Verse > John Greenleaf Whittier > The Poetical Works in Four Volumes
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892).  The Poetical Works in Four Volumes.  1892.
Poems Subjective and Reminiscent
My Psalm
I MOURN no more my vanished years:
    Beneath a tender rain,
An April rain of smiles and tears,
    My heart is young again.
The west-winds blow, and, singing low,        5
    I hear the glad streams run;
The windows of my soul I throw
    Wide open to the sun.
No longer forward nor behind
    I look in hope or fear;        10
But, grateful, take the good I find,
    The best of now and here.
I plough no more a desert land,
    To harvest weed and tare;
The manna dropping from God’s hand        15
    Rebukes my painful care.
I break my pilgrim staff, I lay
    Aside the toiling oar;
The angel sought so far away
    I welcome at my door.        20
The airs of spring may never play
    Among the ripening corn,
Nor freshness of the flowers of May
    Blow through the autumn morn;
Yet shall the blue-eyed gentian look        25
    Through fringëd lids to heaven,
And the pale aster in the brook
    Shall see its image given;—
The woods shall wear their robes of praise,
    The south-wind softly sigh,        30
And sweet, calm days in golden haze
    Melt down the amber sky.
Not less shall manly deed and word
    Rebuke an age of wrong;
The graven flowers that wreathe the sword        35
    Make not the blade less strong.
But smiting hands shall learn to heal,—
    To build as to destroy;
Nor less my heart for others feel
    That I the more enjoy.        40
All as God wills, who wisely heeds
    To give or to withhold,
And knoweth more of all my needs
    Than all my prayers have told!
Enough that blessings undeserved        45
    Have marked my erring track;
That wheresoe’er my feet have swerved,
    His chastening turned me back;
That more and more a Providence
    Of love is understood,        50
Making the springs of time and sense
    Sweet with eternal good;—
That death seems but a covered way
    Which opens into light,
Wherein no blinded child can stray        55
    Beyond the Father’s sight;
That care and trial seem at last,
    Through Memory’s sunset air,
Like mountain-ranges overpast,
    In purple distance fair;        60
That all the jarring notes of life
    Seem blending in a psalm,
And all the angles of its strife
    Slow rounding into calm.
And so the shadows fall apart,        65
    And so the west-winds play;
And all the windows of my heart
    I open to the day.


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