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Red Of The Dawn Post by :Got_Pez Category :Poems Author :Alfred Noyes Date :September 2011 Read :2118

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Red Of The Dawn


The Dawn peered in with blood-shot eyes
Pressed close against the cracked old pane.
The garret slept: the slow sad rain
Had ceased: grey fogs obscured the skies;
But Dawn peered in with haggard eyes.


All as last night? The three-legged chair,
The bare walls and the tattered bed,
All!--but for those wild flakes of red
(And Dawn, perhaps, had splashed them there!)
Round the bare walls, the bed, the chair.


'Twas here, last night, when winds were loud,
A ragged singing-girl, she came
Out of the tavern's glare and shame,
With some few pence--for she was proud--
Came home to sleep, when winds were loud.


And she sleeps well; for she was tired!
That huddled shape beneath the sheet
With knees up-drawn, no wind or sleet
Can wake her now! Sleep she desired;
And she sleeps well, for she was tired.


And there was one that followed her
With some unhappy curse called "love":
Last night, though winds beat loud above,
She shrank! Hark, on the creaking stair,
What stealthy footstep followed her?


But now the Curse, it seemed, had gone!
The small tin-box, wherein she hid
Old childish treasures, had burst its lid.
Dawn kissed her doll's cracked face. It shone
Red-smeared, but laughing--_the Curse is gone_.


So she sleeps well: she does not move;
And on the wall, the chair, the bed,
Is it the Dawn that splashes red,
High as the text where _God is Love_
Hangs o'er her head? She does not move.


The clock dictates its old refrain:
All else is quiet; or, far away,
Shaking the world with new-born day,
There thunders past some mighty train:
The clock dictates its old refrain.


The Dawn peers in with blood-shot eyes:
The crust, the broken cup are there!
She does not rise yet to prepare
Her scanty meal. God does not rise
And pluck the blood-stained sheet from her;
But Dawn peers in with haggard eyes.

(The end)
Alfred Noyes's poem: Red Of The Dawn

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