Charles G. Roberts: The Recessional

The Recessional

Charles G. Roberts

Now along the solemn heights Fade the Autumn's altar-lights;  Down the great earth's glimmering chancel Glide the days and nights.
Little kindred of the grass, Like a shadow in a glass  Falls the dark and falls the stillness; We must rise and pass.
We must rise and follow, wending Where the nights and days have ending, —  Pass in order pale and slow Unto sleep extending.
Little brothers of the clod, Soul of fire and seed of sod,  We must fare into the silence At the knees of God.
Little comrades of the sky, Wing to wing we wander by,  Going, going, going, going, Softly as a sigh.
Hark, the moving shapes confer, Globe of dew and gossamer,  Fading and ephemeral spirits In the dusk astir.
Moth and blossom, blade and bee, Worlds must go as well as we,  In the long procession joining Mount and star and sea.
Toward the shadowy brink we climb Where the round year rolls sublime,  Rolls, and drops, and falls forever In the vast of time.
Like a plummet plunging deep Past the utmost reach of sleep,  Till remembrance has no longer Care to laugh or weep.