Below the sunset's range of rose,
Below the heaven's deepening blue,
Down woodways where the balsam blows,
And milkweed tufts hang, gray with dew,
A Jersey heifer stops and lows -
The cows come home by one, by two.
There is no star yet: but the smell
Of hay and pennyroyal mix
With herb aromas of the dell,
Where the root-hidden cricket clicks:
Among the ironweeds a bell
Clangs near the rail-fenced clover-ricks.
She waits upon the slope beside
The windlassed well the plum trees shade,
The well curb that the goose-plums hide;
Her light hand on the bucket laid,
Unbonneted she waits, glad-eyed,
Her gown as simple as her braid.
She sees fawn-colored backs among
The sumacs now; a tossing horn
Its clashing bell of copper rung:
Long shadows lean upon the corn,
And slow the day dies, scarlet stung,
The cloud in it a rosy thorn.
Below the pleasant moon, that tips
The tree tops of the hillside, fly
The flitting bats; the twilight slips,
In firefly spangles, twinkling by,
Through which _he_ comes: Their happy lips
Meet - and one star leaps in the sky.
He takes her bucket, and they speak
Of married hopes while in the grass
The plum drops glowing as her cheek;
The patient cows look back or pass:
And in the west one golden streak
Burns as if God gazed through a glass.