Put a poetic spin on dusk with the top 10 dusk poems! Enjoy some well-known classics, & other lesser-known gems.
1 • Winter
Clouded with snow
The cold winds blow,
And shrill on leafless bough
The robin with its burning breast
Alone sings now.
The rayless sun,
Day’s journey done,
Sheds its last ebbing light
On fields in leagues of beauty spread
Thick draws the dark,
And spark by spark,
The frost-fires kindle, and soon
Over that sea of frozen foam
Floats the white moon.
2 • Winter Dusk
I watch the great clear twilight
Veiling the ice-bowed trees;
Their branches tinkle faintly
With crystal melodies.
The larches bend their silver
Over the hush of snow;
One star is lighted in the west,
Two in the zenith glow.
For a moment I have forgotten
Wars and women who mourn,
I think of the mother who bore me
And thank her that I was born.
3 • Under the Harvest Moon
Under the harvest moon,
When the soft silver
Over the garden nights,
Death, the gray mocker,
Comes and whispers to you
As a beautiful friend
Under the summer roses
When the flagrant crimson
Lurks in the dusk
Of the wild red leaves,
Love, with little hands,
Comes and touches you
With a thousand memories,
And asks you
Beautiful, unanswerable questions.
4 • She sweeps with many-colored Brooms
She sweeps with many-colored brooms …
And leaves the shreds behind …
Oh housewife in the evening west …
Come back, and dust the pond!
You dropped a purple ravelling in …
You dropped an amber thread …
And how you’ve littered all the east
With duds of emerald!
And still, she plies her spotted brooms,
And still the aprons fly,
Till brooms fade softly into stars …
And then I come away …
If this colorful free verse gave you a more poetic dusk —
discover more in the Emily Dickinson poems library!
5 • Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Is Robert Frost’s poetic dusk “lovely, dark and deep?”
You might enjoy our Robert Frost Poems Library!
6 • A City Sunset
Alluring, Earth seducing, with high conceits
is the sunset that reigns
at the end of westward streets…
A sudden flaring sky
troubling strangely the passer by
with visions, alien to long streets, of Cytherea
or the smooth flesh of Lady Castlemaine…
A frolic of crimson
is the spreading glory of the sky,
heaven’s jocund maid
flaunting a trailed red robe
along the fretted city roofs
about the time of homeward going crowds
—a vain maid, lingering, loth to go…
—T. E. Hume
7 • 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.
Like this poetic dusk sonnet?
Check out the Top 10 Shakespeare Sonnets!
8 • I know not how it falls on me
I know not how it falls on me,
This summer evening, hushed and lone;
Yet the faint wind comes soothingly
With something of an olden tone.
Forgive me if I’ve shunned so long
Your gentle greeting, earth and air!
But sorrow withers e’en the strong,
And who can fight against despair?
9 • The Darkling Thrush
I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-grey,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.
The land’s sharp features seemed to be
The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.
At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.
So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.
10 • Central Park at Dusk
Buildings above the leafless trees
Loom high as castles in a dream,
While one by one the lamps come out
To thread the twilight with a gleam.
There is no sign of leaf or bud,
A hush is over everything—
Silent as women wait for love,
The world is waiting for the spring.
Dusk photo by Philipp Antar, Creative Commons, via Flickr.