Voices Of the Night
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Afternoon in February An April Day The Arrow and the Song The Arsenal at Springfield Autumn Autumn Within The Beleaguered City The Belfry of Bruges Birds Of Passage Blind Bartimeus The Bridge Burial of the Minnisink Carillon Changed Children The Children's Hour The Courtship of Miles Standish Curfew Dante Day is Done Drinking Song Endymion Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie The Evening Star Excelsior Fata Morgana Flowers Footsteps of Angels A Gleam of Sunshine Goblet of Life God's Acre The Good Part, That Shall Not be Taken Away Hymn of the Moravian Nuns of Bethlehem at the Consecration of Pulaski's Banner Hymn to the Night It Is Not Always May L'Envoi The Ladder of St. Augustine The Light of Stars Loss And Gain Maidenhood Mezzo Cammin Midnight Mass for the Dying Year My Lost Youth Nature The Norman Baron Nuremburg The Occultation of Orion The Old Clock on the Stairs Paul Revere's Ride A Psalm of Life The Quadroon Girl Rain in Summer The Rainy Day The Reaper and the Flowers The Republic The Skeleton in Armor The Slave In the Dismal Swamp The Slave Singing at Midnight The Slave's Dream Snow-Flakes The Song of Hiawatha The Sound Of The Sea Spirit of Poetry St. John's, Cambridge Sunrise on the Hills The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls To a Child To an Old Danish Song-Book To the Driving Cloud To the River Charles To William E. Channing Village Blacksmith Voices Of the Night Walter Von Der Vogel Weid The Warning The Witnesses Woods in Winter Wreck of the Hesperus
PRELUDE. Pleasant it was, when woods were green, And winds were soft and low, To lie amid some sylvan scene, Where, the long drooping boughs between Shadows dark and sunlight sheen Alternate come and go; Or where the denser grove receives No sunlight from above But the dark foliage interweaves In one unbroken roof of leaves, Underneath whose sloping eaves The shadows hardly move. Beneath some patriarchal tree I lay upon the ground; His hoary arms uplifted he, And all the broad leaves over me Clapped their little hands in glee, With one continuous sound;- A slumberous sound,-a sound that brings The feelings of a dream,- As of innumerable wings, As, when a bell no longer swings, Faint the hollow murmur rings O'er meadow, lake, and stream. And dreams of that which cannot die, Bright visins, came to me, As lapped in thought I used to lie, And gaze into the summer sky, Where the sailing clouds went by, Like ships upon the sea; Dreams that the soul of youth engage Ere Fancy has been quelled; Old legends of the monkish page. Traditions of the saint and sage, Tales that have the rime of age, And chronicles of Eld. And, loving still these quaint old themes, Even in the city's throng I feel the freshness of the streams, That, crossed by shades and sunny gleams, Water the green land of dreams, The holy land of song. Therefore, at Pentecost, which brings The Spring, clothed like a bride, When nestling buds unfold their wings, And bishop's-caps have golden rings, Musing upon many things, I sought the woodlands wide. The green trees whispered low and mild, It was a sound of joy! They were my playmates when a child And rocked me in their arms so wild! Still they looked at me and smiled As if I were a boy; And ever whispered, mild and low, "Come, be a child once more!" And waved their long arms to and fro, And beckoned solemnly and slow; O, I could not choose but go Into the woodlands hoar; Into the blithe and breathing air, Into the solemn wood. Solemn and silent everywhere! Nature with folded hands seemed there, Kneeling at her evening prayer! Like one in prayer I stood. Before me rose an avenue Of tall and sombrous pines; Abroad their fan-like branches grew, And, where the sunshine darted throught Spread a vapor soft and blue, In long and sloping lines. And, falling on my weary brain, Like a fast-falling shower, The dreams of youth came back again, Low lispings of the summer rain, Dropping on the ripened grain, As once upon the flower. Visions of childhood! Stay, O stay! Ye were so sweet and wild! And distant voices seemed to say, "It cannot be! They pass away! Other themes demand thy lay; Thou art no more a child! "The land of Song within thee lies, Watered by living springs; The lids of Fancy's sleepless eyes Are gates unto that Paradise; Holy thoughts, like stars, arise, Its clouds are angels' wings. "Learn, that henceforth thy song shall be Not mountains capped with snow, Nor forests sounding like the sea, Nor rivers flowing ceaselessly, Where the woodlands bend to see The bending heavens below. "There is a forest where the din Of iron branches sounds! A mighty river roara between, And whosoever looks therein, Sees the heavens all black with sin,- Sees not ita depths, nor bounds. "Athwart the swinging branches cast, Soft rays of sunshine pour; Then comes the fearful wintry blast; Our hopes, like withered leaves, fall fast; Pallid lips say, 'It is past! We can return no more!' "Look, then, into thine heart, and write! Yes, into Life's deep stream! All forms of sorrow and delight, All solemn Voices of the Night, That can soothe thee, or affright,- Be these henceforth thy theme."