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.
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.
Dawn And Dark
GOD with His million cares
Went to the left or right,
Leaving our world; and the day
Back from a sphere He came
Over a starry lawn,
Looked at our world; and the dark
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Winter Dawn
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
A Wife&Mdash;At Daybreak I Shall Be
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.
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.
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.
Life! Austere arbiter of each man's fate,
By whom he learns that Nature's steadfast laws
Are as decrees immutable; O pause
Your even forward march! Not yet too late
Teach me the needed lesson, when to wait
Inactive as a ship when no wind draws
To stretch the loosened cordage. One implores
Thy clemency, whose wilfulness innate
Has gone uncurbed and roughshod while the years
Have lengthened into decades; now distressed
He knows no rule by which to move or stay,
And teased with restlessness and desperate fears
He dares not watch in silence thy wise way
Bringing about results none could have guessed.
by Amy Lowell.
God-seeking thou hast journeyed far and nigh.
On dawn-lit mountain-tops thy soul did yearn
To hear His trailing garments wander by;
And where 'mid thunderous glooms great sunsets burn,
Vainly thou sought'st His shadow on sea and sky;
Or gazing up, at noontide, could'st discern
Only a neutral heaven's indifferent eye
And countenance austerely taciturn.
Yet whom thou soughtest I have found at last;
Neither where tempest dims the world below
Nor where the westering daylight reels aghast
In conflagrations of red overthrow:
But where this virgin brooklet silvers past,
And yellowing either bank the king-cups blow.
by William Watson.
Sonnets Of The Empire: Dawn At Liverpool
The Sunlight laughs along the serried stone
About whose feet the wastrel tide runs free;
Light lie the shipmasts, fairy-like to see,
Athwart the royal city’s splendour thrown;
On runs the noble river, wide and lone,
Like some great soul that presses to the sea
Where life is rendered to eternity
And eager thought hath rest in the Unknown.
So sets thy tide, my country, to the deep
Whose face is black with thunder near and far,
And vexed with fleering gusts and tyrannous rain.
Shall the cloud lift and give thee rest and sleep,
Or wilt thou ’mid the surge and crash of war
Shatter thy life against the invading main?
Sonnet Lxxx: From Dawn To Noon
As the child knows not if his mother's face
Be fair; nor of his elders yet can deem
What each most is; but as of hill or stream
At dawn, all glimmering life surrounds his place:
Who yet, tow'rd noon of his half-weary race,
Pausing awhile beneath the high sun-beam
And gazing steadily back,—as through a dream,
In things long past new features now can trace:—
Even so the thought that is at length fullgrown
Turns back to note the sun-smit paths, all grey
And marvellous once, where first it walked alone;
And haply doubts, amid the unblenching day,
Which most or least impelled its onward way,—
Those unknown things or these things overknown.
Daylight And Moonlight
In broad daylight, and at noon,
Yesterday I saw the moon
Sailing high, but faint and white,
As a schoolboy's paper kite.
In broad daylight, yesterday,
I read a poet's mystic lay;
And it seemed to me at most
As a phantom, or a ghost.
But at length the feverish day
Like a passion died away,
And the night, serene and still,
Fell on village, vale, and hill.
Then the moon, in all her pride,
Like a spirit glorified,
Filled and overflowed the night
With revelations of her light.
And the Poet's song again
Passed like music through my brain;
Night interpreted to me
All its grace and mystery.
Dawn By The Sea
Beautiful, cold, freshness of light reveals
The black masts, mirrored with their shadowy spars,
The hill--gloom and the sleeping wharf, and steals
Up magical faint heights of fading stars.
I hear the waves, on the long shingle thrown,
Slowly draw backward, plunge, and never cease.
Against that sea--sound the earth--stillness lone
Builds vaster in the early light's increase.
O falling blind waves, in my heart you break;
Outcast and far from my own self I seem,
With alien sense in a strange air awake,
The body and projection of a dream.
Turn back, pale Dawn, or bring that light to me
Which yesterday was lost beyond the sea.
In wandering through waste places of the world,
I met my love and knew not she was mine.
But soon a light more tender, more divine,
Filled earth and heaven; richer cloud-curtains furled
The west at eve; a softer flush impearled
The gates of dawn; a note more pure and fine
Rang in the thrush's song; a rarer shine
Varnished the leaves by May's sweet sun uncurled.
To me, who loved but knew not, all the air
Trembled to shocks of far-off melodies,
As all the summer's rustling thrills the trees
When spring suns strike their boughs, asleep and bare.
And then, one blessed day, I saw arise
Love's morning, glorious, in her tranquil eyes.
by John Hay.
Opposite me two Germans snore and sweat.
Through sullen swirling gloom we jolt and roar.
We have been here for ever: even yet
A dim watch tells two hours, two aeons, more.
The windows are tight-shut and slimy-wet
With a night's foetor. There are two hours more;
Two hours to dawn and Milan; two hours yet.
Opposite me two Germans sweat and snore. . . .
One of them wakes, and spits, and sleeps again.
The darkness shivers. A wan light through the rain
Strikes on our faces, drawn and white. Somewhere
A new day sprawls; and, inside, the foul air
Is chill, and damp, and fouler than before. . . .
Opposite me two Germans sweat and snore.
by Rupert Brooke.
The Dawn Dance
What do you think I saw to-day when I arose at dawn?
Blue Wrens and Yellow-tails dancing on the lawn!
Bobbing here, and bowing there, gossiping away,
And how I wished that you were there to see the merry play!
But you were snug abed, my boy, blankets to your chin,
Nor dreamed of dancing birds without or sunbeams dancing in.
Grey Thrush, he piped the tune for them. I peeped out through the glass
Between the window curtains, and I saw them on the grass -
Merry little fairy folk, dancing up and down,
Blue bonnet, yellow skirt, cloaks of grey and brown,
Underneath the wattle-tree, silver in the dawn,
Blue Wrens and Yellow-tails dancing on the lawn.
Awake, sad heart, whom sorrow ever drowns ;
Take up thine eyes, which feed on earth ;
Unfold thy forehead, gathered into frowns ;
Thy Saviour comes, and with Him mirth :
And with a thankful heart His comforts take.
But thou dost still lament, and pine, and cry,
And feel His death, but not His victory.
Arise, sad heart ; if thou dost not withstand,
Christ's resurrection thine may be ;
Do not by hanging down break from the hand
Which, as it riseth, raiseth thee :
And with His burial linen drie thine eyes.
Christ left His grave-clothes, that we might, when grief
Draws tears or blood, not want a handkerchief.
by George Herbert.
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 !
by Radclyffe Hall.
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.
by Radclyffe Hall.
Pray but one prayer for me 'twixt thy closed lips,
Think but one thought of me up in the stars.
The summer night waneth, the morning light slips,
Faint and grey 'twixt the leaves of the aspen, betwixt the cloud-bars
That are patiently waiting there for the dawn:
Patient and colourless, though Heaven's gold
Waits to float through them along with the sun.
Far out in the meadows, above the young corn,
The heavy elms wait, and restless and cold
The uneasy wind rises; the roses are dun;
Through the long twilight they pray for the dawn,
Round the lone house in the midst of the corn,
Speak but one word to me over the corn,
Over the tender, bow'd locks of the corn.
by William Morris.
The Dark Before Dawn
Oh, mystery of the morning gloam,
Of haunted air, of windless hush!
Oh, wonder of the deepening dome-
Afar, still far, the morning's flush!
My spirit hears, among the spheres,
The round earth's ever-quickening rush!
A single leaf, on yonder tree,
The planet's rush hath felt, hath heard,
And soon all branches whispering be;
That whisper wakes the nested bird-
The song of the thrush, before the blush
Of Dawn, the dreaming world hath stirred!
The old moon withers in the East-
The winds of space may drive her far!
In heaven's chancel waits the priest-
Dawn's pontiff-priest, the morning star!
And yonder, lo! a shafted glow-
The gates of Day-spring fall ajar!
Dawn, Noon And Dewfall
Dawn, noon and dewfall! Bluebird and robin
Up and at it airly, and the orchard-blossoms bobbin'!
Peekin' from the winder, half-awake, and wishin'
I could go to sleep agin as well as go a-fishin'!
On the apern o' the dam, legs a-danglin' over,
Drowsy-like with sound o' worter and the smell o' clover:
Fish all out a visitin'--'cept some dratted minnor!
Yes, and mill shet down at last and hands is gone to dinner.
Trompin' home acrost the fields: Lightnin'-bugs a-blinkin'
In the wheat like sparks o' things feller keeps a-thinkin':--
Mother waitin' supper, and the childern there to cherr me!
And fiddle on the kitchen-wall a-jist a-eechin' fer me!
Here in the little room
You sleep the sleep of innocent tired youth,
While I, in very sooth,
Tired, and awake beside you in the gloom,
Watch for the dawn, and feel the morning make
A loneliness about me for your sake.
You are so young, so fair,
And such a child, and might have loved so well;
And now, I cannot tell,
But surely one might love you anywhere,
Come to you as a lover, and make bold
To beg for that which all may buy with gold.
Your sweet, scarce lost, estate
Of innocence, the candour of your eyes,
Your childlike pleased surprise,
Your patience: these afflict me with a weight
As of some heavy wrong that I must share
With God who made, and man who found you, fair.
by Arthur Symons.
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 !
by Radclyffe Hall.