The sun appeared to linger long and low
Upon the western sea of clouds that day,
And for a moment draw the soul away
To sacred places only spirits know—
Where from some source of beauty, seem to flow
Eternal mysteries of things unseen,
That somehow we can briefly glimpse between
This light, and shadow world where all things go;
And it seemed as if my soul could be
If but for that one moment, truly free!

And I dreamed deep and long, as the last light
Was fading in the darkening, peaceful blue,
And thought I felt a presence that I knew,
As overhead there soared in westward flight,
A bird, whose wings against the sky shone bright,
As if the memory of its joyous day
Were living still, like light to guide the way
To its home in the dark, eternal night;
And I thought of the souls that I have known
That into that dark, silent night have flown.

As the last wisps of cloud, like silvery hair,
Hung where the sun had died, as if to mourn,
One by one, it seemed that there were born
The stars which soon adorned the crystalline air,
Like happy souls which glimmered everywhere!
And were like a glimpse of what may be
In that world we can not hear or see,
But even as we sleep, is always there;
And I knew in that hour a soul had passed,
And told my soul that it was home at last.

—August, 2009

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The featured image is “Twilight in the Wilderness” (1860) by Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900), courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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