Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Day is Done by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(1807 - 1882)

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.



Karen said...

What a beautiful calm and peace-filled poem on the soothing powers of poetry. One of my favorite poems is Longfellow's "The Children's Hour":

"I have you fast in my fortress
And will not let you depart
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble in ruin
And moulder in dust away."

(from memory, so I hope it's accurate, but isn't it beautiful?)

I've really enjoyed going back through the past few posts and reading such quality work. Thanks, Marion.

Marion said...

Thank you, Karen. That was a beautiful poem you shared. Come visit anytime! Blessings!!

Brosreview said...

A calming piece. This is something I wished someone would read to me. Thanks for sharing!

Karen said...

Marion - those are only a couple of verses of a much longer poem. As a grandmother of a little girl, you'll love the rest.

Woman in a Window said...

Marion, am I crazy? I'm not a fan of Longfellow, at least not in this one, and I always want to be a fan of what you give to us here. What's wrong with me? Huh. Better get me in for a check-up.

Have a wonderful day,
and don't mind me.

Marion said...

Karen, I'm going to look up the rest of that one. Thanks!!! Blessings!

Erin, I'm not a huge Longfellow fan either, but that last verse just does something to me, I've always loved it. I've said it thousands of times to myself and I love the imagery. Being from Louisiana (home to the Acadians, we call Cajuns, from Nova Scotia, who adored the poem "Evangeline") I studied the poem in high school.

We can't all love the same things. Don't worry. I only like two or three of his many poems. Ha! The last stanza in this one is a permanent part of my psyche. Love & Blessings!!

Marion said...

AJ, you're right. This poem is much better appreciated read out loud. I find that true of most of Longfellow's poems. They're more stories, than poetry, for me, too. Thanks for visiting. Blessings!!

Rikkij said...

Marion-I liked it because i felt a need to be calmed and Norah played perfectly to it. Made me almost want a cigarette ad a swish hoggler, whatever that is. ~rick

Marion said...

Glad you liked it, Rick. Yeah, I put my easy listening playlist on this week. I call it my rainy day music. Blessings, friend of my heart!

Woman in a Window said...

Whew! Thanks Marion. Now for your next post...

Karen said...

Okay - I'm not a HUGE Longfellow fan, but every once in a while, I want this sort of mood.

Here's The Children's Hour. I hope you like it.

The Children's Hour

Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day's occupations,
That is known as the Children's Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I see in the lamplight,
Descending the broad hall stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,
And Edith with golden hair.

A whisper, and then a silence:
Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together
To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
They enter my castle wall!

They climb up into my turret
O'er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me;
They seem to be everywhere.

They almost devour me with kisses,
Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!

Do you think, o blue-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old mustache as I am
Is not a match for you all!

I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away!

How can any Grammy not love this, huh, Marion?

Marion said...

It's awesome, Karen! Thanks so much for posting it. I'm going to print it out for my daughter to read to my granddaughter. Blessings!!!