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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Annie Adams Fields (1834–1915)


THROUGH the blackness of night I can see,

Through the thickness of darkness light comes,

A gleam where no starlight can be,

A glance where no meteor roams:

When the feet of the morning are dark,

And the lamp of her eye is but dim,

And the flower of the field a dark spark,

The old glint of the wavelet a whim;

When a mist hides the earth from the sky,

When a sound of bells tolling is heard,—

A warning to ships that are nigh,

A silence of beast and of bird;

When the sad waves lament on the shore,

Or hurry and rush to the sand,

In wild waste, and tumult, and roar,

A purposeless, riotous band,—

Then over the night of my soul,

And over the tolling of death,

New fires of ecstasy roll

With the coming of Love, which is breath;

The green hollows whisper of birds,

The silences break into song,

And my spirit pours out into words

That to gladness and morning belong.

But alas for the glory of Dawn,

For his coming in fragrance and might,

Red roses and billowy lawn,

With the full patient moon in his sight,

If in vain do we wait for Love’s feet,

And listen while the hours long delay,

And know that the lilies are sweet,

And the month is the month of May!

In vain would my spirit be glad,

If Love hath forgotten his way;

Or if slow he linger and sad,

In vain is the gladness of day.