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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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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?