By Rev. Isaac K. Brownson

The reddening rays along the western sky,
And deepening shadows tell the night draws on,
Disporting swallows to their chimneys fly
And home-hound laborers tell their work is done.
If opening day is joyous, so its close
When weary toilers seek their sweet repose.
But brightest summer days and blooming flowers
Can scarce allure me from my care and pain.
Through starlit night serene I count the hours
And morning’s blushing smiles seem almost vain.
Ungrateful and profane were yet the sigh,
My waning days of life should thus go by.
A sentinel before death’s iron gate,
In anxious vigils and uplifted prayer,
With weary partner of my life I wait
Seeking to stay while her entrance there;
I tread but softly as on holy ground
While unseen spirits seem to wait around.
We know not scenes which time may yet reveal,
Yet this we know,—that Providence is kind;
With steadfast hearts till Heaven shall break the seal
We know ’tis merciful that we are blind;
We’re nearing harbor of the unknown coast
With guiding pilot who cannot be lost.
It shall be well,—no ill can us betide;
He who led Israel’s host in shining cloud
Appoints our way,—and walks with us beside,
To gain a heritage not here allowed;
Princes to be,—ours be the princely part
To know no doubt or feebleness of heart.
The day is mightier than the darksome night,
The summer’s sun subdues cold winter’s reign,
So life shall conquer death,—and put to flight
Its kindred elements of ill and pain;
We lift our heads in weakness thus bowed down
And wait for healing and a fadeless crown.

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