At the Turning of the Dawn

‘O Hark, O Hear! How thin and clear,
And thinner, clearer, farther going!
O sweet and far from cliff and scar
The horns of Elfland faintly blowing.’
Alfred Tennyson

The splendor falls upon my eye and ear.
I hear the sounds of footsteps falling,
Wadding backward in the light,
They return to where sun streams flow
To wake the morning.

In the pools between the dusk and dawn
I hear the splash of light and see
What silver prints be left from silken boots
Upon the merry dewed and misted mystic lawn.

Who is he who turns towards me?
What call we him and his kind,
His look that beckons on to follow?
Will we only watch and wait
While the furrows of his wake
Recede and leave us gazing from our early earthen gate?

Or will we look and turn,
Move quickly to hear him speak?

Friend, so soon I flee your day
To dance again beyond the moon
In starlit groves of Faire gloaming.

O Harken, Harken hear and trust!
Come, follow on my silver strand
And let us be about together.
Stir yourself and in the morning lights
I fain would banish fear if you would let me.

Your heart this unknown land has known,
If you will but begin again,
And remember what you once knew by heart:
Of star winds and sails that whisper well,
Of old old tales, once and still told,

Whose barks the dusk sea bears
Bold beyond belief and longing.

Listen and linger with me.
Hear the King’s other aires and innocences,
His careful weighty careless songs.
For they issue from that place that meets and greets us
Before and after birth and dark.

O Harken, harken hear and trust!
For I was with you while you slept,
A guard, a sentinel to sing as twilight to the dawn
A song with wings that sought the Nether Sea.

Rout the night and lesser lights.
Remember now the song that made the sun to rise.
I tell you it runs a river through your eyes
And stirs the still waters of your soul.

You were deep in dream and light of sleep
And so, as one apart, you, too, woke to wake,
To catch the star trail’s tale,
To ride with us upon His wake
Over the ridge of night,
Along His endless day forever into light.

Remember what you knew and know.
Believe to jettison base and worthless things that weigh.
Fear not, for upward, inward we will go
Where Elves and Angels, Saintly Men,
And all of Heaven’s denizens do play.

O Harken, harken hear and trust!
Why do you make to turn as if to flee?
I doubt you doubt.
Be assured: He does not speak, nor waste my words
On him who has not embarked already.

See below us, still and distant, the fair skin of earth.
Weigh your last anchors that still dangle.
How can they bite the air,
Or latch upon yon mountain range’s peaks
That sink below as crystals green,
Studded, faint and fallow gems of light.

Already you are lightened
And made light enough to see,
Your soul a free and holy craft
To win its way above man’s stale and darkened fen.

Walk straight and spritely.
Dance as would an Elfen friend.
Prance with me upon the sun’s yellow locks
That flow a golden road before us.

There is no care nor weight to bare
Able to bend your path away from Him
Who calls all who wait his will.
Now is the time to try the Upper Sea
In all the layered Heavens rare.

The waters of His Empyrean, high and low,
Do bow and rise.
See, they worship with you.

Fix your eyes within upon the stars,
Those living eyes of Amethyst, Beryl, Jasper,
The blood fire stones of life.
Above they wait, each a throne,
Set before the Father’s Sons of Light.

Elliott Tepper 2005