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TWILIGHT. Ave Maria! blessed be the hour,
The time, the clime, the spot, when I so oft Have felt that moment in its fullest power
Sink o'er the earth so beautiful and soft; While swung the deep bell in the distant tower,
Or the faint dying day hymn stole aloft; And not a breath crept through the rosy air, And yet the forest leaves seemed stirred with prayer. Soft hour! which wakes the wish and melts the heart
Of those who sail the seas, on the first day When they from their sweet friends are torn apart;
Or fills with love the pilgrim on his way, As the far bell of vesper makes him start, Seeming to weep the dying day's decay.
EVENING. Calm is the fragrant air, and loth to lose Day's grateful warmth, though moist with falling dews. Look for the stars, you'll say that there are none; Look up a second time, and, one by one, You mark them twinkling out with silvery light, And wonder how they could elude the sight; The birds, of late so noisy in their bowers, Warbled a while with faint and fainter powers, But now are silent as the dim-seen flowers.
Or round the sunset's crimson close In variegated piles repose. Faint, more faint, and fainter still, Stealing on o'er vale and hill, The chimes from distant turret gray Into silence fade away. The bamlet swarms with rustic poor, At gossip by the cottage-door ; Guided by little urchin strong, Homeward creeps the team along; The children, heedless to be seen, Bathe in the pond upon the green ; Whence along their beaten track March the geese in order back. From the cot beside the oak Mounts a slender thread of smoke, Telling with what thrifty care Its two old dames their meal prepare ; While from open lattice nigh Notes of village harmony, Meeting in a cadence clear, Catch the idly listening ear. Now then the pensive task be mine, As into dusk the tints decline, In meditative mood to stray Along some brier-scented way ; Where, perch'd beside her leafy nest, The linnet trills her young to rest. There let me muse, all else forgot, On the strange tide of human lot; How brief the measure of our day; On death's approach, on life's decay ; On former times, on future things ; On all our vain imaginings ;Till over fading lawn and mead Their silver net the dewe have spread ; And the pale glow-worm shows her light, To guide me home at fall of night.
NIGHT. As when the moon, refulgent lamp of night, O'er heaven's clear azure spreads her sacred light ; When not a breath disturbs the deep serene, And not a cloud o'ercasts the solemn scene, Around her throne the vivid planets roll, And stars unnumber'd gild the glowing pole, O’er the dark trees a yellow verdure shed, And tip with silver every mountain's head; Then shine the vales; the rocks in prospect rise ; A flood of glory bursts from all the skies : The conscious swains, rejoicing in the sight, Eye the blue vault and bless the useful light.
Day is past!
Go to rest!
Joy be thine !
Peace to all!
NIGHT. Night, sable goddess ! from her ebon throne, In rayless majesty, now stretches forth Her leaden sceptre o'er a slumbering world : Silence, how dead! and darkness how profound ! Nor eye, nor listening ear, an object finds. Creation sleeps ;-as if the general pulse Of life stood still, and nature made a pauseAn awful pause, prophetic of her end.
NIGHT IN THE DESERT.
A dewy freshness fills the silent air ;
Breaks the serene of heaven;
The desert-circle spreads,
Southey. BOOK II.
THE GLADNESS OF NATURE. Is this a time to be cloudy and sad,
When all is smiling above and around; When even the deep blue heavens look glad,
And gladness breathes from the blossoming ground ? There are notes of joy from the blackbird and wren,
And the gossip of swallows through all the sky; The ground-squirrel gaily chirps by his den,
And the wilding bee hums merrily by. The clouds are at play in the azure space,
And their shadows sport in the deep green vale ;
And there they roll in the easy gale.
There's a titter of winds in that beechen tree,
And a laugh from the brook that runs to the sea. And look at the broad-faced sun, how he smiles
On the dewy earth, that smiles in his ray,
FOLDING THE FLOCKS.