Day And Night

By Henry Van Dyke

How long is the night, brother,
And how long is the day?
Oh, the day’s too short for a happy task,
And the day’s too short for play;
And the night’s too short for the bliss of love,
For look, how the edge of the sky grows gray,
While the stars die out in the blue above,
And the wan moon fades away.
How short is the day, brother,
And how short is the night?
Oh, the day’s too long for a heavy task,
And long, long, long is the night,
When the wakeful hours are filled with pain,
And the sad heart waits for the thing it fears,
And sighs for the dawn to come again,—
The night is a thousand years!
How long is a life, dear God,
And how fast does it flow?
The measure of life is a flame in the soul:
It is neither swift nor slow.
But the vision of time is the shadow cast
By the fleeting world on the body’s wall;
When it fades there is neither future nor past,
But love is all in all.

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