Evening in August
Roll on, fair Ganges!—What a noble stream!
And on its bosom the last, lingering beam
Of the red, setting sun serenely lies,
Smiling, like Hope's last ray—and then it dies!
And O! the clouds—what colours they display,
Sport for a while, then melt in air away!
Like thoughts in dreams, which o'er the passive mind
All fitful flit, and leave no trace behind.
The sun sets on a bank, whose yellow sand
All brightly glows; as if an angel's hand
Had scattered gold there, heedless of the worth
That gold hath gained among the sons of earth.
There is a fisher's boat beside that shore;
'Tis sleeping on the wave—the weary oar
Is laid at rest; and he who plied is gone
With his small 'scaly spoil', to meet the one
Whom 'tis his joy to meet. O Love! thou art
The master of the poorest humblest heart.
A light breeze hath disturbed the water's breast,
Like a remembrance waking thoughts at rest;
It seems as if in fleeting thus away,
It had extinguished the sun's parting ray.
What holy silence gathers now around!
All, all is still, save the small silver sound
Which issues from the wave that wanders by,
Soft as an angel's harp, or maiden's sigh:
O! I could listen to it till my soul
In boundless floods of ecstacy might roll.
Night's shadows are descending; twilight dies;
The bird unto its leafy covert flies;
The crescent moon is rising pale; the dew
Falls like a blessing; and there are a few
Small, bright, and sparkling stars in yonder heaven—
Islands of bliss, abodes for the forgiven!
It is an hour of watchfulness and thought;
It is the chosen season when are wrought
The fairest pictures ever Fancy drew;
'Tis Love's delicious hour, when Love is new,
When soft words poured into a maiden's ear
Melt in her soul, and she delights to hear
The oft repeated vows of truth and faith
To be preserved inviolate till death!
Now spirits are abroad, and on the green
Dance the light fairies round their playful queen:
They dance, but leave no footprints on the grass,
And when 'tis morn, like thoughts, away they pass;
And then each hies her to her elfin bower,
A shrub's green leaf, or petal of a flower.--
I'm loath to leave this spot. --