The Sweets of Evening

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The Sweets of Evening  (1764) 
by Christopher Smart

First Published in 1764.

The Sweets of Evening

The sweets of Evening charm the mind,
    Sick of the sultry day;
The body then no more's confin'd,[1]
But exercise with freedom join'd,
    5 When Phoebus sheathes his ray.

The softer scenes of nature sooth
    The organs of our sight;
The Zephyrs fan the meadows smooth,
And on the brook we build the booth
    10In pastoral delight.[2]

While all-serene the summer moon
    Sends glances thro' the trees,
And Philomel begins her tune,
Asteria too shall help her soon
    15 With voice of skilful ease.[3]

A nosegay, every thing that grows,
    And music, every sound
To lull the sun to his repose;
The skies are coloured like the rose
    20With lively streaks around.

Of all the changes rung by Time
    None half so sweet appear,
As those when thoughts themselves sublime,
And with superior natures chime
    25In fancy's highest sphere.



  1. 3. "no more's" printed as "no more" in ed. 1791.
  2. 6—10. Were omitted in ed. 1791.
  3. 13—15. Philomel and Asterie (in 1791 printed as "Asteria") — the personages of Ancient Greek mythology here mean the nightingale and quail.

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.