new zealand electronic poetry centre

Lola Ridge

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Dawn on the Mountains

‘Tis the coming of the Dawn,
   With her robes about her clinging –
Grey and golden, lake and fawn,
   And a thousand birds are singing
            In the ears of Morn.

Ring the echoes of their mirth,
   And a pallid smile is stealing
O’er the furrowed face of earth,
   As she hears their laughter pealing,
            Bubbling into birth.

The mountains far away
   Their massive heads are lifting
From their couches soft and grey,
   Their vapour-curtains rifting,
            Letting in the day.

Streaming o’er them wide and high,
   Woven ways of light are glowing;
Forms transparent fl oating by,
   Crimson dawning, glories growing –
            Ratas of the sky.

O’er the long white fields of snow,
   Golden shadows, interwoven,
Creep to crevices below;
   Where the clinging mist is cloven
            Pink reflections glow.

In a choir of leafage dim
   All the birds sing on the ledges,
Greeting with a pagan hymn
   The sun king on the edges
            Of the forest rim.

There is laughter in the air,
   As each roving sunbeam pushes
Prying fingers ev’rywhere –
   Eyes obliquely through the bushes
            Darting here and there.

“Tis the passing of the Dawn –
   Fainting, reeling, shrinking, swimming,
With the sunwebs round her drawn,
   And her golden eyes a-brimming,
            Fading from the Morn.


 ‘Dawn on the Mountains,’ Otago Witness 23 Apr 1902: 59. Lola. April, 1902.
See also Verses 1905: 4-5.

Last updated 27 May, 2013