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Poem by Richard Monckton Milnes

The Death of Day

Full of hours, the Day is falling
Where its brethren lie,--
A stern and royal voice is calling
The beautiful to die.

The banners of the west
A splendid breadth unfold,--
Their glory be unblest!
There is blood upon the gold.

Great Time, how canst thou slay,
With such a fune'ral state,
The gay and gentle Day,
Whom none could fear or hate?

Oh! mark him on his bed,
How flusht his quiet cheek,
How lowly droops his head,
And eyes that more than speak.

Let not the giddy breeze
Make sport of his last moans;
Weave them, ye aged trees,
Into Æolian tones.

The hills, in clear outline,
Against the blanching sky,
Stand forth, nor seem to pine
For' the joy that' is passing by

But solemnly and boldly
They bid a sad farewell,
Nor feel the pain more coldly
They are too proud to tell.

All leaves and blossoms pray
One deep and constant prayer:
``Take him not all away,
That made us seem so fair;

``Say not, that, in its turn,
'Tis pleasant to behold
The lamp of darkness burn
Light--amber or red--gold;

``Praise not the coming night,
Its damp and sallow ray,
We would not call it bright,
Tho' it came not after Day.

``We' have wept when Day was sighing,--
His gloom has made us mourn,--
And now our love is dying,
What care we for the born?'' 

Richard Monckton Milnes

Richard Monckton Milnes's other poems:
  1. London Churches
  2. The Subterranean River, At Cong
  3. Switzerland and Italy
  4. To the Moon of the South
  5. Valentia

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