Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 8/The light of evening


Why, when the evening comes and the winds are quiet and still,
When the sun is down in the west and his light is dying away,
Comes there a track of pale green light in the sky far over the hill,
When all the heaven is dark and the clouds grow heavy and gray?

Yes, I have often watched for that space of pure heavenly sky,
Clear as a placid lake, or a sea of crystal or glass
Over the western hills, an image of heaven on high,
Stretching a thousand miles behind the clouds as they pass.

Strangely pale and faint, with a soft and luminous light,
Yet fairer, oh! fairer far, than the golden light of the day,
Flushing and changing ever, and passing into the night,
Still lingering over the hills, then fading and dying away.

Is it the type of a calm, of a strange and mysterious rest,
Coming before the end ’ere the deep dark river be past,
Lighting declining years as the sun illumines the west,
With a soft and a beautiful glow, which lingers the brightest and last?

Or is it a foretaste of heaven beyond these dim regions of care,
A type of the measureless peace, and calm on Eternity’s shore,
Beyond the clouds of the world in a country surpassingly fair,
Where that light shines steadfast for ever, and sorrow is heard of no more?

J. A.