The pale tints of the twilight fields
Have turnÚd into burnished gold,
For waves of yellow light have rolled
From the open'd east across the wealds
While 'mid the wheat spires far behind
Stirs lazily the awaken'd wind.
A skylark high (a song-made bird)
Sings as though God his singing heard.
The sea scarce heaves in its calm sleep,
The wind has not awakened yet
Tho' in its dreams it seems to fret
For, ever and again, the deep
Hearkens a sigh that steals along
As might some echo of sad song:
Ah, there the wind stirs! Lo, the dark
Dim sea's on fire around our barque.
A GREEN WAVE
Between the salt sea-send before
And all the flowing gulfs behind,
Half lifted by the rising wind,
Half eager for the ungain'd shore,
A great green wave of shining light
Sweeps onward crowned with dazzling white:
Above, the east wind shreds the sky
With plumes from the grey clouds that fly.
A CRYSTAL FOREST
The air is blue and keen and cold,
With snow the roads and fields are white
But here the forest's clothed with light
And in a shining sheath enrolled.
Each branch, each twig, each blade of grass,
Seems clad miraculously with glass:
Above the ice-bound streamlet bends
Each frozen fern with crystal ends.
Where the ripe pears droop heavily
The yellow wasp hums loud and long
His hot and drowsy autumn song:
A yellow flame he seems to be,
When darting suddenly from high
He lights where fallen peaches lie
Yellow and black, this tiny thing's
A tiger-soul on elfin wings.
AN AUTUMNAL EVENING
Deep black against the dying glow
The tall elms stand; the rooks are still;
No windbreath makes the faintest thrill
Amongst the leaves; the fields below
Are vague and dim in twilight shades---
Only the bats wheel in their raids
On the grey flies, and silently
Great dusky moths go flitting by.
A WINTER HEDGEROW
The wintry wolds are white; the wind
Seems frozen; in the shelter'd nooks
The sparrows shiver; the black rooks
Wheel homeward where the elms behind
The manor stand; at the field's edge
The redbreasts in the blackthorn hedge
Sit close and under snowy eaves
The shrewmice sleep 'mid nested leaves.
THE ROOKERY AT SUNRISE
The lofty ehn-trees darkly dream
Against the steel-blue sky; till far
I' the twilit east a golden star
O'erbrims the dusk in one vast stream
Of yellow light, and lo! a cry
Breaks from the windy nest---the sky
Is filled with wheeling rooks---they sway
In one black phalanx towards the day.
The first snows of the year lie white
Upon the branches bending low;
A surging wind the flakes doth blow
Before the coming feet of Night--
Half dusk, half day, betwixt the pines
Green-yellow the full moon reclines
Green-yellow, and now wholly green,
While faint the windy stars are seen.
Softly sailing emerald lights
Above the cornfields come and go,
Listlessly wandering to and fro
The magic of these July nights
Has surely even pierced down deep
Where the earth's jewels unharmed sleep,
And filled with fire the emeralds there
And raised them thus to the outer air.
THE CRESCENT MOON
As though the Power that made the Nautilus
A living glory o'er seas perilous
Scathless to roam, had from the utmost deep
Called a vast flawless pearl from out its sleep
And carv'd it crescent-wise, exceeding fair,---
So seems the crescent moon that thro' the air
With motionless motion glides from out the West,
And sailing onward ever seems at rest.
Between two mighty hills a sheer
Abyss---far down in the ravine
A thread-like torrent and a screen
Of oaks like shrubs-and one doth rear
A dry scarp'd peak above all sound
Save windy voices wailing round:
At sunrise here, in proud disdain
The eagle scans his vast domain.
A VENETIAN SUNSET: BEFORE
(Returning from Torcello)
In violet hues each dome and spire
Stands outlined against flawless rose;
O'er this a carmine ocean flows
Streak'd with pure gold and amber fire,
And through the sea of sundown mist
Float isles of melted amethyst:
Storm-portents, saffron streamers rise,
Fan-like, from Venice to the skies,
The yellow waste of yellow sands,
The bronze haze of a scorching sky!
Lo, what are these that broken lie;
Were these once temples made with hands
Once towers and palaces that knew
No hint of that which one day threw
Their greatness to the winds---made this
The memory of Persepolis?