Evening Song

By Friedrich Ruckert

I stood on the mountain summit,
At the hour when the sun did set;
I mark’d how it hung o’er the woodland
The evening’s golden net.
And, with the dew descending,
A peace on the earth there fell–
And nature lay hushed in quiet,
At the voice of the evening bell.
I said, “O heart, consider
What silence all things keep,
And with each child of the meadow
Prepare thyself to sleep!
“For every flower is closing
In silence its little eye;
And every wave in the brooklet
More softly murmureth by.
“The weary caterpillar
Hath nestled beneath the weeds;
All wet with dew now slumbers
The dragon-fly in the reeds.
“The golden beetle hath laid him
In a rose-leaf cradle to rock;
Now went to their nightly shelter
The shepherd and his flock.
“The lark from on high is seeking
In the moistened grass her nest;
The hart and the hind have laid them
In their woodland haunt to rest.
“And whoso owneth a cottage
To slumber hath laid him down;
And he that roams among strangers
In dreams shall behold his own.”
And now doth a yearning seize me,
At this hour of peace and love,
That I cannot reach the dwelling,
The home that is mine, above.