Jane Wilde

27 December 1821 – 3 February 1896

The Dawn

What of the night, O Watcher on the Tower?
Is the Day dawning through the golden bars?
Comes it through the midnight, over clouds that lower,
Trailing robes of crimson mid the fading stars?
“Through the rent clouds I see a splendour gleaming,
Rolling down the darkness to the far Heaven’s rim,
While through the mist the glorious Dawn upstreaming
Rises like the music of a grand choral hymn.”
From the deep valleys where the whirlwind passes,
Hear you the tramp of the coming hosts of men,
Strong in their manhood, mighty in their masses,
Swift as rushing torrents down a mountain glen?
“Far as eye can reach, where purple mists are lifted,
Thousands upon thousands are gathering in might,
Powerful as tempests when giant sails are rifted,
Beautiful as ocean in the sun’s silver light.”
See you their Banner in the free air proudly
Waving, as an oriflamme a king might bear,
Has it no legend—dare we utter loudly
All that a people may have written there?
“I see their Banner in the red dawn flashing
Haughty is the legend, plain to all men’s sight,
Traced in their heart’s blood, which the breeze upcatching,
Flings out in flame‐words—Liberty and Right!
“Onward they come, still gathering in power,
Serried ranks of men o’er the crimson‐clouded lawn;
Banners glisten brightly in the golden shower
Pouring through the portals of the golden Dawn.

“Each bears a symbol, glorious in its meaning,
Holy as the music of the crown’d Bard’s Psalm:
Faith gazing upward, on her Anchor leaning,
Peace with the Olive, and Mercy with the Palm.”
Long have we waited, O Watcher, for the vision,
Splendid in promise we now can see it rise,
Scattering the darkness, while with hero‐mission
Brave hands uplift Hope’s banner to the skies.
Not with vain clamour, but the soul’s strength revealing
In the golden silence of all great true deeds,
Banded in strength for human rights appealing,
Banded in love for our poor human needs.
Bitter was the Past; let it rest, a new Æon
Preaches a new Gospel to man not in vain,
Earth through all her kingdoms echoes back the Pæan
Chanted once by Angels on the star‐lit plain.
Brotherhood of Nations, disdaining ancient quarrel,
Brotherhood of Peoples, flushed with a nobler rage,
Palm branch and Olive let us mingle with the Laurel
In the radiant future of the coming Age!
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