Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, EVENING, by ROBERT SOUTHEY



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First Line: Thus having said, the pious sufferer sate
Last Line: Falling on vernal herbs which thirst for rain.
Subject(s): Evening; Sunset; Twilight


THUS having said, the pious sufferer sate,
Beholding with fix'd eyes that lovely orb,
Till quiet tears confused in dizzy light
The broken moonbeams. They too by the toil
Of spirit, as by travail of the day
Subdued, were silent, yielding to the hour.
The silver cloud diffusing slowly past,
And now into its airy elements
Resolved is gone; while through the azure depth
Alone in heaven the glorious moon pursues
Her course appointed, with indifferent beams
Shining upon the silent hills around,
And the dark tents of that unholy host,
Who, all unconscious of impending fate,
Take their last slumber there. The camp is still;
The fires have moulder'd, and the breeze which stirs
The soft and snowy embers, just lays bare
At times a red and evanescent light,
Or for a moment wakes a feeble flame.
They by the fountain hear the stream below,
Whose murmurs, as the wind arose or fell,
Fuller or fainter reach the ear attuned.
And now the nightingale, not distant far,
Began her solitary song; and pour'd
To the cold moon a richer, stronger strain
Than that with which the lyric lark salutes
The new-born day. Her deep and thrilling song
Seem'd with its piercing melody to reach
The soul, and in mysterious unison
Blend with all thoughts of gentleness and love.
Their hearts were open to the healing power
Of nature; and the splendour of the night,
The flow of waters, and that sweetest lay,
Came to them like a copious evening dew
Falling on vernal herbs which thirst for rain.





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