The Chariots of Dawn

by George Sterling (1869–1926)

O Night, is this indeed the morning-star,
    That now, with brandished and impatient beam
    On eastern heights of darkness flames supreme,
Or some great captain of the dawn, whose car
Scornful of all thy rear-guard ranks that bar
        His battle, now forereuns the helms that gleam
        Below horizons of dissevering dream,
Who lifts his javelin to his hosts afar?

Now am I minded of some ocean-king
    That in a war of gods has wielded arms,
And still in slumber hears their harness ring
        And dreams of isles where golden altars fume,
    Till, mad for irretrievable alarms,
        He passes down the seas to some strange doom.

Second of “Three Sonnets of the Night Skies.”
Sterling, George.  The House of Orchids and Other Poems.  (San Francisco:  A. M. Robertson, 1911).

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