As tides of heaving waters ebb and flow,
The ever shifting powers of dark and light,
Rising and falling, ceaseless come and go,
And round towards morning now. Star-sandaled night
Her undisputed sway no longer holds,
Her glimmering lamps grow dim, and from the folds
Of her wide, sombre mantle, drawn away
Slowly from hill and dale, the child of day,
Fair, rosy dawn, looks forth, and lavishly
Casts down her gems on floating cloud and mist,
Amber and pearl, and tender amethyst,
And deeper purple to the waiting sea,
So they may deck them, meet
Their royal Lord to greet,
And early warblers on the wing
Tune their sweet pipes to caroling.
All things of ocean, earth, and air
Expectant herald everywhere,—
The Coming of the King!
Across the hilltops drifts a gentle breeze,
Swaying the grasses, stirring in the trees,
That wake from dreams as with a happy sigh,
And softly to each other bend more nigh,
Till every whispering leaf would seem to tell
The joyful tidings, old as earth, yet new
Even as the trembling drop of freshest dew
On folded buds that in green springtime swell.
And then a moment’s breathless hush, — and now,
Beyond the kindling brow
Of yonder peak, behold !
A gleam of shimmering gold,
Waxing more deep, more bright,
Breaking at last to shafts of liquid light,
And then — O warblers on the wing,
Let all your loudest anthems ring!
Lo ! overflooded with white flame,
The throbbing, radiant skies proclaim, —
The Coming of the King!
Stuart Sterne