Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Day is Done

I spent some time scanning in a few more slides today...I came across this one just as I finished a book by Jo Anna Hold Watson titled A Taste of the Sweet Apple. Sweet Apple being tobacco...actually a brand of chewing tobacco. It is her memories of growing up on a farm in Kentucky....her dad was a doctor who had a farm which was run by a black foreman. She went with the foreman everywhere...and she idolized him. She tells about the first time she road the tobacco setter, about the first time she drove the John Deere, and takes you through the death of her dad and mom and Joe, the foreman.
Well the book got me in a sort of homesick mood...Kentucky is right next door to Tennessee. We raised tobacco, so I was familiar with a lot of what she talked about. Then I came across this photo and it made me think of fall and the plants eventually starting to change color, only to eventually lose it all. And just the whole mood I was in made me think of this poem by Henry W. Longfellow.

It is a favorite of mine and my fact she knew the lines of the last stanza and it sounded vaguely familiar to me but I don't know if I would have ever thought of it again. So she mentioned it and we got to searching and found the whole poem. I don't know much about copyright but since I see it all over the place on the web, I really hope it is okay to post it.

(Check out the altered version of this photo at Paintbox Pictures.)

The Day is Done

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 tonight 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 a power to quiet
The restless pulse of care,
And comes 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.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow