T. Arnold Haultain (1857-1941)

Text from A Century of Canadian Sonnets.

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Before Dawn

The night-breeze chill blew cold across the mere,
The sullen mist, slow-creeping up the dale,
Enshrouded all the land with clammy veil,
The clouds stood still, the trees bent low with fear.

At last, far in the eastern heavens drear,
A little stranger ray, trembling and pale,
Afeared lest he to find his way should fail,
Took courage on the dismal scene to peer.

The trees look up, the grasses tip-toe rear
Their tiny heads, the clouds mount up and scale
The topmost sky to gain an outlook clear;

The waves awake, aroused by rising gale,
The mist shrinks back, and all combine to hail
The dauntless little harbinger of cheer.