Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  In the Twilight

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

George Cotterell b. 1839

In the Twilight

FAR off? Not far away

Lies that fair land;

Shut from the curious gaze by day,

Hidden, but close at hand:

Let us seek it who may.

Lie by me and hold me, sweet,

Clasp arms and sink;

There needs no weariness of the feet,

Neither to toil nor think;

Almost the pulse may cease to beat.

Eyes made dim, and breathing low,

Hand locked in hand,

Goodly the visions that come and go,

Glimpses of that land

Fairer than the eyes can know.

Is it not a land like ours?

Nay, much more fair;

Sweeter flowers than earthly flowers

Shed their fragance there,

Fade not with the passing hours.

Soft are all the airs that blow,

Breathing of love;

Dreamily soft the vales below,

The skies above,

And all the murmuring streams that flow.

There are daughters of beauty, the host

Of nymphs of old time;

All the loves of the poets who boast

Of their loves in their rhyme,—

Loves won, and the sadder loves lost:

Fair, passionless creatures of thought,

Most fair, most calm;

The joy of whose beauty has brought

To the soul its own balm;

Not desire that cometh to naught.

The dreams that were dreamed long ago

Lie treasured there still;

For the things that the dreamers foreknow

The years shall fulfil,

The fleet years and slow.

Dreams, memories, hopes that were bright,

And hearts that were young;

All the stars and the glories of night,

All the glories of song,—

They are there, in that land of delight.

Wilt thou seek that land then, sweet?

Yea, love, with thee;

Fleet, as thy soul’s wings are fleet,

Shall our passage be:

Soft, on wings of noiseless beat.

Bid my wings with thine expand;

So may we glide

Into the stillness of that land,

Lovingly side by side,

Hopefully hand in hand.