When evening falls

Ἔσπερε, πάντα φέρων, ὄσα φαίνολις ἐσκέδασ’ Αὔως,
φέρεις ὄιν, φέρεις αἶγα, φέρεις ἄπυ μάτερι παῖδα.

Evening, thou that bringst all that bright morning scattered,
thou bringst the sheep, the goat, and the child back to its mother.

Sappho
Lobel-Page 104a / Voigt 104a / Diehl 120 / Bergk 95 / Cox 92

ἀέλιος δ᾽ Ὑπεριονίδας δέπας ἐσκατέβαινε
χρύσεον, ὄφρα δι᾽ ‘ Ὠκεανοῖο περάσας
ἀφίκοιθ᾽ ἱερᾶς ποτὶ βένθεα νυκτὸς ἐρεμνᾶς
ποτὶ ματέρα κουριδίαν τ᾽ ἄλοχον πάιδὰς τε φίλους.
ὁ δ᾽ ἐς ἄλσος ἔβα δάφναισι κατάσκιον ποσὶν πάις Διός.

And then the Sun, great Hyperion’s offspring,
Embarked in his golden cup, that he
Might cross the ocean’s wide expanse, and come
To the deep foundations of immortal Night;
To his fond mother, and his virgin bride,
And his dear children. And the son of Jove
Came to the grove
Shaded with laurels and with bays.

Stesichorus
Ath. 11.38

Both these bits of poetry above describe beautifully the coming of evening. The Sappho fragment works even in translation but I think the Stesichorus needs to be read in Greek. Both these fragments achieve their effect in Greek by gradually getting softer and softer as if the light was dimming and at the same time a feeing of peacefulness was coming over the earth.

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