Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  Eventide

Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Thomas Burbidge b. 1816


COMES something down with eventide

Beside the sunset’s golden bars,

Beside the floating scents, beside

The twinkling shadows of the stars.

Upon the river’s rippling face,

Flash after flash the white

Broke up in many a shallow place;

The rest was soft and bright.

By chance my eye fell on the stream;

How many a marvellous power,

Sleeps in us,—sleeps, and doth not dream!

This knew I in that hour.

For then my heart, so full of strife,

No more was in me stirr’d;

My life was in the river’s life,

And I nor saw nor heard.

I and the river, we were one:

The shade beneath the bank,

I felt it cool; the setting sun

Into my spirit sank.

A rushing thing in power serene

I was; the mystery

I felt of having ever been

And being still to be.

Was it a moment or an hour?

I knew not; but I mourn’d

When from that realm of awful power

I to these fields return’d.