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INTO the autumn evening's sadness grave
The panting town exhales its smoke and smut.
Brother of ease, the river laves the foot
Of ancient towns with legendary wave.


The toilers, that their city labour leave,
Make ring beneath their heels the bridge's stones,
Whose soul, with centuries out-wearied, moans
In the indescribable lassitude of eve.


An unseen hand has blessed the cloud ramparts;
With less of coarseness eye-lids are down-weighted;
And, like a captive long incarcerated,
The soul an instant in its prison starts.


And in soiled faces great eyes fever-wide,
And with a plaintive effort poor burnt eyes
Drink thirstily out of the pensive skies,
And lips are now by silence sanctified.


IN heliotrope, with thoughts her fingers hold,
Revery in loosened girdle passes pale,
And brushes spirits with her vaporous trail,
To the rhythm of a music known of old.


The West spills roses on the river wave,
And the wan emotion of the evening dying
Calls up an evening park where dreameth lying
My youth already as a widow grave....


I see them all, the Beauties of the Past,
Robed as my credulous heart dreamed long ago,
Nymphs of the twilight hour they turn round slow,
Upon a distant landscape fading fast.


Caressing, light, as they have ever been,
I see them with the day's flight blend their hair,
And, flitting past me one by one, lay bare
My heart upon an ancient mandoline.


I listen ... and upon the river's brown,
Below each bridge that frowns like castle-steep,
Sail slow dream-barks, in which dead ladies sleep
By night on ancient perfumes through the town....