An April Dawn.

A poem by Kate Seymour Maclean

All night a slow soft rain,
A shadowy stranger from a cloudy land,
Sighing and sobbing, with unsteady hand
Beat at the lattice, ceased, and beat again,
And fled like some wild startled thing pursued
By demons of the night and solitude,
Returning ever--wistful--timid--fain--
The intermittent rain.

And still the sad hours crept
Within uncounted, the while hopes and fears
Swayed our full hearts, and overflowed in tears
That fell in silence, as she waked or slept,
Still drawing nearer to that unknown shore
Whence foot of mortal cometh nevermore,
And still the rain was as a pulse that kept
Time as the slow hours crept.

The plummet of the night
Sank through the hollow dark that closed us round,
A lamp lit globe of space; outside, the sound
Of rain-drops falling from abysmal height
To vast mysterious depths rose faint and far,
Like a dull muffled echo from some star
Swung, like our own, an orb of tears and light
In the unheeding night.

But when the April dawn
Touched the closed lattice softly, and a bird,
Too early wakened from its sleep, was stirred,
And trilled a sudden note broke off, withdrawn,
She heard and woke. All silently she laid
Her gentle hands in ours, with such a look as made
A rainbow of tears it fell upon,
Caught from another and a heavenlier dawn,
Fixed--trembled--and was gone.
Swung, like our own, an orb of tears and light
In the unheeding night.

But when the April dawn
Touched the closed lattice softly, and a bird,
Too early wakened from its sleep, was stirred,
And trilled a sudden note broke off, withdrawn,
She heard and woke. All silently she laid
Her gentle hands in ours, with such a look as made
A rainbow of tears it fell upon,
Caught from another and a heavenlier dawn,
Fixed--trembled--and was gone.

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