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A Florida Dawn, A Poem

Harper's New Monthly Magazine


The moon is low in the sky,
  And a sweet south wind is blowing
Where the bergamot blossoms breathe and die
  In the orchard’s scented snowing;
But the stars are few, and scattered lie
  Where the sinking moon is going.

With a love-sweet ache a strain
  Of the night’s delicious fluting
Stirs in the heart, with as sweet a pain
  As the flower feels in fruiting,
And the soft air breathes a breath of rain
  Over buds and tendrils shooting.

For the sweet night faints and dies,
  Like the blush when love confesses
Its passion dusk to the cheeks and eyes
  And dies in its sweet distresses,
And the radiant mystery fills the skies
  Of possible happinesses,

Till the sun breaks out on sheaves
  And mouths of a pink perfume,
Where the milky bergamot shakes its leaves;
  And the rainbow’s ribbon bloom,
Of the soft gray mist of the morning, weaves
  A rose in the rose’s loom.

The fog, like a great white cloth,
  Draws out of the orchard and corn,
And melts away in a film of froth
  Like the milk spray on the thorn;
And out of her chamber’s blush and loath,
  Like a bride, comes the girlish morn.

by Will Wallace Harney

Excerpt from: Harney, Will Wallace. "A Florida Dawn"
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, June. 1875, Volume 51, Issue 301, pp. 66–67


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