Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
1434. As the Day Breaks
By Ernest McGaffey
I PRAY you, what ’s asleep?
  The lily-pads, and riffles, and the reeds;
No longer inward do the waters creep,
  No longer outwardly their force recedes,
And widowed Night, in blackness wide and deep,        5
  Resumes her weeds.
I pray you, what ’s awake?
  A host of stars, the long, long milky way
That stretches out, a glistening silver flake,
  All glorious beneath the moon’s cold ray,        10
And myriad reflections on the lake
  Where star-gleams lay.
I pray you, what ’s astir?
  Why, naught but rustling leaves, dry, sere, and brown:
The East’s broad gates are yet a dusky blur,        15
  And star-gems twinkle in fair Luna’s crown,
And minor chords of wailing winds that were
  Die slowly down.
I pray you, what ’s o’clock?
  Nay! who shall answer that but gray-stoled dawn?        20
See, how from out the shadows looms yon rock,
  Like some great figure on a canvas drawn;
And heard you not the crowing of the cock?
  The night is gone.


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