Time And The Earth

The Sun, as he journeys...



by William Ernest Henley


Time and the Earth -

The old Father and Mother -

Their teeming accomplished,

Their purpose fulfilled,

Close with a smile

For a moment of kindness,

Ere for the winter

They settle to sleep.


Failing yet gracious,

Slow pacing, soon homing,

A patriarch that strolls

Through the tents of his children,

The Sun, as he journeys

His round on the lower

Ascents of the blue,

Washes the roofs

And the hillsides with clarity;

Charms the dark pools

Till they break into pictures;

Scatters magnificent

Alms to the beggar trees;

Touches the mist-folk,

That crowd to his escort,

Into translucencies

Radiant and ravishing:

As with the visible

Spirit of Summer

Gloriously vaporised,

Visioned in gold!


Love, though the fallen leaf

Mark, and the fleeting light

And the loud, loitering

Footfall of darkness

Sign to the heart

Of the passage of destiny,

Here is the ghost

Of a summer that lived for us,

Here is a promise

Of summers to be. 



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