Page:Littell's Living Age - Volume 131.djvu/648

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642

THE NIGHT COMETH, ETC.


THE NIGHT COMETH.

Cometh the night wherein no man may labor,
Therefore we work while yet the day is light;
To thee, to me, to foeman, friend and neighbor
Cometh the night — the night.

Toil on — toil on, nor dally with the morning,
Sweet syren couching in a thousand snares,
Faithless she flies — scanty and brief her warning —
Leaving thee unawares.

Then am'rous breath of noon will tempt to pleasure,
And ease and rest, until the heat be past; —
Arise, and work! We have no time for leisure
Whose sky is overcast.

Aye, overcast. Tho' morn be sweet and pleasant,
And later noon shall offer fresh delight,
He surely sees, who looks beyond the present,
The shadow of the night.

Terrible night to those with task half ended,
Who revel careless thro' the rosy hours;
Leaving the corn, the goodly corn, untended,
To gather in the flow'rs:

Which close, or droop, or die when eve advances,
And lo, the sorry harvest withered lies;
And phantoms of lost hope, lost time, lost chances
Out of the gloom arise.

Not so comes night to all. Sweet sleep will strengthen
Toilers with burden of the day opprest;
To whom the evening shadows, while they lengthen,
Bring peace, and hard-won rest.

Oh, welcome rest for weary hearts and aching,
And wounded feet all travel-stained and sore;
Welcome the rest, — thrice welcome the awaking,
Never to need it more.

Work then, nor fear the struggle and the labor;
For tho', maybe, the day yet seemeth bright,
To thee, to me, to foeman, friend and neighbor
Cometh the night — the night.

Argosy.S. E. G..




PSALM CXLVIII.

This versification of the one hundred and forty-eighth
psalm was written for the New York Evening Post
for Thanksgiving.

Praise ye the Lord in heaven above
Ye angels who around him move,
Ye glorious band of satellites
Who people his eternal heights.

Ye first creations of his hand
Who sprang to life at his command,
A life that by his firm decree
Shall lengthen to eternity.

Ye sun and moon and stars of light,
The bright reflectors of his sight,
Ye waters from his throne that spring,
Praise ye the name of Zion's King!

Praise him, O earth, in hills and deeps!
Praise him who all thy creatures keeps,
Ye elements his praise declare,
Ye who his earthly cohorts are.

Mountains and hills and fruitful trees,
And cedars waving in the breeze,
Cattle and beasts and creeping things,
And birds that spread their snowy wings,

Princes who earthly sceptres sway,
All people who their rule obey,
And ye who give the world its law,
Of your Creator stand in awe.

Let all mankind, the young, the old,
Praise him for mercies still untold;
Let all his mighty sceptre own,
Whose name is excellent alone.

Above our faint conceptions far,
Higher than heaven's remotest star,
Bow down thine ear, Eternal King,
Accept the offering we bring!




TWO SONGS.

[FROM THE GERMAN OF HEINE.]


I murmur not. When heart-break is my lot,
O love forever lost! I murmur not.
Though diamond-radiance clothes thy form in light,
There falls no ray upon thy heart's black night.

That knew I long. I saw thee in a dream,
And saw the darkness through thy bosom stream,
And saw the worm which feeds upon thy heart;
And saw, my love, how sorrowful thou art.




Yes, thou art wretched, and I murmur not; —
My love, we shall be wretched, thou and I!
Till of each aching heart death breaks the knot,
My love, we shall be wretched, thou and I.

Upon thy mouth, scorn its light traces leaves,
I see thine eyes flash out defiantly,
I see the pride with which thy bosom heaves, —
Yet, wretched art thou, love, wretched as I.

Unseen the smart about thy month's unrest,
Concealed the tears which dim thy lucent eyne,
Secret the pain which wrings thy haughty breast, —
Perennial anguish, love, is mine and thine.

Spectator.