Evening on the Marshes
We have roamed the marshes, keen with expectation,
Lain at eve in ambush, where the ducks are wont to fly;
Felt the feverish fervor, the thrilling, full pulsation
As the flocks came whirring from the rosy western sky.
All day long the sun with heat, and breeze with coolness,
Smote or kissed the grassed, and it seemed another lake
Flooded o'er the land and up the hills in fulness,–
Shadows for the billows, sunshine for the waves that break.
Now beneath the pine, whose branches voice the breezes,
Past the toil of day, we lie like gods in utter peace;
This is life's full nectar, this from care releases,–
Oh, to rest forever here where toil and tumult cease!
Slowly down the west the weary day is dying;
Slowly up the east ascends the mellow, mystic moon;
Swiftly stoop the hawks; the hooting owls are flying;
Through the darksome splendour breaks the lonesome cry of loon.
Ghost-like move the sails along the lake's dim distance;
Faintly wafts the sailors' weirdsome song the waters o'er;
Faint the wavelets' music, as with low insistence,
Break they sofly singing on the drowsy sandy shore.
Wooing us in whispers, water, earth, and heaven,–
Mystic whispers, wafted o'er the darksome waving deep,–
Win us to themselves, our old creative leaven,
And we, mingling with them, softly sink to dreamless sleep.
from Lays of Love and Miscellaneous Poems, 1884
[Poem is in the public domain]
Barry Straton biography