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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Dawn
By Nathaniel Parker Willis (1806–1867)
 
  “That line I learned not in the old sad song.”
—CHARLES LAMB.    

THROW up the window! ’Tis a morn for life
In its most subtle luxury. The air
Is like a breathing from a rarer world;
And the south wind is like a gentle friend,
Parting the hair so softly on my brow.        5
It has come over gardens, and the flowers
That kissed it are betrayed; for as it parts,
With its invisible fingers, my loose hair,
I know it has been trifling with the rose,
And stooping to the violet. There is joy        10
For all God’s creatures in it. The wet leaves
Are stirring at its touch, and birds are singing
As if to breathe were music, and the grass
Sends up its modest odor with the dew,
Like the small tribute of humility.        15
I had awoke from an unpleasant dream,
And light was welcome to me. I looked out
To feel the common air; and when the breath
Of the delicious morning met my brow,
Cooling its fever, and the pleasant sun        20
Shone on familiar objects, it was like
The feeling of the captive, who comes forth
From darkness to the cheerful light of day.
Oh! could we wake from sorrow; were it all
A troubled dream like this, to cast aside        25
Like an untimely garment with the morn;
Could the long fever of the heart be cooled
By a sweet breath from nature; or the gloom
Of a bereaved affection pass away
With looking on the lively tint of flowers,—        30
How lightly were the spirit reconciled
To make this beautiful, bright world its home!
 
 
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