Tenderly, day that I have loved, I close your eyes,
And smooth your quiet brow, and fold your thin dead hands.
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
Mist-garlanded, with all grey weeds of the water crowned.
There you’ll be laid, past fear of sleep or hope of waking;
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 far-gleaming
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 the deep.
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,
Eastward we turn and homeward, alone, remembering. . .
Day that I loved, day that I loved, the Night is here!