The Day is Done
The Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Vol. I (Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin, and Co., the Riverside Press, 1886): 221-23. PS 2250 E86 Robarts Library
1The day is done, and the darkness
2 Falls from the wings of Night,
3As a feather is wafted downward
4 From an eagle in his flight.
5I see the lights of the village
6 Gleam through the rain and the mist,
7And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me
8 That my soul cannot resist:
9A feeling of sadness and longing,
10 That is not akin to pain,
11And resembles sorrow only
12 As the mist resembles the rain.
13Come, read to me some poem,
14 Some simple and heartfelt lay,
15That shall soothe this restless feeling,
16 And banish the thoughts of day.
17Not from the grand old masters,
18 Not from the bards sublime,
19Whose distant footsteps echo
20 Through the corridors of Time.
21For, like strains of martial music,
22 Their mighty thoughts suggest
23Life's endless toil and endeavor;
24 And to-night I long for rest.
25Read from some humbler poet,
26 Whose songs gushed from his heart,
27As showers from the clouds of summer,
28 Or tears from the eyelids start;
29Who, through long days of labor,
30 And nights devoid of ease,
31Still heard in his soul the music
32 Of wonderful melodies.
33Such songs have power to quiet
34 The restless pulse of care,
35And come like the benediction
36 That follows after prayer.
37Then read from the treasured volume
38 The poem of thy choice,
39And lend to the rhyme of the poet
40 The beauty of thy voice.
41And the night shall be filled with music,
42 And the cares, that infest the day,
43Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
44 And as silently steal away.
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Proem to The Waif.
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