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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889


By Charles Lotin Hildreth (1856–1896)

[From The Masque of Death, and Other Poems. 1889.]

I FEEL the cool breath of the coming night,

Sweet with the scent of meadows and new hay,

And subtly as a failing of the sight

The dusk invisibly dissolves the day.

Still in the west an arc of primrose light

Crowns like an aureole the mountain’s brow,

Flecked with thin sprays of palest red and gold,

And through its lambent heart is piercing now

The point of one large star, keen, still, and cold.

The east lies in the arms of night; the eye

No longer marks the lines of hedge and lane,

The russet stacks and squares of husbandry,

The shaven stubble and the furrowed plain;

But over all a clear obscurity—

A pearly gloom lit from the lucid skies—

Hangs like a tenuous veil, through which is seen

A world transformed to unfamiliar guise

Of darkling loveliness, cool, dim, serene.