Recommended Reading: The Day is Done

Today’s featured poem was recommended by “Jewel” in a previous post on this blog. Longfellow doesn’t get enough love these days (where’s his voice-over Levi’s commercial?), and I’m really glad she brought this one to my attention. The rhyme scheme and overall rhythm of this poem makes me think it would sound even better as a song, but I am not aware of its being set to music. Have any of you heard it sung?

If you have a favorite poem you’d like to see here, leave a comment with its title and author. It would be great if you felt like sharing why that poem is so meaningful to you, but no worries. Great poetry gives its own reasons. Also, anyone who comments gets a chance to win a poetry book, and you can enter more that once, so each comment increases your odds of winning! That may only entice those of you who enjoy winning. The rest of us are winners just by getting to read this great poetry.

This beautiful photograph appeared on pinterest with a dead link and no attribution. If this is yours, let me know!
This beautiful photograph appeared on pinterest with a dead link and no attribution. If this is yours, let me know!

The Day is Done
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The day is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted downward
From an eagle in his flight.

I see the lights of the village
Gleam through the rain and the mist,
And a feeling of sadness comes o’er me
That my soul cannot resist:

A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
As the mist resembles the rain.

Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
And banish the thoughts of day.

Not from the grand old masters,
Not from the bards sublime,
Whose distant footsteps echo
Through the corridors of Time.

For, like the strains of martial music,
Their mighty thoughts suggest
Life’s endless toil and endeavor;
And to-night I long for rest.

Read from some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart,
As showers from the clouds of summer,
Or tears from the eyelids start;

Who, through long days of labor,
And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music
Of wonderful melodies.

Such songs have power to quiet
The restless pulse of care,
And come like the benediction
That follows after prayer.

Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The beauty of thy voice.

And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.

2 thoughts on “Recommended Reading: The Day is Done

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