THIS day is mine; and I have wandered far,
Bent on beholding what it is I own.
Each slow unfolding hour has priceless grown,
And I am covetous of every star.
The smell of hay and daisies is entwined
Upon the heavy summer-scented air,
And ’mid the mellow silence, lingering there,
Replete young Noonday, drowsing, lies enshrined.
Here will I rest where faintly comes the sound
Of fir trees murmurous, and crooning breeze,
Where in a breath the fragrance of the trees
Is born and dies amid a peace profound.
And now where slumbrous Noonday lay at ease,
Pale evening trails her gown of gauzy gray,
Lighting the dim brief moments of her stay,
With one clear candle, low among the trees.
With gentle hands she cools the earth and fills
The air with her own tranquil breathing sweet,
Till straying westward with reluctant feet
She slips away beyond the distant hills.
As spreads the peacock wide its gaudy train,
Night spreads her stars and all her subtle snares.
She knows her power and, knowing it, she dares
Bewitch when all but she would think ’twere vain.
Bedecked with gems her beauty to enhance,
She weaves a slow enchantment o’er the earth,
As with a look, half sorrow and half mirth,
She bids the starry hosts of heaven to dance.
It seems that this cool blue-black world of Night
Shall never change to brilliant Day again —
That Time has reached the last link of the chain,
And frightened Earth must ever wait the Light.
Yet, as I watch, the caravan of stars
Creeps out, slow-moving, on its westward way,
And in the east the legions of the day
March up the sky with flashing scimitars.
I know not whether I shall lift my eyes
Unto the heavens, or bend them to the grass;
I cannot pray, I cannot sing, alas;
And yet before these wonders of the skies
Some spirit in me leaps to bend the knee
In utter gratitude and love and praise
For all the wondrous beauty of the days
That God has given to earth; and given to me.