The day had been a day of clouds that lower—
Such days as Cumbrian shepherds only know—
No sun, no moon, when sudden from below
O’er the still lake the sunset smote with power,
And the grey wrinkled cliff gave back the dower
Of such transcendent magic afterglow
As made one long with shallop-oars to row,
And share the radiance of its rosy shower.
So have I seen upon an aged face
Storm-wrinkled, gazing from its height of peace
O’er the calm deeps of Death that lie before,
At sunset-time, a sudden wondrous grace
That made me yearn to reach the further shore,
And share their joy whose light can never cease.
(Sonnets in Switzerland and Italy, p. 112)