Darkness had stretched its colour,
   Deep blue across the pane:
   No cloud to make night duller,
   No moon with its tarnish stain;
   But only here and there a star,
   One sharp point of frosty fire,
   Hanging infinitely far
   In mockery of our life and death
   And all our small desire.
 
   Now in this hour of waking
   From under brows of stone,
   A new pale day is breaking
   And the deep night is gone.
   Sordid now, and mean and small
   The daylight world is seen again,
   With only the veils of mist that fall
   Deaf and muffling over all
   To hide its ugliness and pain.
 
   But to-day this dawn of meanness
   Shines in my eyes, as when
   The new world’s brightness and cleanness
   Broke on the first of men.
   For the light that shows the huddled things
   Of this close-pressing earth,
   Shines also on your face and brings
   All its dear beauty back to me
   In a new miracle of birth.
 
   I see you asleep and unpassioned,
   White-faced in the dusk of your hair—
   Your beauty so fleetingly fashioned
   That it filled me once with despair
   To look on its exquisite transience
   And think that our love and thought and laughter
   Puff out with the death of our flickering sense,
   While we pass ever on and away
   Towards some blank hereafter.
 
   But now I am happy, knowing
   That swift time is our friend,
   And that our love’s passionate glowing,
   Though it turn ash in the end,
   Is a rose of fire that must blossom its way
   Through temporal stuff, nor else could be
   More than a nothing. Into day
   The boundless spaces of night contract
   And in your opening eyes I see
   Night born in day, in time eternity.

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