Always Comes Evening

Always Comes Evening  (1936) 
by Robert Ervin Howard
First published in The Phantagraph (August 1936)

Riding down the road at evening with the stars or steed and shoon
I have heard an old man singing underneath a copper moon;
"God, who gemmed with topaz twilights, opal portals of the day,
"On our amaranthine mountains, why make human souls of clay?
"For I rode the moon-mare's horses in the glory of my youth,
"Wrestled with the hills at sunset-- till I met brass-tinctured Truth.
"Till I saw the temples topple, till I saw the idols reel,
"Till my brain had turned to iron, and my heart had turned to steel.
"Satan, Satan, brother Satan, fill my soul with frozen fire;
"Feed with hearts of rose-white women ashes of my dead desire.
"For my road runs out in thistles and my dreams have turned to dust.
"And my pinions fade and falter to the raven wings of rust.
"Truth has smitten me with arrows and her hand is in my hair--
"Youth, she hides in yonder mountains -- go and see her, if you dare!
"Work your magic, brother Satan, fill my brain with fiery spells.
"Satan, Satan, brother Satan, have known your fiercest Hells."
Riding down the road at evening when the wind was on the sea,
I have heard an old man singing, and he sang most drearily
Strange to hear, when dark lakes shimmer to the wailing of the loon,
Amethystine Homer singing under evening's copper moon.