It plants the first blush upon the cheek of dawn; with brush of gold upon the glowing canvas of the west, it tells the story of the dying day.
At its mere whim and caprice, a thousand pillars of light leap from the dark and sullen seas which surge about the poles, while from its shimmering loom it weaves the opalescent tapestry of the aurora to hang against the black background of the arctic night.
It rouses nature from her winter sleep, breaks the icy fetters of the frost that binds the streams, lifts the shroud of snow from off the landscape, woos the tender mold and bids the birth of bud and blossom; dowers the flower with perfume and clothes the earth with verdure of the spring.
It rides the swift courses of the storms that circle round the bald crest of old Mount Davidson; cleaves the black curtain of the night with scimitar of flame; rouses the lightnings from their couch of clouds and wakes the earthquake.
Beneath its touch, the beetling crag, which took omnipotence a thousand years to rear, crumbles into dust, the mere plaything of the idle wind; it lays its hand upon the populous city with its teeming, restless multitude. And yesterday, where stood the glittering spire, the shining tower, the frowning battlement, today the cold gray ocean rolls in undisputed might.
It gathers the doings of the day from the four corners of the world, the tales of love and death, of fire and flood, of strife and pestilence, and under eight thousand miles of shivering sea, whispers the babble of two hemispheres.
It turns the wheels of peace where poor men toil, and helps the husbandman to plow and plant and reap his whispering grain.
It rides the wings of war where brave men die; and when it stalks between contending hosts, exalts the kingly crest and helps an empire plant its flag of conquest.
It glows in lonely attics where weary workers toil to earn their crust. It shines o’er scenes where feet of feasters tread the halls of revelry. It lights the mourners on their pathway to the tomb. It glares in haunts where jeweled ringers lift the cup of pleasure to the month of sin, ’mid the sobbing of the sensuous music and flow of forbidden wine; and speeding on its way illumes the dim cathedral aisle, where surpliced priest proclaims the teachings of the master, and golden-throated choirs lift their hosannas to the King of Kings.
It was the Maker’s ally at the dawn of time, and when God from the depths of infinite space, said “Let there be light,” it sent the pulse of life along creation’s veins, baptized earth’s cold brow with floods of fire, and stood the sponsor of a cradled world.
SAM P. DAVIS.
ANGIER, BELLE SUMNER, (Mrs. Walter Burn.) Special training in floricultural and horticultural subjects. Staff writer on Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Express. Writer on garden and floral topics for California newspapers and many magazines. Author: Garden Book of California. Address: 1036 N. Washington St., Los Angeles, Calif.