Now Winter at the end of day
Along the ridges takes her way,
Upon her twilight round to light
The faithful candles of the night.
As quiet as the nun she goes
With silver lamp in hand, to close
The silent doors of dusk that keep
The hours of memory and sleep.
She pauses to tread out the fires
Where Autumn's festal train retires.
The last red embers smoulder down
Behind the steeples of the town.
Austere and fine the trees stand bare
And moveless in the frosty air,
Against the pure and paling light
Before the threshold of the night.
On purple valley and dim wood
The timeless hush of solitude
Is laid, as if the time for some
Transcending mystery were come,
That shall illumine and console
The penitent and eager soul,
Setting her free to stand before
Supernal beauty and adore.
Dear Heart, in heaven's high portico
It is the hour of prayer. And lo,
Above the earth, serene and still,
One star —our star —o'er Lonetree Hill!