When the Night and Morning

In the dark and narrow street,1
Into a world of woe,2
Where the tread of many feet3
Went trampling to and fro,4
A child was born, (speak low,)5
When the night and morning meet6
Full seventy summers back7
Was this—so long ago8
The feet that wore the track9
Are lying straight and low,10
Yet hath there been no lack11
Of passers to and fro.12
Within the narrow street13
This childhood ever play’d ;14
Beyond the narrow street15
This manhood never stray’d ;16
This age sat still and pray’d17
A-near the trampling feet.18
The tread of ceaseless feet19
Flow’d through his life, unstirr’d20
By waters’ fall, or fleet21
Wind music, or the bird22
Of morn, these sounds are sweet,23
But they were still unheard.24
Within the narrow street25
I stood beside a bed26
I held a dying head27
When the night and morning meet ;28
And every word was sweet,29
Though few the words we said.30
And as we talk’d, dawn drew31
To day—the world was fair32
In fields afar I knew ;33
Yet spoke not to him there34
Of how the grasses grew,35
Besprent with dew-drops rare.36
We spoke not of the sun,37
Nor of this green earth fair.38
This soul, whose day was done,39
Had never claim’d its share40
In these, and yet its rare41
Rich heritage had won.42
From the dark and narrow street,43
Into a world of love,44
A child was born—speak low,45
Speak reverent; for we know46
Not how they speak above,47
When the night and morning meet.48