Anthem Of Dawn

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

I


Then up the orient heights to the zenith, that balanced the crescent,--
Up and far up and over,--the heaven grew erubescent,
Vibrant with rose and with ruby from the hands of the harpist Dawn,
Smiting symphonic fire on the firmament's barbiton:
And the East was a priest who adored with offerings of gold and of gems,
And a wonderful carpet unrolled for the inaccessible hems
Of the glistening robes of her limbs; that, lily and amethyst,
Swept glorying on and on through temples of cloud and mist.


II


Then out of the splendor and richness, that burned like a magic stone,
The torrent suffusion that deepened and dazzled and broadened and shone,
The pomp and the pageant of color, triumphal procession of glare,
The sun, like a king in armor, breathing splendor from feet to hair,
Stood forth with majesty girdled, as a hero who towers afar
Where the bannered gates are bristling hells and the walls are roaring war:
And broad on the back of the world, like a Cherubin's fiery blade,
The effulgent gaze of his aspect fell in glittering accolade.


III


Then billowing blue, like an ocean, rolled from the shores of morn to even:
And the stars, like rafts, went down: and the moon, like a ghost-ship, driven,
A feather of foam, from port to port of the cloud-built isles that dotted,
With pearl and cameo, bays of the day, her canvas webbed and rotted,
Lay lost in the gulf of heaven: while over her mixed and melted
The beautiful children of Morn, whose bodies are opal-belted;
The beautiful daughters of Dawn, who, over and under, and after
The rivered radiance, wrestled; and rainbowed heaven with laughter
Of halcyon sapphire.--O Dawn! thou visible mirth,
And hallelujah of Heaven! hosanna of Earth!

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