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ZOPHIEL; OR THE BRIDE OF SEVEN: CANTO 6. BRIDAL OF HELEN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Sweet is the evening twilight; but, alas!
Last Line: Come, and I will gaze on thee!
Alternate Author Name(s): Del Occidente, Maria; Brooks, Maria A.
Subject(s): Evening; Love; Solitude; Soul; Sunset; Twilight; Loneliness

SWEET is the evening twilight; but, alas!
There's sadness in it: day's light tasks are done,
And leisure sighs to think how soon must pass
Those tints that melt o'er heaven, O setting sun,

And look like heaven dissolved. A tender flush
Of blended rose and purple light, o'er all
The luscious landscape spreads like pleasure's blush,
And glows o'er wave, sky, flower, cottage, and palm-tree tall.

'Tis now that solitude has most of pain;
Vague apprehensions of approaching night
Whisper the soul, attuned to bliss, and fain
To find in love equivalent for light.

The bard has sung, God never formed a soul
Without its own peculiar mate, to meet
Its wandering half, when ripe to crown the whole
Bright plan of bliss, most heavenly, most complete!

But thousand evil things there are that hate
To look on happiness; these hurt, impede;
And leagued with time, space, circumstance, and fate,
Keep kindred heart from heart to pine, and pant, and bleed.

And, as the dove to far Palmyra flying
From where her native founts of Antioch beam,
Weary, exhausted, longing, panting, sighing,
Lights sadly at the desert's bitter stream, --

So many a soul o'er life's drear desert faring,
Love's pure congenial spring unfound, -- unquaff'd --
Suffers -- recoils -- then, thirsty and despairing
Of what it would, descends and sips the nearest draught.

'Tis twilight in fair Egla's grove, her eye
Is sad and wistful; while the hues that glint
In soft procession o'er the molten sky,
O'er all her beauty spread a mellower tint.

And formed, in every fibre, for such love
As heaven not yet had given her to share,
Through the deep shadowy vistas of her grove
Sent looks of wistfulness; so Spirit there

Appears as wont; for many a month so long
He had not left her; what could so detain?
She took her lute and turned it for a song,
The while spontaneous words accord them to a strain.

Taught by enamoured Zophiel; softly heaving
The while her heart, thus from its inmost core
Such feelings gush'd, to Lydian numbers weaving,
As never had her lip express'd before.


Day, in melting purple dying;
Blossoms, all around me sighing;
Fragrance, from the lilies straying;
Zephyr, with my ringlets playing;
Ye but waken my distress;
I am sick of loneliness!

Thou, to whom I love to hearken,
Come, ere night around me darken;
Though thy softness but deceive me,
Say thou'rt true, and I'll believe thee;
Veil, if ill, thy soul's intent,
Let me think it innocent!

Save thy toiling, spare thy treasure;
All I ask is friendship's pleasure;
Let the shining ore lie darkling, --
Bring no gem in lustre sparkling;
Gifts and gold are naught to me,
I would only look on thee!

Tell to thee the high-wrought feeling,
Ecstasy but in revealing;
Paint to thee the deep sensation,
Rapture in participation;
Yet but torture, if comprest
In a lone, unfriended breast.

Absent still? Ah! come and bless me!
Let these eyes again caress thee.
Once in caution, I could fly thee;
Now, I nothing could deny thee.
In a look if death there be,
Come, and I will gaze on thee!

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