The Close of the Day

“To meet and then to part,” and that is all,
To slowly turn an album’s crusty leaves,
To see the faces and the scenes recall,
Are things that in a lifetime one achieves.

To wander down a broad-arch gallery,
Viewing the scenes from life on either side,
Pressed forward with the force of years to see
But part of every picture when espied.

The big sun in its blue dome keeps its course,
Without a falter moves upon its way.
So human life, returning to its source,
Is overtaken by the close of day.
To dream, and being rudely waked from thought,
Return to peaceful dreaming dearly bought.


From Caroling Dusk (Harper & Brothers, 1927), edited by Countee Cullen. This poem is in the public domain.