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Poem by William Hamilton Reid


Morning. Noon. Evening. Night


MORNING.
The solemn scenery of night withdrawn,
Faint, trembling, springs the harbinger of day;
The blushing genius of the fragrant dawn,
With glowing pencil streaks the orient way.

The fen-born streams that hid fair Dian's train,
Disperse, enfeebled, at the streaming view;
Whilst pristine youth, majestic, from the main
Ascends, regal'd with draughts of sparkling dew.

What vivid tints of sky-empurpled gold
O'er cloud-topt hills and waving woods he throws;
Whilst vales and lawns, that various scenes unfold,
In smiles confess him "bright'ning as he goes."

A thousand charms await the early breeze,
Ye sons of song, what symphonies abound;
Hygeia whispers to the bending trees,
Till burning Phoebus circles all around.

NOON.
High whirls the chariot of the blazing hours,
Whose flaming steeds out-stretch the slacken'd reins,
Intense o'er all the fierce effulgence pours,
And music dies upon the arid plains.

Far through the dazzling bounds of ambient light,
A turgid sameness palls the aching eye,
Which night had erst with beauteous gems bedight
The morn with tints of pure celestial dye.

The lowing herds, to ardent thirst a prey,
Lament the absence of the fanning breeze;
Whilst sun-burnt rustics seek the scented hay,
Or spread beneath the valley-shading trees.

When nature, oft by tyrant heats oppress'd,
Her lurid brow bespeaks her troubled mien;
And sullen silence bodes the loud contest,
Till groaning thunders close the changing scene.

EVENING.
Grateful as when the weary trave'ller gains,
Through sultry rays the breezy summits high,
Mild evening comes, and from the burnish'd plains,
With soften'd radiance greets the placid eye.

What living azure decks the marbled skies,
Fring'd with ethereal gold's unblended light,
That frequent verging into purple dyes,
With sweet perplexity enchants the sight.

Yet slowly fades each variegated scene,
Till all around the giant shadows play,
Which welcome Silence to her cell serene,
And pensive Pleasure's lone untrodden way.

The drowsy tenant of the time-struck tow'r,
With flapping wings salutes the dun domain;
Round aged elms the humming chaffers lour,
Till glittering Hesper lead the starry train.

NIGHT.
The moon, emerging from the noiseless deep,
O'er ocean's bosom flings her silver veil:
Still echo sits on yonder's craggy steep,
And seems the sleep of nature to bewail.

The mystic raven, to his lonely bow'r
In dreary silence wings his secret flight,
Whilst slow and sullen from it's viewless tow'r,
The distant clock proclaims the noon of night.

No foaming billows lash the passive shore,
Nor urge their fury on unyielding rocks;
The rude north wind's tempestuous blast no more
Yells through the gloom, and man's resentment mocks.

But all is solemn stillness! not a breath,
Nor aught disturbs or moves the vast profound,
Save when the moon-beams gleaming o'er the heath,
With trembling radiance skirt the distant bound.



William Hamilton Reid

Poem Themes: Morning, Evening, Night

William Hamilton Reid's other poems:
  1. Ode to Reflexion
  2. The Tomb of Shere, an Oriental Elegy
  3. Elegy, supposed to be written on a Waste near the Charter-house, London
  4. Invocation to Melancholy
  5. Invocation to Fancy


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