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Littell's Living Age/Volume 150/Issue 1943/Nightfall

For works with similar titles, see Nightfall.

The hush of twilight, far and wide,

    Falls on the green and sloping meadows;

All tremulous the aspens stand, By way-worn zephyrs lightly fanned, Where the clear brooklet's mimic tide

    Sweeps onward to the shadows.

All day its sun-flecked ripples flow

    Through pastures strown with hay and clover;

Through lonely glens, where alders lean To kiss the dimpled waves, unseen, And sweet wild roses blush below

    The brambles drooping over!

By this low bridge and moss-grown fence,

    In fitful mood its music tarries;

While fluted beech-leaves wide dispread, And circling swallows overhead Move lightly, till each wavelet hence

    Some fair reflection carries.

Up the broad shoulders of the hills

    Soft twilight shadows climb and darken;

But on their faces, westward set, A smile of sunset trembles yet, And there a throstle sings, and thrills

    The world below to hearken!

Far off the cuckoo's plaintive call,

    Scarce separate from the silence lingers;

In shadowland the blossoms sleep, Where white-robed mists arise to keep Their nightly watch, caressing all

    With silent, dewy fingers.

The stars peep forth, the afterglow

    Fades slowly out behind the larches;

The birds are hushed — save one that seems To chirp a little in his dreams — When outcast breezes faintly blow

    Adown the woodland arches.

The ripples vanish, seaward drawn;

    The flowers in sleep their perfume render;

So nightly round each darkening slope, The light is sown in patient hope, That the rich harvest of the dawn

    May rise in golden splendor!