The crimson dawn breaks through the clouded east,
And waking breezes round the casement pipe;
They blow the globes of dew from opening buds,
And steal the odors of the sleeping flowers.
The swallow calls its young ones from the eaves,
To dart above their shadows on the lake,
Till its long rollers redden in the sun,
And bend the lances of the mirrored pines.
Who knows the miracle that brings the morn?
Still in my house I linger, though the night—
The night that hides me from myself is gone.
Light robes the world, but strips me bare again.
I will not follow on the paths of day.
I know the dregs within its crystal hours;
The bearers of my cups have served me well;
I drained them, and the bearers come no more.
Rise, morning, rise, for those believing souls
Who seek completion in day’s garish light.
My casement I will close, keep shut my door,
Till day and night are only dreams to me.
In the Still, Star-Lit Night
In the still, star-lit night,
By the full fountain and the willow-tree,
I walked, and not alone—
A spirit walked with me!
A shade fell on the grass;
Upon the water fell a deeper shade:
Something the willow stirred,
For to and fro it swayed.
The grass was in a quiver,
The water trembled, and the willow-tree
Sighed softly; I sighed loud—
The spirit taunted me.
All the night long I walked
By the full fountain, dropping icy tears;
I tore the willow leaves,
I tore the long, green spears!
I clutched the quaking grass,
And beat the rough bark of the willow-tree;
I shook the wreathèd boughs,
To make the spirit flee.
It haunted me till dawn,
By the full fountain and the willow-tree;
For with myself I walked—
How could the spirit flee?