Selections from the American poets
William Cullen Bryant


BEHOLD the western evening light!
It melts in deepening gloom;
So calmly Christians sink away,
Descending to the tomb.
The wind breathes low; the withering leaf
Scarce whispers from the tree;
So gently flows the parting breath,
When good men cease to be.
How beautiful on all the hills
The crimson light is shed!
'Tis like the peace the Christian gives
To mourners round his bed.
How mildly on the wandering cloud
The sunset beam is cast!
'Tis like the memory left behind
When loved ones breathe their last.
And now, above the dews of night,
The yellow star appears;
So faith springs in the heart of those
Whose eyes are bathed in tears.
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But soon the morning's happier light
Its glory shall restore,
And eyelids that are seal'd in death
Shall wake to close no more.