Dawn--
fish the cormorants haven't caught
swimming in the shallows.


Translated by Robert Hass

by Yosa Buson.

AN angel, robed in spotless white,
Bent down and kissed the sleeping Night.
Night woke to blush; the sprite was gone.
Men saw the blush and called it Dawn.

by Paul Laurence Dunbar.

To-night, God knows what thing shall tide,
The Earth is racked and fain--
Expectant, sleepless, open-eyed;
And we, who from the Earth were made,
Thrill with our Mother's pain.

by Rudyard Kipling.

Far in the Eastern passage-way a sudden light;
The stone that blocked the sepulchre is backward rolled;
And down into the fœtid, stifling vault of Night
The naked corpse of Dawn is lowered, grey and cold.

by Arthur Henry Adams.

In the night I dreamed of you;
All the place was filled
With your presence; in my heart
The strife was stilled.

All night I have dreamed of you;
Now the morn is grey.--
How shall I arise and face
The empty day?

by Amy Levy.

GOD with His million cares
Went to the left or right,
Leaving our world; and the day
Grew night.

Back from a sphere He came
Over a starry lawn,
Looked at our world; and the dark
Grew dawn.

by Norman Rowland Gale.

Quiet miles of golden sky,
And in my heart a sudden flower.
I want to clap my hands and cry
For Beauty in her secret bower.

Quiet golden miles of dawn—
Smiling all the East along ;
And in my heart nigh fully blown,
A little rose-bud of a song.

by Francis Ledwidge.

STAY, O sweet and do not rise!
The light that shines comes from thine eyes;
The day breaks not: it is my heart,
   Because that you and I must part.
   Stay! or else my joys will die
   And perish in their infancy.

by John Donne.

Before The Dawn

But like love
the archers
are blind

Upon the green night,
the piercing saetas
leave traces of warm
lily.

The keel of the moon
breaks through purple clouds
and their quivers
fill with dew.

Ay, but like love
the archers
are blind!

by Federico García Lorca.

The Breeze At Dawn

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.

by Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi.

Day's sweetest moments are at dawn;
Refreshed by his long sleep, the Light
Kisses the languid lips of Night,
Ere she can rise and hasten on.
All glowing from his dreamless rest
He holds her closely to his breast,
Warm lip to lip and limb to limb,
Until she dies for love of him.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

Of The Dawn Of Freedom

Careless seems the great Avenger;
History’s lessons but recorded
One death-grapple in the darkness
“Twixt old systems and the Word;
Truth forever on the scaffold,
Wrong forever on the throne;
Yet that scaffold sways the future,
And behind the dim unknown
Standeth God within the shadow
Keeping watch above His own.

by James Russell Lowell.

Lo! 'tis the lark
Out in the sweet of the dawn!
Springing up from the dew of the lawn,
Singing over the gurth and the park!--
O Dawn, red rose to change my life's grey story!
O Song, mute lips burning to lyric glory!
O Joy! Joy of the lark,
Over the dewy lawn,
Over the gurth and the park,
In the sweet of the dawn!

by Thomas MacDonagh.

Two Views Of It

BEFORE the daybreak, in the murky night
My chanticleer, half dreaming, sees the light
Stream from my window on his perch below,
And taking it for dawn he needs must crow.
Wakeful and sad I shut my book, and smile
To think my lonely vigil should beguile
The silly fowl. Alas, I find no ray
Within my lamp or heart, of dawning day.

by Christopher Pearse Cranch.

Storm and strife and stress,
Lost in a wilderness,
Groping to find a way,
Forth to the haunts of day

Sudden a vista peeps,
Out of the tangled deeps,
Only a point--the ray
But at the end is day.

Dark is the dawn and chill,
Daylight is on the hill,
Night is the flitting breath,
Day rides the hills of death.

by Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Above the marge of night a star still shines,
And on the frosty hills the sombre pines
Harbor an eerie wind that crooneth low
Over the glimmering wastes of virgin snow.

Through the pale arch of orient the morn
Comes in a milk-white splendor newly-born,
A sword of crimson cuts in twain the gray
Banners of shadow hosts, and lo, the day!

by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Turn to thy window in the silver hour
That day comes stepping down the hills of night,
Infolded as the leaves infold a flower
By all her rose-leaf robes of misty light.

Then, like a joy born out of blackest sorrow,
The miracle of morning seems to say,
'There is no night without its dear to-morrow,
No lonely dark that does not find the day.'

by Virna Sheard.

Factory Smokestacks At Dawn

They chisel their force into the dawning sky.
They forge their steeled selves on the precipice.
They split through the fog like axes
so that each breath shatters around them.
Morning announces itself with purple laughter.
The sky floods deep blue.
They keep watch,
barbed and shaven and grey,
naked there and as lost
in the ether. God is born.

by Ernst Toller.

The Invigorating Dawn

Awake, O Krishna awake,
the night has gone arise,
no longer laze breathe the pure air of early morn;
the cowherd-lads come and gaze at you,
and seeing you asleep,
depart as swarms of bumblebees
fly from the lotus clusters.

O darling boy,
dark as the tamala,
if you don't believe me,
open your large eyes
and see for yourself.

by Sant Surdas.

The Roosting Crows

On Soochow’s terrace the crows find their nests.
The King of Wu in his palace drinks with Hsi Shih.
Songs of Wu, Dances of Chu quicken their pleasure
One half of the sun is caught in the valley’s throat.

The clock’s silver arrow marks the passing hours.
They rise early to see the autumn moon,
Watch it sink down into deep river.
Daylight glows in the East. Dawn renews their joy.

by Li Po.

Before The Dawn

In the hush of the morn before the sun
I waken to think of thee
And all the sweet day thus begun
As hallowed sees to be.

In the holly repose the morning star
With trembling awaits the sun,
And thus my heart if near or far
Awaits thee, sweetest one.

In a golden ecstasy of bliss
The fair morning star will die
But I immortal by thy kiss
Live but when thou art nigh.

by Arlo Bates.

I hear a twittering of birds,
And now they burst in song.
How sweet, although it wants the words!
It shall not want them long,
For I will set some to the note
Which bubbles from the thrush's throat.

O jewelled night, that reign'st on high,
Where is thy crescent moon?
Thy stars have faded from the sky,
The sun is coming soon.
The summer night is passed away,
Sing welcome to the summer day.

by Robert Fuller Murray.

Clearing At Dawn

The fields are chill, the sparse rain has stopped;
The colours of Spring teem on every side.
With leaping fish the blue pond is full;
With singing thrushes the green boughs droop.
The flowers of the field have dabbled their powdered cheeks;
The mountain grasses are bent level at the waist.
By the bamboo stream the last fragment of cloud
Blown by the wind slowly scatters away.

Li Po
tr. Waley

by Li Po.

The immortal spirit hath no bars
To circumscribe its dwelling place;
My soul hath pastured with the stars
Upon the meadow-lands of space.

My mind and ear at times have caught,
From realms beyond our mortal reach,
The utterance of Eternal Thought
Of which all nature is the speech.

And high above the seas and lands,
On peaks just tipped with morning light,
My dauntless spirit mutely stands
With eagle wings outspread for flight.

by Frederick George Scott.

Dear Earth, near Earth, the clay that made us men,
The land we sowed,
The hearth that glowed---
O Mother, must we bid farewell to thee?
Fast dawns the last dawn, and what shall comfort then
The lonely hearts that roam the outer sea?

Gray wakes the daybreak, the shivering sails are set,
To misty deeps
The channel sweeps---
O Mother, think on us who think on thee!
Earth-home, birth-home, with love remember yet
The sons in exile on the eternal sea.

by Sir Henry Newbolt.

Dawn Of 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.

by William Watson.

He. Dear, I must be gone
While night Shuts the eyes
Of the household spies;
That song announces dawn.

She. No, night's bird and love's
Bids all true lovers rest,
While his loud song reproves
The murderous stealth of day.

He. Daylight already flies
From mountain crest to crest

She. That light is from the moon.

He. That bird...

She. Let him sing on,
I offer to love's play
My dark declivities.

by William Butler Yeats.

I WOULD be ignorant as the dawn
That has looked down
On that old queen measuring a town
With the pin of a brooch,
Or on the withered men that saw
From their pedantic Babylon
The careless planets in their courses,
The stars fade out where the moon comes.
And took their tablets and did sums;
I would be ignorant as the dawn
That merely stood, rocking the glittering coach
Above the cloudy shoulders of the horses;
I would be -- for no knowledge is worth a straw --
Ignorant and wanton as the dawn.

by William Butler Yeats.

STILL as the holy of holies breathes the vast,
Within its crystal depths the stars grow dim;
Fire on the altar of the hills at last
Burns on the shadowy rim.

Moment that holds all moments; white upon
The verge it trembles; then like mists of flowers
Break from the fairy fountain of the dawn
The hues of many hours.

Thrown downward from that high companionship
Of dreaming inmost heart with inmost heart,
Into the common daily ways I slip
My fire from theirs apart.

by George William Russell.

The Shadow Of Dawn

The shadow of Dawn;
Stillness and stars and over-mastering dreams
Of Life and Death and Sleep;
Heard over gleaming flats, the old, unchanging sound
Of the old, unchanging Sea.

My soul and yours -
O, hand in hand let us fare forth, two ghosts,
Into the ghostliness,
The infinite and abounding solitudes,
Beyond--O, beyond!--beyond . . .

Here in the porch
Upon the multitudinous silences
Of the kingdoms of the grave,
We twain are you and I--two ghosts Omnipotence
Can touch no more . . . no more!

by William Ernest Henley.

A Wife&Mdash;At Daybreak I Shall Be

461

A Wife—at daybreak I shall be—
Sunrise—Hast thou a Flag for me?
At Midnight, I am but a Maid,
How short it takes to make a Bride—
Then—Midnight, I have passed from thee
Unto the East, and Victory—

Midnight—Good Night! I hear them call,
The Angels bustle in the Hall—
Softly my Future climbs the Stair,
I fumble at my Childhood's prayer
So soon to be a Child no more—
Eternity, I'm coming—Sire,
Savior—I've seen the face—before!

by Emily Dickinson.

Daybreak In The Desert

No cheerful note of bird in leafy bower,
No glistening water dancing in the light,
No dewdrop trembling on some modest flower,
No early cock to crow farewell to-night.

Only a greater stillness in the air,
Save for hot sighs of desert-heated breath,
Only the stars, ceasing their sleepless stare,
Only the east, rose-flushing, fresh from death.

All the wide plain, hid ’neath the waning round
Of a tired moon, grew dimly into view;
With a dull haze hung on its furthest bound,
Then sprang the sun into the steely blue.

by Ernest Favenc.

Before The Dawn

Blacker the night grows ere the dawn be risen,
Keener the cost, and fiercer yet the fight.
But hark! above the thunder and the terror
A trumpet blowing splendid through the night.

It is the challenge of our dead undying,
Calling, Remember! We have died for you.
It is the cry of perilled earth's hereafter--
Sons of our sons--Be glorious! Be true!

Now in the hour when either world is witness,
Never or now shall we be proven great,
Rise to the height of all our strain and story,
Aye, and beyond! For we ourselves are Fate.

by Robert Laurence Binyon.

O tender first cold flush of rose,
O budded dawn, wake dreamily ;
Your dim lips as your lids unclose
Murmur your own sad threnody.
0 as the soft and frail lights break
Upon your eyelids, and your eyes
Wider and wider grow and wake,
The old pale glory dies.

And then, as sleep lies down to sleep
And all her dreams lie somewhere dead,
The iron shepherd leads his sheep
To pastures parched whose green is shed.
Still, 0 frail dawn, still in your hair
And your cold eyes and sad sweet lips,
The ghosts of all the dreams are them,
To fade like passing ships.

by Isaac Rosenberg.

And must I ever wake, gray dawn, to know
Thee standing sadly by me like a ghost?
I am perplexed with thee that thou shouldst cost
This earth another turning! All aglow
Thou shouldst have reached me, with a purple show
Along far mountain-tops! and I would post
Over the breadth of seas, though I were lost
In the hot phantom-chase for life, if so
Thou earnest ever with this numbing sense
Of chilly distance and unlovely light,
Waking this gnawing soul anew to fight
With its perpetual load: I drive thee hence!
I have another mountain-range from whence
Bursteth a sun unutterably bright!

by George MacDonald.

At The Dawn (Song)

Awake, beloved! my heart awakes, -
Though still in slumber lies
The world; the pearl of morning breaks
Along the eastern skies.
The moon, the stars, that rule the night,
And look on land and sea,
A pathway are of luring light
My spirit walks to thee.

‘Wake! ere between again shall lift
The day his lance of flame;
From the still shores of dreamland drift
One hour to love’s dear claim.
O love! My love! the shadows part, -
Thine eager arms I see, -
“As for the water-brook the hart, ”
So is my soul for thee!

by Ina D. Coolbrith.

Dawn On The Night-Journey

TILL dawn the wind drove round me. It is past
And still, and leaves the air to lisp of bird,
And to the quiet that is almost heard
Of the new-risen day, as yet bound fast
In the first warmth of sunrise. When the last
Of the sun's hours to-day shall be fulfilled,
There shall another breath of time be stilled
For me, which now is to my senses cast
As much beyond me as eternity,
Unknown, kept secret. On the newborn air
The moth quivers in silence. It is vast,
Yea, even beyond the hills upon the sea,
The day whose end shall give this hour as sheer
As chaos to the irrevocable Past.

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Tomorrow, At Dawn

Tomorrow, at dawn, at the hour when the countryside whitens,
I will set out. You see, I know that you wait for me.
I will go by the forest, I will go by the mountain.
I can no longer remain far from you.

I will walk with my eyes fixed on my thoughts,
Seeing nothing of outdoors, hearing no noise
Alone, unknown, my back curved, my hands crossed,
Sorrowed, and the day for me will be as the night.

I will not look at the gold of evening which falls,
Nor the distant sails going down towards Harfleur,
And when I arrive, I will place on your tomb
A bouquet of green holly and of flowering heather.

by Victor Marie Hugo.

Her Eyes Twinkle In The Veil Like The Light Of Dawn!

Her eyes twinkle in the veil like the light of dawn!
The girl brimming with youth, with her braid come off
-See how heedless is the god of love!
Her eyes twinkle in the veil like the light of dawn!

Intoxicated and nourished with the wine of love, her eyes dance and sway,
See how they close when the beautiful lord mates with her on the bed!
Her eyes twinkle in the veil like the light of dawn!

She bewitches every god with these eyes
And the pride of every austere sage she shatters!
She can make him dance to her tunes, how can Narsaiyya’s lord escape?
Her eyes twinkle in the veil like the light of dawn!

by Narsinh Mehta.

As blazes forth through clouds the morning sun,
So shines your soul, and I must veil my sight
Lest it be stricken to eternal night
By too much seeing ere my song be done,
And I must sing your body’s clouds that run
To hide you with their crimson, green and white
At sunset dawn and noon—and then the flight
Of stars that chant your praise in unison.
But I beneath the planetary choir
Still as a stone lie dumbly, till the dark
Lifts its broad wings—then swift as you draw nigher
I raise Memnonian song, and all must hark,
For you have flung a brand and fixed a spark
Deep in the stone, of your immortal fire.

by Joseph Mary Plunkett.