The Book of the Native

by Charles G.D. Roberts


 

Recessional


 

Now along the solemn heights
Fade the Autumn’s altar-lights;
    Down the great earth’s glimmering chancel
Glide the days and nights.

Little kindred of the grass,

5
Like a shadow in a glass
    Falls the dark and falls the stillness;
We must rise and pass.

We must rise and follow, wending
Where the nights and days have ending,—

10
    Pass in order pale and slow
Unto sleep extending.

Little brothers of the clod,
Soul of fire and seed of sod,
    We must fare into the silence

15
At the knees of God.

Little comrades of the sky
Wing to wing we wander by,
    Going, going, going, going,
Softly as a sigh.

20

Hark, the moving shapes confer,
Globe of dew and gossamer,
    Fading and ephemeral spirits
In the dusk astir.

Moth and blossom, blade and bee,

25
Worlds must go as well as we,
    In the long procession joining
Mount, and star, and sea.

Toward the shadowy brink we climb
Where the round year rolls sublime,

30
    Rolls, and drops, and falls forever
In the vast of time;

Like a plummet plunging deep
Past the utmost reach of sleep,
    Till remembrance has no longer

35
Care to laugh or weep.