To The Vesper Sparrow

Sing the last word of the day!
Voice of the sparrow belated!
What hast thou seen by the way?
What hast thou loved most or hated?
Sadness to melody mated,
What is the grudge thou wouldst pay?

Work, is it sadder than play?
Sorrow or joy sooner sated?
Dreams the sweet blossom of May
To what dull fruitage 't is fated?
When life and death are translated,
Seems Death or Life the more gay?

Linger, shy singer, O stay!
Though the swift night has abated
Sky, lake, and woodland to gray.
Long have we questioned and waited.
Question and answer unmated
Die with the vanishing day.

by John Hay

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