by Paul Hamilton Hayne
Round the December heights the clouds are gray --
Gray, and wind-driven toward the stormy west.
They fly, like phantoms of malign unrest,
To fade in sombre distances away.
A flickering brightness o'er the wreck of day,
Twilight, like some sad maiden, grief-oppressed,
Broods wanly on the farthest mountain-crest;
All nature breathes of darkness and decay.
Now from the low meadow land and drowsy stream,
From deep recesses of the silent vale,
Night-wandering vapors rise formless and chill,
When, lo! o'er shrouded wood and shadowy hill,
I mark the eve's victorious planet beam,
Fair as an angel clad in silver mail!