By mead and marsh and sandhill clad with bent,
Soothed by the wistful musings of the wind
That in scarce listening ears are mildly dinned,
On plods the traveller till the day be spent,
And day-dreams end in dreamless night at last.
He hears, beyond the grey bent's silken waves,
The foam-embroidered waters ever cast
On sighing sands and into echoing caves.
And from the west, where the last sunset glow
Still lingers on the border hills afar,
Come pastoral sounds, attenuate and low,
Thence where the night shall bring, 'neath cloud and star,
Silence to yearn o'er folk worn with day's strife,
Lost in blank sleep to hope, regret, death, life.
[An alternative ending:
While from the West comes murmuring earthly noise,
Sweet, slumberous, attenuate and afar;
Sad sunglows in the border mountains poise,
There where he knows to-night, mid cloud and star,
Silence shall yearn o'er folk worn out with strife,
Lost in blank sleep to hope, regret, death, life.]
Sonnet. by Thomas Runciman