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Oh the stern and stolid quiet at the closing of the day!

When the purple furrows gleam

Cold and steely, and the team
Loiters homeward, and the hawthorn blooms in blood-drops,

not in may;
When the harvest months are done,

And the autumn rains begun,
And the black earth reeks with odors, at the closing of the


Oh the dim and solemn quiet at the closing of the day!

When the leaves are dropping slow,

And the wet birds come and go Through the hedges, and white winter is already on its way;

When the smoke of smouldering tares,

Loosely borne on lagging airs, Frets the nostrils with its savor, at the closing of the day.

Oh the grim and ghostly quiet at the closing of the day!

When the cattle cease to move,

And the trees stand close, above,
And the mounds about the churchyard lie unshadowed in

the gray;
When the soul that dwells alone

Finds a sadness like its own
In the heart of Mother Nature, at the closing of the day.

Arthur Joseph Munby (1828–1910]


STAR that bringest home the bee,
And sett'st the weary laborer free!
If any star shed peace, 'tis thou

That send'st it from above,
Appearing when Heaven's breath and brow

Are sweet as hers we love.

Come to the luxuriant skies,
Whilst the landscape's odors rise,

Song: To Cynthia


Whilst far-off lowing herds are heard

And songs when toil is done,
From cottages whose smoke unstirred

Curls yellow in the sun.

Star of love's soft interviews,
Parted lovers on thee muse;
Their remembrancer in Heaven

Of thrilling vows thou art,
Too delicious to be riven
By absence from the heart.

Thomas Campbell (1777-1844]

A CLOUD lay cradled near the setting sun,

A gleam of crimson tinged its braided snow;
Long had I watched the glory moving on

O’er the still radiance of the lake below. Tranquil its spirit seemed, and floated slow!

Even in its very motion there was rest; While every breath of eve that chanced to blow

Wafted the traveller to the beauteous west. Emblem, methought, of the departed soul!

To whose white robe the gleam of bliss is given,
And by the breath of mercy made to roll

Right onwards to the golden gates of heaven,
Where to the eye of faith it peaceful lies,
And tells to man his glorious destinies.

John Wilson (1785-1854)


From “Cynthia's Revels”
QUEEN and huntress, chaste and fair,
Now the sun is laid to sleep,
Seated in thy silver chair,
State in wonted manner keep:

Hesperus entreats thy light,
Goddess excellently bright.

Earth, let not thy envious shade
Dare itself to interpose;
Cynthia's shining orb was made
Heaven to clear, wherday did close:

Bless us then with wished sight,
Goddess excellently bright.

Lay thy bow of pearl apart,
And thy crystal-shining quiver;
Give unto the flying hart
Space to breathe, how short soever:

Thou that mak’st a day of night,
Goddess excellently bright.

Ben Jonson (1573?-1637]


All that I know

Of a certain star
Is, it can throw

(Like the angled spar)
Now a dart of red,

Now a dart of blue,
Till my friends have said

They would fain see, too,
My star that dartles the red and the blue!
Then it stops like a bird; like a flower, hangs furled:

They must solace themselves with the Saturn above it.
What matter to me if their star is a world?
Mine has opened its soul to me; therefore I love it.

Robert Browning (1812–1889]


The sun descending in the West,
The evening star does shine;
The birds are silent in their nest,
And I must seek for mine.



The moon, like a flower
In heaven's high bower,
With silent delight
Sits and smiles on the night.

Farewell, green fields and happy grove,
Where flocks have ta’en delight;
Where lambs have nibbled, silent move
The feet of angels bright:

Unseen, they pour blessing,
And joy without ceasing,
On each bud and blossom,
On each sleeping bosom.

They look in every thoughtless nest,
Where birds are covered warm;
They visit caves of every beast,
To keep them all from harm.

If they see any weeping
That should have been sleeping,
They pour sleep on their head,
And sit down by their bed.

When wolves and tigers howl for piey
They pitying stand and weep,
Seeking to drive their thirst away,
And keep them from the sheep.

But, if they rush dreadful,
The angels, most heedful,
Receive each mild spirit
New worlds to inherit.

And there the lion's ruddy eyes
Shall flow with tears of gold:
And pitying the tender cries,
And walking round the fold,

Saying: “Wrath by His meekness,
And by His health, sickness,
Are driven away
From our immortal day.

“And now beside thee, bleating lamb,
I can lie down and sleep.
Or think on Him who bore thy name,
Graze after thee, and weep.

For, washed in life's river,
My bright mane for ever
Shall shine like the gold,
As I guard o'er the fold.”

William Blake (1757-1827]


SWIFTLY walk o'er the western wave,

Spirit of Night!
Out of the misty eastern cave.
Where, all the long and lone daylight,
Thou wovest dreams of joy and fear,
Which make thee terrible and dear,

Swift be thy flight!

Wrap thy form in a mantle gray,

Blind with thine hair the eyes of Day;
Kiss her until she be wearied out,
Then wander o'er city, and sea, and land,
Touching all with thine opiate wand-

Come, long-sought!

When I arose and saw the dawn,

I sighed for thee;
When light rode high, and the dew was gone,
And noon lay heavy on flower and tree,
And the weary Day turned to his rest,
Lingering like an unloved guest,

I sighed for thee.

Thy brother Death came, and cried,

“Would'st thou me?". Thy sweet child Sleep, the filmy-eyed, Murmured like a noontide bee,

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