On night's still camp is pitched my tent,
That weary body where my days are spent,
And on the golden brink I lie
Of life's sweet rest and mystery.
Veiled from my eyes the glare of day,
The turmoil of the crowded way.
The "Me," that may not live by sight,
Yearns for a ray of purer light
To strike the eye of Faith with gleams
And visions, only seen in dreams.
But petty thoughts and sordid cares,
Life's exigent and grim affairs,
Hang weights upon my fluttering wings
And draw me back to earthly things.
Darkly before me now there stands
Sleep's portal into unknown lands,
With right and left an entrance shrine
For offerings earthly or divine—
And hovering round a winged host
Awaits my disembodied ghost.
To me one moment's choice is given
'Twixt earth and gloom, or light and heaven—
Hark I through the still and slumberous air
A mystic voice, a radiance fair,
An echo, from old Scriptures known
To faltering mortals years agone,
Strikes on my closing sense and sight;
It bids me "Think on One and fight."
And with a cry to the Unknown
I rise and leave my tent alone.
—John W. Chadwick
—N. S. Davis