Afternoon

By George Sterling

The hot, huge slumber of the silent day
     Has left the listening world no word but peace.
        The broken shadows cease,
Impassively, their weaving and their play,
    Submitting to this dream's divine release.

The vacant heavens are like a waveless sea.
    Far up, a hawk drifts lonely, but no cry
        Falls from the void of sky
That veils by day the passing stars on high,
    Nor from that other Void a cry to me.

The dome of the enormous afternoon,
    The yellow mountain-side, the hush between,
        Tell not of the unseen,
And voiceless now the mind and senses swoon,
    Uncaring what the Veil or Void may mean.

Lilies asleep are quiet as your hands,
    That move not, though the breathing bosom stir.
        The pain of years that were
Slumbers awhile, lulled by the subtle myrrh
    Whose fragrance broods on all the summer lands.

Evening will come more soundless than her star,
    And some cool wind wake hungers in the breast.
        Now not to think is best,
And love is tenderest because afar.
    And deeper than its rapture is its rest.

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