On Thursday I had that rare treat, a day off work during the week. The weather this week has, in London at least been glorious and I took the opportunity to enjoy the afternoon sun, sit out, in the garden and leaf through that wonderful anthology, edited by Helen Gardner, “The New Oxford Book of English Verse”. One of the joys of anthologies is that one has the ability to revisit old favourites and to discover new ones. Thursday was no exception and I wanted to share with you a newly discovered favourite, “Margaritae Sorori” by William Henley Davis. The poet paints a beautiful word picture of the gentle passing of the human spirit into the sundown
“A late lark twitters from the quiet skies:
And from the west,
Where the sun, his day’s work ended,
Lingers as in content,
There falls on the old, gray city
An influence luminous and serene,
A shining peace.
The smoke ascends
In a rosy-and-golden haze. The spires
Shine and are changed. In the valley
Shadows rise. The lark sings on. The sun,
Closing his benediction,
Sinks, and the darkening air
Thrills with a sense of the triumphing night–
Night with her train of stars
And her great gift of sleep.
So be my passing!
My task accomplish’d and the long day done,
My wages taken, and in my heart
Some late lark singing,
Let me be gather’d to the quiet west,
The sundown splendid and serene,