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The Morn That Breaks Its Heart Of Gold

Madison Julius Cawein 1865 ( Louisville, Kentucky) – 1914 ( Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky)

From an ode 'In Commemoration of the Founding of the
Massachusetts Bay Colony.'

The morn that breaks its heart of gold
Above the purple hills;
The eve, that spills
Its nautilus splendor where the sea is rolled;
The night, that leads the vast procession in
Of stars and dreams,-
The beauty that shall never die or pass:-
The winds, that spin
Of rain the misty mantles of the grass,
And thunder raiment of the mountain-streams;
The sunbeams, penciling with gold the dusk
Green cowls of ancient woods;
The shadows, thridding, veiled with musk,
The moon-pathed solitudes,
Call to my Fancy, saying, 'Follow! follow!'
Till, following, I see,-
Fair as a cascade in a rainbowed hollow,-
A dream, a shape, take form,
Clad on with every charm,-

The vision of that Ideality,
Which lured the pioneer in wood and hill,
And beckoned him from earth and sky;
The dream that cannot die,
Their children's children did fulfill,
In stone and iron and wood,
Out of the solitude,
And by a stalwart act
Create a mighty fact-
A Nation, now that stands
Clad on with hope and beauty, strength and song,
Eternal, young and strong,
Planting her heel on wrong,
Her starry banner in triumphant hands….

Within her face the rose
Of Alleghany dawns;
Limbed with Alaskan snows,
Floridian starlight in her eyes,-
Eyes stern as steel yet tender as a fawn's,-
And in her hair
The rapture of her rivers; and the dare,
As perishless as truth,
That o'er the crags of her Sierras flies,
Urging the eagle ardor through her veins,
Behold her where,
Around her radiant youth,

The spirits of the cataracts and plains,
The genii of the floods and forests, meet,
In rainbow mists circling her brow and feet:
The forces vast that sit
In session round her; powers paraclete,
That guard her presence; awful forms and fair,
Making secure her place;
Guiding her surely as the worlds through space
Do laws sidereal; edicts, thunder-lit,
Of skyed eternity, in splendor borne
On planetary wings of night and morn.

*

From her high place she sees
Her long procession of accomplished acts,
Cloud-winged refulgences
Of thoughts in steel and stone, of marble dreams,
Lift up tremendous battlements,
Sun-blinding, built of facts;
While in her soul she seems,
Listening, to hear, as from innumerable tents,
AEonian thunder, wonder, and applause
Of all the heroic ages that are gone;
Feeling secure
That, as her Past, her Future shall endure,
As did her Cause
When redly broke the dawn
Of fierce rebellion, and, beneath its star,
The firmaments of war
Poured down infernal rain,
And North and South lay bleeding mid their slain.
And now, no less, shall her great Cause prevail,
More so in peace than war,
Through the thrilled wire and electric rail,
Carrying her message far:
Shaping her dream
Within the brain of steam,
That, with a myriad hands,
Labors unceasingly, and knits her lands
In firmer union; joining plain and stream
With steel; and binding shore to shore
With bands of iron;-nerves and arteries,
Along whose adamant forever pour
Her concrete thoughts, her tireless energies.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:39 min read
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Madison Julius Cawein

Madison Julius Cawein (March 23, 1865 – December 8, 1914) was a poet from Louisville, Kentucky. more…

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