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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889


By Mary (Clemmer) (Ames) Hudson (1839–1884)

[Born in Utica, N. Y., 1839. Died in Washington, D.C., 1884. Poems of Life and Nature. 1883.]

GOOD-NIGHT, my Love; I lay me down,

The while the old clock of the town

Rings out for me a deep good-night.

Thou canst not hear the words I say,

Nor hear the tender prayer I pray,

That thou mayest love me sundered wide

As thou dost love me by thy side;

And so to thee, my heart’s delight,

I say again love’s last good-night.

Good-night. I’m wondering how ’twill be

When life is slipping far from me,

When, drawn by Death’s tranquillity,

The far-off, fadeless morn I see.

Then wilt thou kiss the fading face,

So dear to thee in earlier grace?

And say: “No soul can take the place

Thy life-long love for thee hath won!

“Good-night. A little further on

I’ll take thy hand, I’ll kiss thine eyes,

Lit by the new life’s rapt surprise.

The twin of soul, the truly wed,

Can never part. Rest, wifely head!

Dear heart, be not disquieted;

For fast I follow after thee,

To find Love’s last reality!”

Or shall I see but empty space

When mine eyes, dying, seek thy face?

And wilt thou be too far from me

To hear my last good-night to thee?

I know not. Only this I know,

“Good-night,” ’tis sweet to murmur low.

By two dear words I’m nearer thee,—

By all their priceless legacy,

And burden fond of memory

That holds thy first good-night to me.

Then music, thrilled with deeper tone,

Told but one story—true love’s own;

And life, our life, was just begun,—

Its meaning learned, two lives in one.

Good-night, dear Love! I pray the Lord,

By every promise of his Word,

That, day and night, may follow thee,

With ever-folding ministry,

Thy better angels, holding thee

In all loud day’s prosperity,

And in the haunting night-watch lone;

From all the evil sin hath wrought,

From tempting deed and soiling thought,

From sorrow and from murdered faith,

From loss in life and loss in death,

The blessèd angels hold thee sure,

And lead thee safe and save thee pure.

Good-night. The old clock of the town

Strikes night’s last hour. The morning’s crown

Touches the silence. Dropping down,

Before ’tis gone, the midnight quite,

Once more, O Love, a dear Good-night.