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Night is the time to weep;
To wet with unseen tears
The joys of other years ;
Hopes that were angels in their birth,
But perished young, like things on earth!
Night is the time to watch ;
On ocean's dark expanse, To hail the pleiades, or catch
The full moon's earliest glance, That brings into the home-sick mind All we have loved, and left behind.
Night is the time for care ;
Brooding on hours mispent,
To see the spectre of despair
Come to our lonely tent ;
Like Brutus midst his slumbering host,
Startled by Cæsar's stalwart ghost.
Night is the time to muse ;
Then from the eye the soul
Takes flight, and with expanding views
Beyond the starry pole,
Descries athwart the abyss of night,
The dawn of uncreated light.
Night is the time to pray ;
Our Saviour oft withdrew
To desert mountains far away,
So will his followers do ;
Steal from the throng to haunts untrod,
And hold communion there with God.
Night is the time for death;
When all around is peace,
Calmly to yield the weary breath,
From sin and suffering cease :
Think of heaven's bliss, and give the sign
To parting friends, such death be mine!
O why should the spirit of mortal be proud ?
Like a fast flitting meteor, a fast flying cloud,
A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave
He passes from life to his rest in the grave.
The leaves of the oak and the willows shall fade,
Be scattered around, and together be laid ;
And the young, and the old, and the low, and the high,
Shall moulder to dust, and together shall lie.
The child that a mother attended and loved,
The mother that infant's affection that proved,
The husband that mother and infant that blest,
Each-all are away to their dwelling of rest.
IV. The maid on whose cheek, on whose brow, in whose eye, Shone beauty and pleasure-her triumphs are by; And the memory of those that beloved her and praised, Are alike from the minds of the living erased.
The hand of the king that the sceptre hath borne,
The brow of the priest that the mitre hath worn,
and the heart of the brave, Are hidden and lost in the depths of the grave.
The peasant whose lot was to sow and to reap,
The herdsman who climbed with his goats to the steep,
The beggar that wandered in search of his bread,
Have faded away
like the grass that we tread.
The saint that enjoyed the communion of heaven,
The sinner that dared to remain unforgiven,
The wise and the foolish, the guilty and just,
Have quietly mingled their bones in the dust.
So the multitude goes like the flower and the weed
That wither away—to let others succeed ;
So the multitude comes even those we behold,
To repeat every tale that hath often been told.
For we are the same things that our fathers have been,
We see the same sights that our fathers have seen, i
We drink the same stream, and we feel the same sun,
And we run the same course that our fathers have run.
The thoughts we are thinking our fathers would think,
From the death we are shrinking from, they too would
To the life we are clinging to, they too would cling-
But it speeds from the earth like a bird on the wing.
They loved—but their story we cannot unfold ;
They scorned--but the heart of the haughty is cold,
They grieved_but no wail from their slumbers may come,
They joyed—but the voice of their gladness is dumb.
They died—ay they died ! and we things that are now,
Who walk on the turf that lies over their brow,
Who make in their dwellings a transient abode,
Meet the changes they met on their pilgrimage road.
Yea, hope and despondence, and pleasure and pain,
Are mingled together like sunshine and rain ;
And the smile and the tear, and the song and the dirge,
Still follow each other like surge upon surge.