Poems (1898)/At Break of Day

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For other versions of this work, see At Break of Day.


I thought that past the gates of doom,
Where Orpheus played a strain divine
Of love importunate as mine,
Unto the dwellings of the dead I came through paths of gloom.

Around me, looming dark through cloud,
Vast walls arose whence mournful fell
The shadow and the hush of hell;
And silence, brooding, palpable, inwrapped me like a shroud.

Naught blossomed there; in that chill place
Where longing dwells divorced from hope,
Naught to a joyless horoscope
Lent prophecies of future grace, but—I beheld thy face!

And I awoke,—songs trembling near,—
Awoke and saw day's chariot pass
Bright gleaming o’er the meadow-grass,
And knew this glad earth, without thee, than realms of death more drear!