new zealand electronic poetry centre

Lola Ridge

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The Hour of Dawn

The great, slow brain of the earth is waking
            O’er the solar skies;
The white Dawn comes, and the light is breaking
            From her half-shut eyes.

As slow she moves with her long skirts trailing
            O’er the forest rims,
She lifts her robe of the grey nun’s veiling
            From her gleaming limbs.

The praise of birds she has stayed to listen
            Where the locked boughs meet;
Her cold cheek warms and the dewdrops glisten
            On her bare white feet.

All sounds are still, and the soul is shaken
            As it stands alone;
The best and worst in the heart must waken
            That the heart has known.

And darkness falls, by the day supplanted;
            With her eyes alight,
The Morning stands with her fair feet planted
            On the prostrate Night.

And strong hearts glow, and weak ones sicken
            At the sound of strife,
Of thoughts that leap and deeds that quicken
            In the womb of life.



‘The Hour of Dawn,’ Bulletin 15 Jun 1905: 3. NSW.
See also Verses 1905: 11.

Last updated 29 May, 2013