Scholarly Editing

The Annual of the Association for Documentary Editing

2013, Volume 34

Sunset Wings

by Dante Gabriel RossettiEdited by Marianne Van Remoortel
Athenaeum (London), May 24, 1873View Page
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SUNSET WINGS

TO-NIGHT this sunset spreads two golden wings Cleaving the western sky; Winged too with wind it is, and winnowings Of birds; as if the day's last hour in rings Of strenuous flight must die.
Sun-steeped in fire, the homeward pinions sway Above the dove-cote tops; And clouds of starlings, ere they rest with day, Sink, clamorous like mill-waters, at wild play, By turns in every copse:
Each tree heart-deep the wrangling rout receives,— But for the whirr within, You could not tell the starlings from the leaves; Then one great puff of wings, and the swarm heaves Away with all its din.
Even thus Hope's hours, in ever-eddying flight, To many a refuge tend; With the first light she laughed, and the last light Glows round her still; who natheless in the night At length must make an end.
And now the mustering rooks innumerable Together sail and soar, While for the day's death, like a tolling knell, Unto the heart they seem to cry, Farewell, No more, farewell, no more!
Is Hope not plumed, as 'twere a fiery dart? And oh thou dying day, Even as thou goest must she too depart, And Sorrow fold such pinions on the heart As will not fly away?
DANTE G. ROSSETTI.