Monday, July 12, 2010

inspiration: "Our Lady of the Twilight" by Alfred Noyes

OUR LADY OF THE TWILIGHT

Our Lady of the Twilight
    From out the sunset-lands
Comes gently stealing o'er the world
    And stretches out her hands,
Over the blotched and broken wall,
    The blind and fœtid lane,
She stretches out her hands and all
    Is beautiful again.

No factory chimneys can defile
    The beauty of her dress:
She stoops down with her heavenly smile
    To heal and love and bless:
All tortured things, all evil powers,
    All shapes of dark distress
Are turned to fragrance and to flowers
    Beneath her kind caress.

Our Lady of the Twilight,
    She melts our prison-bars!
She makes the sea forget the shore,
    She fills the sky with stars,
And stooping over wharf and mill,
    Chimney and shed and dome,
Turns them to fairy palaces,
    Then calls her children home.

She stoops to bless the stunted tree,
    And from the furrowed plain,
And from the wrinkled brow she smooths
    The lines of care and pain:
Hers are the gentle hands and eyes
    And hers the peaceful breath
That ope, in sunset-softened skies,
    The quiet gates of death.

Our Lady of the Twilight,
    She hath such gentle hands,
So lovely are the gifts she brings
    From out the sunset-lands,
So bountiful, so merciful
    So sweet of soul is she;
And over all the world she draws
    Her cloak of charity.


-- Alfred Noyes, in Collected Poems, Vol. II (1913)
[read this book online here]

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