While glow the heavens with the last steps of day,
Far, through their rosy depths, dost thou pursue
Thy solitary way?
Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong,
As, darkly painted on the crimson sky,
Thy figure floats along.
Of weedy lake, or marge of river wide,
Or where the rocking billows rise and sink
On the chafed ocean side?
Teaches thy way along that pathless coast,--
The desert and illimitable air,--
Lone wandering, but not lost.
At that far height, the cold thin atmosphere:
Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome land,
Though the dark night is near.
Soon shalt thou find a summer home, and rest,
And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend
Soon o'er thy sheltered nest.
Hath swallowed up thy form; yet, on my heart
Deeply hath sunk the lesson thou hast given,
And shall not soon depart.
Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,
In the long way that I must tread alone,
Will lead my steps aright.