The dawn’s precise pronouncement waits
With breath of light indrawn,
Then forms with smoky, smut-red lips
The great O of the sun.
The mouldering atoms of the dark
Blaze into morning air;
The birdlike stars droop down and die,
The starlike birds catch fire.
The thrush’s tinder throat strikes up,
The sparrow chips hot sparks
From flinty tongue, and all the sky
Showers with electric larks.
And my huge eye a chaos is
Where molten worlds are born;
Where floats the eagle’s flaming moon,
And crows like clinkers, burn;
Where blackbirds scream with comet tails,
And flaring finches fall,
And starlings, aimed like meteors,
Bounce from the garden wall;
Where, from the edge of day I spring
Alive for mortal flight,
Lit by the heart’s exploding sun
Bursting from night to night.
The Edge of Day, from My Many-coated Man (1955)