by Ada Cambridge
When I kneel down the dawn is only breaking;
Sleep fetters still the brown wings of the lark;
The wind blows pure and cool, for day is waking,
But stars are scattered still about the dark.
With open lattice, looking out and praying,
Ere yet the toil and trouble must be faced,
I see a silvery glimmer straying, straying,
To where the faint grey sky-line can be traced:
I see it slowly deepen, broaden, brighten,
With soft snow-fringes sweeping to the land;
The sheeny distance clear, and gleam, and whiten;
The cool cliff-shadows sharpen on the sand.
Some other sea the sunlight is adorning,
But mine is fair 'neath waning stars and moon.
O friendly face!-O smile that comes at morning,
To shine through all the frowns that come at noon!
A beautiful wet opal-pale tints filling
A thousand shifting shallows-day at length.
The sweet, salt breeze, like richest wine, is thrilling
My drowsy heart and brain with life and strength.
I hear the voice of waters-strong waves dashing
Their white crests on the brown weed-sprinkled sod;
I hear the soft, continuous, measured plashing-
The pulse that vibrates from the heart of God,-
The long wash of the tide upon the shingle,
The rippling ebb of breakers on the shore,
Wherewith my prayers are fain to blend and mingle-
Whereto I set my dreams for evermore.
I hear the lap and swirl, I hear the thunder
In the dark grotto where the children play,-
Where walls to keep the sea and cave asunder,
And frail shell towers, were reared but yesterday.
The flood has filled my soul, and it is sweeping
My foolish stones and pebbles out to sea,
And floating in strange riches for my keeping,-
O friend! O God! I owe my best to Thee.
The best of every day, its peace and beauty,
From Thy mysterious treasure-house is drawn;
Thou teachest me the grace of life and duty,
When we two walk together in the dawn.
Last updated January 14, 2019