Josias Homely


Occasioned by hearing a bird utter a brief and plaintive song at a late hour of the evening, when the other choristers of the grove had long been silent.
Night bird ! thou art waking,
Though the tuneful all rest—
And the day-beam forsaking
Its cloud in the west.
Has the day brought thee sorrow ?
Has the darkness brought dread?
Dost thou fear for to morrow?
Dost thou wail for the dead?

The sweet sigh of the evening
Woos thee softly to rest;
The night breeze stirs gently
The plume on thy breast;
And the sweet-briar and moss-rose
Their breath round thee shed—
Like the fragrance of incense,
Where the vesper prayer's said.

Night bird—thou art waking-,
Though the tuneful all rest ;
And thy mournful note breaking;
This silence so blest.
Too far hast thou wandered?
On thy pinion so fleet,
And the sudden night hindered
Thy homeward retreat ?

In thy home of the valley
The loved ones are met—
While thou chantest lonely
Thy song of regret.
Thus youth, in its gladness.
For home has no care—
In the dark hour of sadness,
The lone heart is there.

Night bird thou art waking,
Though the mirthful repose—
But soon morn will be breaking.
Thy home to disclose.
Let thy slumber be silent—
Thy visions be bright—
For thou art not forsaken,
Lone child of the night.

I too am in darkness,
My brief life a dream—
A dim fairy beacon.
On a dark rolling stream.
But though sadly I wander—
Though doubtful I roam —
There is goodness and wisdom
Conducting me home.
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