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- The Home Book of Verse, Volume 3 - 4/88 -

And fates not hope betray,) Which, only white, deserves A diamond for ever should it mark. This is the morn should bring unto this grove My Love, to hear and recompense my love. Fair king, who all preserves, But show thy blushing beams, And thou two sweeter eyes Shalt see, than those which by Peneus' streams Did once thy heart surprise. Nay, suns, which shine as clear As thou, when two thou didst to Rome appear. Now, Flora, deck thyself in fairest guise: If that ye, winds, would hear A voice surpassing far Amphion's lyre, Your stormy chiding stay; Let Zephyr only breathe, And with her tresses play, Kissing sometimes these purple ports of death. - The winds all silent are, And Phoebus in his chair Ensaffroning sea and air, Makes vanish every star: Night like a drunkard reels Beyond the hills, to shun his flaming wheels; The fields with flowers are decked in every hue, The clouds bespangle with bright gold their blue: Here is the pleasant place, And everything save her, who all should grace.

William Drummond [1585-1649]


The sleepless Hours who watch me as I lie, Curtained with star-inwoven tapestries, From the broad moonlight of the sky, Fanning the busy dreams from my dim eyes, - Waken me when their Mother, the gray Dawn, Tells them that dreams and that the moon is gone.

Then I arise, and climbing Heaven's blue dome, I walk over the mountains and the waves, Leaving my robe upon the ocean foam; My footsteps pave the clouds with fire; the caves Are filled with my bright presence, and the air Leaves the green Earth to my embraces bare.

The sunbeams are my shafts, with which I kill Deceit, that loves the night and fears the day; All men who do or even imagine ill Fly me, and from the glory of my ray Good minds and open actions take new might, Until diminished by the reign of Night.

I feed the clouds, the rainbows, and the flowers, With their ethereal colors; the Moon's globe, And the pure stars in their eternal bowers, Are cinctured with my power as with a robe; Whatever lamps on Earth or Heaven may shine, Are portions of one power, which is mine.

I stand at noon upon the peak of Heaven; Then with unwilling steps I wander down Into the clouds of the Atlantic even; For grief that I depart they weep and frown: What look is more delightful than the smile With which I soothe them from the western isle?

I am the eye with which the Universe Beholds itself, and knows it is divine; All harmony of instrument or verse, All prophecy, all medicine, is mine, All light of art or nature; - to my song Victory and praise in its own right belong.

Percy Bysshe Shelley [1792-1822]

PRELUDE From "The New Day"

The night was dark, though sometimes a faint star A little while a little space made bright. The night was dark and still the dawn seemed far, When, o'er the muttering and invisible sea, Slowly, within the East, there grew a light Which half was starlight, and half seemed to be The herald of a greater. The pale white Turned slowly to pale rose, and up the height Of heaven slowly climbed. The gray sea grew Rose-colored like the sky. A white gull flew Straight toward the utmost boundary of the East Where slowly the rose gathered and increased. There was light now, where all was black before: It was as on the opening of a door 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 worlds, and the peal Of the thunder of Life.

William Watson [1858-1935]


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.

The Home Book of Verse, Volume 3 - 4/88

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