Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ONE DAY, by LETITIA ELIZABETH LANDON



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ONE DAY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The sunshine of the morning
Last Line: What find ye but the grave?
Alternate Author Name(s): L. E. L.; Maclean, Letitia


And this the change from Morning to Midnight.

THE sunshine of the morning
Is abroad upon the sky,
And glorious as that red sunshine
The crimson banners fly;
The snow-white plumes are dancing,
Flash casques and helms of gold:
'Tis the gathering of earth's chivalry,
Her proud, her young, her bold.
The fiery steeds are foaming,
Sweeps by the trumpet blast,
I hear a long and pealing shout,
The soldier bands are past.

The sunshine of the morning
Is abroad upon the sea,
And mistress of the wave and wind
Yon vessel seems to be.
Like the pine-tree of the forest
Her tall mast heavenward springs,
Her white sails bear her onwards
Like the eagle's rushing wings.
That deck is nobly laden,
For gallant hearts are there;
What danger is they would not face,
The deed they would not dare?

The sunshine of the morning
Is abroad upon the hills,
With the singing of the green-wood leaves,
And of a thousand rills.
There springs the youthful hunter
With his winged spear and bow.
He hath the falcon's flashing eye,
The fleet foot of the roe.
He goes with a light carol,
And his own heart is as light;
On, on he bounds from rock to rock,
Rejoicing in his might.

The sunshine of the morning
Is abroad upon yon fane,
There, mid his country's monuments,
Dreams the young bard his strain.
Stand there on marble pedestal
The great of olden time;
Marvel ye minstrel's brow is flush'd
With thoughts and hopes sublime?

The moonshine of the midnight
Is abroad upon the plain;
Where gather'd morning's glorious ranks,
There welter now the slain.
Thousands are sunk there dying,
Pillow'd upon the dead;
The banner lies by the white plume,
But both alike are red.

The moonshine of the midnight
Is abroad upon the seas,
The waves have risen in their might
To battle with the breeze.
That ship has been the victim;
Stranded on yon bleak coast,
She has lost her mast, her winged sails,
And her deck its warlike boast.
O'er her bravest sweep the waters,
And a pale and ghastly band
Cling to the black rock's side, or pace
Like ghosts the sullen strand.

The moonshine of the midnight
Is abroad upon the hills;
No hunter's step is ringing there,
No horn the echo fills.
He is laid on a snow pillow,
Which his red heart-blood has dyed;
One false step, and the jagged rock
Enter'd the hunter's side.

The moonshine of the midnight
Is shining o'er the fane;
Where the bard awoke the morning song
He'll never wake again.
Go thou to yon lone cavern,
Where the lonely ocean sweeps,
There, silent as its darkness,
A maniac vigil keeps.
'Tis the bard; his curse is on him,
His fine mind is o'erthrown,
Contempt hath jarr'd its tuneful chords,
Neglect destroy'd its tone.

These are but few from many
Of life's chequer'd scenes; yet these
Are but as all, -- pride, power, hope,
Then weakness, grief, disease.
Oh, glory of the morning!
Oh, ye gifted, young, and brave!
What end have ye, but midnight;
What find ye but the grave?





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