Now the roads, hushed with dark,
Lead the homeward way,
I will rest; I will hark
What the weeds can say :
Wondering in the afterglow,—
Heart’s-ease of the day.
One day more, one day more ;
Ay, if it were new ! . . .
There the city smoke goes soft,
Melting in the blue ;
And the highways, vext with dust,
Heal them in the dew.
Am I wise, — am I dull
To put off despair,
But because the mist floats up
From the pastures there,
Like a fellow breath of toil,
Warm upon the air?
One day more, — one day more.
Ay, and what to come ?
Nothing answers, though I doubt,
All the trees are dumb:
But the primrose stands alight,
And the flocks are home.
Underneath the little moon,
Sharp and sweet to see,
All the warm, listless herbs
Send a breath to me;
And the fields bide in peace,
Harvest-time to be.
Still the shadows close and come,
Like a tranquil herd,
And the summer twilight broods
Steadfast as a bird ;
And the brook tells her quest,
By the silver word.
Still the murmurs overflow,
Fold me with a spell ;
And the distance sends a call,
Dimly, in the bell : . . .
When to pipe, — when to weep,
Do I know so well ?
I have seen drought and dearth,
Yet the Spring ’s secure;
And the work was lone and long,
But the past is sure.
And the hilltops see beyond,
And the stars endure.
Often when the thing I wrought
Wore not as I would,
When my need had left me bare
To the season’s mood,
Yet the heavy heart in me
Saw that it was good.
I have seen Joy take leave
In a bitter guise :
Griefs have had a smile for me,
When I met their eyes.
Shall I know with what new gift
Life may make me wise ?
Be it savors of the dusk
Soothe my care in me,
Or the trees, that bid me wait
What the hills foresee,
There the fields bide in peace
Harvest yet to be.
O, the wiser way of them !
Doubt has nought to say :
Shall I reason deeper, I,
Moulded from the clay ?
Rather will I trust the dark,
Heart’s-ease of the day.
Josephine Preston Peabody.