Evening (Hesperis)

THE HESPERIDES were the three goddesses of evening and the golden light of sunset. They were entrusted with the care of the tree of the golden apples which was presented to Hera by Gaia (Mother Earth) on her wedding day. The Hesperides were assisted in the task by the hundred-headed Drakon Ladon.

"Now Hesperos (Evening) begat a daughter named Hesperis (Evening), whom he gave in marriage to his brother [Atlas] and after whom the land was given the name Hesperitis; and Atlas begat by her seven daughters, who were named after their father Atlantides, and after their mother Hesperides."
- Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 4.26.2

Inspired by William Bouguereau’s Le Crepuscule 1882
Translated title: Twilight
Oil on canvas 50 x 27 7/8 inches (127 x 66 cm)
Private collection

Evening Song

LOOK off, dear Love, across the shallow sands,
And mark yon meeting of the sun and the sea,
How long they kiss in sight of all the lands.
Ah! longer, longer we.
Now in the sea's red vintage melts the sun,
As Egypt's red pearl dissolved in rosy wine,
And Cleopatra night drinks all. 'Tis done,
Love, lay thine hand in mine.
Come forth, sweet stars, and comfort heaven's heart;
Glimmer, ye waves, round else unlighted sands.
O night! divorce our sun and sky apart
Never our lips, our hands.

-Sidney Lanier 1842-1881

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