This is the time of year when Algy is able to watch beautiful Hebridean sunsets over the sea and islands from his own tree, and he recites to himself:

          This is the land the sunset washes,
          These are the banks of the Yellow Sea;
          Where it rose, or whither it rushes,
          These are the western mystery!

          Night after night her purple traffic
          Strews the landing with opal bales;
          Merchantmen poise upon horizons,
          Dip, and vanish with fairy sails.

[Algy is reciting Emily Dickinson’s poem This is the land the sunset washes.]


The beautiful day was drawing to a close. Algy found a comfortable spot on some closely-cropped turf and lent back against a large clump of marram grass to catch the last of the afternoon sun. Although there weren’t any flowers in the grass just yet, and he certainly didn’t have a town to return to, the experiences of the day reminded him of the poem Afternoon on a Hill by Edna St. Vincent Millay:

          I will be the gladdest thing
             Under the sun!
          I will touch a hundred flowers
             And not pick one.

          I will look at cliffs and clouds
             With quiet eyes,
          Watch the wind bow down the grass,
             And the grass rise.

          And when lights begin to show
             Up from the town,
          I will mark which must be mine,
             And then start down!