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Poems About Endings

Table of Contents

  1. Ending by Emily Dickinson
  2. The Day is Done by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  3. The Old Mill by the River by Isaac McLellan
  4. The Deserted Cabin by Ruby Archer
  5. The Abandoned Farm by Charles A. Heath
  6. Afternoon in February by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


All's well that ends well.

– William Shakespeare
All's Well That Ends Well
  1. Ending

    by Emily Dickinson

    That is solemn we have ended, —
    Be it but a play,
    Or a glee among the garrets,
    Or a holiday,

    Or a leaving home; or later,
    Parting with a world
    We have understood, for better
    Still it be unfurled.

  2. The Day is Done

    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    The day is done, and the darkness
    Falls from the wings of Night,
    As a feather is wafted downward
    From an eagle in his flight.

    I see the lights of the village
    Gleam through the rain and the mist,
    And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me
    That my soul cannot resist:

    A feeling of sadness and longing,
    That is not akin to pain,
    And resembles sorrow only
    As the mist resembles the rain.

    Come, read to me some poem,
    Some simple and heartfelt lay,
    That shall soothe this restless feeling,
    And banish the thoughts of day.

    Not from the grand old masters,
    Not from the bards sublime,
    Whose distant footsteps echo
    Through the corridors of Time.

    For, like strains of martial music,
    Their mighty thoughts suggest
    Life's endless toil and endeavor;
    And to-night I long for rest.

    Read from some humbler poet,
    Whose songs gushed from his heart,
    As showers from the clouds of summer,
    Or tears from the eyelids start;

    Who, through long days of labor,
    And nights devoid of ease,
    Still heard in his soul the music
    Of wonderful melodies.

    Such songs have power to quiet
    The restless pulse of care,
    And come like the benediction
    That follows after prayer.

    Then read from the treasured volume
    The poem of thy choice,
    And lend to the rhyme of the poet
    The beauty of thy voice.

    And the night shall be filled with music,
    And the cares, that infest the day,
    Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
    And as silently steal away.

  3. The Old Mill by the River

    by Isaac McLellan

    Here in the years when life was bright
    With dewy mornings and sunset light,
    In the pleasant season of leafy June,
    In each idle, holiday afternoon
    I lov'd to wander with willow wand—
    I lov'd on the river border to stand
    And take the trout or the yellow bream
    That leap'd, that glanc'd athwart the stream.

    With broken window, with hingeless door,
    Thro' which the slanting sunbeams pour;
    With leaning gable, and settling wall,
    O'er which the draperied ivies fall;
    With rafter moldy, worm-eaten beam,
    O'er which the silken cobwebs stream,
    Fast by the river-banks serene
    The old forsaken mill is seen.
    Its roof shows many a chasm and rent,
    Its creaking vane is crack'd and bent,
    In and out the swallows fly
    Under the eaves their dwellings lie.
    The leather-wing'd bats, when day is dim,
    Thro' vacant rooms and granaries skim;
    Its shingles that ages ago were new,
    Splendid with painters' lavish hue,
    Are faded now and swing in the gale,
    Scarce held by the loosen'd rusty nail;
    The clapboards rattle and clank amain
    In gusts of the snow-fall and the rain,
    For the dust of many a lapsing year
    Hath writ its wasteful chronicle here.
    The dam o'er which the waters pour
    Is settling and crumbling by the shore;
    The slippery logs and mossy stone
    Yield to the current one by one;
    And swift thro' many a rent abyss
    The spouting rivulets foam and hiss,
    And soon must the crazy fabric decay,
    And the torrent sweep uncheck'd away.
    The water-wheel so black and vast,
    With beam like a battle-vessel's mast
    That once would churn with mighty sweep
    The boiling waters so dark and deep,
    Lies now a wreck in humbled pride,
    Trembling with each assault of the tide.
    Under the crumbling, blacken'd wheel
    The crystal bubbles circle and reel;
    Over and under the eddies boil
    Round molder'd timber and rotting post;
    In many a circling ripple they coil
    In sudden plunge, in wild turmoil,
    Now seen an instant, then quickly lost.

  4. The Deserted Cabin

    by Ruby Archer

    Lone, it lingers on the mountain
    With no sign or sound of life;
    No sweet, happy, household cadence,
    Laugh of child or song of wife.
    How it stares adown the valley
    With those hard and hollow eyes,
    As if waiting, empty-hearted,
    Hopeless, for some sweet surprise.
    All the doors have broken hinges,
    Rails have fallen from the fence;
    High the dove-cote leans, abandoned,
    Lonely birds have wandered hence.
    Mosses creep through every crevice,
    Sunshine bars the vacant floor,
    And a yellow ox-eyed daisy
    Peeps in wonder through the door.
    Yonder windmill turning, turning,
    In the old accustomed way,
    Feels a sympathy in moving
    With the winds that sigh alway:
    "We have lost the waving tresses
    Of a little golden head.
    We can find no touch responsive.—
    All but memory is dead."

  5. The Abandoned Farm

    by Charles A. Heath

    There is somebody's home which is vacant today,
    All abandoned and lonely it stood,
    Over back on" the road at the head of the bay,
    Where a farm was cut out in the wood.

    There was hope in some heart and a gleam in some eye,
    As he chopped and he built and he cleared;
    Then the cut-over land soon was waving with rye,
    And abundant ripe harvests appeared.

    From his labor's award he erected his barns
    And a home where was plenty to eat,
    While his wife knit the wool from the softest of yarns
    And their lot was there truly complete.

    There I passed but today and the place was all bare.
    Not a lad nor a lassie was seen.
    The abandoned old home was a home of despair,
    And the weeds hid the porch with a screen.

    There I listened the while as a story was told
    By the shuttered old windows and shed,
    That there came from the city the lure of its gold,
    And the hopes on a farm all had fled.

  6. Afternoon in February

    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    The day is ending,
    The night is descending;
    The marsh is frozen,
    The river dead.

    Through clouds like ashes
    The red sun flashes
    On village windows
    That glimmer red.

    The snow recommences;
    The buried fences
    Mark no longer
    The road o'er the plain;

    While through the meadows,
    Like fearful shadows,
    Slowly passes
    A funeral train.

    The bell is pealing,
    And every feeling
    Within me responds
    To the dismal knell;

    Shadows are trailing,
    My heart is bewailing
    And tolling within
    Like a funeral bell.