Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SONG AT DAWN, by ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

SONG AT DAWN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I see the dawn creep round the world
Last Line: Brightens above dark woodlands, day begins.
Alternate Author Name(s): Stevenson, Robert Lewis Balfour
Subject(s): Dawn; Sunrise

I see the dawn creep round the world,
Here damm'd a moment backward by great hills,
There racing o'er the sea.
Down at the round equator,
It leaps forth straight and rapid,
Driving with firm sharp edge the night before it.
Here gradually it floods
The wooded valleys and the weeds
And the still smokeless cities.
The cocks crow up at the farms;
The sick man's spirit is glad;
The watch treads brisker about the dew-wet deck;
The light-keeper locks his desk,
As the lenses turn,
Faded and yellow.

The girl with the embroidered shift
Rises and leans on the sill,
And her full bosom heaves
Drinking deep of the silentness.
I too rise and watch
The healing fingers of dawn -
I too drink from its eyes
The unaccountable peace -
I too drink and am satisfied as with food.
Fain would I go
Down by the winding crossroad by the trees,
Where at the corner of wet wood
The blackbird in the early grey and stillness
Wakes his first song.

Peace who can make verses clink,
Find ictus following surely after ictus
At such an hour as this, the heart
Lies steeped and silent.
O dreaming, leaning girl.
Already are the sovereign hill-tops ruddy,
Already the grey passes, the white streak
Brightens above dark woodlands, Day begins.

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