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My form was hid in darkness; when the earth
Was void and formless, and the shoreless deep
Rolled its black waters, sullen and alone,
Ere man was formed, or any living thing,
"God said, Let there be light," and at his word
The pall of gloom uplifted, and I flashed
To life, baptizing with my radiant smile
A new-born world.


The Almighty viewed me with benignant eye,
And I stood forth, the glad, immortal Day!
Above me then heaven's azure dome was arched;
The waters were divided, and the world
Was flushed with joy; the emerald grass crept o'er
The barren hills, and caught my happy smile;
The valleys bloomed with flowers; the ocean heaved
Its breast exultingly, and sang aloud
Melodious anthems to the listening shore,
And at God's high command, the pulse of life
Beat in its hidden and unsounded depths.
Then living creatures swarmed the fruitful land;
All welcomed me and blessed me for my birth;
And last of all, (the best and crowning act,)
From out the dust of earth He fashioned Man,
And in his nostrils breathed the breath of life,
And he became a living soul, and bore
His deathless stamp.


My great heart is the Sun!
My mother is the Night, the holy Night;
And God hath made her beautiful, and set
Upon her dusky brow a glittering crown
Of stars. Though at my birth he parted us,
'Twas for a few short hours; for when I see
The first gem burn upon her coronet,
I haste to meet her, as with noiseless step,
She comes to wander o'er a waiting world;
And when we meet, she folds me to her heart,
And sings to me such sweet and soothing strains,
I fall asleep upon her dewy breast,
Nor wake again till morn.


The muffled tread
Of centuries in their solemn march, awakes
In me no saddening thoughts of age or death;
No shadow dims the lustre of my eye;
Though I have seen proud empires rise and fall;
Though cities, great in their magnificence,
Have sunk in earth and vanished from my gaze,
And nought but crumbling columns mark their graves;
Though Time's worn trophies thick around me lie,
Its blight falls not on me; I ever wear
The same unchanging flush of morning bloom.


I am great Nature's limner, and I dip
My pencil in the liquid blue of heaven,
And tinge the violet's leaf; with gorgeous tints
I paint the Summer rainbows on the skies;
And though their fairy colors seem to fade,
Their glories are not lost; for when, with pride,
The golden-sandalled Autumn walks the earth,
She showers their splendors on the forest trees.


I am impartial as the air or dew;
My blessing falls on all; the rich man's gold
Buys not my favoring smile; I have no frown
For poverty; no kindlier falls my glance
On palace walls than on the beggar's hut.
I stretch my hand through gloomy dungeon bars,
And beckon the lone captive from his cell;
I touch his darkened soul, and sometimes bring
Tears to his eyes, repentance to his heart.
I tread where mortal footstep never dares;
I kiss the mountain tops, whose hoary heads
Forever wear a veil of clouds; I creep
With shining feet down deep ravines, and chase
The brooding shadows into viewless air.
But ah! the grave--my glances reach not there;
Though with my sunbeam fingers I may strew
Its sod above with flowers, I shed no bloom
Within; God's eye alone can pierce its gloom,
And thou, O man! through him alone canst read
Its silent mysteries.