Sunset and Moonrise
All the west, whereon the sunset sealed the dead year’s glorious grave
Fast with seals of light and fire and cloud that light and fire illume,
Glows at heart and kindles earth and heaven with joyous blush and bloom,
Warm and wide as life, and glad of death that only slays to save.
As a tide-reconquered sea-rock lies aflush with the influent wave
Lies the light aflush with darkness, lapped about by lustrous gloom,
Even as life with death, and fame with time, and memory with the tomb
Where a dead man hath for vassals Fame the serf and Time the slave.
Far from earth as heaven, the steadfast light withdrawn, superb, suspense,
Burns in dumb divine expansion of illimitable flower:
Moonrise whets the shadow’s edges keen as noontide: hence and thence
Glows the presence from us passing, shines and passes not the power.
Souls arise whose word remembered is as spirit within the sense:
All the hours are theirs of all the seasons: death has but his hour.
New Year’s Eve, 1889
From “Astrophel and Other Poems” – 1904