The ferries ply like shuttles in a loom,
And many barques come in across the bay
To lights and bells that signal through the gloom
Of twilight gray;
And like the brown soft flutter of the snow
The wide-winged sea-birds droop from closing skies,
And hover near the water, circling low,
As the day dies.
The city like a shadowed castle stands,
Its turrets indistinctly touching night;
Like earth-born stars far fetched from faerie lands,
Its lamps are bright.
This is my hour, – when wonder springs anew
To see the towers ascending, pale and high,
And the long seaward distances of blue,
And the dim sky.
This is my hour, between the day and night;
The sun has set and all the world is still,
The afterglow upon the distant hill
Is as a holy light.
This is my hour, between the sun and moon;
The little stars are gathering in the sky,
There is no sound but one bird’s startled cry, –
One note that ceases soon.
The gardens and, far off, the meadow-land,
Are like the fading depths beneath a sea,
While over waves of misty shadows we
Drift onward, hand in hand.
This is my hour, that you have called your own;
Its hushed beauty silently we share, –
Touched by the wistful wonder in the air
That leaves us so alone.
In rain and twilight mist the city street,
Hushed and half-hidden, might this instant be
A dark canal beneath our balcony,
Like one in Venice, Sweet.
The street-lights blossom, star-wise, one by one;
A lofty tower the shadows have not hid
Stands out – part column and part pyramid –
Holy to look upon.
The dusk grows deeper, and on silver wings
The twilight flutters like a weary gull
Toward some sea-island, lost and beautiful,
Where a sea-syren sings.
‘This is my hour,’ you breathe with quiet lips;
And filled with beauty, dreaming and devout,
We sit in silence, while our thoughts go out –
Like treasure-seeking ships.