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WHEN THE DIM DAY, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: When the dim day is buried
Last Line: Will part nevermore!
Subject(s): Rivers; Grief; Nature


When the dim day is buried
Beyond the world's sight,
Low-lingering, lurid,
A sorrowful light
Is left on the hilltops;
While bitter winds blow,
Swept down from those chill tops
And summits of snow.
Yet, like a pale crown set,
The hills wear away
The gold of the downset
And dying of day;
So the Indian beheld it
Above his dark pine,
Ere the pioneer felled it:
Yet, brother of mine,
No more by the River
You track to the brink
Snowy marks of the beaver:
The muskrat and mink
Are all that is left now;
So nations depart;
And Nature, bereft now,
Place yieldeth to Art.

Yes, bridgepier and building
Now burden the bank,
Where the slow sunset, yielding,
O'er dark forests sank.
Nor the red man with cunning
His net hangeth here
Where the rapid is running,
Nor plungeth the spear.
Yet raftsman and wrecker
Subsist by the stream;
Here find their exchequer:
Nor empty, we deem,
Are the boats and the barges
That softly drop down,
Bearing burthen and largess
Of hillside and town.
But the heart no change knoweth:
The stream shifts its side;
Wind cometh and goeth,
But sorrows abide:
The bank breaketh inward;
The hills heave and sink;
Without and withinward
All gather or shrink.
See where by yon birches
The wave rested still;
Now the wild water lurches
And lashes at will:
Nor oarsman nor sculler
Could draw on the tide,
Though his cheek wore the color
Of roses in pride.
But the depth and the deadness
Of grief will not flow:
O sorrow and sadness,
That this should be so!
Though the wave and the earthquake
May swallow the shore,
Yet wild sorrow and heart-break
Will part nevermore!





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