The Day is Done


By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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 to-night 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 power to quiet
The restless pulse of care,
And come 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.

Much of what people experience as sadness, longing and depression has its roots in the spirits of guilt and shame. This ennui tends to come in and go out in a daily rhythm, much like the tides under the influence of the moon, waxing in the evening hours and waning in the morning.

The moon, long recognized as a symbol of the subconscious mind of man, exerts a powerful yet invisible influence on the earth. Likewise, subconscious lines of force drawn within the individual and between people prod and pull at their heart strings, indirectly influencing the conscious mind in subtle yet strong ways.

Every person is born with a purpose, a great and noble purpose which fulfilled in part or in whole brings a profound sense of inner peace. Each and every circumstance is a stepping stone toward that fulfillment, the journey, as they say, being as important as the destination.

Whenever you act in a way that causes you to come up short in relation to that opportunity, your wonderfully designed faculties of mind, body and heart are programmed to issue a warning, often in the form of guilt or shame. When a warning light comes on, you are wise to move quickly in a new direction to get back on track. Never was it written that warnings were cause for dwelling, simmering, sulking, wallowing, whining or complaining.

Not all feelings are personal to you, though, for you are connected to others by virtue of the lines of force, of feeling connection, to many other people on earth. In this sense it behooves you not to take your feelings so personally and more importantly, not to beat yourself up over them.

In saying this I am not advising denial, rather, I am suggesting that you take the high road by being above all else thankful that you still have enough feeling sense to realize when things are going wrong. The warnings that manifest as a troubled heart or a disturbed feeling realm are merciful indications, symptoms as it were, of the need for a change in heart or approach.

I’ll share a little secret with you today, the means by which you can begin to take a new approach in relation to the powerful beast which rises out of the sea of your unconscious mind: take not another step until you bring the spirit of thanksgiving clearly and densely into focus in your heart and mind.

Even if your heart is troubled, there will always be a ray of light to which you can orient when the world around you grows dark and cold.

9 thoughts on “The Day is Done

  1. RJ

    Our great and noble purpose, as you put it, is not accomplished in one grand act. Rather, it is accomplished in many small steps (and sometimes large ones) on a daily basis. As with rolling a heavy stone, getting started it the hardest part, but once momentum is gained the task is much easier and the rewards are compounded. Today a great day to take a step in the right direction! Thanks for the inspiration.


  2. Coco

    I loved the poem, thanks for choosing it. I appreciated Longfellow’s message and your further development of it. Even in what is thought of as simpler times the same dissonance is evident and the method of redemption the same. The high road is available in an instant. Raising my own vibration through the spirit of thanksgiving where the weight of shame or despair can’t exist. Beautiful mechanism.. Thank you.


  3. Steve Ventola

    It has been said this time of year is when the seeds are planted for our future outworkings. Love your words to take not a step until we bring the spirit of thanksgiving clearly and densely focused in our minds and hearts. Such wise instruction especially for this time of year and the future of our lives.


  4. Vincent

    That’s a profound little poem. Handling the many invisible currents that lap on our shores, sorting the personal from the collective and keeping balance the while…this is fundamental to a creative life.

    Regardless of what presents itself or why – and it isn’t always possible to determine the ‘why’ – one can always take responsibility, finding the ways to use what comes for clarification, intercession, or perhaps just for the release of a silent word of appreciation and healing.


  5. Colin

    Here is another post that would be a life revolution, if internalized and acted upon. Think about it: we have a built in mechanism to help us get back on the right life-track, and most people use it as an excuse to stay where they are forever.
    You can live your life having success after success, and you can tell people how you do it, but there are no shortcuts for us looking to do it ourselves. We have to live our lives in a way where we are supple enough to make the changes we need to when the warning signs arrive.


  6. Melissa Hake

    Thank you Gregg for the wonderful poem, but even more so thank you for your incredible insight. Your words this morning bring a renewed sense of peace to my heart!


  7. Chuck R.

    These are beautiful words and thoughts Gregg and I appreciate you sharing them with us this beautiful Sunday morning. Deep and genuine Appreciation is always to be remembered.


  8. Strawberryfield

    I understand the assault of subtle and merciless feelings. I’ve also been so appreciative to see the ray of light of thankfulness that brings comfort, hope and a visceral knowing that love is present. Thanks for this beautiful poem that describes the connecting power of life.


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