Drawn through the evening by strange haunting sadness
Glides a song glorious, richer than Love,
Lilting and blending in bubbling concertos,
Rising and falling, then drifting above,
Sung by a drab little minstrel of Evening,
Hidden away in the valleys of Night,
Small is his shadow, and sombre his plumage,
Soft are his feathers, and silent his flight.
Yet when his rich warbling notes ripple sweetly
Far through each woodland and dark country lane,
All stop to listen in breathtaking wonder,
‘Ere this fair music grows fainter again.
Dulcet and sweet is the Song of the Evening,
Drawn from the caves of the lost and unknown,
Borne on the wingbeats of swift, chilling breezes,
Past shapeless phantoms and up to the throne
Where – ‘midst the Shadows of Life and Death hanging
Deep in suspensions of Time and of Space –
Night sits, serene in her mystical beauty,
Sable her image, and hidden her face.
Yet if her visage were shown for an instant,
Lit by the starlight, unveiled for a while,
We may perhaps see her wonderful beauty,
And glimpse in silence a solitary smile,
As she hears softly the Song of the Evening,
Borne from the depths of a cool country vale,
Telling of Beauty, of Love in the Highest,
Captured in song by the sweet nightingale.