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By one who in his hand a lamp doth hold
More bright the East became, the ocean turned
Were green like leaves whereon no sun doth shine,
Richard Watson Gilder [1844-1909]
DAWN ON THE HEADLAND
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 worlds, and the peal
Of the thunder of Life.
William Watson [1858
THE MIRACLE OF THE DAWN
If dawn should come no more!
What wonder that the Inca kneeled,
What wonder, yea! what awe, behold!
That now each day appears,
Burst on the world, in darkness rolled,
Think what it means to me and you
To see it even as God
Evolved it when the world was new!
What shoutings then and cymballings
Think what it meant to see the dawn!
That line of rose no more be drawn
Above the ocean's spray!
Madison Cawein [1865-1914]
ALL night I watched awake for morning,
Along the gold-green heavens drifted
Pale wandering souls that shun the light,
Had beat the bars of Heaven all night.
These clustered round the moon, but higher
Some held the Light, while those remaining
(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.
MUSIC OF THE DAWN
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
Seems the music made when God's own hands His mighty harpstrings sweep.
Rêve du Midi
A SUMMER NOON
WHO has not dreamed a world of bliss
Just as in joyous infancy?
Who has not loved, at such an hour,
While round your bed, o'er fern and blade,
William Howitt [1792-1879]
RÊVE DU MIDI
WHEN o'er the mountain steeps
The hazy noontide creeps,
And the shrill cricket sleeps
Under the grass;
When soft the shadows lie,
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
Banish to silence drear,
The willing thrall of trances sweet I lie.
Some melancholy gale
Breathes its mysterious tale,
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,
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]