Morning Song of Senlin by Conrad Aiken
Morning Song of Senlin by Conrad Aiken stories
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  >It is morning, Senlin says, and in the morning
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Morning Song of Senlin by Conrad Aiken

by HauntedHead

 

>It is morning, Senlin says, and in the morning

>When the light drips through the shutters like the dew, 

>I arise, I face the sunrise, 

>And do the things my fathers learned to do. 

>Stars in the purple dusk above the rooftops 

>Pale in a saffron mist and seem to die, 

>And I myself on a swiftly tilting planet 

>Stand before a glass and tie my tie. 

 

>Vine leaves tap my window, 

>Dew-drops sing to the garden stones, 

>The robin chips in the chinaberry tree 

>Repeating three clear tones. 

 

>It is morning. I stand by the mirror 

>And tie my tie once more. 

>While waves far off in a pale rose twilight 

>Crash on a white sand shore. 

>I stand by a mirror and comb my hair: 

>How small and white my face!—

>The green earth tilts through a sphere of air 

>And bathes in a flame of space. 

>There are houses hanging above the stars 

>And stars hung under a sea. . . 

>And a sun far off in a shell of silence 

>Dapples my walls for me. . . 

 

>It is morning, Senlin says, and in the morning 

>Should I not pause in the light to remember God? 

>Upright and firm I stand on a star unstable, 

>He is immense and lonely as a cloud. 

>I will dedicate this moment before my mirror 

>To him alone, and for him I will comb my hair. 

>Accept these humble offerings, cloud of silence! 

>I will think of you as I descend the stair. 

 

>Vine leaves tap my window, 

>The snail-track shines on the stones, 

>Dew-drops flash from the chinaberry tree 

>Repeating two clear tones. 

 

>It is morning, I awake from a bed of silence, 

>Shining I rise from the starless waters of sleep. 

>The walls are about me still as in the evening, 

>I am the same, and the same name still I keep. 

>The earth revolves with me, yet makes no motion, 

>The stars pale silently in a coral sky. 

>In a whistling void I stand before my mirror, 

>Unconcerned, I tie my tie. 

 

>There are horses neighing on far-off hills 

>Tossing their long white manes, 

>And mountains flash in the rose-white dusk,

>Their shoulders black with rains. . . 

>It is morning. I stand by the mirror 

>And surprise my soul once more; 

>The blue air rushes above my ceiling, 

>There are suns beneath my floor. . . 

 

>. . . It is morning, Senlin says, I ascend from darkness 

>And depart on the winds of space for I know not where, 

>My watch is wound, a key is in my pocket, 

>And the sky is darkened as I descend the stair.

>There are shadows across the windows, clouds in heaven, 

>And a god among the stars; and I will go 

>Thinking of him as I might think of daybreak

>And humming a tune I know. . . 

 

>Vine-leaves tap at the window, 

>Dew-drops sing to the garden stones, 

>The robin chirps in the chinaberry tree 

>Repeating three clear tones. 

 

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