A Sketch from Nature.

The air blows pure, for twenty miles,
Over this vast countrié:
Over hill and wood and vale, it goeth,
Over steeple, and stack, and tree:
And there's not a bird on the wind but knoweth
How sweet these meadows be.

The swallows are flying beside the wood,
And the corbies are hoarsely crying;
And the sun at the end of the earth hath stood,
And, thorough the hedge and over the road,
On the grassy slope is lying:
And the sheep are taking their supper-food
While yet the rays are dying.

Sleepy shadows are filling the furrows,
And giant-long shadows the trees are making;
And velvet soft are the woodland tufts,
And misty-gray the low-down crofts;
But the aspens there have gold-green tops,
And the gold-green tops are shaking:
The spires are white in the sun's last light;—
And yet a moment ere he drops
Gazes the sun on the golden slopes.

Two sheep, afar from fold,
Are on the hill-side straying,
With backs all silver, breasts all gold:
The merle is something saying
Something very very sweet:—
'The day—the day—the day is done:'
There answereth a single bleat—
The air is cold, the sky is dimming,
And clouds are long like fishes swimming.

Sydenham Wood, 1849.


Last modified 9/23/95