Beyond yon dim old mountain's shadowy height,
The restless sun droops low his grand old face;
While downward sweeps the trembling veil of night,
To hide the earth; the frost king's filmy lace
Rests on the mountain's hoary snow-crowned head,
And adds to it a softened grace; the light
Which dies afar in faint and fading red
In purple shadows circles near.
Of birds across the vast and silent plains
Awakes the echoes of the sleeping earth;
Of all the summer beauty naught remains,
There come no tidings of the spring's glad birth.
Beyond the valley and far-off height
The birds in wandering do take their way;
Ah, whither is their strange and trackless flight
Amid the dying embers of the day;
Into the clouds that seek to veil the sun
They seem to float on strange bright wings of fire;
Beyond the shades that tell us day is done
They soar on spirit wings that never tire.
Ah, strange, strange mysteries indeed are these;
To watch the sunlight fade and die away,
To hear the whispering of the dark pine trees,
To see the deepening shadows 'round us play,
And then to feel that all that 'round us lies
Is e'en beyond the knowledge of the soul.
We seek to grasp the truth, it quickly flies
And leaves us full of doubt.
Around us roll
The spheres that light the way to heaven's shore,
And soon their lights will brighten all the sky;
And yet we dare not read their mystic lore
But only stand and wait and wonder why,
Beyond, beyond in deep mysterious space
They wander through the darkness all the night,
Each one within its own allotted place.
The stars' dim course, the birds' lone dreamy flight,
Will ever fill our souls with doubt and fear.
We walk upon life's unknown shadowy shore
With wandering steps, while through the heavens clear
The stars their music sing forevermore.