William Ellery Channing (1818-1901)
"Born in 1818; a nephew of W. E. Channing, the late
Unitarian divine. He married a sister of Margaret Fuller, and now resides
in Concord, Mass. His volumes of poems appeared in 1843, 1847, 1858, 1872,
and he has published Essays from the Dial, Conversations in
etc. (Roberts Brothers)." (Crandall)
The Day Is Done
The day has past, I never may return;
Twelve circling years have run since first I came
And kindled the pure truth of friendship's flame;
Alone remain these ashes in the urn,—
Vainly for light the taper may I turn,—
Thy hand is closed, as for these years, the same,
And for the substance nought is but the name;
No more hope, no more a ray to burn.
But once more, in the pauses of thy joy,
Remember him who sought thee in his youth,
And, with the old reliance of the boy,
Asked for thy treasures in the guise of truth.
The air is thick with sighs,—the shaded sun
Shows on the hillside that the day is done.
Hearts of Eternity
Hearts of eternity, hearts of the deep!
Proclaim from land to sea your mighty fate;
How that for you no living comes too late,
How ye cannot in Theban labyrinth creep,
How ye great harvests from small surface reap.
Shout, excellent band, in grand primeval strain,
Like midnight winds that foam along the main,
And do all things rather than pause to weep!
A human heart knows nought of littleness,
Suspects no man, compares with no one's ways,
Hath in one hour most glorious length of days,
A recompense, a joy, a loveliness;
Like eaglet keen, shoots into azure far,
And always dwelling nigh is the remotest star.
(Text from Representative Sonnets by American Poets)