Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 2/An evening voice


O’er mellow wood and mournful stream
The shades of evening poise and fall,
The distant echoes dimly call,
Like voices in a dream.

The spirit of the dying day
Stirs with soft wave the gleamy grass;
Each flow’ret hears the spirit pass,
And what its whispers say:

Take, darlings, take my farewell kiss;
Another happy day will shine,
With morning smile as bright as mine,
With evening hush’d as this.

But will it make you fade more fast,
Or pale your bloom, or dim your glow,
To feel that one who loved you so
Is buried in the past?”

The sun sinks down beneath the hill.
From peak to peak, from bole to hole,
Dies out the golden aureole,
And night comes grey and chill—

Beckoning the gentle spirit on,
The plaintive spirit, doom’d to die:
Heedless the drowsy flow’rets lie
Of the sweet presence gone.

O, fond hearts lost with passing pain!
O, slighted smiles that once were ours!
O, loved, that in our happiest hours
May never share again!

Ralph A. Benson.