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By one who in his hand a lamp doth hold
(Its flame being hidden by the garment's fold),-
The still air moves, the wide room is less dim.

More bright the East became, the ocean turned
Dark and more dark against the brightening sky-
Sharper against the sky the long sea line.
The hollows of the breakers on the shore

Were green like leaves whereon no sun doth shine,
Though sunlight make the outer branches hoar.
From rose to red the level heaven burned;
Then sudden, as if a sword fell from on high,
A blade of gold flashed on the ocean's rim.

Richard Watson Gilder [1844-1909]


DAWN-and a magical stillness: on earth, quiescence profound;

On the waters a vast Content, as of hunger appeased and stayed;

In the heavens a silence that seems not mere privation of sound,

But a thing with form and body, a thing to be touched and weighed!

Yet I know that I dwell in the midst of the roar of the cosmic wheel,

In the hot collision of Forces, and clangor of boundless Strife,

Mid the sound of the speed of the worlds, the rushing

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WHAT Would it mean for you and me

If dawn should come no more!

Think of its gold along the sea,
Its rose above the shore!
That rose of awful mystery,
Our souls bow down before.


What wonder that the Inca kneeled,
The Aztec prayed and pled
And sacrificed to it, and sealed,—

With rites that long are dead,—
The marvels that it once revealed
To them it comforted.

What wonder, yea! what awe, behold!
What rapture and what tears
Were ours, if wild its rivered gold,—
That now each day appears,-
Burst on the world, in darkness rolled,
Once every thousand years!

Think what it means to me and you

To see it even as God

Evolved it when the world was new!
When Light rose, earthquake-shod,
And slow its gradual splendor grew
O'er deeps the whirlwind trod.

What shoutings then and cymballings
Arose from depth and height!
What worship-solemn trumpetings,
And thunders, burning-white,
Of winds and waves, and anthemings
Of Earth received the Light.

Think what it meant to see the dawn!
The dawn, that comes each day!-
What if the East should ne'er grow wan,
Should nevermore grow gray!

That line of rose no more be drawn

Above the ocean's spray!


Madison Cawein [1865-1914]


ALL night I watched awake for morning,
At last the East grew all a flame,
The birds for welcome sang, or warning,
And with their singing morning came.

Along the gold-green heavens drifted

Pale wandering souls that shun the light,
Whose cloudy pinions, torn and rifted,

Had beat the bars of Heaven all night.

These clustered round the moon, but higher
A troop of shining spirits went,
Who were not made of wind or fire,
But some divine dream-element.

Some held the Light, while those remaining
Shook out their harvest-colored wings,
A faint unusual music raining,

(Whose sound was Light) on earthly things.

They sang, and as a mighty river
Their voices washed the night away,
From East to West ran one white shiver,
And waxen strong their song was Day.
A. Mary F. Robinson [1857-


AT SEA, OCTOBER 23, 1907

IN far forests' leafy twilight, now is stealing gray dawn's shy light,

And the misty air is tremulous with songs of many a bird; While from mountain steeps descending, every streamlet's voice is blending

With the anthems of great pine trees, by the breath of daylight stirred.

But I turn from Fancy's dreaming of the green earth, to the gleaming

Of the fluttering wings of morning rushing o'er the jewelled deep;

And the ocean's rhythmic pounding, with each lucent wave resounding,

Seems the music made when God's own hands His mighty harpstrings sweep.

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Rêve du Midi



WHO has not dreamed a world of bliss
On a bright sunny noon like this,
Couched by his native brook's green maze,
With comrade of his boyish days,
While all around them seemed to be

Just as in joyous infancy?

Who has not loved, at such an hour,
Upon that heath, in birchen bower,
Lulled in the poet's dreamy mood,
Its wild and sunny solitude?
While o'er the waste of purple ling
You mark a sultry glimmering;
Silence herself there seems to sleep,
Wrapped in a slumber long and deep,
Where slowly stray those lonely sheep
Through the tall foxglove's crimson bloom,
And gleaming of the scattered broom.
Love you not, then, to list and hear
The crackling of the gorse-flowers near,
Pouring an orange-scented tide

Of fragrance o'er the desert wide?
To hear the buzzard's whimpering shrill,
Hovering above you high and still?
The twittering of the bird that dwells
Among the heath's delicious bells?

While round your bed, o'er fern and blade,
Insects in green and gold arrayed,
The sun's gay tribes have lightly strayed;
And sweeter sound their humming wings
Than the proud minstrel's echoing strings.
William Howitt [1792-1879]


WHEN o'er the mountain steeps

The hazy noontide creeps,

And the shrill cricket sleeps

Under the grass;

When soft the shadows lie,
And clouds sail o'er the sky,

And the idle winds go by,

With the heavy scent of blossoms as they pass,

Then, when the silent stream

Lapses as in a dream,

And the water-lilies gleam

Up to the sun;

When the hot and burdened day

Rests on its downward way,

When the moth forgets to play,

And the plodding ant may dream her work is done,—

Then, from the noise of war
And the din of earth afar,
Like some forgotten star
Dropped from the sky,-
The sounds of love and fear,
All voices sad and dear,

Banish to silence drear,—

The willing thrall of trances sweet I lie.

Some melancholy gale

Breathes its mysterious tale,
Till the rose's lips grow pale

With her sighs;

And o'er my thoughts are cast

Tints of the vanished past,

Glories that faded fast,

Renewed to splendor in my dreaming eyes.

As poised on vibrant wings,
Where his sweet treasure swings,

The honey-lover clings

To the red flowers,

So, lost in vivid light,

So, rapt from day and night,

I linger in delight,

Enraptured o'er the vision-freighted hours.

Rose Terry Cooke [1827-1892]

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