Gray the sky, and growing dimmer,
And the twilight lulls the sea;
Half in vagueness, half in glimmer,
Nature shrouds her mystery.
What have all the hours been spent for?
Why the on and on of things?
Why eternity's procession
Of the days and evenings?
Hours of sunshine, hours of gloaming,
Wing their unexplaining flight,
With a measured punctuation
Of unconsciousness, at night.
Just at sunset was translucence,
When the west was all aflame;
So I asked the sea a question,
And an answer nearly came.
Is there nothing but Occurrence?
Though each detail seem an Act,
Is that whole we deem so pregnant,
But unemphasized Fact?
Or, when dusk is in the hollows
Of the hill-side and the wave,
Are things just so much in earnest
That they cannot but be grave?
Nay, the lesson of the Twilight
Is as simple as 'tis deep;
And the coming on of sleep.
There are sea and sky about me,
And yet nothing sense can mark;
For a mist fills all the midnight,
Adding blindness to its dark.
There is not the faintest echo
From the life of yesterday:
Not the vaguest stir foretelling
Of a morrow on the way.