To evening lands

As Stephen imagines the gypsy couple walking "Across the sands of all the world," he imbues them with qualities of lyric revery. They are "followed by the sun's flaming sword," suggesting the angelic guard placed at the gates of Eden after the first couple's fall from grace. They also move "to the west, trekking to evening lands," the language now evoking Percy Bysshe Shelley's closet drama Hellas (1821), which envisions the journey west from Turkey to Greece as a dawning of universal hope—a kind of recovery of Eden.

JH 2016

Oil on canvas painting of the expulsion from Eden by Eugène Delacroix, held in the Bibliothèque de Palais Bourbon, Paris. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

1819 oil portrait of Percy Bysshe Shelley by Alfred Clint, held in the National Portrait Gallery, London. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The Gates of Eden, by Noah Bradley. Source: noahbradley.deviantart.com.