Sunset

A poem by Henry Kendall

It is better, O day, that you go to your rest,
For you go like a guest who was loth to remain!
Swing open, ye gates of the east and the west,
And let out the wild shadows the night and the rain.

Ye winds, ye are dead, with your voices attuned,
That thrilled the green life in the sweet-scented sheaves,
When I touched a warm hand which has faded, and swooned
To a trance of the darkness, and blight on the leaves.

I had studied the lore in her maiden-like ways,
And the large-hearted love of my Annie was won,
’Ere Summer had passed into passionate days,
Or Autumn made ready her fruits for the Sun.

So my life was complete, and the hours that went by,
And the moon and the willow-wooed waters around,
Might have known that we rested, my Annie and I,
In happiness calm as the slumber of sound.

On Sundays we wandered, as glad as a breeze,
By the rocks and the waves on a glittering beach;
Or we loitered in gardens melodious with bees,
And sucked the sweet pulp of the plum and the peach.

“The Forest will show me the secrets of Fame,”
I said to myself in the gum-shadowed glen,
“I will call every blossom and tree by its name,
And the people shall deem me a man of the men.

“I will gather Roses of Sharon, my Soul,
The Roses of Sharon so cool and so sweet;
And our brothers shall see me entwining the whole
For a garland to drop at my dear Annie’s feet.”

It is better, O day, that you go to your rest,
For you go like a guest who was loth to remain!
Swing open, ye gates of the east and the west,
And let out the wild shadows the night and the rain.

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