One Afternoon

TO LOUISA, LADY ASHBURTON.

FROM the dear stillness of your pines you came —
That vast Cathedral where the winds are choir,
And bear to the far heavens the soul's desire,
While the great sun burns golden, like the flame,
On some high altar, to the Highest Name —
From that dear shrine whence worldly thoughts retire —
Where hearts are hushed, and souls to Heaven aspire,
You came, as one who would God's peace proclaim.

Now sunset broods upon these solemn hills —
The day is done, and the deep night draws nigh,
And soon the waiting stars will light the sky: —
Though You and Day have gone, your presence fills
The place, and the glad air around me thrills
As if some Heaven-sent angel had passed by.
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