Robert Crawford

The light is drawn out of the leaves and grass,
And the sweet flowers grow pale in the gray air,
As if their beauty's essence e'en did pass
With the departing light from all things fair,
As the sap in the trees when summer's fled
Draws back to the earth, leaving the leaves dead.
The sky becomes a cloud, the hills a shade,
As the mysterious darkness fills the sphere,
A monstrous elf whose tentacles are laid
In silence upon all things far and near;
Now the bats flit about the mothy damp
In which the spiders weave their airy camp.
I, too, could fill as 'twere a dreamy bed
Under the green leaves in the darkness now,
And watch the evening planet overhead
Like a dewdrop upon the airy bough
Of heaven tremble - till my soul too grew
Like liquid light in water, shining through.
And I can feel that which the dead inherit -
Peace, and the power to forego the pain
That like a vulture on the human spirit
Draws its fine essence from the fading brain,
Till every sense contracts, and the slow breath
Oozes away in the desire of death.
So from me slips the day's disquietude,
And I am made one with the night, as those
Who pass from thought into a faery mood
On Lethe's wharf, whenas old Charon goes
Into the dusk of that eternal eve
Where all must go when the earth-light they leave.

Last updated January 14, 2019