Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1835–1860
Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. VI–VIII: Literature of the Republic, Part III., 1835–1860
The Clouds
By William Croswell (1804–1851)
[Born in Hudson, N. Y., 1804. Died in Boston, Mass., 1851.]

I CANNOT look above and see
  Yon high-piled, pillowy mass
Of evening clouds, so swimmingly
  In gold and purple pass,
And think not, Lord, how thou wast seen        5
  On Israel’s desert way,
Before them, in thy shadowy screen,
  Pavilioned all the day!
Or, of those robes of gorgeous hue
  Which the Redeemer wore,        10
When, ravished from his followers’ view,
  Aloft his flight he bore;
When lifted, as on mighty wing,
  He curtained his ascent,
And, wrapt in clouds, went triumphing        15
  Above the firmament.
Is it a trail of that same pall
  Of many-colored dyes,
That high above, o’ermantling all,
  Hangs midway down the skies—        20
Or borders of those sweeping folds
  Which shall be all unfurled
About the Saviour, when he holds
  His judgment on the world?
For in like manner as he went,—        25
  My soul, hast thou forgot?—
Shall be his terrible descent,
  When man expecteth not!
Strength, Son of man, against that hour,
  Be to our spirits given,        30
When thou shalt come again with power,
  Upon the clouds of heaven!

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