Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
458. From “The Sunshine of the Gods”
 
By Bayard Taylor
 
 
AH, moment not to be purchased,
Not to be won by prayer,
Not by toil to be conquered,
But given, lest one despair,
By the Gods in wayward kindness,        5
Stay—thou art all too fair!
Hour of the dancing measures,
Sylph of the dew and rainbow,
Let us clutch thy shining hair!
 
For the mist is blown from the mind,        10
For the impotent yearning is over,
And the wings of the thoughts have power:
In the warmth and the glow creative
Existence mellows and ripens,
And a crowd of swift surprises        15
Sweetens the fortunate hour;
Till a shudder of rapture loosens
The tears that hang on the eyelids
Like a breeze-suspended shower,
With a sense of heavenly freshness        20
Blown from beyond the sunshine,
And the blood, like the sap of the roses,
Breaks into bud and flower.
 
’T is the Sunshine of the Gods,
The sudden light that quickens,        25
Unites the nimble forces,
And yokes the shy expression
To the thoughts that waited long,—
Waiting and wooing vainly:
But now they meet like lovers        30
In the time of willing increase,
Each warming each, and giving
The kiss that maketh strong:
And the mind feels fairest May-time
In the marriage of its passions,        35
For Thought is one with Speech,
In the Sunshine of the Gods,
And Speech is one with Song!
 
Then a rhythmic pulse makes order
In the troops of wandering fancies:        40
Held in soft subordination,
Lo! they follow, lead, or fly.
The fields of their feet are endless,
And the heights and the deeps are open
To the glance of the equal sky;        45
And the Masters sit no longer
In inaccessible distance,
But give to the haughtiest question,
Smiling, a sweet reply.
 

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