Close of Day


Tranquil mere in sunset light,
Mirror of gold:
On thy breast doth radiance pour,
Shady trees thine edge embower,
All is quiet at this hour,
Mirror of gold.

Babbling stream in sunset light,
Strands of gold:
All thy stones are flecked with fire,
Ruby, topaz, and blue sapphire
Sparkle there, and flash and gyre
‘Mong strands of gold.

Rounded hill in sunset light,
Basin of gold:
All thy heather, gorse and ling,
Colours back to heaven fling,
While to them the sun’s rays bring
Kisses of gold.

Shady wood in sunset light,
Forest of gold:
All thy plumes with fire ablaze
In the westering sun’s last rays,
Forest of gold.

Vaulted sky in sunset light,
Dome of gold:
Pearly azure in the east,
Blood-red flaring in the east,
Fire-birds winging home to rest,
In nests of gold.

Wearily plods the lab’rer home,
Tired and old:
Pauses by the gate to see
All the sunset pageantry,
Eyes with fire lit wondrously,
Eyes that were cold.

Into humble cot doth come,
His wife to enfold:
Has his frugal evening meal
As the light doth quickly steal
From the sky and stream and hill,
Mere, wood and fold.

Tranquil mere in pale moonlight,
Silver mirror:
On thy breast doth silver pour,
Silver trees thine edge embower,
All is silver at this hour,
Silver mirror.

Babbling stream in pale moonlight,
Silver river:
All thy stones are flecked with light,
Moonstones glowing, pearls so white,
Glinting in the lunar light,
Silver river.

Rounded hill in pale moonlight,
Silver hillock:
All thy heather, gorse and ling,
Whiteness back to heaven fling,
While to them the moon’s rays bring
Silver kisses.

Forest cool in pale moonlight,
Sylvan silver:
All thy plumes with silver frilled,
All thy glades with silver frilled,
On thy boles is silver spilled,
Sylvan silver.

Starry vault in pale moonlight,
Silver glitter:
White-robed maiden climbs the sky,
Fleecy clouds before her fly,
Silver lambs in meadows high,
Silver glitter.

Slowly nods the lab’rer’s head,
Silv’ry grey:
Now his hearth grows cold and dead,
So climbs to his ghostly bed,
Where on it moonbeams are shed
Ray on ray.

Lips have murmured in a prayer,
Silvered lips:
Eyes have closed, a load of care
Slips away into the air,
On the withered cheek a tear
Silvered creeps!

August 1926