Here you will find the Long Poem From: An Evening Revery of poet William Cullen Bryant
FROM AN UNFINISHED POEM The summer day is closed--the sun is set: Well they have done their office, those bright hours, The latest of whose train goes softly out In the red West. The green blade of the ground Has risen, and herds have cropped it; the young twig Has spread its plaited tissues to the sun; Flowers of the garden and the waste have blown And withered; seeds have fallen upon the soil, From bursting cells, and in their graves await Their resurrection. Insects from the pools Have filled the air awhile with humming wings, That now are still for ever; painted moths Have wandered the blue sky, and died again; The mother-bird hath broken for her brood Their prison shell, or shoved them from the nest, Plumed for their earliest flight. In bright alcoves, In woodland cottages with barky walls, In noisome cells of the tumultuous town, Mothers have clasped with joy the new-born babe. Graves by the lonely forest, by the shore Of rivers and of ocean, by the ways Of the thronged city, have been hollowed out And filled, and closed. This day hath parted friends That ne'er before were parted; it hath knit New friendships; it hath seen the maiden plight Her faith, and trust her peace to him who long Had wooed; and it hath heard, from lips which late Were eloquent of love, the first harsh word, That told the wedded one her peace was flown. Farewell to the sweet sunshine! One glad day Is added now to Childhood's merry days, And one calm day to those of quiet Age. Still the fleet hours run on; and as I lean, Amid the thickening darkness, lamps are lit, By those who watch the dead, and those who twine Flowers for the bride. The mother from the eyes Of her sick infant shades the painful light, And sadly listens to his quick-drawn breath. Oh thou great Movement of the Universe, Or Change, or Flight of Time--for ye are one! That bearest, silently, this visible scene Into night's shadow and the streaming rays Of starlight, whither art thou bearing me? I feel the mighty current sweep me on, Yet know not whither. Man foretells afar The courses of the stars; the very hour He knows when they shall darken or grow bright; Yet doth the eclipse of Sorrow and of Death Come unforewarned. Who next, of those I love, Shall pass from life, or, sadder yet, shall fall From virtue? Strife with foes, or bitterer strife With friends, or shame and general scorn of men-- Which who can bear?--or the fierce rack of pain, Lie they within my path? Or shall the years Push me, with soft and inoffensive pace, Into the stilly twilight of my age? Or do the portals of another life Even now, while I am glorying in my strength, Impend around me? Oh! beyond that bourne, In the vast cycle of being which begins At that broad threshold, with what fairer forms Shall the great law of change and progress clothe Its workings? Gently--so have good men taught-- Gently, and without grief, the old shall glide Into the new; the eternal flow of things, Like a bright river of the fields of heaven, Shall journey onward in perpetual peace.