When it comes to twilight poems, few themes are as beloved and enduring. The moment when the sun dips below the horizon, and day gracefully yields to night, has captivated the hearts and pens of poets throughout history. These verses, like the tranquil hours they celebrate, have a timeless quality that continues to enchant readers and kindle the imagination. Join us on a poetic voyage as we delve into the realm of twilight through the eyes and words of some of the most celebrated poets, letting their verses paint the sky with the colors of their thoughts and emotions. From Shakespeare’s sonnets to Tennyson’s elegies, each poem offers a glimpse into the beauty, mystery, and introspection that twilight inspires.
#1. Sonnet 73: That time of year thou mayst in me behold
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consum’d with that which it was nourish’d by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
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#2. “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
by T. S. Eliot
Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question …
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.
#3. The Twilight Turns
By James Joyce
He twilight turns from amethyst
To deep and deeper blue,
The lamp fills with a pale green glow
The trees of the avenue.
The old piano plays an air,
Sedate and slow and gay;
She bends upon the yellow keys,
Her head inclines this way.
Shy thoughts and grave wide eyes and hands
That wander as they list–
The twilight turns to darker blue
With lights of amethyst.
The twilight is sad and cloudy,
The wind blows wild and free,
And like the wings of sea-birds
Flash the white caps of the sea.
But in the fisherman’s cottage
There shines a ruddier light,
And a little face at the window
Peers out into the night.
#5. The Sun Has Set
By Emily Jane Brontë
The sun has set, and the long grass now
Waves dreamily in the evening wind;
And the wild bird has flown from that old gray stone
In some warm nook a couch to find.
In all the lonely landscape round
I see no light and hear no sound,
Except the wind that far away
Come sighing o’er the healthy sea.