Evening Tranquillity.

How still this hour ! the mellow sun1
Withdraws his western ray,2
And, evening’s haven almost won,3
He leaves the seas of day :4
Soft is the twilight reign, and calm,5
As o’er autumnal fields of balm6
The languid zephyrs stray ;7
Across the lawn the heifers roam,8
The wearied reaper seeks his home.9
The laden earth is rich with flowers,10
All bathed in crimson light ;11
While hums the bee mid garden bowers12
With clustering roses bright :13
The woods outshoot their shadows dim ;14
O’er the smooth lake the swallows skim15
In wild erratic flight ;16
Moor’d by the marge, the shallop sleeps,17
Above its deck the willow weeps.18
’Tis sweet, in such an hour as this,19
To bend the pensive way,20
Scan nature, and partake-the bliss21
Which charms like hers convey :22
No city’s bustling noise is near ;23
And but the little birds you hear,24
That chant so blithe and gay ;25
And ask ye whence their mirth began ?26
Perchance since free, and far from man.27
Their little lives are void of care ;28
From bush to brake they fly,29
Filling the rich ambrosial air30
Of August’s painted sky :31
They flit about the fragrant wood ;32
Elisha’s God provides them food,33
And hears them when they cry ;34
For ever blithe and blest are they,35
Their sinless course a summer’s day.36
Yon bending clouds all purpling streak37
The mantle of the west ;38
And tremulously the sunbeams break39
On Pentland’s mountain crest :40
Hill, valley, ocean, sky, and stream,41
All wear one placid look, and seem42
In silent beauty blest ;43
As if created Natures raised44
To heaven their choral souls, and praised.45
Above yon cottage on the plain46
The wreathy smoke ascends ;47
A silent emblem, with the main48
Of sailing clouds it blends ;49
Like a departed spirit gone50
Up from low earth to Glory’s throne51
To mix with sainted friends,52
Where, life’s probation voyage o’er,53
Grief’s sail is fur’d forevermore !54