James Nack

Jan 4, 1809 - 1879


The Watches Of The Night

by James Nack

In the watches of the night,
When the world is hushed to sleep,
Comes my anguish strong and deep,
Like a torrent at its height,
Rushing with resistless might,
Every barrier down to sweep;
Parts the darkness like a veil,
And reveals my dying dove,
With her patient face and pale,
And her sweet blue eyes of love,
Sadly looking into mine,
Till they every look resign.
Now returns the scene of death --
Slowly gasps away her breath;
Now the lips that were my bliss
Move as for a parting kiss;
Now she gives a feeble start,
As to nestle to my heart!
How its breaking fibres thrill!
All is over! -- from my sight
Fades the vision of the night,
And the night is darker still!

Day returns -- thou swelling breast,
Hush! and hide thy sacred guest!
Forth into the world i go --
Hollow laugh and ribald jest
Round me bandy to and fro;
And I look and list the while
With a forced and feeble smile,
Bitter mockery of woe!
Common talk of common things,
Like the buzz of insect wings,
Brushes o'er my weary mind,
And I answer in some kind,
What I hardly care or know.

Nay, my soul, this is not well!
Rouse thee from thy stern despair,
Crush the thoughts that would rebel,
Nobly bear what thou must bear!
Leave it to the common crew
In their sorrow to be weak; --
In the might of anguish seek
Might to bear and might to do;
Gather up thy inmost strength --
To some earnest task apply;
So shalt thou escape at length
Thoughts that else would bid me die!

THOU from whom all blessings came!
THOU who dost at will reclaim!
THOU who the GREAT FATHER art,
And in every parent's breast
Strongest feelings hast imprest,
Sweetest, purest, holiest,
Yet canst rend a parent's heart,
Snapping all its links apart!
THOU who didst the boon bestow,
Once my comfort, hope, and pride,
Yet removed it at a blow --
May that blow be sanctified!
Though my heart is sorely tried --
Though my hopes are in the dust,
In Thy wisdom I confide,
In Thy boundless mercy trust!


The Romance Of The Ring, And Other Poems.
Copyright 1859
Delisser & Procter, 508 Broadway, New York