To the Night by Harriet Maxwell Converse

The west is barred with hurrying clouds,
Within whose deep vermillion shrouds,
While soft winds whisper mournful sighs,
In fickle lights the dear Day lies;
With dreams of distance in her grace,
She met her Morn with glowing face;
Deserted glory in her glance,
She swoons to death, in languid trance
And thy uncertain light–
Thou hastening Night!

If o’er thy broad and darkling land
Day’s ghost go wandering, hand in hand
With some sad secret of Life’s years,
Keeping her vigils through her tears,
With uncreated Morrow’s day
(The inward light), make fond delay,
And kiss, with lingering, fragrant breath,
Sweet Sleep–the image of this death–
To dreams of worlds more bright,
Thou friendly Night!

If from the solitudes of pain–
Through veiling mists of sorrow’s rain–
To thy lone shrine, where tapers burn,
In quest of peace, some hope return
(Her future lost–through loss of trust–
And weary of her laurelled dust),
Oh! give her faith that shall endure,
And make her waning strength more sure!
Haste then the Morn with swifter flight,
Thou tardy Night!

If in some hour unknown before,
Within the threshold of thy door,
With face so fair, yet unrevealed,
Whose silent lips are yet unsealed,
Love’s messenger, with patience waits,
Conduct him to thy Morning’s gates
In crimsoned garments; like the rose
Adorned with dews, that blushing glows
With warmth and trusting tendance wooed,
With Life’s dear light through dawn renewed,
And bring Love’s day–Love’s promised light,
Thou welcome Night!

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