The clouds that promise a glorious morrow
Are fading slowly, one by one;
The earth no more bright rays may borrow
From her loved Lord, the golden sun;
Gray evening shadows are softly creeping,
With noiseless steps, o'er vale and hill;
The birds and flowers are calmly sleeping;
And all around is fair and still.
Once loved I dearly, at this sweet hour,
With loitering steps to careless stray,
To idly gather an opening flower,
And often pause upon my way, -
Gazing around me with joyous feeling,
From sunny earth to azure sky,
Or bending over the streamlet, stealing
'Mid banks of flowers and verdure by.
You wond'ring ask me why sit I lonely
Within my quiet, curtain'd room,
So idly seeking and clinging only
Unto its chastened, thoughtful gloom.
You tell me that never fragrance rarer
Did breathe from clustering leaf and bough;
That never the bright spring was fairer
Or more enchanting than she is now.
Ah, useless chiding! The loved ones tender,
Who shared my rambles long ago,
Whose cherished accents could only render
Words of affection soft and low,
Are parted from me, perchance for ever,
By miles of distance, of land or main, -
Death some has taken, and them, oh never
Upon this earth shall I meet again.
'Tis thus this hour of gentle even
Brings back in thought the friends long gone, -
Loved ones with whom this earth was Heaven
But who have vanished, one by one. -
'Tis thus I cherish with wilful sadness
The quiet of my lonely room, -
Careless, unmindful of all earth's gladness,
Or of her lovely evening bloom.