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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Sonnets. VII. Evening Picture

James Drummond Burns (1823–1864)

OVER the hill-edge ripples the warm light,—

One level ray along the sprouting vines

Gleams like a seraph’s spear. The dusky lines

Of the far woods grow shapeless on the height,

Where the slow mists fold up their fleeces white,

Now flecked with purple. O’er that cloud of pines

The sky to clearest spirit of air refines,

And a star settles trembling on the sight.

Cool winds are rustling downwards to the seas,

To worn, homefaring men benignly given.

From the soft glooms of church-encircling trees,

Fast darkening in the shadows of the even,

The small bells sprinkle pensive cadences,

And Earth is peacefully atoned with Heaven!