The Night Ride
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The Night Ride

The red sun on the lonely lands
   Gazed, under clouds of rose,
As one who under knitted hands
   Takes one last look and goes.

Then Pain, with her white sister Fear,
   Crept nearer to my bed:
"The sands are running; dost thou hear
   Thy sobbing heart?" she said.

There came a rider to the gate,
   And stern and clear spake he:
"For meat or drink thou must not wait,
   But rise and ride with me."

I waited not for meat or drink,
   Or kiss, or farewell kind --
But oh! my heart was sore to think
   Of friends I left behind.

We rode o'er hills that seemed to sweep
   Skyward like swelling waves;
The living stirred not in their sleep,
   The dead slept in their graves.

And ever as we rode I heard
   A moan of anguish sore --
No voice of man or beast or bird,
   But all of these and more.

"Is it the moaning of the Earth?
   Dark Rider, answer me!"
"It is the cry of life at birth"
   He answered quietly:

"But thou canst turn a face of cheer
   To good days still in store;
Thou needst not care for Pain or Fear --
   They cannot harm thee more."

Yet I rode on with sullen heart,
   And said with breaking breath,
"If thou art he I think thou art,
   Then slay me now, O Death!"

The veil was from my eyesight drawn --
   "Thou knowest now," said he:
"I am the Angel of the Dawn!
   Ride back, and wait for me."

So I rode back at morning light,
   And there, beside my bed,
Fear had become a lily white
   And Pain a rose of red.

This work is in the public domain in Australia because it was created in Australia and the term of copyright has expired.

See Australian Copyright Council - Duration of Copyright (August 2014).

This work is also in the public domain in the United States because it was in the public domain in Australia in 1996, and no copyright was registered in the U.S. (This is the combined effect of Australia having joining the Berne Convention in 1928, and of 17 USC 104A with its critical date of January 1, 1996.)

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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