Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 9/Doubts and hopes


Golden daylight, calm and noble,
Failing in the purple west,
Like the first and mightiest Cæsar
Dying in his Tyrian vest!

Golden daylight, now descending
Whither none of us can see;
But we know ’tis not thine ending,
For beyond there lies the sea;

And beyond the sea are rivers,
Plains and mountains, lakes and lands,
And the Placid Ocean severs
These from India’s torrid sands:

Next on classic lands of morning
Wilt thou shine before our morn;
Then our morrow make, adorning
With new beams our sphere forlorn.

Golden daylight, rich in blessing,
Shall our life be like thine own?
Shall it dawn anew, possessing
What is now but half its own?

Are they dreams, those legends olden,
Of an age of godlike men?
Youth’s imaginations golden,
Shall they e’er be truths again?

Shall the wisdom Time produces
Still be ours, to live once more,
Turning to a myriad uses
Years we wasted and deplore?

But, to sight, our days are numbered;
We must go, and others come;
Children like us, sorely cumbered,
Through a cavern passing home.

Happy trees, your leaf renewing,
Gaining grace while growing old;
Calm Perfection’s plan pursuing,
Silent through the moons of cold.

Summer’s growth gives ampler beauty,
Winter’s sleep anneals your strength;
Nature’s Law is one with Duty,
And the crown is gained at length.

Daylight sleeps, yet sleeps to waken;
Leaves are changed, yet never cease;
Must we envy, God-forsaken,
Dayspring and the new-born trees?

G. C. Swayne.