A Sunset Fantasy.

Spell-bound by a sweet fantasy
At evenglow I stand
Beside a strange sardonyx sea
That rings a sunset land.

The rich lights fade out one by one,
Like to a peony
And drowned in wine, the round red sun
Sinks down in that strange sea.

With red clouds has he chapléted
His brows, like him who tied
Of old a rose-wreath round his head,
And drank to Death, and died.

His wake across the ocean-floor
In a long glory lies,
Like a gold wave-way to the shore
Of some sea-paradise.

  ― 157 ―
My dream flies after him, and I
Am in another land;
The sun sets in another sky,
And we sit hand in hand.

Grey eyes look into mine; such eyes
I think the angels' are—
Soft as the soft light in the skies,
When shines the morning star.

And tremulous as morn when thin
Gold lights begin to glow,
Revealing the bright soul within
As dawns the sun below.

So, hand in hand, we watch the sun
Burn down the Western deeps,
Dreaming a charméd dream, as one
Who in enchantment sleeps.

A dream of how we twain some day,
Careless of map or chart,
Will both take ship and sail away
Into the sunset's heart.

Our ship shall be of sandal built,
Like ships in old-world tales,
Carven with cunning art and gilt,
And winged with scented sails

Of silver silk, whereon the red
Great gladioli burn,
A rainbow-flag at her mast-head,
A rose-flag at her stern.

And, perching on the point above
Wherefrom the pennon blows,
The figure of a flying dove,
And in her beak a rose.

  ― 158 ―
And from the fading land the breeze
Shall bring us, blowing low,
Old odours and old memories,
And airs of long ago—

A melody that has no words
Which are of speech a part,
Yet touching all the deepest chords
That tremble in the heart.

A scented song blown oversea,
As though, from bow'rs of bloom,
A wind-harp in a lilac-tree
Breathed music and perfume.

And we, no more with longings pale,
Will hearken to its blow—
I, in the shadow of the sail,
You, in the sunset glow.

For, with the fading land, our fond
Old fears shall all fade out,
Paled by the light from shores beyond
The dread of Death or Doubt.

And when Death from a cloud above
His awful shadow flings,
The Spirit of Immortal Love
Will shield us with his wings.

He is the Lord of dreams divine,
And lures us with his smiles
Along the splendour opaline
Unto the Blessed Isles.