The White Wampum

by Emily Pauline Johnson


 

AT SUNSET


 

TO-NIGHT the west o’er-brims with warmest dyes;
Its chalice overflows
With pools of purple colouring the skies,
Aflood with gold and rose;
And some hot soul seems throbbing close to mine,
5
As sinks the sun within that world of wine.

I seem to hear a bar of music float
And swoon into the west;
My ear can scarcely catch the whispered note,
But something in my breast
10
Blends with that strain, till both accord in one,
As cloud and colour blend at set of sun.

And twilight comes with grey and restful eyes,
As ashes follow flame.
But O! I heard a voice from those rich skies
15
Call tenderly my name;
It was as if some priestly fingers stole
In benedictions o’er my lonely soul. [Page 70]

I know not why, but all my being longed
And leapt at that sweet call;
20
My heart outreached its arms, all passion thronged
And beat against Fate’s wall,
Crying in utter homesickness to be
Near to a heart that loves and leans to me. [Page 71]