May Evening


So late the rustling shower was heard;
Yet now the aëry west is still.
The wet leaves flash, and lightly stirred
Great drops out of the lilac spill.
Peacefully blown, the ashen clouds
Uncurtain height on height of sky.
Here, as I wander, beauty crowds
In freshness keen upon my eye.

Now the shorn turf a glowing green
Takes in the massy cedar shade;
And through the poplar’s trembling screen
Fires of the evening blush and fade.
Each way my marvelling senses feel
Swift odour, light, and luminous hue
Of leaf and flower upon them steal:
The songs of birds pierce my heart through.

The tulip clear, like yellow flame,
Burns upward from the gloomy mould:
As though for passion forth they came,
Red hearts of peonies unfold:
And perfumes tender, sweet, intense
Enter me, delicate as a blade.
The lilac odour wounds my sense,
Of the rich rose I am afraid.

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