THE MORNING STAR.
Night’s heavy hand is lifted up at last,
And my freed heart beats evenly again,
Unpress’d by that dull heavy weight of pain
Cast backward from the unforgotten Past;
Darkness no longer muffles Time’s slow tread,
Till my own pulse-beat mark the moment fled.
Over the speeding shadows, calm and clear,
Rises the Star of Morn upon the Earth,
Eternal Prophet of the Sun-god’s birth,
Shining serenely from its silver sphere
Mute mystic meanings on the strengthen’d soul,
Till all its night-bred vapours backward roll.
Oh, bright-eyed Angel of the undimm’d Light,
Standing upon Heaven’s pinnacle, thy glance
Pierces like two-edged sword through many a trance,
Dividing Truth from Dreaming in its might,
Scourging Doubt’s myriads from Day’s temple-gate,
Leaving Life’s worship pure, its heart elate.
No herald thou of Night, like Hesper fair,
Pale with the dreaded Future’s shapeless gloom,
Leading the spirit to an unknown doom,
Through clouds and darkness heavy fraught with care,
Hesper the beautiful alone our guide,
Beset by blinding fears on every side.
Groping through Night’s dim chambers wearily,
Longing to leave its cold sepulchral aisles,
Comest thou with thy calm assuring smiles,
Like Nemesis to lead us tenderly
Through all the dangers of the murky way,
Unto the golden portals of the Day.
Yea! Night and Death shall pass away, and we,
By resurrection sweet, arise new-born
Like thee in glory, bright one, Sons of Morn,
Without a shade on our felicity,
Eyeing the fleeting vapours of the Past,
As thou dost now Night’s mists dissolving fast.
How light and pleasant is the way
Across this quiet valley, whose soft mead
Springs lightly as the air that angels tread,
Beneath our footsteps weariless all day!
This crystal river flowing by our side,
One stream of sunshine, still has seem’d a guide
From Heaven in pure angelical array.
These purple mountains now are nigh,
That all the valley through have fill’d our eyes
With day-dreams of the distant Paradise,
Their sun-surrounded summits can descry—
We mount them now upon Hope’s bounding wing,
That makes each short swift footstep long to spring
Suddenly upward to the shadeless sky.
The air methinks is lighter here—
And the breast heaves with full untrammell’d ease,
Drinking the life-draught of the fragrant breeze,
That wafts its soul-sighs to another sphere.
Earth groweth little in our eyes, but fair,
Fair as though sin had never enter’d there—
Earth groweth little as Heaven draweth near.
This rock—and then at last
Upon the silent summit—scarce I dare
Gaze outward, through the clear and azure air,
Towards the radiance of the Promised Land:
I am so weak and fallen, friend, I fear
Mine eyes will dazzle, and the light appear
Darkness, so that I shall not see the Promised Land.