At Dawn and Dusk

A Sunset Fantasy

Victor James Daley

SPELLBOUND by a sweet fantasy
    At evenglow I stand
Beside an opaline strange sea
    That rings a sunset land.

The rich lights fade out one by one,
    And, like a peony
Drowning in wine, the crimson sun
    Sinks down in that strange sea.

His wake across the ocean-floor
    In a long glory lies,
Like a gold wave-way to the shore
    Of some sea paradise.

My dream flies after him, and I
    Am in another land;
The sun sets in another sky,
    And we sit hand in hand.

Gray eyes look into mine; such eyes
    I think the angel’s are—
Soft as the soft light in the skies
    When shines the morning star,

And tremulous as morn, when thin
    Gold lights begin to glow,
Revealing the bright soul within
    As dawn the sun below.

So, hand in hand, we watch the sun
    Burn down the Western deeps,
Dreaming a charmed dream, as one
    Who in enchantment sleeps;

A dream of how we twain some day,
    Careless of map or chart,
Will both take ship and sail away
    Into the sunset’s heart.

Our ship shall be of sandal built,
    Like ships in old-world tales,
Carven with cunning art, and gilt,
    And winged with scented sails

Of silver silk, whereon the red
    Great gladioli burn,
A rainbow-flag at her masthead,
    A rose-flag at her stern;

And, perching on the point above
    Wherefrom the pennon blows,
The figure of a flying dove,
    And in her beak a rose.

And from the fading land the breeze
    Shall bring us, blowing low,
Old odours and old memories,
    And airs of long ago—

A melody that has no words
    Of mortal speech a part,
Yet touching all the deepest chords
    That tremble in the heart:

A scented song blown oversea,
    As though from bowers of bloom
A wind-harp in a lilac-tree
    Breathed music and perfume.

And we, no more with longings pale,
    Will smile to hear it blow;
I in the shadow of the sail,
    You in the sunset-glow.

For, with the fading land, our fond
    Old fears shall all fade out,
Paled by the light from shores beyond
    The dread of Death or Doubt.

And from a gloomy cloud above
    When Death his shadow flings,
The Spirit of Immortal Love
    Will shield us with his wings.

He is the lord of dreams divine,
    And lures us with his smiles
Along the splendour opaline
    Unto the Blessed Isles.

At Dawn and Dusk - Contents

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