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