Whither, 'midst falling dew,
While glow the heavens with the last
steps of day,
Far, through their rosy depths, dost
Thy solitary way.
Vainly the fowler's eye
Might mark the distant flight to do
As, darkly painted on the crimson sky,
Thy figure floats along.
Seeks thou the splashy brink
Of weedy lake, or marge of river wide,
Or where the rocking billows rise
On the chafed oceanside?
There is a power whose care
Teaches thy way along that pathless coast,
The desert and illimitable air,
Lone wandering, but not lost.
All day thy wings have fanned,
At that far height, the cold thin
Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome
Though the dark night is near.
And soon that toil shall end;
Soon shalt thou find a summer home,
And scream amongst thy fellows; reeds shall bend
Soon, o'er thy sheltered nest.
Thou'rt gone, the abyss of heaven
Hath swallowed up thy form; yet, on my
Deeply hath sunk the lesson thou hast given,
And shall not soon depart.
He who, from zone to zone,
Guides through the boundless sky thy
In the long way that I must tread alone,
Will lead my steps aright.