Again the Harvest-Home. Night after night,
The full, round moon climbs up the dusky east,
Ere yet the day quite yields its throne to-night,
Ere yet the sunset's glow has wholly ceased.
Night follows night in glorious, stately march.
The same round moon, the same far, dusky stars,
In solemn splendor, from the vaulted arch
Shed their soft light in pale and misty bars.
Do you remember one sweet summer's prime—
Such nights as these, such dim and dusky glow—
When first our two lives met in blended rhyme?
We both were young—and it was long ago.
What hope was ours, as, standing hand in hand,
Amid the summer moon's soft, tender light,
We wove our plans together, strand by strand,
In fearless faith? How is it, Love, to-night?
As then, the whispering winds steal through the corn;
As then, we hear the owl's weird, solemn cry;
As then, the tawny fields, but newly shorn.
Wet with the night dews, bare and silent lie.
As then, the bark of dogs sounds faint and far;
As then, the grasses hide an insect throng;
As then, the glowworm shows its tiny star;
As then, rings sharp and clear the cricket's song.
As then, the solemn moonlight, shining down,
Blent with the twilight's last departing ray.
Then seems but now—and yet your locks were brown.
And now I see them thickly strewn with gray.
Then seems but now. I feel the same dear arm
That then I leaned upon, about me thrown:
The voice that swayed me with its subtle charm
Still keeps for me the old caressing tone.
Then seems but now—and yet your steps are slow;
Your brow shows prints of pain, and toil, and care;
And I have seen my youth's last roses blow.
I, too, am growing old—why should I care?
What matters it? In counting off our life
By harvest moons, the checkered, toilsome years
Show in their record more of peace than strife,
More joy than sorrow, more of smiles than tears.
Time flies apace. Spring flowers, and Winter-rime,
And sweet June roses, swiftly go and come;
Yet the full richness of our youthful prime
Still crowns us both anew at Harvest Home.