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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Germany: Vols. XVII–XVIII. 1876–79.


Starlight in the Odenwald

By Bayard Taylor (1825–1878)

UPON the mountain’s rugged crest

There lingers still a glow,

But twilight’s gathering gloom has drest

The valleys far below;

No wild wind sways the mountain pine,

No breeze bends down the flower,

And dim and faint the star-beams shine

Upon the vesper hour.

Here, in the fading sunset light,

I breathe the upper air,

And hear the low, sad voice of Night,

Inviting Earth to prayer!

Still deeper through the wide profound

The solemn shadows fall,

And rest upon the hills around

Like Nature’s funeral pall.

Now comes to break the breathless spell,

In blended evening-hymn,

The chime of many a distant bell

From valleys deep and dim;

And as they fall, the warder-star

That guards the twilight pale,

Looks o’er the eastern hills afar

And dons his silver mail.

The shadows deepen, as I stand—

The rosy glow is gone,

And westward, towards my native land,

The sunset marches on!

Ye stars, with whose familiar glance

My thoughts are mingling free,

Shine, glimmering o’er the wide expanse,

And bear them home for me!

Still all is breathless, as in prayer,

But to my spirit-ear

Kind voices float upon the air,

Fond eyes are beaming near.

The love, whose pinions never rest,

Soars, constant, o’er the sea,

And by the thrill within my breast

I know they speak of me!

The gentle spirit of the hour

Melts in the dew of tears,

And yielding to its spell of power

I muse on vanished years,

Till through the gloom no more is heard

The solemn evening-chime,

And mourn the pine-boughs, faintly stirred,

The hurrying march of Time.