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Arthur Henry Adams

The Sculptor

O'er the Eastern hills of light
While the dim world slept
Dawn the sculptor stepped,
And the shapeless block of Night
Chiselled into form
Morning-lit and warm.

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The Reaper

The world is drowsy, the winds asleep,
On the sward of the sky the star-blossoms peep,
And the grey Moon moves with his silver scythe
The pallid flowers of light to reap.

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The Parade

Along the lamp-lit streets they glide and go:
Here Nature in her brutishness is nude:
See, thinly trickling from the age-old wound,
The steady stream of squandered womanhood!

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Dawn

Far in the Eastern passage-way a sudden light;
The stone that blocked the sepulchre is backward rolled;
And down into the fœtid, stifling vault of Night
The naked corpse of Dawn is lowered, grey and cold.

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The Tui

Alchemist of melody,
dropp by dropp distilling!
Hidden high on some tall tree,
Alchemist of melody;
With your liquid minstrelsy
All the forest filling:
Alchemist of melody,
dropp by dropp distilling!

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A Child

Little wisp of wonderment,
All the world your doll!
Hugging it in huge content,
Little wisp of wonderment;
Life has only laughter sent—
Everything is droll:
Little wisp of wonderment,
All the world your doll.

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Fancies

From Wellington Terrace.
WHITE stars above, red stars beneath,
And o'er the bay the brooding hills:
No murmur, save a quiet breath
That faintly through the darkness thrills,
The bay with shadowed lights a-blur;
On high a glow that waves and wanes;
And through the city here and there
The red-lit streets—like living veins!

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The Ebb of Day

The ebb of day has now begun;
The waters to the low west crowd;
But one forgotten wisp of cloud
Glows like a fragment of the sun,
And stranded on the shores of Night,
Where ‘gainst the sky the telegraph
Stretching his dim, audacious path
Defiantly to heaven aspires,
There lies a maiden, drowned and white—
The torn Moon tangled in the wires!

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In Hyde Park

The white mist walks between the trees
In silver gown;
Her mystic floating draperies
The branches drown;
And lurking there with eager leer
And wonder new,
The lamps inquisitively peer
Their fingers through.
The world sighs wearily, with pain
Drawing tired breath;
The stars are like a silver rain;
And down beneath
On Night's smooth garment running o'er
In sullen flood,
The city, like a festering sore,
Oozes warm blood.

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Sydney Nocturnes

From The North Shore.
TO Day she would not show her charms;
But now the Night beseeches,
A white reproach of wistful arms
Over the bay she reaches.
Upon her gleaming bosom, wet
With tears and quivering,
In ropes of golden beauty set
Her vivid jewels swing.
Upon the pathway of the night
She, pausing often, paces;
About her body waves gleam white
Like froth of filmy laces;
And to her pleasure hurrying,
Their torches holding high,
On molten waters smouldering
The ferry-boats flame by.

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