All Quiet along the Potomac and other poems/Life's Holidays


HOW do they come?
With turbulent singing,
Joy-bells gayly ringing,
Clear bugle-note calling,
Sweet flower-rain falling,
And throbs of the drum?

When almanacs reckon,
And tell us, the morrow
Shall know not a sorrow,
That jollity reigning
Shall silence complaining,
And come when we beckon,

What then? Cometh gladness?
Nay—through rosy robing
Comes Memory probing,

And pallid ghosts peeping,
Who should have been sleeping
Beneath sods of sadness.

But a holiday dearer
God gives us sometimes,
That needs no gay chimes,
When prayer swells to praise;
Fair sunshiny days
That bring heaven nearer.

Glad days full of brightness,
When faces look kindly,
When friends love us blindly,
And the sunshine above us
Itself seems to love us,
And clothes us in whiteness.

Gala-days, heaven lighted,
When earth's work discloses
Not fetters, but roses;
When winds are caressing,
And breath is a blessing,
And wrongs are all righted.

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