dusk

When I Consider How My Light Is Spent

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When I consider how my light is spent,
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my Soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er Land and Ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”

 

– John Milton

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Autumn Dusk

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In the gathering dusk of Autumn
the mist of evening
rolls across the farms and hills of home
to greet the brisk chill in the air.
Grasses wet with dew
such a relief
from the long summer’s heat;
a gourmet feast for cattle
grazing lazily in the meadows.
The sounds of wood chopping,
smells of burning leaves and
mom’s pies baking in the oven,
all warm, cherished memories
of home in the fall;
exquisite jewels in a crown
I will wear in the long, cold,
less comforting days of winter.

 

– Carolyn Brunelle

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The Fading Gleam Of Parting Day

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I

1.
The fading gleam of parting day
Forsakes the western sky,
Now shines Diana’s chaster ray
With virgin majesty;
Her face with milder glory bright
Pales o’er the dusky shades of night,
And brings the varied scene to view:
The glassy lake, the bubbling stream,
Again reflect the borrow’d beam,
And take the silver hue.

2 .
From the deep shade of yonder trees
The screaming night-birds call,
While floats in Zephyr’s balmy breeze
The distant water-fall;
Sad Philomela’s warbling throat
Pours forth the sweetly-mournful note,
And charms the lay-resounding grove,
Where, trembling at the gentle gale,
The bending fir, and poplar pale,
In rushing murmurs move.

3 .
What joyful sounds arise!—
These strains of rural music sink,
And shrill-ton’d clarions rend the skies,
The air a voice of triumph chears—
Behold, an awful form appears
On Cherwell’s sedgy brink!
His azure length of robe behind
Loosely wantons in the wind,
Glowing like the vernal morning
Beams benign his eye-balls shed,
Ceres’ wealth his brows adorning
Shades his venerable head.
Say, heav’nly Vision, what these notes portend;
Sits white-wing’d Vict’ry on Britannia’s arms?
Does proud Iberia to our legions bend,
Or flies the Gaul at Granby’s dread alarms,
Or stalks on India’s sun-burnt plains afar
The force of Conflict keen, and giant rage of War?

II.
1.
‘Far hence, he cried, the tumult’s roar
‘To distant climes shall fly,
‘Mirth revels now on Albion’s shore,
‘And blithe Festivity.
‘Ye Muses, twine each fragrant flower
‘To crown with roseate braids the hour
‘Which gave to George a blooming Heir;
‘Ye guardians of this favour’d isle,
‘With graceful pleasure kindly smile,
‘Ye Nymphs your wreaths prepare.

2.
‘Come happy babe! delight the lands
‘Which time shall make thy own;
‘Come happy babe! whom Heav’n commands
‘To fill a future throne.
‘And when the sacred lore of truth
‘Shall gently form thy ripening youth,
‘May ev’ry grateful Briton find
‘The soul of George’s godlike race,
‘With lovely Charlotte’s softer grace,
‘Attemper’d in thy mind.

3 .
‘For thee on Afric’s burning coast
‘Aloft the British ensign waves;
‘For thee by rattling tempests tost
‘Their navies awe the Gallic pride,
‘On every realm, whose hostile side
‘The boundless ocean laves;—
‘With nobler skill and fiercer fire
‘Strike the rapture-breathing lyre!
‘Hark!—on Cambria’s cloud-topt mountains
‘Music winds her streams along:
‘As they flow, the crystal fountains
‘Listen to the jocund song!
‘Lo! glorious shades and halcyon days appear
‘Fair as the Morn in saffron mantle dight,—
‘But sounds divine ill suit the human ear,
‘And fleeting visions mock the mortal sight.’
He said: and rushing from my wond’ring eyes,
On rapid light’ning borne, he sought his native skies.

 

– Henry James Pye

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Late, Late, So Late

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Late, late, so late! and dark the night and chill!
Late, late, so late! but we can enter still.
Too late, too late! ye cannot enter now.
No light had we: for that we do repent;
And learning this, the bridegroom will relent.
Too late, too late! ye cannot enter now.
No light: so late! and dark and chill the night!
O, let us in, that we may find the light!
Too late, too late: ye cannot enter now.

Have we not heard the bridgegroom is so sweet?
O, let us in, tho’ late, to kiss his feet!
No, no, too late! ye cannot enter now.”

 

– Alfred Lord Tennyson

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The Evening Darkens Over

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The evening darkens over
After a day so bright,
The windcapt waves discover
That wild will be the night.
There’s sound of distant thunder.

The latest sea-birds hover
Along the cliff’s sheer height;
As in the memory wander
Last flutterings of delight,
White wings lost on the white.

There’s not a ship in sight;
And as the sun goes under,
Thick clouds conspire to cover
The moon that should rise yonder.
Thou art alone, fond lover.

 

– Robert Seymour Bridges

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Blue

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The earth again like a ship steams out of the dark sea over
The edge of the blue, and the sun stands up to see us glide
Slowly into another day; slowly the rover
Vessel of darkness takes the rising tide.

I, on the deck, am startled by this dawn confronting
Me who am issued amazed from the darkness, stripped
And quailing here in the sunshine, delivered from haunting
The night unsounded whereon our days are shipped.

Feeling myself undawning, the day’s light playing upon me,
I who am substance of shadow, I all compact
Of the stuff of the night, finding myself all wrongly
Among the crowds of things in the sunshine jostled and racked.

I with the night on my lips, I sigh with the silence of death;
And what do I care though the very stones should cry me unreal, though the clouds
Shine in conceit of substance upon me, who am less than the rain.
Do I know the darkness within them? What are they but shrouds?

The clouds go down the sky with a wealthy ease
Casting a shadow of scorn upon me for my share in death; but I
Hold my own in the midst of them, darkling, defy
The whole of the day to extinguish the shadow I lift on the breeze.

Yea, though the very clouds have vantage over me,
Enjoying their glancing flight, though my love is dead,
I still am not homeless here, I’ve a tent by day
Of darkness where she sleeps on her perfect bed.

And I know the host, the minute sparkling of darkness
Which vibrates untouched and virile through the grandeur of night,
But which, when dawn crows challenge, assaulting the vivid motes
Of living darkness, bursts fretfully, and is bright:

Runs like a fretted arc-lamp into light,
Stirred by conflict to shining, which else
Were dark and whole with the night.

Runs to a fret of speed like a racing wheel,
Which else were aslumber along with the whole
Of the dark, swinging rhythmic instead of a-reel.

Is chafed to anger, bursts into rage like thunder;
Which else were a silent grasp that held the heavens
Arrested, beating thick with wonder.

Leaps like a fountain of blue sparks leaping
In a jet from out of obscurity,
Which erst was darkness sleeping.

Runs into streams of bright blue drops,
Water and stones and stars, and myriads
Of twin-blue eyes, and crops

Of floury grain, and all the hosts of day,
All lovely hosts of ripples caused by fretting
The Darkness into play.

 

– DH Lawrence

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