WHEN the white iris folds the drowsing bee,
When the first cricket wakes
The fairy hosts of his enchanted brakes,
When the dark moth has sought the lilac tree,
And the young stars, like jasmine of the skies,
Are opening on the silence, Lord, there lies
Dew on Thy rose and dream upon mine eyes.
Lovely the day, when life is robed in splendour,
Walking the ways of God and strong with wine,
But the pale eve is wonderful and tender,
And night is more divine.
Fold my faint olives from their shimmering plain,
O shadow of sweet darkness fringed with rain.
Give me to night again.
Give me to day no more. I have bethought me
Silence is more than laughter, sleep than tears.
Sleep like a lover faithfully hath sought me
Down the enduring years.
Where stray the first white fatlings of the fold,
Where the Lent-lily droops her earlier gold
Sleep waits me as of old.
Grant me sweet sleep, for light is unavailing
When patient eyes grow weary of the day.
Young lambs creep close and tender wings are failing,
And I grow tired as they.
Light as the long wave leaves the lonely shore,
Our boughs have lost the bloom that morning bore.
Give me to day no more.