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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.


Rokeby at Sunset

By Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832)

(From Rokeby)

THE SULTRY summer day is done,

The western hills have hid the sun,

But mountain peak and village spire

Retain reflection of his fire.

Old Barnard’s towers are purple still

To those that gaze from Toller Hill;

Distant and high, the tower of Bowes

Like steel upon the anvil glows;

And Stanmore’s ridge, behind that lay,

Rich with the spoils of parting day,

In crimson and in gold arrayed,

Streaks yet a while the closing shade,

Then slow resigns to darkening heaven

The tints which brighter hours had given.

Thus aged men, full loath and slow,

The vanities of life forego,

And count their youthful follies o’er,

Till memory lends her light no more.

The eve, that slow on upland fades,

Has darker closed on Rokeby’s glades,

Where, sunk within their banks profound,

Her guardian streams to meeting wound.

The stately oaks, whose sombre frown

Of noontide make a twilight brown,

Impervious now to fainter light,

Of twilight make an early night.

Hoarse into middle air arose

The vespers of the roosting crows,

And with congenial murmurs seem

To wake the genii of the stream;

For louder clamored Greta’s tide,

And Tees in deeper voice replied,

And fitful waked the evening wind,

Fitful in sighs its breath resigned.