Selections from the American poets
William Cullen Bryant


GOOD-night to all the world! there's none,
Beneath the "over-going" sun,
To whom I feel, or hate, or spite,
And so to all a fair good-night.
Would I could say good-night to pain,
Good-night to conscience and her train,
To cheerless poverty, and shame
That I am yet unknown to fame!
Would I could say good-night to dreams
That haunt me with delusive gleams,
That through the sable future's veil
Like meteors glimmer, but to fail.
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Would I could say a long good-night
To halting between wrong and right,
And, like a giant with new force,
Awake prepared to run my course!
But time o'er good and ill sweeps on,
And when few years have come and gone,
The past will be to me as naught,
Whether remembered or forgot.
Yet let me hope one faithful friend
O'er my last couch in tears shall bend;
And, though no day for me was bright,
Shall bid me then a long good-night.