At Sunset


While looking from my window, I

     Saw four thrushes in a tree.

Then a fifth came from the sky

     And joined them, sitting silently.


I looked away, then looked again:

     Four had flown, and only one

Sat framed beyond the window pane;

     Then suddenly went as did the sun.


That leafless tree at twilight stood

     Forsaken, when two sparrows made

Their perch there, singing to the wood,

     While, at the last light, church-bells played.


How bravely welcomed was the night,

     Which fell like flocks of thrushes, mute

Colours and shadow shapes in flight:

     To night a sonorous long salute.


The sparrows, silent, found their nest;

     The bells, with single echoes, cast

A trailing peal, then came to rest:

     The everlasting day was past.


Peaceful again, I turned to this:

     The birds and bells brought harmonies.

And should remembered music miss

     Those heights, it still might touch the keys.