Friday, December 31, 2010

Poetry Friday: Day, and Year, Are Done

On this last day of the year, it seems fitting to jump aboard Poetry Friday with a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that exudes quiet reflection. I'm dedicating this to my friend Stefani, who found the poem and sent it to me after reading an allusion to it in my (and now her!) beloved Betsy-Tacy books.

I'm also dedicating it to fellow lovers of words, to my much-appreciated readers and encouragers, and to those who, like me, look for the benediction to be found in songs amidst "the restless pulse of care." May your nights be filled with music.

Day is Done

The day is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted downward
From an eagle in his flight.

I see the lights of the village
Gleam through the rain and the mist,
And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me
That my soul cannot resist:

A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
As the mist resembles the rain.

Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
And banish the thoughts of day.

Not from the grand old masters,
Not from the bards sublime,
Whose distant footsteps echo
Through the corridors of Time.

For, like strains of martial music,
Their mighty thoughts suggest
Life's endless toil and endeavor;
And to-night I long for rest.

Read from some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart,
As showers from the clouds of summer,
Or tears from the eyelids start;

Who, through long days of labor,
And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music
Of wonderful melodies.

Such songs have power to quiet
The restless pulse of care,
And come like the benediction
That follows after prayer.

Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The beauty of thy voice.

And the night shall be filled with music
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Jenny said...

My all-time favorite poem, and the only one that I can recite by heart.

Happy new year, my dear friend. :)

KTG said...

Goodybe 2010, 1/1/11 should be fun.

Mary Lee said...

I like the idea of my cares folding up their tents and stealing away!

JoAnn said...

I wish that poets still wrote that kind of poetry. It's so descriptive and melodic, the words chosen so carefully. Really good for soothing the soul.

Anonymous said...

one of my favorite poems! happy happy new year!