Littell's Living Age/Volume 139/Issue 1799/At Nightfall


Coming along by the meadows,
Just after the sun went down,
Watching the gathering shadows
Creep over the hillsides brown;

Coming along in the gloaming,
With never a star in the sky,
My thoughts went a-roaming, a-roaming
Through days that are long gone by;

Days when desire said, "To-morrow,
To-morrow, heart, we'll be gay!"
Days ere the heart heard the sorrow
Which echoes through yesterday.

Life was a goblet burnished,
That with love for wine was filled;
The cup is bruised and tarnished,
And the precious wine is spilled,

But to the traveller weary,
Just coming in sight of home,
What does it matter how dreary
The way whereby he has come?

Coming along by the meadows,
And watching the fading day,
Duskier than night's dusky shadows
Fell shadows of yesterday.

In the northern sunset's glimmer,
The Great Bear opened his eyes;
Low in the east a shimmer
Showed where the full moon would rise.

Lights in a window were gleaming,
And some one stood at a gate,
Said, "Why do you stand there dreaming?
And why are you home so late?"

Yesterday's shadow and sorrow
That moment all vanished away!
Here were to-day and to-morrow —
What matter for yesterday?

Good Words.