A Sunrise Song

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A Sunrise Song
by Sidney Lanier
Sidney Lanier composed this poem in Baltimore, Maryland in 1881, just a few days before he passed away. In the volume of his poems published posthumously and edited by his wife, this poem was characterized as an “unrevised pencilling.”

Young palmer sun, that to these shining sands
      Pourest thy pilgrim’s tale, discoursing still
Thy silver passages of sacred lands,
      With news of Sepulchre and Dolorous Hill,

Canst thou be he that, yester-sunset warm,
      Purple with Paynim rage and wrack desire,
Dashed ravening out of a dusty lair of Storm,
      Harried the west, and set the world on fire?

Hast thou perchance repented, Saracen Sun?
      Wilt warm the world with peace and dove-desire?
Or wilt thou, ere this very day be done,
      Blaze Saladin still, with unforgiving fire?