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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,

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;

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

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.

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

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;

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,

And the eternal years!