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THE MIRACLE OF THE DAWN

What would it mean for you and me
If dawn should come no more!
Think of its gold along the sea,
Its rose above the shore!
That rose of awful mystery,
Our souls bow down before.

What wonder that the Inca kneeled,
The Aztec prayed and pled
And sacrificed to it, and sealed, -
With rites that long are dead, -
The marvels that it once revealed
To them it comforted.

What wonder, yea! what awe, behold!
What rapture and what tears
Were ours, if wild its rivered gold, -
That now each day appears, -
Burst on the world, in darkness rolled,
Once every thousand years!

Think what it means to me and you
To see it even as God
Evolved it when the world was new!
When Light rose, earthquake-shod,
And slow its gradual splendor grew
O"er deeps the whirlwind trod.

What shoutings then and cymballings
Arose from depth and height!
What worship-solemn trumpetings,
And thunders, burning-white,
Of winds and waves, and anthemings 
Of Earth received the Light.

Think what it meant to see the dawn!
The dawn, that comes each day! -
What if the East should ne"er grow wan,
Should nevermore grow gray!
That line of rose no more be drawn
Above the ocean's spray!
Madison Cawein [1865-1914]