After-Glow.

A poem by Susan Coolidge

My morn was all dewy rose and pearl,
Peace brimmed the skies, a cool and fragrant air
Caressed my going forth, and everywhere
The radiant webs, by hope and fancy spun,
Stretched shining in the sun.

Then came a noon, hot, breathless, still,--
No wind to visit the dew-thirsty flowers,
Only the dust, the road, the urging hours;
And, pressing on, I never guessed or knew
That day was half-way through.

And when the pomp of purple lit the sky,
And sheaves of golden lances tipped with red
Danced in the west, wondering I gazed, and said,
"Lo, a new morning comes, my hopes to crown!"
Sudden the sun dropped down

Like a great golden ball into the sea,
Which made room, laughing, and the serried rank
Of yellow lances flashed, and, turning, sank
After their chieftain, as he led the way,
And all the heaven was gray.

Startled and pale, I stood to see them go;
Then a long, stealing shadow to me crept,
And laid his cold hand on me, and I wept
And hid my eyes, and shivered with affright
At thought of coming night.

But as I wept and shuddered, a warm thrill
Smote on my sense. I raised my eyes, and lo!
The skies, so dim but now, were all aglow
With a new flush of tender rose and gold,
Opening fold on fold.

Higher and higher soared the gracious beam,
Deeper and deeper glowed the heavenly hues,
Nor any cowering shadow could refuse
The beautiful embrace which clasped and kissed
Its dun to amethyst.

A little longer, and the lovely light,
Draining the last drops from its wondrous urn,
Departed, and the swart shades in their turn,
Impatient of the momentary mirth,
Crowded to seize the earth.

No longer do I shudder. With calm eye
I front the night, nor wish its hours away;
For in that message from my banished day
I read his pledge of dawn, and soon or late
I can endure to wait.

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