Published on Academy of American Poets (

The Vast Hour

All essences of sweetness from the white
Warm day go up in vapor, when the dark
Comes down. Ascends the tune of meadow-lark,
Ascends the noon-time smell of grass, when night
Takes sunlight from the world, and gives it ease.
Mysterious wings have brushed the air; and light
Float all the ghosts of sense and sound and sight;
The silent hive is echoing the bees.
So stir my thoughts at this slow, solemn time.
Now only is there certainty for me
When all the day's distilled and understood.
Now light meets darkness: now my tendrils climb
In this vast hour, up the living tree,
Where gloom foregathers, and the stern winds brood.


This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on May 25, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“The Vast Hour” was published in For Eager Lovers (Thomas Seltzer, 1922).


Genevieve Taggard

Genevieve Taggard was born in Waitsburg, Washington, in 1894. She is best known as a biographer of Emily Dickinson, authoring The Life and Mind of Emily Dickinson (Alfred A. Knopf, 1930). She also wrote several poetry collections, including For Eager Lovers (Thomas Seltzer, 1922) and Not Mine to Finish: Poems 1928–1934 (Harper & Brothers, 1934). She died in New York City in 1948.

Date Published: 1922-01-01

Source URL: