Cordula's Web. NOAA. Sunset reflecting off the water at the Jefferson Memorial.
NOAA Photo Library: line1081. Sunset reflection, Jefferson Memorial. HiRes. Gallery 14

At Last

Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

Down, down like a pale leaf dropping
Under an autumn sky,
My love dropped into my bosom
Quietly, quietly.

There was not a ray of sunshine
And not a sound in the air,
As she trembled into my bosom,
My love, no longer fair.

All year round in her beauty
She dwelt on the tree-top high:
She danced in the summer breezes,
She laughed to the summer sky.

I lay so low in the grass-dews,
She sat so high above,
She never wist of my longing,
She never dreamed of my life.

But when winds lay bare her dwelling,
And her heart could find no rest,
I called, and she fluttered downward
Into my faithful breast.

I know that my love is fading;
I know I cannot fold
Her fragrance from the frost-blight,
Her beauty from the mould:

But a little, little longer
She shall contented lie,
And wither away in the sunshine
Silently, silently.

Come when thou wilt, grim Winter,
My year is crowned and blest
If when my love is dying
She die upon my breast.