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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 :
That is not akin to pain,
As the mist resembles the rain.
Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay,
And banish the thoughts of Day,
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 endeavour ;
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 labour,
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,
That follows after prayer.
The poem of thy choice,
The beauty of thy voice.
And the cares that infest the day, Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.
THE ARROW AND THE SONG.
I shot an arrow into the air,
The toiling surges,
From Bermuda's reefs; from edges
Of sunken ledges,
The Orkneyan skerries,
On the shifting
Of sandy beaches,
Strike the ocean
In its vastness,
From the far-off isles enchanted,
Heaven has planted
From the strong Will and the Endeavour
That for ever Wrestle with the tides of Fate; From the wreck of Hopes far-scattered,
Tempest-shattered, Floating waste and desolate;
Ever drifting, drifting, drifting
On the shifting
They, like hoarded
INSCRIPTION FOR AN ANTIQUE PITCHER.
COME, old friend ! sit down and listen!
From the pitcher placed between us, How the waters laugh and glisten
In the head of old Silenus !
Old Silenus, bloated, drunken,
Led by his inebriate Satyrs; On his breast his head is sunken,
Vacantly he leers and chatters.
Fauns with youthful Bacchus follow;
Ivy crowns that brow supernal As the forehead of Apollo,
And possessing youth eternal. Round about him, fair Bacchantes,
Bearing cymbals, flutes, and thyrses, Wild from Naxian groves, or Zante's
Vineyards, sing delirious verses. Thus he won, through all the nations,
Bloodless victories, and the farmer Bore, as trophies and oblations,
Vines for banners, ploughs for armour. Judged by no o'er zealous rigour,
Much this mystic throng expresses: Bacchus was the type of vigour,
And Silenus of excesses. These are ancient ethnic revels,
Of a faith long since forsaken; Now the Satyrs, changed to devils,
Frighten mortals wine-o'ertaken. Now to rivulets from the mountains
Point the rods of fortune-tellers; Youth perpetual dwells in fountains,
Not in flasks, and casks and cellars. Claudius, though he sang of flagons,
And huge flagons filled with Rhenish, From that fiery blood of dragons
Never would his own replenish. Even Redi, though he chaunted
Bacchus in the Tuscan valleys, Never drank the wine he vaunted
In his dithyrambic sallies,