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cxvi WATCHMAN, WHAT OF THE NIGHT?
Say, watchman, what of the night?
Do the dews of the morning fall? Have the orient skies a border of light,
Like the fringe of a funeral pall?
"The night is fast waning on high,
And soon shall the darkness flee, And the morn shall spread o'er the blushing sky,
And bright shall its glories be."
But, watchman, what of the night,
When sorrow and pain are mine,
No longer around me shine?
"That night of sorrow thy soul
May surely prepare to meet;
And the morning of joy be sweet."
But, watchman, what of the night
When the arrow of death is sped, And the grave, which no glimmering star can light,
Shall be my sleeping bed?
"That night is near, and the cheerless tomb
Shall keep thy body in store,
And night shall be no more."
THE MARINER'S HYMN
Launch thy bark, mariner! Christian, Heaven speed
thee, Let loose the rudder bands! good angels lead thee! Set thy sails warily, tempests will come: Steer thy course steadily! Christian, steer home!
Look to the weather bow, breakers are round thee! Let fall the plummet now, shallows may ground
What of the night, watchman? what of the night?
How—gains the leak so fast? clear out the hold,
Slacken not sail yet at inlet or island,
I mourn no more my vanish'd years:
Beneath a tender rain,
My heart is young again.
The west winds blow, and singing low
The windows of my soul I throw
No longer forward, nor behind,
I look in hope and fear:
The best of now, and here.
I plough no more a desert land
The manna dropping from God's hand
I break my pilgrim staff, I lay
Aside the toiling oar;
I welcome at my door.
The airs of spring may never play
Among the ripening corn,
Blow through the autumn morn;
Yet shall the blue-eyed gentian look
Through fringed lids to heaven, And the pale aster in the brook
Shall see its image given;
The woods shall wear their robes of praise,
The south wind softly sigh,
Melt down the amber sky.
Not less shall manly deed and word
Rebuke an age of wrong: The graven flowers that wreathe the sword
Make not the blade less strong.
Enough that blessings undeserv'd
Have mark'd my erring track,
His chastening turn'd me back.
That more and more a Providence
Of love is understood,
Sweet with eternal good.
That death seems but a covePd way,
Which opens into light,
Beyond the Father's sight.
That care and trial seem at last,
Through memory's sunset air, Like mountain ranges overpast
In purple distance fair.
That all the jarring notes of life
And all the angles of its strife
And so the shadows fall apart,
And all the windows of my heart
J. G. Whittier
YOUTH AND AGE
The seas are quiet when the winds are o'er,
Clouds of affection from our younger eyes
Stronger by weakness, wiser men become