Verse > John Greenleaf Whittier > The Poetical Works in Four Volumes
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John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892).  The Poetical Works in Four Volumes.  1892.
 
At Sundown
The Last Eve of Summer
 
SUMMER’S last sun nigh unto setting shines
    Through yon columnar pines,
And on the deepening shadows of the lawn
    Its golden lines are drawn.
 
Dreaming of long gone summer days like this,        5
    Feeling the wind’s soft kiss,
Grateful and glad that failing ear and sight
    Have still their old delight,
 
I sit alone, and watch the warm, sweet day
    Lapse tenderly away;        10
And, wistful, with a feeling of forecast,
    I ask, “Is this the last?
 
“Will nevermore for me the seasons run
    Their round, and will the sun
Of ardent summers yet to come forget        15
    For me to rise and set?”
 
Thou shouldst be here, or I should be with thee
    Wherever thou mayst be,
Lips mute, hands clasped, in silences of speech
    Each answering unto each.        20
 
For this still hour, this sense of mystery far
    Beyond the evening star,
No words outworn suffice on lip or scroll:
    The soul would fain with soul
 
Wait, while these few swift-passing days fulfil        25
    The wise-disposing Will,
And, in the evening as at morning, trust
    The All-Merciful and Just.
 
The solemn joy that soul-communion feels
    Immortal life reveals;        30
And human love, its prophecy and sign,
    Interprets love divine.
 
Come then, in thought, if that alone may be,
    O friend! and bring with thee
Thy calm assurance of transcendent Spheres        35
    And the Eternal Years!

  August 31, 1890.
 
 
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