George Byron (1788 – 1824)
Sweet hour of twilight
… Sweet hour of twilight! in the solitude
Of the pine forest, and the silent shore
Which bounds Ravenna’s immemorial wood,
Rooted where once the Adrian wave flow’d o’er
To where the last Caesarean fortress stood,
Evergreen forest; which Boccaccio’s lore
and Dryden’s lay made haunted ground to me,
How have I loved the twilight hour and thee!
The shrill cicals, people of the pine,
Making their summer lives one ceaseless song,
Were the sole echoes, save my steed’s and mine,
And vesper bells that rose the boughs along:
The spectre huntsman of Onesti’s line,
His hell-dogs and their chase, and the fair throng,
Which learned from this example not to fly
From a true lover – shadow’d my mind’s eye.
O Hesperus! thou bringest all good things-
Home to the weary, to angry cheer,
To the young bird the parents brooding wings,
The welcome stall to the o’erlabour’d steer
Whate’er of peace about the hearthstone clings,
What’er out household gods protect of dear,
Are gather’d round us by the look of rest;
Thou bring’st the child, too, to the mother’s breast.
Soft hour! which wakes the wish and melts the heart
Of those who sail the seas, on the first day
When they from their sweet friends are torn apart;
Or fills with love the pilgrim on his way,
As the far bell of vesper makes him start,
Seeming to weep the dying day’s decay;
Is this a fancy which our reason scorns?
Ah! surely nothing dies but something mourns.