Ye sunset clouds like flakes of gold,
That float in yonder western sky,
And burning there a splendor hold,
Almost too pure for mortal eye!
What shall I breathe of poets' lay,
What strains to thee, O sunset, bring!
For thoughts uncalled mysterious play,
And move the minstrel's trembling string.
Ye beauteous clouds of crimson hue,
Upward ye roll sublimely grand,
Leaving a track of heavenly blue
So pure, it seems some spirit land.
Angels, methinks, are hovering there,
Encircled in its throne of light,
To bless a world of sin and care,
And leave to man some new delight.
Those golden hues, like smiles from God,
Are cast o'er woodland, hill, and sea,
And waving o'er the ocean wide,
Some blessed promise seem to be.
Yet not that gorgeous scene alone,
Can bind the heart, or spirit fill,
Or teach those laws the Great Unknown
Is moving by His secret will.
Emotions kindle in the soul,
Fancy sports on her wing sublime;
Thoughts, chainless as the orbs that roll,
Sweep over space, and bounds, and time.
With feeble eye, but deathless soul,
Unable though himself to scan,
A part of the mysterious whole,
Is the mysterious being--man!
And all vitality must change--
All life material feels this law;
Plants of the earth, and worms that range,
Through different forms their being draw:
The worm a fly, the bulb a flower,
Each changed, but made more beauteous still;
The worm that crept, to fly has power,
And soars unfettered at its will!
So man to change was subject made,
When his frail form shall feel decay;
And when great Nature's debt is paid,
His spirit freed will soar away:
And like yon scene that meets the view,
Serenely bathed in golden light,
So will the Christian sunset be,
When changing, shining pure and bright.
Now burning on the wavelet's breast,
The crimson light of sunset glows;
But golden hues fade from the west,
And deeper twilight's shadow grows;
Forth, glittering from its zenith high,
Comes Lyra with its master strain,
Bright leader of the starry sky,
And sweetest of the heavenly train.
Gently the evening breezes play
Amongst the summer leaves and flowers;
But Autumn's melancholy lay
Is poured upon the evening hours.
Now all is fading into night,
The splendid scene has left the sky,
And sombre clouds bereft of light
Are all that meet the minstrel's eye.