The Unconquered Air, and Other Poems (1912)/Dawn

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For works with similar titles, see Dawn.
For other versions of this work, see Dawn (Coates).

DAWN

In Orient mystery
Thou veilest thee,
Pale daughter of the never-quenchéd Light,
Who from the couch of Night
By swift-ascending steeds to heaven art borne
Ere yet thy sister, Morn,
Awaiting, dons her wondrous vesture bright.


Like to a handmaid lowly, day by day
Thou dost prepare her way;
But when soft-trailing saffron and warm rose
Half hide and half disclose
Her glowing beauty rare,—
When living things her sweet breath quaff,
And lift their heads for joy of her, and laugh,
Thou art no longer there.


Yet, ah, there moments be,
Child of Hyperion, sacred to thee,
That dearer gifts confer;
When mortals lay before thy sun-lit shrine
A thankfulness of worship more divine
Than any offered her:


When, after night distressful spent—
Night sleepless and intolerably long,
Comes—unexpected, eloquent—
A tentative, faint note of song!
And the o'erwearied watcher sighs,
And lying still, with tear-wet eyes,
Hearkens the most celestial lays
Earth knows; and sees Night's curtains drawn
Slowly aside, and whispers: "Dawn!"—
Yearning beholds the tender gleam
Of Hope's pale star, where it doth beam
Eternal on thy brow,
And in its ray composed and blest,
Sinks into rest.