Verse > Anthologies > George Willis Cooke, ed. > The Poets of Transcendentalism: An Anthology
George Willis Cooke, comp.  The Poets of Transcendentalism: An Anthology.  1903.
A Summer Morning Hour with Nature
By Augusta Cooper Bristol (1835–1910)
THE NIGHT has gathered up her moonlit fringes,
    And curtains gray,
And orient gates, that move on silver hinges,
    Let in the day.
The morning sun his golden eye-lash raises        5
    O’er eastern hills;
The happy summer bird, with matin praises
    The thicket fills.
And Nature’s dress, with softly tinted roses,
    And lilies wrought,        10
Through all its varied unity discloses
    God’s perfect thought.
Great Nature! hand in hand with her I travel
    Adown the mead,
And half her precious mysteries unravel,        15
    Her scripture read.
And while the soft wind lifts her tinted pages,
    And turns them o’er,
My heart goes back to one in bygone ages
    Who loved her lore,        20
And symbols used of harvest field, and fountain,
    And breezy air;
Who sought the sacred silence of the mountain,
    For secret prayer.
Oh drop, my soul, the burden that oppresses,        25
    And cares that rule,
That I may prove the whispering wildernesses
    Heaven’s vestibule!
For I can hear, despite material warden
    And earthly locks,        30
A still small voice; and know that through His garden
    The Father walks.
The fragrant lips of dewy flowers that glisten
    Along the sward,
Are whispering to my spirit as I listen,        35
    “It is the Lord.”
And forest monarchs tell by reverent gesture
    And solemn sigh,
That the veiled splendor of His awful vesture
    Is passing by.        40
The billows witness Him. No more they darkle,
    But leap to lave
The silent marching feet, that leave a sparkle
    Along the wave.
And sweet aromas, fresher and intenser,        45
    The gales refine;
The odor floating from the lily’s censer
    Is breath divine.
Thus Nature, Heaven’s voice, yields precious witness,
    And large reply,        50
To him who comes to her with inward fitness
    Of harmony.

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