The sun is sinking where the western hills
The vision bounds with rugged summits old,
And with his latest beam he brightly gilds
And crowns with amethyst and gold.
The distant music of a tinkling bell
Is floating o'er the meadow's gentle sweep--
No discords mar the magic of the spell,
And stealthily the twilight shadows creep.
And gently falls upon the listening ear--
Like tones from voices of the long-ago--
The cadence of the murmuring waters near--
With rhythmic ripplings soft and low.
Now grow apace the shadows' slanting shapes
And fade the rugged hills to misty gray,
As dying day its calm departure takes
And yields to coming night her sable sway.
The vaulted dome above now glows afar
With many a soft and tender light,
Each sparkling gem it wears a jeweled star,
With sweet effulgence purely bright.
Sweet scene! Sweet hour! If to the heart
No quick'ning pulses they can lend,
And to the soul no rapture thus impart--
Vain were our lives--and vainer still the end!
O, such the time when he who will may feel
Release from care, vexation, toil, and strife--
And musing then will gently o'er him steal
The sweetest moments of the turmoil--life!