Longfellow—Watchman, What Of The Night?

Democratic Thinker, American History

Written For The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Of The American Anti-Slavery Society.

A QUARTER of the circling sphere
Has rounded onward to the light;
We see not yet the daylight clear,
But we can see the paling night.

And Hope that aye relumes her fires,
And Faith that shines with steadfast ray,
And Love that courage reinspires,
As morning stars, lead on the day.

O sentinels, whose tread we heard
Through long hours when we could not see,
Pause now; exchange with cheer the word,
The unchanging watchword, Liberty!

Look backward; how much has been won!
Look round; how much is yet to win!
The watches of the night are done;
The watches of the day begin.

O Thou whose mighty patience holds
The night and day alike in view,
Thy will our dearest hopes enfolds,
Oh, keep us steadfast, patient, true!

—Samuel Longfellow (1856).

Contributed by Democratic Thinker.