James Whitcomb Riley

(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)

In The Dark - Poem by James Whitcomb Riley

O in the depths of midnight
What fancies haunt the brain!
When even the sigh of the sleeper
Sounds like a sob of pain.

A sense of awe and of wonder
I may never well define,--
For the thoughts that come in the shadows
Never come in the shine.

The old clock down in the parlor
Like a sleepless mourner grieves,
And the seconds drip in the silence
As the rain drips from the eaves.

And I think of the hands that signal
The hours there in the gloom,
And wonder what angel watchers
Wait in the darkened room.

And I think of the smiling faces
That used to watch and wait,
Till the click of the clock was answered
By the click of the opening gate.--

They are not there now in the evening--
Morning or noon--not there;
Yet I know that they keep their vigil,
And wait for me Somewhere.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010

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