Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: The Athenaeum, 1873, Part I
Date of publication: 1873 January-1873 June
Publisher: John Francis
Printer: Edward J. Francis
Volume: 1873, Part I
Issue: 2378

The full Rossetti Archive record for this transcribed document is available.

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  • To-night this sunset spreads two golden wings
  • Cleaving the western sky;
  • Winged too with wind it is, and winnowings
  • Of birds; as if the day's last hour in rings
  • Of strenuous flight must die.
  • Sun-steeped in fire, the homeward pinions sway
  • Above the dovecote-tops;
  • And clouds of starlings, ere they rest with day,
  • Sink, clamorous like mill-waters, at wild play,
  • 10By turns in every copse:
  • Each tree heart-deep the wrangling rout receives,—
  • But for the whirr within,
  • You could not tell the starlings from the leaves;
  • Then one great puff of wings, and the swarm heaves
  • Away with all its din.
  • Even thus Hope's hours, in ever-eddying flight,
  • To many a refuge tend;
  • With the first light she laughed, and the last light
  • Glows round her still; who natheless in the night
  • 20At length must make an end.
  • And now the mustering rooks innumerable
  • Together sail and soar,
  • While for the day's death, like a tolling knell,
  • Unto the heart they seem to cry, Farewell,
  • No more, farewell, no more!
  • Is Hope not plumed, as 'twere a fiery dart?
  • And oh thou dying day,
  • Even as thou goest must she too depart,
  • And Sorrow fold such pinions on the heart
  • 30As will not fly away?

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Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: ap4.a85.1873a.rad.xml