Littell's Living Age/Volume 131/Issue 1696/The Night Cometh

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Cometh the night wherein no man may labor,
Therefore we work while yet the day is light;
To thee, to me, to foeman, friend and neighbor
Cometh the night — the night.

Toil on — toil on, nor dally with the morning,
Sweet syren couching in a thousand snares,
Faithless she flies — scanty and brief her warning —
Leaving thee unawares.

Then am'rous breath of noon will tempt to pleasure,
And ease and rest, until the heat be past; —
Arise, and work! We have no time for leisure
Whose sky is overcast.

Aye, overcast. Tho' morn be sweet and pleasant,
And later noon shall offer fresh delight,
He surely sees, who looks beyond the present,
The shadow of the night.

Terrible night to those with task half ended,
Who revel careless thro' the rosy hours;
Leaving the corn, the goodly corn, untended,
To gather in the flow'rs:

Which close, or droop, or die when eve advances,
And lo, the sorry harvest withered lies;
And phantoms of lost hope, lost time, lost chances
Out of the gloom arise.

Not so comes night to all. Sweet sleep will strengthen
Toilers with burden of the day opprest;
To whom the evening shadows, while they lengthen,
Bring peace, and hard-won rest.

Oh, welcome rest for weary hearts and aching,
And wounded feet all travel-stained and sore;
Welcome the rest, — thrice welcome the awaking,
Never to need it more.

Work then, nor fear the struggle and the labor;
For tho', maybe, the day yet seemeth bright,
To thee, to me, to foeman, friend and neighbor
Cometh the night — the night.

Argosy.S. E. G..