Dawn Among The Olive Groves

Along the hills the olives grow.
And almonds bloom in early Spring,
And many are the streams that flow,
And countless are the birds that sing ;
The air is cool with distant snow,
And musical with bells that ring.

Beneath my feet the road winds down
In deepening shadow, far away
To where a little peaceful town
Lies sleeping by the quiet bay ;
A distant sail, now white, now brown,
Shows phantomlike against the day.

While gradually the Eastern skies
Grow flushed and bright, the late stars flee.
And eager clouds appear, and rise
Above the waves expectantly ;
Till lo ! before my wondering eyes.
The great sun steps from out the sea !


I rose, ere yet the eager light
Had wrested from the grasp of night
The trembling spirit of the world.
The dusk of dawn with wistful eyes
Stole timidly across the skies,
A little cloud its edges curled
By passing winds sped soft and bright
Towards some Eastern Paradise.

No bird was yet awake to sing,
And silence kissing everything
Compelled my doubting soul to rest.
While yet I slept a fall of snow
Had whitened all the hills, and lo!
Above the nearest summit's crest,
A pendent star, as though to bring
God's blessing to His Earth below,
Shone like a thought benign, and kind,
Within the vast Eternal Mind.

It is the dawn, that wondrous fateful hour
Of strange desires, of thoughts and deeds that stir
Within the womb of possibihty.
A wind new-wakened combs the silken sea.
Lifting the foam hke some unearthlj' flower.
The Hghts still glimmer all along the quay :
And overhead a flight of hurried stars
Seek hiding swiftly, e'er the day shall be.
Ships pass like spectres, little white-sailed ships.
Gliding away towards their destiny.
The earth, expectant, seems to thrill and wait
For some loved being ; through the eastern gate
Red clouds come floating. Oh ! that I were day.
Resplendent, bountiful, a heaven-born fire.
Filled with the glory of my own desire,
And thou, the trembling earth awaiting me !