How still and peaceful is the Sabbath eve!
A spiral of blue smoke is wandering
Into the air, and that dark clump of trees
on yonder hill stands in a silence rapt.
The drowsy fields are studded o’er with ricks
Golden and flaming in the setting sun,
Where late the reaper has been hard at work.
The purple shrouded shoulder of Barrule
Stands like a guarding sentinel. White puffs
Of steam rise from the valley where
A tiny engine pulls a train along
To distant Peel. Small gilt-edged cloudlets float
Upon the paling blue, all fearful lest
They should approach too near the blood-red orb
Of the fast-sinking sun. A flock of birds
Pass o’er its face like black specks on a bowl
Of molten gold, their wing-tips ruddy hued.
And I must leave all this, the hills, the fields,
The little vale and that far clump of trees,
And in their place have views of chimney-stacks,
And clouds of sooted vapour, and great throngs
Of darting pushing citizens, and noise.
Shall I be happy there? Such is the grain
Of human substance that there shall I dwell
In seeming joy; but joy that is not born
Of drowsy valleys and of smiling fields!
10. 9. 28