po·e·sy n. pl. po·e·sies 1. Poetical works; poetry. 2. The art or practice of composing poems. 3. The inspiration involved in composing poetry. [Middle English poesie, from Old French, from Latin posis, from Greek poisis, from poiein, to create; see kwei-2 in Indo-European roots.]

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

February 27 -- Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882

                              A Gleam of Sunshine

                              This is the place. Stand still, my steed,
                              Let me review the scene,
                              And summon from the shadowy Past
                              The forms that once have been.

                              The Past and Present here unite
                              Beneath Time's flowing tide,
                              Like footprints hidden by a brook,
                              But seen on either side.

                              Here runs the highway to the town;
                              There the green lane descends,
                              Through which I walked to church with thee,
                              O gentlest of my friends!

                              The shadow of the linden-trees
                              Lay moving on the grass;
                              Between them and the moving boughs,
                              A shadow, thou didst pass.

                              Thy dress was like the lilies,
                              And thy heart as pure as they:
                              One of God's holy messengers
                              Did walk with me that day.

                              I saw the branches of the trees
                              Bend down thy touch to meet,
                              The clover-blossoms in the grass
                              Rise up to kiss thy feet,

                              "Sleep, sleep to-day, tormenting cares,
                              Of earth and folly born!"
                              Solemnly sang the village choir
                              On that sweet Sabbath morn.

                              Through the closed blinds the golden sun
                              Poured in a dusty beam,
                              Like the celestial ladder seen
                              By Jacob in his dream.

                              And ever and anon, the wind,
                              Sweet-scented with the hay,
                              Turned o'er the hymn-book's fluttering leaves
                              That on the window lay.

                              Long was the good man's sermon,
                              Yet it seemed not so to me;
                              For he spake of Ruth the beautiful,
                              And still I thought of thee.

                              Long was the prayer he uttered,
                              Yet it seemed not so to me;
                              For in my heart I prayed with him,
                              And still I thought of thee.

                              But now, alas! the place seems changed;
                              Thou art no longer here:
                              Part of the sunshine of the scene
                              With thee did disappear.

                              Though thoughts, deep-rooted in my heart,
                              Like pine-trees dark and high,
                              Subdue the light of noon, and breathe
                              A low and ceaseless sigh;

                              This memory brightens o'er the past,
                              As when the sun, concealed
                              Behind some cloud that near us hangs
                              Shines on a distant field.