A Summer Evening Churchyard, Lechlade, Gloucestershire
Percy Bysshe Shelley
THE wind has swept from the wide atmosphere
Each vapour that obscured the sunset’s ray,
And pallid Evening twines its beaming hair
In duskier braids
around the languid eyes of Day:
Silence and Twilight, unbeloved of
Creep hand in hand from yon obscurest glen.
They breathe their
spells towards the departing day,
Encompassing the earth, air, stars, and
Light, sound, and motion, own the potent sway,
Responding to the
charm with its own mystery.
The winds are still, or the dry church-tower
Knows not their gentle motions as they pass.
Thou too, aerial
pile, whose pinnacles
Point from one shrine like pyramids of fire,
I in silence their sweet solemn spells,
Clothing in hues of heaven thy dim and distant spire,
Around whose lessening and invisible height
among the stars the clouds of night.
The dead are sleeping in their
And, mouldering as they sleep, a thrilling sound,
half thought, among the darkness stirs,
Breathed from their wormy beds all
living things around,
And, mingling with the still night and mute sky,
awful hush is felt inaudibly.
Thus solemnized and softened, death is
And terrorless as this serenest night.
Here could I hope, like some
Sporting on graves, that death did hide from human
Sweet secrets, or beside its breathless sleep
That loveliest dreams
perpetual watch did keep.