James Whitcomb Riley

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

Last Night-- And This - Poem by James Whitcomb Riley

Last night-- how deep the darkness was!
And well I knew its depths, because
I waded it from shore to shore,
Thinking to reach the light no more.

She would not even touch my hand---.
The winds rose and the cedars fanned
The moon out, and the stars fled back
In heaven and hid-- and all was black!

But ah! To-night a summons came,
Signed with a tear-drop for a name,
For as I wondering kissed it, lo
A line beneath it told me so.

And now-- the moon hangs over me
A disk of dazzling brilliancy,
And every star-tip stabs my sights
With splintered glitterings of light!

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010

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