Mist on the fields, and a deepening summer twilight,
Cattle passing homeward along the narrow lane;
Lily-pools that gleam in the darkness of the meadows,
Music of the night-breeze in fields of ripening grain.
Far above the mountains the last red light is dying;
Goat-bells chime faintly in pastures far away –
Nature is at rest, and the busy world lies dreaming.
In the magic hour of twilight, at the closing of the day.
Shadow on the rocks, and a wind across the water;
Glimmers of light in the eastern skies afar;
High rides the moon, her pale shafts of radiance gleaming,
Where the seething tide frets across the harbour bar.
Over the wild waves comes the call of the great spaces;
White breakers leap from a plain of silver-grey –
Dreaming lies the world, but the reckless sea still moveth,
In the mystic hour of twilight, at the dawning of the day.
This poem is from Mona Douglas’ first book ‘Manx Song and Maiden Song’ (1915). PW Caine writes:
“This little book of lyrics is full of beauty and charm. The sound of the sea, the scent of gorse and the silence of the mountains pervade it. To any Manxman, or indeed, to anyone who has been in Mann, to read it is to feel himself in the midst of the Island countryside or on some rocky shore. The young poetess was there in spirit when she wrote, and has the power of taking her readers with her. No higher praise can given to the sea-poems than that conveyed in the words of an old sailor, who said, ‘she writes about it as a sailor feels.’ Miss Mona Douglas has not only a keen feeling for beauty and a deep love for her native land, but the gift of melodious verse – and she is only sixteen. Whatever she may gain in technique as she writes more, these early verses have in them the freshness of youth, an unsurpassable quality. One of the best of the poems is Two Twilights.”