ITHE EVENING comes, the field is still.
The tinkle of the thirsty rill,
Unheard all day, ascends again;
Deserted is the new-reap’d grain,
Silent the sheaves! the ringing wain,
The reaper’s cry, the dogs’ alarms,
All housed within the sleeping farms!
The business of the day is done,
The last belated gleaner gone.
And from the thyme upon the height,
And from the elder-blossom white
And pale dog-roses in the hedge,
And from the mint-plant in the sedge,
In puffs of balm the night-air blows
The perfume which the day forgoes.
And on the pure horizon far,
See, pulsing with the first-born star,
The liquid sky above the hill!
The evening comes, the field is still.
Loitering and leaping,
Shepherd, what ails thee, then?
IIThe epoch ends, the world is still.
The age has talk’d and work’d its fill—
The famous orators have done,
The famous poets sung and gone,
The famous men of war have fought,
The famous speculators thought,
The famous players, sculptors, wrought,
The famous painters fill’d their wall,
The famous critics judged it all.
The combatants are parted now,
Uphung the spear, unbent the bow,
The puissant crown’d, the weak laid low!
And in the after-silence sweet,
Now strife is hush’d, our oars doth meet,
Ascending pure, the bell-like fame
Of this or that down-trodden name,
Delicate spirits, push’d away
In the hot press of the noon-day.
And o’er the plain, where the dead age
Did its now silent warfare wage—
O’er that wide plain, now wrapt in gloom,
Where many a splendour finds its tomb,
Many spent fames and fallen mights—
The one or two immortal lights
Rise slowly up into the sky
To shine there everlastingly,
Like stars over the bounding hill.
The epoch ends, the world is still.
Thundering and bursting
Poet, what ails thee, then?
The world but feels the present’s spell,