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HYMN TO THE NIGHT
Hymn to the Night
I heard the trailing garments of the Night
Sweep through her marble halls !
From the celestial walls !
I felt her presence, by its spell of might,
Stoop o'er me from above;
As of the one I love.
I heard the sounds of sorrow and delight,
The manifold, soft chimes,
Like some old poet's rhymes.
From the cool cisterns of the midnight air
My spirit drank repose;
From those deep cisterns flows.
O holy Night! from thee I learn to bear
What man has borne before !
And they complain no more.
Peace! Peace! Orestes-like I breathe this prayer!
Descend with broad-winged flight,
The best-beloved Night!
JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL
Of all the myriad moods of mind
That through the soul come thronging,
So beautiful as Longing ?
For one transcendent moment,
Can make its sneering comment.
Still, through our paltry stir and strife,
Glows down the wished Ideal,
Carves in the marble Real;
Desire must ope the portal;
Helps make the soul immortal.
THE FINDING OF THE LYRE
Longing is God's fresh heavenward will
With our poor earthward striving;
Content with merely living:
Which we are hourly wronging,
And realize our longing.
Good God not only reckons
But when the spirit beckons, –
Howe'er we fail in action.
The Finding of the Lyre
There lay upon the ocean's shore
It rested there to bleach or tan,
So there it lay, through wet and dry,
So said, so done; the chords he strained,
Serene, I fold my hands and wait,
Nor care for wind, or tide, or sea;
For lo! my own shall come to me.
I stay my hạste, I make delays,
For what avails this eager pace ?
And what is mine shall know my face.
Asleep, awake, by night or day,
The friends I seek are seeking me;
Or change the tide of destiny.
What matter if I stand alone ?
I wait with joy the coming years;
And garner up its fruit of tears.
· Used by courteous permission of the publishers, Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin, & Co., Boston.