Ann Radcliffe

Evening

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Evening veil'd in dewy shades,
Slowly sinks upon the main;
See th' empurpled glory fades,
Beneath her sober, chasten'd reign.

Around her car the pensive Hours,
In sweet illapses meet the sight,
Crown'd their brows with closing flow'rs,
Rich with chystal dews of night.

Her hands, the dusky hues arrange
O'er the fine tints of parting day;
Insensibly the colours change,
And languish into soft decay.

Wide o'er the waves her shadowy veil she draws,
As faint they die along the distant shores;
Through the still air I mark each solemn pause,
Each rising murmur which the wild wave pours.

A browner shadow spreads upon the air,
And o'er the scene a pensive grandeur throws;
The rocks--the woods a wilder beauty wear,
And the deep wave in softer music flows.

And now the distant view where vision fails
Twilight and grey obscurity pervade;
Tint following tint each dark'ning object veils,
Till all the landscape sinks into the shade.

Oft from the airy steep of some lone hill,
While sleeps the scene beneath the purple glow;
And evening lives o'er all serene and still,
Wrapt let me view the magic world below!

And catch the dying gale that swells remote,
That steals the sweetness from the shepherd's flute;
The distant torrent's melancholy note
And the soft warblings of the lover's lute.

Still through the deep'ning gloom of bow'ry shades
To Fancy's eye fantastic forms appear;
Low whisp'ring echoes steal along the glades
And thrill the ear with wildly-pleasing fear.

Parent of shades!--of silence!--dewy airs!
Of solemn musing, and of vision wild!
To thee my soul her pensive tribute bears,
And hails thy gradual step, thy influence mild."

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Ann Radcliffe