in heaven,

And its wavering image here.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow [1807-1882]

"MY LIFE IS LIKE THE SUMMER ROSE"

My life is like the summer rose

That opens to the morning sky,
But, ere the shades of evening close,
Is scattered on the ground-to die!
Yet on the rose's humble bed
The sweetest dews of night are shed,
As if she wept the waste to see,—
But none shall weep a tear for me!

My life is like the autumn leaf

That trembles in the moon's pale ray;
Its hold is frail,—its date is brief,
Restless, and soon to pass away!
Yet, ere that leaf shall fall and fade,
The parent tree will mourn its shade,
The winds bewail the leafless tree,-
But none shall breathe a sigh for me!

My life is like the prints, which feet
Have left on Tampa's desert strand;
Soon as the rising tide shall beat,

All trace will vanish from the sand;
Yet, as if grieving to efface

All vestige of the human race,

On that lone shore loud moans the sea,

But none, alas! shall mourn for me!

Richard Henry Wilde [1789-1847]

"As I Laye A-thynkynge"

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"AS I LAYE A-THYNKYNGE"

As I laye a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge,
Merrie sang the Birde as she sat upon the spraye;
There came a noble Knyghte,

With his hauberke shynynge brighte,
And his gallant heart was lyghte,
Free and gaye;

As I laye a-thynkynge, he rode upon his waye.

As I laye a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge,
Sadly sang the Birde as she sat upon the tree!
There seemed a crimson plain,

Where a gallant Knyghte lay slayne,

And a steed with broken rein

Ran free,

As I laye a-thynkynge, most pitiful to see!

As I laye a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge,
Merrie sang the Birde as she sat upon the boughe;
A lovely maide came by,

And a gentil youthe was nyghe,
And he breathed many a syghe

And a vowe;

As I laye a-thynkynge, her hearte was gladsome now.

As I laye a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge,
Sadly sang the Birde as she sat upon the thorne;
No more a youth was there,
But a Maiden rent her haire,
And cried in sad despaire

"That I was borne!"

As I laye a-thynkynge, she perished forlorne.

As I laye a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge,
Sweetly sang the Birde as she sat upon the briar;
There came a lovely Childe,

And his face was meek and mild,

Yet joyously he smiled.

On his sire;

As I laye a-thynkynge, a Cherub mote admire.

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