The Hour of Thought.

The orb of day is sinking,1
The star of eve is winking,2
The silent dews3
Their balm diffuse,4
The summer flowers are drinking ;5
The valley shades grow drearer,6
The atmosphere grows clearer,7
Around all swim,8
Perplex’d and dim,9
Yet the distant hills seem nearer,—10
O’er their tops the eye may mark11
The very leaves, distinct and dark.12
Now eastern skies are lightening,13
Wood, mead, and mount are brightening,14
Sink in the blaze15
The stellar rays,16
The clouds of heaven are whitening ;17
Now the curfew-bell is ringing,18
Now the birds forsake their singing,19
The beetle fly20
Hums dully by,21
And the bat his flight is winging ;22
While the glowing, glorious moon,23
Gives tonight the smile of noon.24
Oh ! then in churchyards hoary,25
With many a mournful story,26
'Tis sweet to stray,27
Mid tombstones gray,28
And muse on earthly glory !29
Thoughts—deeds—and days departed,30
Up from the past are started,31
Time’s noon and-night,32
Its bloom and blight,33
Hopes crown’d with bliss, or thwarted ;34
Halcyon peace or demon strife,35
Sweetening or disturbing life.36
Then wake the dreams of childhood,37
Its turbulent or mild mood38
The gather’d shells,—39
The fox-glove bells,40
The bird-nest in the wild wood ; 41
The corn fields greenly springing ;42
The twilight blackbird singing43
Sweetly, unseen,44
From chestnut green,45
Till all the-air is ringing ;46
Restless, swallows twittering by,47
And the gorgeous sunset sky.48
Then while the moon is glancing,49
Through murmuring foliage dancing,50
Wild fancy strays51
Amid the maze52
Of olden times entrancing ;—53
She scans each strange tradition54
Of dim-eyed Superstition,—55
The monk in hood,56
With book and rood,57
And Nun in cell’d contrition ;58
Horsemen winding through the dale,59
Morions dark, and shining mail.60
Ah ! where are they that knew us,61
That then spake kindly to us ?62
Why thus should they63
In eyil day64
So frigidly eschew us ?65
We call them—they appear not ;66
They listen not, they hear not ;67
Their course is run ;68
Their day is done ;69
They hope not, and they fear not :70
Past for them are heat and cold,71
Death hath penn’d them in his fold !72
Above their bones unknowing,73
Wild flowers and weeds are growing,74
By moon or sun75
Is nothing done76
To them a thought bestowing :77
In dark repose they wither,78
Like weeds blown hither—thither79
Alone, alone,80
The Last Trump’s tone81
Shall call them up together82
Thou shalt hear it, Silence drear !83
Grave oblivious, thou shalt hear !84