A Vision of Judgement

Robert Southey

'Twas at that sober hour when the light of day is receding,
And from surrounding things the hues wherewith day has adorned them
Fade, like the hopes of youth, till the beauty of earth is departed,—
Pensive, though not in thought, I stood at the window, beholding
Mountain and lake and vale; the valley disrobed of its verdure;
Derwent retaining yet from eve a glassy reflection,
Where his expanded breast, then still and smooth as a mirror,
Under the woods reposed; the hills that, calm and majestic,
Lifted their heads in the silent sky, from far Glaramara,
Bleacrag, and Maidenmawr, to Grizedal and westernmost Withop.
Dark and distinct they rose. The clouds had gathered above them
High in the middle air,—huge, purple, pillowy massess;
While in the west beyond was the last pale tint of the twilight,
Green as a stream in the glen whose pure and chrysolite waters
Flow o'er a schistous bed, and serene as the age of the righteous.
Earth was hushed and still; all motion and sound were suspended:
Neither man was heard, bird, beast, nor humming of insect,—
Only the voice of the Greta, heard only when all is in stillness.
Pensive I stood, and alone; the hour and the scene had subdued me;
And as I gazed in the west, where infinity seemed to be open,
Yearned to be free from time, and felt that this life is a thraldom.

This the opening extract from a long poem. The Literary Gazette of March 17, 1821 called this "one of the less obnoxious parts" of the poem.