rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,
rejectomorph
flying_blind

Twilight's Approach

It felt as though the sun took forever to decline and set this evening. Late afternoon lazed itself away as the jasmine perfumed the heavy air, and the water the hose spent made sounds softer than the breezes as it flowed around the rose bushes I was irrigating. I sat in a shady spot and read while the feral cats napped, and the shadows of trees and bushes and houses slowly extended eastward, while the pale half moon moved west.

Sunset has finally arrived, but the dusk will linger for hours. Even now the moon remains as pale as a thin cloud, and no stars have emerged. Birds are still singing their evening songs, and only a few crickets have begun to chirp. Most likely half the night will pass before the air imparts any noticeable chill. It will be a good night for sitting under the emerging stars.




Sunday Verse


The Twilight of Forgiveness
*

by William Butler Yeats


If this importunate heart trouble your peace
With words lighter than air,
And hopes that in mere hoping flicker and cease:
Crush the rose in your hair,
Cover your lips with rose-heavy twilight and say:
"O Hearts of wind-blown flame!
O Winds, elder than changing of night and day,
That longing and murmuring came
From marble cities loud with tabors of old
In dove-grey faery lands,
From battle-banners fold upon purple fold
Queens wrought with glimmering hands;
That saw young Niam hover with love-lorn face
Above the wandering tide;
And lingered in the hidden desolate place
Where the last Phoenix died
And gathered the flames above his holy head,
And still murmur and long:
O piteous Hearts, changing till change be dead
In a tumultuous song."
Then cover the pale blossom of your breast
With your dim shadowy hair,
And trouble with sighs for all hearts without rest
The rose-heavy twilight there.

*Yeats later reworked this early poem and gave it a new title, publishing the revised version in 1902. I've posted the original version, as I've always preferred its sound, which I feel suits the sentiments quite nicely. Also, I think "rose-heavy", though a bit awkward, has aged somewhat better than "odorous", which has taken on connotations I doubt Yeats would have found pleasing. For those who would like to compare, here is the 1902 version,
The Lover Asks Forgiveness Because Of His Many Moods

If this importunate heart trouble your peace
With words lighter than air,
Or hopes that in mere hoping flicker and cease;
Crumple the rose in your hair;
And cover your lips with odorous twilight and say,
'O Hearts of wind-blown flame!
O Winds, older than changing of night and day,
That murmuring and longing came
From marble cities loud with tabors of old
In dove-grey faery lands;
From battle-banners, fold upon purple fold,
Queens wrought with glimmering hands;
That saw young Niamh hover with love-lorn face
Above the wandering tide;
And lingered in the hidden desolate place
Where the last Phoenix died,
And wrapped the flames above his holy head;
And still murmur and long:
O piteous Hearts, changing till change be dead
In a tumultuous song':
And cover the pale blossoms of your breast
With your dim heavy hair,
And trouble with a sigh for all things longing for rest
The odorous twilight there.
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