|THE EARTH again like a ship steams out of the dark sea over
|The edge of the blue, and the sun stands up to see us glide
|Slowly into another day; slowly the rover
|Vessel of darkness takes the rising tide.
|I, on the deck, am startled by this dawn confronting
|Me who am issued amazed from the darkness, stripped
|And quailing here in the sunshine, delivered from haunting
|The night unsounded whereon our days are shipped.
|Feeling myself undawning, the days light playing upon me,
|I who am substance of shadow, I all compact
|Of the stuff of the night, finding myself all wrongly
|Among the crowds of things in the sunshine jostled and racked.
|I with the night on my lips, I sigh with the silence of death;
|And what do I care though the very stones should cry me unreal, though the clouds
|Shine in conceit of substance upon me, who am less than the rain.
|Do I know the darkness within them? What are they but shrouds?
|The clouds go down the sky with a wealthy ease
|Casting a shadow of scorn upon me for my share in death; but I
|Hold my own in the midst of them, darkling, defy
|The whole of the day to extinguish the shadow I lift on the breeze.
|Yea, though the very clouds have vantage over me,
|Enjoying their glancing flight, though my love is dead,
|I still am not homeless here, Ive a tent by day
|Of darkness where she sleeps on her perfect bed.
|And I know the host, the minute sparkling of darkness
|Which vibrates untouched and virile through the grandeur of night,
|But which, when dawn crows challenge, assaulting the vivid motes
|Of living darkness, bursts fretfully, and is bright:
| Runs like a fretted arc-lamp into light,
| Stirred by conflict to shining, which else
| Were dark and whole with the night.
| Runs to a fret of speed like a racing wheel,
| Which else were aslumber along with the whole
| Of the dark, swinging rhythmic instead of a-reel.
| Is chafed to anger, bursts into rage like thunder;
| Which else were a silent grasp that held the heavens
| Arrested, beating thick with wonder.
| Leaps like a fountain of blue sparks leaping
| In a jet from out of obscurity,
| Which erst was darkness sleeping.
| Runs into streams of bright blue drops,
| Water and stones and stars, and myriads
| Of twin-blue eyes, and crops
| Of floury grain, and all the hosts of day,
| All lovely hosts of ripples caused by fretting
| The Darkness into play.