Ina D. Coolbrith

Rookie (1842-1928 / Nauvoo, Illinois (Josephine D. Smith))

A Lost Day


From the shadowy shores of Dreamland,
In a far and ethereal zone,
I have come unto earth; and I know not
Where the beautiful Day has flown!

For gazing, at early dawning,
Where bright in the radiant East
The glittering sun swam, golden,
Through billows of crimson mist-

My soul floated out on the ether,
Swift-winged and free as the Light-
Nor ever, till dawn grew to darkness,
Returned from its airy flight.

I never shall know of its journey:
I have questioned, all in vain,
The source of the wonderful visions
That are thronging my puzzled brain.

Strange voices; strange, beautiful faces;
Strange fashions of mien and dress,
And words whose mystical meaning
I have striven in vain to guess;

Strange cities, that mirror the sunlight
From minaret, mosque, and dome;
And tropical islands, up-springing
From couches of feathery foam-

All glimmer, and gleam, and glisten,
Floating on in a magical stream,
Yet shadowed, and vague, and misty
As the memory of a dream.

And I stand, as at early dawning;
But where, in the radiant East,
The glittering sun swam, golden,
Through billows of crimson mist,

There is only this soft, white crescent,
And the daisy-faced stars, full-blown
In the garden of Night; and I know not
Where the beautiful Day has flown.

Submitted: Friday, July 11, 2008
Edited: Friday, July 11, 2008
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