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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Last Eve of Summer
By John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892)
 
(Written when the Poet was Nearly 83)

SUMMER’S last sun nigh unto setting shines
        Through yon columnar pines,
And on the deepening shadows of the lawn
        Its golden lines are drawn.
 
Dreaming of long-gone summer days like this,        5
        Feeling the wind’s soft kiss,
Grateful and glad that failing ear and sight
        Have still their old delight,
 
I sit alone, and watch the warm, sweet day
        Lapse tenderly away;        10
And wistful, with a feeling of forecast,
        I ask, “Is this the last?
 
“Will nevermore for me the seasons run
        Their round, and will the sun
Of ardent summers yet to come forget        15
        For me to rise and set?”
 
Thou shouldst be here, or I should be with thee
        Wherever thou mayst be,
Lips mute, hands clasped, in silences of speech
        Each answering unto each.        20
 
For this still hour, this sense of mystery far
        Beyond the evening star,
No words outworn suffice on lip or scroll:
        The soul would fain with soul
 
Wait, while these few swift-passing days fulfill        25
        The wise-disposing Will,
And, in the evening as at morning, trust
        The All-Merciful and Just.
 
The solemn joy that soul-communion feels,
        Immortal life reveals;        30
And human love, its prophecy and sign,
        Interprets love divine.
 
Come then, in thought, if that alone may be,
        O friend! and bring with thee
Thy calm assurance of transcendent spheres,        35
        And the eternal years!
 
 
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