Day That I Have Loved
Tenderly, day that I have loved, I close your eyes,
And smooth your quiet brow, and fold your thin dead
The grey veils of the half-light deepen; colour dies.
I bear you, a light burden, to the shrouded sands,
Where lies your waiting boat, by wreaths of the sea's making
garlanded, with all grey weeds of the water crowned.
There you'll be laid, past fear of sleep or hope
And over the unmoving sea, without a sound,
Faint hands will row you outward, out beyond our sight,
Us with stretched arms and empty eyes on the
And marble sand. . . .
Beyond the shifting cold twilight,
Further than laughter goes, or tears,
further than dreaming,
There'll be no port, no dawn-lit islands! But the drear
Waste darkening, and, at length, flame ultimate on
Oh, the last fire -- and you, unkissed, unfriended there!
Oh, the lone way's red ending, and we
not there to weep!
(We found you pale and quiet, and strangely crowned with flowers,
Lovely and secret as a child. You
came with us,
Came happily, hand in hand with the young dancing hours,
High on the downs at dawn!)
Void now and tenebrous,
The grey sands curve before me. . . .
From the inland meadows,
Fragrant of June and clover, floats the
dark, and fills
The hollow sea's dead face with little creeping shadows,
And the white silence brims the
hollow of the hills.
Close in the nest is folded every weary wing,
Hushed all the joyful voices; and we, who held you dear,
we turn and homeward, alone, remembering . . .
Day that I loved, day that I loved, the Night is here!