Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE ALMOND TREE, by READ BAIN

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THE ALMOND TREE, by            
First Line: In the dusk before the dawning
Last Line: Be all later life shall save?
Subject(s): Almond Trees; Nature; Spring; Trees

IN the dusk before the dawning,
In the dark before the day,
I saw its aspic awning
Spread above the shadow-way,
Stood beneath the rich red weaving
And the wax-wrought white so gay
Blent to purple past believing—
Made of March instead of May.

In the silver sunlight's pressure,
In the half-warm noon's embrace,
I saw the spring's first treasure
Like a shining maiden's face;
Million petals halo-gleaming,
Lambent links of fairy lace,
Round the spring-sprite's bosom streaming—
Glimpse of glowing girlish grace.

Woe! I saw it night enshrouded,
Whipt by wind and washt by rain,
Light of dawn and noon, beclouded,
Joy and youth turned age and pain;
Petals flying, ghostly, ghastly,
To be trampled down the lane;—
But the memory looming vastly
Shall forever fair remain.

Ah, and so shall early blooming
Lose all sweetness young life gave?
Rainy night-winds darkly dooming
Pale pink-whiteness,—beauty brave?
Youth's fresh hope go glooming, glooming,
Scattered scentless in its grave,
And ghost-memory, vastly looming,
Be all later life shall save?

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