June 19, 2011
—George Denison Prentice.
HOW calmly sinks the parting sun!
Yet twilight lingers still;
And beautiful as dream of heaven
It slumbers on the hill;
Earth sleeps, with all her glorious things,
Beneath the Holy Spirit’s wings,
And, rendering back the hues above,
Seems resting in a trance of love.
Round yonder rocks the forest trees
In shadowy groups recline,
Like saints at evening bow’d in prayer
Around their holy shrine;
And through their leaves the night-winds blow,
So calm and still, their music low
Seems the mysterious voice of prayer,
Soft echo’d on the evening air.
And yonder western throng of clouds,
Retiring from the sky,
So calmly move, so softly glow,
They seem to Fancy’s eye
Bright creatures of a better sphere,
Come down at noon to worship here,
And, from their sacrifice of love,
Returning to their home above.
The blue isles of the golden sea,
The night-arch floating high,
The flowers that gaze upon the heavens,
The bright streams leaping by,
Are living with religion—deep
On earth and sea its glories sleep,
And mingle with the starlight rays,
Like the soft light of parted days.
The spirit of the holy eve
Comes through the silent air
To Feeling’s hidden spring, and wakes
A gush of music there!
And the far depths of ether beam
So passing fair, we almost dream
That we can rise and wander through
Their open paths of trackless blue.
Each soul is fill’d with glorious dreams,
Each pulse is beating wild;
And thought is soaring to the shrine
Of glory undefiled!
And holy aspirations start,
Like blessed angels, from the heart,
And bind—for earth’s dark ties are riven—
Our spirits to the gates of heaven.