Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1007. Evening Songs
 
By John Vance Cheney
 
 
I

THE BIRDS have hid, the winds are low,
The brake is awake, the grass aglow:
The bat is the rover,
No bee on the clover,
The day is over,        5
And evening come.
 
The heavy beetle spreads her wings,
The toad has the road, the cricket sings:
The bat is the rover,
No bee on the clover,        10
The day is over,
And evening come.
 
II

It is that pale, delaying hour
When nature closes like a flower,
And on the spirit lies        15
The silence of the earth and skies.
 
The world has thoughts she will not own
When shade and dream with night have flown;
Bright overhead, a star
Makes golden guesses what they are.        20
 
III

Now is Light, sweet mother, down the west,
With little Song against her breast;
She took him up, all tired with play,
And fondly bore him far away.
 
While he sleeps, one wanders in his stead,        25
A fainter glory round her head;
She follows happy waters after,
Leaving behind low, rippling laughter.
 
IV

Behind the hilltop drops the sun,
The curled heat falters on the sand,        30
While evening’s ushers, one by one,
Lead in the guests of Twilight Land.
 
The bird is silent overhead,
Below the beast has laid him down;
Afar, the marbles watch the dead,        35
The lonely steeple guards the town.
 
The south wind feels its amorous course
To cloistered sweet in thickets found;
The leaves obey its tender force,
And stir ’twixt silence and a sound.        40
 

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