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Poem by Lewis Morris


To the Setting Sun


STAY, O sweet day, nor fleet so fast away
For now it is that life revives again,
As the red tyrant sinks beneath the hill ;
And now soft dews refresh the arid plain ;
And now the fair bird's voice begins to thrill ;
With hidden dolours making sweet her strain
And wakes the woods that all day were so still.

Stay, O sweet day, nor fleet so fast away ;
For now the rose and all fair flowers that blow
Give out sweet odours to the perfumed air,
And the white palace marbles blush and glow,
And the low, ivy-hidden cot shows fair.
Why are time's feet so swift, and ours so slow ?
Haste, laggard ! night will fall ere you are there.

Stay, O sweet day, nor fleet so fast away ;
Soon the pale full-faced moon will slowly climb
Up the steep sky and quench the star of love.
Moonlight is fair, but fairer far the time
When through the leaves the dying shafts above
Slope, and the minster sounds its curfew chime,
And the long shadows lengthen through the grove.

Stay, O sweet day,' nor fleet so fast away;
For, hark ! the chime throbs from the darkling tower ;
Soon for the last time shall my love be here :
Fair day, renew thy rays for one brief hour.
O sweet day, tarry for us, tarry near ;
To-morrow, love and time will lose their power,
And sighs be mine, and the unbidden tear.

Stay, O sweet day, nor fleet so fast away.
But, ah ! thou may'st not ; in the far-off west
Impatient lovers weary till you rise ;
Or may be caring naught thou traversest
The plains betwixt thee and thy final skies :
Go, then ; though darkness come, we shall be blest,
Keeping sweet daylight, in each other's eyes. 



                      Lewis Morris


Lewis Morris's other poems:
  1. A Cynic's Day-Dream
  2. The Reply
  3. A Yorkshire River
  4. The Living Past
  5. On an Old Minster


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