A Morning Invocation

Shades of the clouds and the peaks! voices of rivers and fountains!
Glimpses of purple crags and torrents that murmur and leap!
Sounds and sights surrounding the Shepherd who stands on the mountains
Lonely 'mong vapours of Dawn, dim like a vision in sleep.
Dim he looms, and gigantic! Feels the chill breath of the Morning
Creep thro' the whitening mists, blowing them silently past,
Watches them come and depart, till out of the East with no warning
Flashes a roseate beam, and smites them asunder at last!
When lo! tho' clouds roll above and the sun is with shadows enfolden,
The flocks are spilt on the hills, the torrents shoot to the fall,
The eyes of the blue meres open, the moors grow purple and golden,
The mists melt over the heights, and the great Day gladdeneth all!
Shepherd of Song stand I here! and lo, the Night 'neath me and o'er me!
Lone in the City I loom, and watch for the dawn of the Day!
Shades as of clouds and of peaks, rising like phantoms before me,
Darken around me to-night as they darken'd afar away.
Dawn — and the shadows are stirr'd!
Light — and the clouds break asunder!
The River of Life again rolls by with a sound as of thunder!
Spires of the City gleam, houses loom large in the grey light,
Yonder a flag is flung out, yonder a casement shines clear,
And lo! ST. PAUL'S like a crag, rounded and dewy with daylight,
Shines in the sun, while below it masts thick as reeds on a mere
Rise from the dark-flowing Thames!
Light of Humanity, filling
The eyes and the ears with thy glory, this mystical dawning of Day!
Touch the dark sources of prayer that stir in my bosom, distilling
Dews from the darkness of sense, till the darkness melteth away!
Come with the motion of clouds, with the murmur of winds come unto me,
Open the glimpses divine, while Night like an owl taketh wing; —
Shepherd of Song stand I here! Strengthen, inspire, and renew me
To look on the pageant and live, to hear the world wake, and to sing!
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