TOWARD LONDON—AT NIGHTFALL
THERE came the twilight poignant, sweet— A swoon of anguish into ease ;
From breathless calm in hushed retreat I turned to meet the twilight breeze.
A blackbird fluttered through the bush
Trailing his mellow song behind, Anon the spendthrift missel-thrush Cast riotous trills upon the wind.
I left the sunlight on the hills, I left the shadow on the trees ; Through cooling sounds of trickling rills I heard the drowsy drone of bees.
I took the red path winding down 'Twist hedgerows merged in fields of grain, From vernal green and orpin brown I passed toward the peopled plain.
I saw through twilight gloomier still A moving form, a far-off light, Some wandering bird—lone things, until Rapt from earth's solitude in night.
Now, as the gloaming whelms the day, I mark the bound to my advance, A burning shadow dun and grey Lit with a lurid radiance.
The lamps stretch out, like ordered stars Set in a dusk of perished years; Lo, there an engine linked to cars With bars of light the darkness shears.
Faintly at first, then louder boom, O'er spaces scarred and desolate, Deep sounds as of some mighty loom That weaves the fabric of men's fate.
r catch a raucous shout, I hear
Bumble of wheels, the ring of hoofs, I scent the smoke, the world shuts near, And night looks down on slaty roofs.
I swing into the populous street, The peaceful country far behind ; About, misshapen toil, the beat Of lives insurgent and confined.
GEORGE FRANCIS WILSON