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Poem by Clinton Scollard


Dawn in the Desert


When the first opal presage of morn
Quickened the east, the good Merwan arose,
And by his open tent door knelt and prayed.

Now in that pilgrim caravan was one
Whose heart was heavy with dumb doubts, whose eyes
Drew little balm from slumber.  Up and down
Night-long he paced the avenues of sand
'Twixt tent and tent, and heard the jackals snarl,
The camels moan for water.  This one came
On Merwan praying, and to him outcried-
(The tortured spirit bursting its sealed fount
As doth the brook of Damavend in spring)-
"How knowest thou that any Allah is?"
Swift from the sand did Merwan lift his face,
Flung toward the east an arm of knotted bronze,
And said, as upward shot a shaft of gold,
"Dost need a torch to show to thee the dawn?"
Then prayed again.

                              When on the desert's rim
In sudden awful splendor stood the sun,
Through all the caravan there was no knee
But bowed to Allah.



                      Clinton Scollard


Clinton Scollard's other poems:
  1. May in Umbria
  2. To William Sharp
  3. Dusk
  4. Sylvia
  5. The Fountain


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