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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.

Birds of Passage

Flight the Second. Weariness

O LITTLE feet! that such long years

Must wander on through hopes and fears,

Must ache and bleed beneath your load;

I, nearer to the wayside inn

Where toil shall cease and rest begin,

Am weary, thinking of your road!

O little hands! that, weak or strong,

Have still to serve or rule so long,

Have still so long to give or ask;

I, who so much with book and pen

Have toiled among my fellow-men,

Am weary, thinking of your task.

O little hearts! that throb and beat

With such impatient, feverish heat,

Such limitless and strong desires;

Mine, that so long has glowed and burned,

With passions into ashes turned,

Now covers and conceals its fires.

O little souls! as pure and white

And crystalline as rays of light

Direct from heaven, their source divine;

Refracted through the mist of years,

How red my setting sun appears,

How lurid looks this soul of mine!